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Shapes & Text

Working with Shapes

Macabacus includes several tools to reposition and resize shapes that pick up where native PowerPoint functionality leaves off. These tools are located in the Shapes group on the Macabacus tab. Although a few Macabacus shape tools appear to perform the same functions as native PowerPoint shape tools, they are enhanced with additional functionality or more intuitive behavior relative to the native versions they replace.

Format Painter

You can copy the properties of one shape and apply them to other shapes, even after the shape whose properties were copied is deleted. While PowerPoint's native Format Painter applys all formatting properties, Macabacus lets you choose which properties to apply, including many not related to formatting (e.g., shape size and position).

Access this tool from the Shapes section of the Macabacus tab. The Format Painter pane allows you to select any of the available properties to apply, while the Format Painter menu lets you select commonly applied properties. The buttons on this menu can be added to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for easy access.

Swap Positions

Swap the position of two shapes using one of several positioning options available on the Macabacus > Swap Positions menu:

Top Left Anchor Swap the top left positions of two selected shapes
Top Right Anchor Swap the top right positions of two selected shapes
Bottom Left Anchor Swap the bottom left positions of two selected shapes
Bottom Right Anchor Swap the bottom right positions of two selected shapes
Center Anchor Swap the center positions of two selected shapes

The following example illustrates the behavior of Swap Positions using Top Right Anchor:

Swap Positions Swap Positions

Stack Shapes

Use Stack Shapes tools to align the edges of shapes relative to one another. You can optionally specify a gap (in inches, centimeters, or points) to be included between shapes.

Stack Left Align selected shapes so that they are horizontally positioned at the right edges of prior shapes in the selection, as determined by horizontal position
Stack Right Align selected shapes so that they are horizontally positioned at the left edges of subsequent shapes in the selection, as determined by horizontal position
Stack Up Align selected shapes so that they are vertically positioned at the bottom edges of prior shapes in the selection, as determined by vertical position
Stack Down Align selected shapes so that they are vertically positioned at the top edges of subsequent shapes in the selection, as determined by vertical position

The following example illustrates the behavior of the Stack Left tool:

Stack Left

Distribute Shapes

Distribute the width or height of selected shapes evenly over the aggregate bounds of the selected shapes. You can optionally specify a gap (in inches, centimeters, or points) to be included between shapes.

Distribute Horizontally Distribute selected shapes' widths evenly across the aggregate width of the entire selection, such that the widths of all selected shapes are equal
Distribute Vertically Distribute selected shapes' heights evenly across the aggregate height of the entire selection, such that the heights of all selected shapes are equal

The following example illustrates the behavior of the Distribute Horizontally tool. Note that rectangles 1, 2, and 3 initially have different widths and are spaced unevenly.

Distribute Horizontally

Conform Size

Conform the width, height, or both the width and height of selected shapes to the same dimension(s) as the first selected shape. If only a single shape is selected, it will be sized relative to the slide. For example, clicking the Macabacus > Conform Width button will set the width of the selected shape equal to the width of the slide.

Align Shapes

When you align shapes using PowerPoint, it is not always clear (or intuitive) to which of the selected shapes the others will align. Macabacus, on the other hand, always aligns selected shapes with the top, bottom, left, or right edges, or horizontal or vertical midpoints, of the first selected shape, producing consistent results. Use the alignment buttons in the Shapes section of the Macabacus tab to align shapes.

If only a single shape is selected, it will be aligned relative to the slide upon the first click of an alignment button. If you click the alignment button a second time, it will be aligned with the body placeholder on your slide master (which implicitly defines margins for your slides). For example, clicking the Center Horizontally button once with a single shape selected will horizontally center the selected shape on the slide. Clicking the Align Left button twice will align a single shape with the left "margin" of your slide.

Select Match

Use Select Match to select multiple shapes on a slide with similar properties (e.g., width, color, shape type). Suppose you have a map with dozens of map markers, and you need to recolor all of the orange markers to blue. Select a single orange marker, set your match criteria to "Fill," click the Macabacus > Select Match button to select all orange markers, and reformat the selected markers as desired. You can apply multiple match criteria, and select multiple shapes to match.

Record/Restore Size & Position

Click the Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Record Size & Position button to memorize the sizes and positions of selected shapes. You can then move those shapes around on the slide—perhaps to uncover and edit another shape—and then click the Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Restore Size & Position button to restore the shapes' original sizes and positions.

Resize To

Conform the dimensions of one or more selected shapes to a customizable Standard Size, or a selected range, chart, or other object Excel/Word, from the Macabacus > Shape Size > Resize To menus.

Conform Adjustments

Adjustments are changes made to AutoShapes (e.g., arrows) by dragging their yellow handles. You can set adjustments made in similar, selected AutoShapes to the adjustments in the first selected AutoShape by clicking the Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Conform Adjustments button. To do this using native PowerPoint functionality would require tedious and imprecise manual adjustment of each shape individually.

Multiply Shape

Duplicate the selected shape an arbitrary number of times into a grid, with customizable spacing between rows and columns, by clicking the Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Multiply Shape button.

Align Over Table

Table cells may only contain text, but it is sometimes necessary to position shapes over table cells to make them appear as part of a table. To align selected shapes over cells in the selected table, click the Macabacus > More Shape Tools > Align Over Table button. Macabacus will determine the best cell to use for shape alignment based on overlap, and you can specify any of nine alignment options (e.g., centered, top left).

Text Operations

Insert Text Box

As of v8.7.0, text boxes are inserted as MasterShapes. See the MasterShapes section of this documentation for more information.

Autofit Toggle

Toggle between PowerPoint's "Do not Autofit" and "Resize shape to fit text" text box settings, and enable text wrap for selected shapes. PowerPoint's "Shrink text on overflow" setting is excluded from Autofit Toggle because it produces unpredictable and inconsistent font sizes that leave your presentations looking unprofessional. Text wrap should almost always be used, so Macabacus enables it by default when you use Autofit Toggle. The Autofit Toggle button is on the Macabacus tab in the Text group.

Increase/Decrease Line Spacing

The Macabacus > Increase Line Spacing and Macabacus > Decrease Line Spacing buttons provide a fast, accessible way to increase or decrease line spacing for all text within a shape. Key these buttons repeatedly to increase/decrease line spacing further. This is a quick way to fit text within a shape.

Fix Bullets

Conform selected shapes' bullet formatting to the bullet formatting prescribed in your layouts or slide master, as applicable, by clicking the Macabacus > Fix Bullets button. Only bullet formatting is applied to the selected shape, and all other formatting is preserved.

Redact

Use Macabacus to redact (i.e., black out) acquirer or target company names or any other sensitive information in your presentations. Macabacus replaces existing text with solid rectangles, which are actually pipe ("|") characters on a background matching the font color of the text being redacted (usually black). You can redact selected text or redact all occurrences of a word or phrase in your presentation. The width of the redaction rectangle very closely approximates the width of the original text to avoid line wrapping changes that would otherwise affect the appearance of your slides.

Redacting tools are found under the Macabacus > Redact menu in the Text group. Redact Selection works on pictures and charts in addition to text. Find & Redact can redact almost any text, including text in tables, SmartArt, and speaker notes, but cannot redact text in images and does not redact text in charts, slide masters, layouts, and slide comments. Original content redacted by Macabacus cannot be viewed following redaction, aside from using PowerPoint's Undo command.

Swap Text

Swap the text in two selected shapes shapes by clicking the Macabacus > More Text Tools > Swap Text button.

Split Text

Split paragraphs in the selected shape into separate shapes by clicking the Macabacus > More Text Tools > Split Text button.

Merge Text

To merge text from multiple shapes into a single shape:

  1. Select the shape into which you want to merge text from other shapes.
  2. With the first shape still selected, select the other shapes whose text you want to merge.
  3. Click the Macabacus > More Text Tools > Merge Text button.

Ungroup Table

To split a table into individual text boxes, each representing a cell in the table, click the Macabacus > More Text Tools > Ungroup Table button.

Set Proofing Language

Sometimes, PowerPoint's spell checker flags words as misspelled—using red squiggly underlines—that are clearly not. This indicates that the proofing language for the flagged text is incorrectly set, which frequently occurs when collaborating with colleagues in other countries, for example. You can set the proofing language for a shape or other item containing text to the correct language using native PowerPoint functionality. However, setting the proofing language for an entire presentation natively is extremely tedious, since you must set the proofing language for each shape/item individually.

This is a significant problem that only a handful of third party solutions, including Macabacus, can address. To set the proofing language for all text in the active presentation, select the applicable language on the Macabacus > More Text Tools > Set Proofing Language menu. Macabacus processes text in obvious places, as well as AutoShapes, grouped shapes, tables, SmartArt, slide masters, layouts, and slide notes. Other third party solutions frequently miss one or more of these locations. The languages available in this menu are populated from the list of languages installed in Windows.

Replace Fonts

Replace fonts in a presentation with a new font. Unlike PowerPoint's native Replace Fonts tool, Macabacus replaces fonts in charts and SmartArt, and lets you replace all fonts in a single step if your presentation uses multiple fonts.

This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.8.16, and may differ from the PDF documentation
on your computer that installed with your version of Macabacus.