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Microsoft Office 2003

Manipulating Objects

Many times, documents have multiple objects; getting them all in the correct location can be difficult. Knowing the ins and outs of manipulating objects will help you create a professional-looking document every time. 

To learn how to modify object properties (e.g., color), see Modifying Objects.

return to topSelecting Objects

When working with your project, you must select the objects you want to manipulate. To select an object, simply click on it. Once an object is selected, you can order, duplicate, or group it.

To select multiple objects:

  1. Hold down the [Shift] key

  2. Click on each of the objects you want to work with

To deselect one of the objects:

  1. Hold down the [Shift] key

  2. Click the object you want to deselect

return to top Moving Objects

  1. Select the object

  2. Click and drag the object to the desired position on your document

  3. Release the mouse button

return to topNudging Objects

When you want your object to be "nudged," or moved just a little, you can choose one of two available options. You can use the keyboard arrow keys to move the object, which is the fastest and easiest way. Or, you can access the Nudge option through the Drawing toolbar.

Nudging Objects: Keyboard Option

NOTE: In Excel, both of the following methods move an object the same amount of pixels.

  1. Select the object you want to nudge

  2. Word and PowerPoint:
    To move your object 5 pixels at a time, press the desired arrow key
    To move your object 1 pixel at a time, hold the [Ctrl] key and press the desired arrow key
    Publisher:
    To move your object 5 pixels at a time, hold the [Shift] key and press the desired arrow key
    To move your object 1 pixel at a time, press the desired arrow key

Nudging Objects: Toolbar Option

NOTE: This option is not available in Publisher.

  1. Click the object you want to nudge

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Nudge » desired direction
    Nudge menu

return to topOrdering Objects

Objects often must be ordered a certain way if they are to be visible. If you have overlapping objects, each object can be sent to the back or brought forward. Ordering can be performed with any object.

The example below walks you through the ordering process.  This general example can be applied to your specific case.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the triangle (i.e., the object you wish to move)
    Notice it is in the middle of the three layers.
    layer 1

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Order » Bring Forward or Bring to Front
    The triangle is brought to the front of the three layers.
    NOTES: Using the Bring Forward option moves the object forward one layer.
    Using the Bring to Front option moves the object to the first layer.
    layer 2

  3. Select the triangle (i.e., the object you wish to move)

  4. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Order » Send Backward or Send to Back
    The triangle is sent to the back of the three layers.
    NOTE: If your object does not appear behind the other object(s), repeat this step
    layer 3

return to topAligning Objects

If you want to align multiple objects in your document, the align option will help you do so quickly and easily.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the objects you want to align

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Align or Distribute » desired alignment
    Align or distribute options

return to topRotating or Flipping Objects

Rotating or flipping an object is made easy with Office drawing tools. You can control the rotation by choosing the Free Rotate option, or you can rotate your object to the left or right. If you want to flip an object, you can choose to flip it horizontally or vertically.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

  1. Select the object or group of objects you want to rotate or flip

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Rotate or Flip » select desired option
    Rotate Flip menu

Free Rotate Option 

If you select the Free Rotate option, you designate the degree of rotation by using the handles.

  1. Select one of the handles located around your object

  2. Drag your pointer in the direction and degree you want your object to rotate
    HINT: Holding [Shift] while dragging rotates the object in 15 degree increments.

  3. Release the mouse button

return to topGrouping Objects

You may want your shapes to become one group if you want them to move as one or if you want to apply the same formatting to all of them. Office gives you this option to group shapes together.

NOTE: In Publisher, these options are available from the Arrange menu.

Grouping Objects

  1. Select the object(s) you want in the group

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Group
    The handles for the individual objects disappear and handles appear around the group of objects.

  3. Make any necessary changes to the group of objects

Ungrouping Objects

  1. Select the group by clicking on one of the group’s objects

  2. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Ungroup

Regrouping Objects

  1. On the Drawing toolbar, click DRAW » select Regroup
    The handles reappear around the most recently ungrouped group.

Hints for Grouping, Ungrouping, and Regrouping

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