Working with Layers of Pictures in Office 2011 for Mac - dummies

Working with Layers of Pictures in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Everything you see in Office for Mac is on a layer, where some layers are closer to you than others. Farthest away from you is the background layer. The next layer is the text layer. Any additional objects, such as pictures, WordArt, shapes, or text boxes that are added, are placed in layers closer to you with each additional object. With Office 2011’s tools, you can format the background, group objects together into a single layer, control the order of the layers of selected objects, and even rotate or flip objects.

Formatting the background layer in Office

The layer that’s farthest to the back is the background layer. You can access the background by the following three methods:

  • Word: Follow these steps:

    1. Click the Ribbon’s Layout Tab. In the Page Background group, click Color. In the pop-up menu, choose Fill Effect.

    2. In the Resulting Fill Effects dialog, click the Picture option.

    3. Click the Select Picture button to display the Choose a Picture dialog.

    4. Choose a picture to use as the document background.

  • Excel: Choose Format→Sheet→Background. In the resulting Choose a Picture dialog, choose a picture to use as the worksheet’s background.

  • PowerPoint: Choose Format→Slide Background to display the Format Background dialog.

Arranging the layers in Office files

Until Office 2011, to arrange the order of objects in the layers above the text layer, you would right-click an object and choose one of four Arrange options:

  • Bring to Front

  • Send to Back

  • Bring Forward (one layer)

  • Send Backward (one layer)

Of course, you can still do this in Office 2011, and these options are now available on the Format tab of the Ribbon.

Word’s Publishing Layout view and PowerPoint’s Normal view have the new Dynamic Reorder objects feature that relieves you of the burden of keeping track of the order of your objects. A simple, intuitive interface displays your objects in order, numbered beginning with the number 1 as the layer on top, the one that’s closest to you. You can simply drag any layer to a new position in the order.

image0.jpg image1.jpg image2.jpg

If you want, you can restrict the objects being reordered to only those objects that overlap each other: In the Arrange group of the Format tab, click Reorder Overlapping Objects.

Rotating and flipping layers in Office 2011

The Rotate button (found in the Format tab’s Arrange group) offers options that allow for rotation in specified increments:

  • Rotate Right 90 Degrees

  • Rotate Left 90 Degrees

  • Flip Vertical

  • Flip Horizontal

Grouped objects behave unpredictably with these controls. You may need to ungroup the objects, use the controls, and then regroup everything.