thank you for your response but....
i can see how z-ordering could help for shapes that are overlapping but what about shapes that are not overlaping? does this help?
for example: lets say i have two tables. one is on top have of the slide and the second one is on the bottom half of the same slide. and they are not grouped, connected or overlaped. the problem i have is that the bottom table's rows are dynamic and need to clone the slide when the rows are exceeded. the top table is also dynamic but only filled out once. the behavior i am seeing is that since the bottom slide is returned first via shapes.get(i) the top table is empty when cloning. ideally, i like to populate the top table first than populate the bottom table last. i have a work around but like to see if there is more of an eloquent way of doing this. also, there are other placeholders on the slide.