Grunt.Tools November 15, 2019

Grunt Tools - Smart Selection

Tags: PowerPoint Productivity Smart Selection Align Distribute

Video information:

Learn how to use Smart Selection in Grunt. This video teaches you:

  • the Tidy up feature
  • simultaneous align and distribute
  • changing gaps and distances

Smart Selection

Welcome to this Grunt tutorial. In this video we're looking at Grunt's Smart Selection tool. Smart Selection lets you align and distribute shapes quickly. Let's have a look. I begin by selecting some shapes. Notice there's a pink button to the bottom right corner of my selection. This is a part of Smart Selection called Tidy up. It'll appear whenever Grunt notices that a selection of shapes is not perfectly aligned and distributed.

When you hover the cursor over it, a preview of the result will appear. As you can see, Grunt will try to distribute the shapes evenly into a grid that's bounded by the edges of your selection. Let's try.

Align and distribute

Notice the pink lines between the shapes. These are draggable, so you can pull the shapes closer together or push them further apart. If you hold Ctrl when you drag, the distances will change symmetrically.

Resize while keeping space

Let's look at another example. I select some shapes and, like in the previous example, I use the Tidy up tool to distribute and align the shapes. Again, I can move the shapes a bit closer together by dragging these handles. As you can see, Smart Selection also gives you some new resize handles - these green ones. Before we use them though, let's see how PowerPoint does it. I press the Esc to remove Smart Selection for a moment. Now let's try to resize our selection. As you can see the shapes end up overlapping, which is rarely what you want. Let's try that again using Smart Selection. When I resize using Smart Selection, the distances between the shapes changes proportionally. Notice that when I drag on the handles between the shapes, the topmost and leftmost shapes stay in place. When you resize, you can either drag or Ctrl+drag. As a final tip, remember that you can always turn off Smart Selection once by pressing Esc.

I hope that you enjoyed this video. Until next time.