How to Create Coordinate Planes in PowerPoint


A coordinate plane is a tool used in mathematics to visualize the results of equations. There are two axes, the X axis and the Y axis. The X axis is a horizontal line through the middle of a grid and the Y axis is a vertical line perpendicular to the X axis. Numbers above X and to the right of Y are positive. Below X and to the left of Y are negative. Lines and points are plotted on a coordinate plane. In PowerPoint you can create a coordinate plane with simple arrows and lines in just a few minutes.

  • Launch PowerPoint and click on the "View" tab in the Microsoft Office ribbon. Click to place a check in the box next to "Rulers."

  • Click on the "Insert" tab and click on "Shapes." Choose the double-sided arrow. Line your mouse pointer up with the "0" on the ruler at the top of the slide. Hold "Shift" on the keyboard while you click and drag from the top of the slide to the bottom to draw the Y axis line. Release the mouse and release the keyboard. Repeat for the X axis line, lining up your mouse with the "0' on the ruler to the left of the slide.

  • Click "Shapes" again and choose the line. Line up your cursor with a mark to the left of "0" on the ruler at the top of the slide. Choose the mark that's going the be the size of the grid on your coordinate plane. For example 1/2 inch. Click and drag while holding the "Shift" key until you get to the bottom of the slide, then release the mouse button before releasing the keyboard.

  • Hold down "Shift+Ctrl," then click and drag the line one unit to the left. So if you chose to use a 1/2 inch grid move the line that far to the left. Repeat this process until you reach the left edge of the slide.

  • Hold down "Shift" and click all of the lines you just copied -- leaving out the axes lines. Once they are all selected, click and drag while holding "Shift+Ctrl" to make a copy of the lines on the other side of the axis. Press "Ctrl+C" to copy the lines; press "Ctrl+V" to paste a copy.

  • Click on the "Arrange" button on the "Insert" tab, point to "Group," then click "Group. Click on "Arrange" again, point to "Rotate" and choose "Rotate Left 90 degrees." Click and drag the group of lines to the upper-left corner of the slide. Click on the "Drawing Tools: Format" tab and type "10" in the width box in the Size section. Press "Enter."

  • Click the "Group" button in the Drawing Tools: Format tab and choose "Ungroup." Click and drag while holding "Shift+Ctrl" until the lines get to the bottom of the slide. There will be some overlap with the lines. If you see any lines that look thicker than the rest click on them and press "Delete" and it will delete one of the overlapping lines. You now have a coordinate plane for your slide.

Tips & Warnings

  • Press "Ctrl+A" to select all of the elements of your coordinate plane and group them together. You can copy and paste to another slide or if you right-click you can save them as a picture that can easily be inserted into any presentation later.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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