As you arrange (or order) text and objects on a slide in PowerPoint 2011, you become aware that each object is on its own layer, as if it were on a transparent sheet. Reorder these "sheets" to achieve the look you want.

The sheets are stacked on top of each other, but when viewed head-on, which is how people normally see things, the slide can look flat. If an object closer to the top has either some transparency or is without fill, the objects behind can be seen through the closer object.

Dynamic reordering in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Say you have a slide and you put three or four pictures on it, and you also want some visible text, so you want your text on the top of the pile of pictures. But as you add pictures, the text ends up behind the pictures, and you can't even see the text box, much less select it. No problem! Click the Ribbon's Home tab, and in Format group, just click the Arrange button and choose Reorder Objects. PowerPoint displays each layer as a clear sheet, which you can drag.


The second option on the Arrange button is Reorder Overlapping Objects, which detects which objects on your slide overlap each other and displays the Dynamic Reordering screen showing just those objects.

You can activate Dynamic Reordering even if you don't have the Ribbon's Home tab selected. Right-click a slide object and then choose Reorder Objects or Reorder Overlapping Objects from the contextual menu.

Reordering objects in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac the old-fashioned way

Sure, you can still reorder the position of objects the old-fashioned way:

  1. Select an object.

  2. Choose any of the following to display a pop-up menu:

    • Click the Ribbon’s Home tab, and in the Format group, click Arrange.

    • Right-click and choose Arrange.

    • Click the Arrange menu item on the menu bar.

  3. From the pop-up menu, choose one of the following:

    • Bring to Front: Moves selected object to the top layer.

    • Send to Back: Moves selected object behind all other slide objects, but it’s still in front of the background layer.

    • Bring Forward: Moves the object one layer closer to the top.

    • Send Backward: Moves the object one layer away from the top.