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Building A Company Profile in PowerPoint: Alignment Tricks (12:50)

You’ll learn tricks for achieving normally impossible alignments and distributions in this tutorial, and you’ll see several examples of slides for company profiles that you could use in pitch books and other presentations.

Shortcuts Introduced (These require PowerPoint 2010 or later):

Shift + Click
Select Multiple Shapes

Alt, N, SH
Insert Shape

Shift + Draw Line
Draw Straight Line

Alt, H, G, A, C
Align Center

Alt, H, G, A, M
Align Middle

Alt, H, G, A, H
Distribute Horizontally

Alt, H, G, A, V
Distribute Vertically

Ctrl + G

Ctrl + Shift + G

Shift + Drag Shape
Move Shape & Keep Horizontal or Vertical Axis Constant

Lesson Outline:

You often use company profiles in pitch books and other presentations in investment banking to highlight potential buyers and sellers – which companies might be interested in buying or selling, and what do their financial profiles look like?

Short profiles are fairly simple to create, but in longer profiles (2 pages or beyond), sometimes you run into alignment problems when there are multiple graphs or charts within a single “box” or area of the slide, and you need to distribute them properly.

It won’t work correctly if you select smaller shapes and attempt to align them to the middle or center or distribute them using the built-in commands – instead, you have to create fake “reference lines” on both sides of the shape across which you’re distributing the smaller shapes.

In this case, we create those lines around the blue text box and around the text labels below it.

With those lines (Alt, N, SH to create a shape) in place, you can then select those lines, the smaller shapes you want to distribute, and then distribute everything horizontally (Alt, H, G, A, H) or vertically (Alt, H, G, A, V).

Sometimes you will have to align these “fake lines” to the left, right, top or bottom of shapes to get the proper alignment (Alt, H, G, A, L for Left, R for Right, T for Top, and B for Bottom).

You can do this multiple times for as many shapes or areas as you need – afterward, you always finish off the exercise by deleting the lines since you don’t want to see them in the final version of the slides.

Credit: Taylor Croonquist from Nuts and Bolts Training came up with this trick and called these lines “Ninja Lines.” Here, we’re just showing you how to apply the lines to investment banking-style presentations.

Note: Also, in our (new) PowerPoint course, we recommend customizing the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to create your own shortcuts for common commands.

We SKIPPED that here because it’s outside the scope of this tutorial, but in real life you would use shorter shortcuts for all these commands.