Reorder Objects in PowerPoint Using Bring to Front, Send to Back, Bring Forward or Send Backward

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated January 1, 2022

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021 and 365 (Windows)

You can reorder objects on a PowerPoint slide using keyboard shortcuts, the context menu, the Ribbon or the Selection Pane. When objects are placed on a slide, they are stacked on top of each other. It's common to reorder objects to change the stacking order. When you select an object and Send to Back, it's moved to the bottom of the stack. If you choose to Send Backward, it's moved back by object. When you select an object and Bring to Front, it's moved to the top of the stack. If you choose to Bring Forward, it's moved forward by object.

Note: Buttons and Ribbon tabs may display in a different way (with or without text) depending on your version of PowerPoint, the size of your screen and your Control Panel settings. For PowerPoint 365 users, Ribbon tabs may appear with different names. For example, the Picture Tools Format tab may appear as Picture Format and the Drawing Tools Format tab may appear as Drawing Format or Shape Format.

Recommended article: How to Remove a Background from a Picture in PowerPoint (2 Ways)

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The screenshots in this article are from PowerPoint 365 which is similar to previous versions.

In the example below, 3 objects are stacked on top of each other on a PowerPoint slide:

Three objects stacked on top of each other on a PowerPoint slide.

Using keyboard shortcuts to Bring Forward or Send Backward

To reorder an object in a stack using shortcuts for Bring Forward or Send Backward:

  1. In Normal View or Slide Master View, select the picture, shape or other object you want to Bring Forward or Send Backward.
  2. Press Ctrl + Shift + [ to Send Backward or press Ctrl + Shift + ] to Bring Forward.

Reordering objects using the context menu

To reorder an object in a stack of objects using the context menu:

  1. In Normal View or Slide Master View, select the picture, shape or other object you want to reorder.
  2. Right-click the object. A drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Bring to Front or Send to Back and then select the desired option from the sub-menu.

Bring to Front and Send to Back appear in the context menu in PowerPoint when you right-click an object:

Context menu in PowerPoint with bring to front and send to back.

To display the context menu using a keyboard shortcut, press Shift + F10. Some users may need to press Fn + Shift + F10.

Reordering objects using the Ribbon

To reorder an object in a stack of objects using the Ribbon:

  1. In Normal View or Slide Master View, select the picture, shape or other object you want to reorder.
  2. Click the Drawing Tools Format, Drawing Format, Shape Format, Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Arrange group, click arrow beside Bring Forward or Send Backward. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select the desired option from the the sub-menu.

Bring Forward and Send Backward appear in the Arrange group in the Ribbon:

Bring forward and send backward in the Ribbon in PowerPoint.

Reordering objects using the Selection Pane

A great way to control stacking order is to use the Selection Pane.

To display the Selection Pane:

  1. Select a picture or shape.
  2. Click the Drawing Tools Format, Drawing Format, Shape Format, Picture Tools Format or Picture Format tab in the Ribbon and then click Selection Pane in the Arrange group. You can also click the Home tab in the Ribbon, choose Select in the Editing group and from the drop-down menu, choose Selection Pane. The Selection Pane appears.

To display the Selection Pane using a keyboard shortcut, press Alt + F10. Some users may need to press Fn + Alt + F10.

Objects are listed in the Selection Pane in their stacking order. Items at the bottom of the Selection Pane are at the bottom of the stack of objects.

In the example below, the Selection Pane displays 3 objects:

Selection pane in PowerPoint with three objects displayed.

To reorder an object in a stack of objects using the Selection Pane:

  1. In Normal View or Slide Master View, select an object in the Selection Pane.
  2. Drag the object(s) up or down in the Selection Pane to change the stacking order. Alternatively, you can click the Reorder arrows at the top or bottom of the Selection Pane.

If an object is selected in the Selection Pane, you can use the following shortcuts to Bring Forward or Send Backward:

  • With an object selected in the Selection Pane, press Ctrl + Shift + B to send backward by object.
  • With an object selected in the Selection Pane, press Ctrl + Shift + F to bring forward by object.

You can also show or hide objects using the Selection Pane by clicking the eye icon to the right of the object.

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More resources

How to Rotate Objects in PowerPoint

How to Align Objects in PowerPoint (4 Ways)

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How to Use the Eyedropper in PowerPoint to Match Colors

How to Animate Text, Images and Other Objects in PowerPoint

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Summary
How to Reorder Objects in PowerPoint Using Bring to Front or Send to Back (with Shortcuts)
Article Name
How to Reorder Objects in PowerPoint Using Bring to Front or Send to Back (with Shortcuts)
Description
You can reorder objects on a PowerPoint slide using keyboard shortcuts, the context menu, the Ribbon or the Selection Pane. When objects are placed on a slide, they are stacked on top of each other. It's common to reorder objects to change the stacking order. When you select an object and Send to Back, it's moved to the bottom of the stack. If you choose to Send Backward, it's moved back by object. When you select an object and Bring to Front, it's moved to the top of the stack. If you choose to Bring Forward, it's moved forward by object.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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