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Paste in Place in PowerPoint

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
posted by Geetesh on 8:09 AM IST

Sometimes, it can be frustrating trying to do the simple things in PowerPoint such as duplicating an object right above the original. PowerPoint insists on placing the duplicated (or copy/pasted) object at an offset and there's no way to fine tune that setting. Maybe there's a registry tweak or something that I'm not aware of?

So why would anyone want to place a duplicated object right above the original? There are many scenarios that require such a placement:

  • You want to animate one object after the the other.
  • You want to rotate objects.
  • You want to make some changes to the duplicated object and then do a trigger animation.
  • You might want to do something else!
Meanwhile, here are some ideas and observations on how you can work around this limitation:
  • If you copy and paste a slide object on the same slide, it is placed at an offset. Sometimes, you can press the up arrow key twice, and then press the left arrow key twice to place the copied/duplicated object right above the slide, but even that does not work all the time. That setting only works if the Snap to Grid option is turned on.
  • If you copy a slide object (anything on a slide) and paste it on another empty slide, it is placed in the exact location as the original.
  • If some part of the original slide object exceeds the area off the edge of the slide, then the duplicated/pasted object will be pasted within the slide area as far as possible. Of course that only works if the object is not larger than the slide area.
  • The quickest way to place a duplicated object right above its original is to use a third-party add-in called Toolbox from Shyam Pillai. This includes a menu option called Toolbox | Shapes | Clone Shape(s).
  • Another way you can place pasted/duplicated objects right on top of the original is to use the Align tools. This works best if you have several duplicated objects. Select them all, and choose Align | Align Left, and Align | Align Top.
If you have found new ways to work around these issues, do add your comments to this post.

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This is indeed one of those annoying quirks in PowerPoint. However, there is a quick and simple way to do this.

If you hold down your right mouse button and move the mouse, it creates a temporary copy, shown by outline. If you drag the outline over the original (having snapping switched on helps here too), when you release the button you can select 'Copy Here' from the menu you are given. You now have a copy on top of the original.

This isn't available in our Perspector 3D add-in, which is why we added a 'Duplicate in Identical Position' function to it.

Steve Hards
Director of Sales and Operations

Posted by Blogger Steve Hards on 5:38 PM
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Another way that I tried before is to add an extra object and do a grouping first. After copying to the original location, ungroup and remove the extra object.It's pretty useful for me.

Posted by Blogger wp on 9:31 PM
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If you need to make more than one copy of an object, so that all the objects will be aligned and equally spaced, you can duplicate one copy and move it to the desired location. Then immediately press Ctrl+D to duplicate again and the next copy will be aligned with the first two! PowerPoint remembers the angle and distance for you.


Best Solution I've found is under FORMAT PICTURE > POSITION - gives you an exact X, Y - Powerpoint still shifts the value that you type in, but it's almost as good as a kick in the head

Posted by Blogger danfaucher on 11:57 PM
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the best solution to this is to hold down the CTRL key, move your cursor over the object you want to copy, click, and drag it wherever you want. to align this object either up/down or left/right with the original, hold down the SHIFT key as well while moving the copied object.

Posted by OpenID makenwake on 12:38 AM
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1) Select objects (s)
3) Drag object
CTRL is duplicates the object. SHIFT will force the objects to be aligned either horizontally or vertically.


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