• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Aligning

The Align commands are indispensable for aligning a row or column of buttons, bullets, text blocks, or other objects. You could line up objects manually to a guide, but why not use a command that does the job perfectly? It's not that we don't trust our "eye,"it's just that we like to know things are exactly where we want them to be. And besides, the Align commands do the job faster.


Figure .


If you're accustomed to aligning or distributing via a palette, having to choose those commands from a menu will feel a bit cumbersome, but don't let that turn you off.


Figure .


To align objects:

1.
Choose a selection tool.

2.
Select more than one object (or group) by Shift-clicking or by dragging a marquee completely around them (Fig. 1).

3.
Choose Object menu >Align>Left, Right, Top, Bottom, Horizontal Centers, Vertical Centers, or Centers (Figs. 2–6). Study the icons on the Align submenu—they'll clue you in as to what the command does.


Figure .



Figure .


▸ Once your objects are aligned and/or distributed, group them together so their relationships remain fixed.

▸ Each object is lined up according to the width of its widest layer, even if that layer contains a soft shadow. If some objects have a shadow and others don't, they won't look like they're aligned correctly. Use your eye or a ruler guide to adjust any objects that look askew (see "To use ruler guides" on the following page). Another workaround is to hide the wider layer before using the Align command, then redisplay the layer.


Figure .


In LiveMotion, distributing doesn't involve handing things out or scattering things around, it involves equalizing the spacing between three or more objects. Depending on which Distribute command you choose, the topmost and bottommost (or leftmost and rightmost) objects will remain stationary and the objects in between will be spaced apart equally between them. Try distributing a row or column of buttons or text objects.


Figure .


To distribute objects:

1.
Select three or more objects and/or groups by Shift-clicking them or drawing a marquee completely around them (Fig. 1).

2.
Choose Object menu >Distribute >Horizontal or Vertical (Fig. 2).

We usually use the Align and Distribute commands or the X and Yfields on the Transform palette to align objects precisely, but sometimes you might need to do things "by eye," especially if the objects have soft edges. That's where ruler guides come in handy.


Figure .


To use ruler guides:

1.
If the rulers aren't visible, choose View menu >Show Rulers (Command-R/Ctrl-R)(Fig. 3). Also make sure View menu >Show Guides has a check mark.

2.
If you want the edges or anchor points of objects to snap to ruler guides as they are moved near the guides, toggle the View menu >Snap To Guides feature on, if it isn't already on.

3.
Drag a guide from the horizontal or vertical ruler into the composition window. Now try dragging an object near a guide, just for the heck of it.

▸ To lock all guides in place so you don't inadvertently move them, choose View menu >LockGuides.

▸ To remove a guide, drag it back over the ruler, then let go. We know of no command that deletes them all at once. To hide all the guides, choose View menu >Hide Guides.


Figure .


The grid is like electronic graph paper—graph paper with magnetism. If you turn on the Snap To Grid function, any object you drag near a grid line will snap to the line.

Handy dandy shortcuts

Show/Hide Grid Command-'/Ctrl-'
Show/Hide Rulers Command-R/Ctrl-R
Show/Hide Guides Command-;/Ctrl-;
Snap To Guides Command-Shift-;/Ctrl-Shift-;
Lock Guides Command-Option-;/Ctrl-Alt-;



To use the grid:

1.
To make the grid appear, choose View menu >Show Grid (Command-'/Ctrl-') (Fig. 1).

2.
Optional: To use the grid's snap-to feature, make sure View menu >Snap To Grid has a check mark (Command-Shift-'/Ctrl-Shift-').


Figure .


3.
Optional: To change the grid spacing, choose Edit menu >Preferences (Command-K/Ctrl-K), then change the Grid:Gridline every [ ] pixels value and/or the Subdivisions value (Fig. 2).The new values will take effect in the composition window while the dialog box is open. Note:The difference between the gridlines and the subdivsions is so subtle it's almost impossible to distinguish—at least on our monitors.


Figure .


  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint