21 Apr

PowerPoint Tip : Fix Your Crooked Lines

Here’s a tip on how to quickly fix a crooked or less than perfectly straight line in PowerPoint.  Sometimes you might notice that even though you were holding shift your line still ended up slightly crooked.  This kind of an imperfection can drive a designer mad =)
Maybe it’s close to two objects and it’s snapping to a point or grid… well instead of changing your whole page set up just to fix this line here is a quick tip to straighten it out.

Format Tab on a Mac

Format Tab on a Mac

When you click the line go to the Format Tab in the ribbon and look at the Size option. On the right you can see that the line above has a height of .05″. Well that’s not the stroke (thickness) of the line. This number actually denotes the height difference in the location of the starting point and ending point of the line. Which means that the end point is raised above the starting point by .05″. (Think of a right triangle. The width of the line is the hypotenuse and the height is the opposite side.) Now all you have to do is just zero that field out and you’ve got yourself a perfectly straight line.
Note in vertical lines you’ll see the opposite effect. The “crooked” difference between the points will be in the width field.

Comments (21)

  1. Bruce Gabrielle 22. Apr, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Great tip. It drives me crazy when the line is just a little crooked. This makes it easy to fix.

  2. Kuba 13. May, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Holding down the Shift button while drawing lines makes them perfectly straight.

    • HauteSlides | Magda Maslowska 13. May, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      LOL yes… but sometimes in PPT when you have the guides on.. an end point of a line will still snap to it even when holding shift =)

  3. Kate Rash 24. May, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Great tip! I’ve always wondered what trick would fix those pesky crooked lines. :)

    • HauteSlides | Magda Maslowska 24. May, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Glad you found it useful Kate.

    • Jorgel 13. Feb, 2016 at 3:34 pm

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  4. Niki 15. Jul, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    It’s refreshing to find such a well written article about powerpoint related topics. I have learned some things from you. Keep up the good work

  5. Arif 06. Mar, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Thanks

  6. jeff 13. Jan, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Eddy Corthouts 17. Dec, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Fantastic!!!

  8. Matt D 14. Mar, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Wow! This has to be one of best articles on the internet! Spent many years trying to sort this out in countless presentations!! Thank you!

  9. Brijesh 11. Jun, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Just Awesome, thanks a lot!

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  10. Danielle 07. Jul, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Best tip ever!!!

  11. Dickie 16. Feb, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Thank you, though this is not exactly what I’m looking for. What I want to know is how to fix crooked ANIMATION LINES, as in ‘Click an object’ -> ‘Animations’ menu -> ‘Line'[Motion path]. I always changed the motion direction by dragging the ‘arrow tip’ on a horizontal direction [backward/forward]. The problem is it never makes a perfectly horizontal line. It always crooked a bit, up or down. Sometimes it jumped/shortened/lengthened on its own but still crooked. Please helps

    • Vincent 09. Mar, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Hi, I just had the same issue, googled it and found this website. Then I worked my own solution. Instead of selecting “line” as the motion path, I select “arc”. Then with a right click I “edit points”, I remove those I don’t need (all except first and last if I want to draw a line), and then I play with the 2 remaining points to have a line that gets my animation exactly where I want it to be. There is probably a more clever solution, but at least that was quick.

  12. Mer 22. Feb, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Finally the answer! as the shift does not always work – thank you!

  13. Pat 09. Jun, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this simple and elegant solution!

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