Make PowerPoint Presentations Pop with the Rule of Thirds

This fantastic tip brought to you by the good people at CustomGuide:

PowerPoint has a lot of nice tools for creating and designing slides. But if you’ve never had training to be a designer, it can be frustrating to figure out how to use these tools to create good design. You know it can be better, but how do you do it?

Here’s a quick tip that can make an immediate impact: use the Rule of Thirds to layout slides. According to the Rule of Thirds, an image is most pleasing when it is organized along imaginary lines that divide the image into thirds. This rule is used by photographers to compose photos. Notice how points of interest appear at the intersections, and the horizon follows the top line.

You can set up guides in PowerPoint so you can follow this design tip in your own slides. Here’s how:

Click the View tab on the Ribbon and click the Guides check box in the Show group.

By default the guides are arranged to the center of the slide. To rearrange them and divide the slide in thirds, just click and drag the guides. To add a guide, press and hold <Ctrl> as you click and drag.

Now you can organize the slide into thirds. (The guides appear for all slides in the presentation.) For example, we’ve taken this slide, which doesn’t follow the Rule of Thirds, and rearranged the items at focal points along the intersections of the lines, instead of just in the middle.

As you can see, simply rearranging the slide has made it much more interesting. And now you have the design tip you’ve been wanting for making your slides (and photos) better.

CustomGuide shared this tip with us in their February 2012 Newsletter #7.

-Kelly Marshall,
Director of Communications,
Sector Learning Solutions

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