Reorder Objects More Easily in PowerPoint’s Selection Pane

As you build a slide’s design, you may add a lot of objects to it. Complex animation may especially include many objects.

Do you spend a lot of time reordering objects? By that I mean moving an object behind or in front of another object? Usually, the way I reorder objects is to right-click an object and choose Send to Back, Send Backward (1 layer), Bring to Front, or Bring Forward (1 layer).


But sometimes I want to bring an object forward a few layers, but not to the front. It can be time-consuming and confusing to get the order right.

In PowerPoint 2013, you can use the Select pane and simply drag objects where you want them. It’s a great new feature. (I’ve been asking for it, too. Do you think that Microsoft listened to me?)

Here are the steps:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click Select, Selection Pane to display the Selection task pane on the right.
  2. Either select an object on a slide or select it in the Selection pane.
  3. Drag it upward to move it forward. Drag it downward to move it backward.

You can even change the order of objects within groups!

Click here to watch a short video of how I reorder objects in the Selection pane.

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is a noted presentation design consultant and trainer, a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and author of a number of top-selling books in the presentations field. For more information, visit


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