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Aligning Objects

The Align palette provides commands that align objects or distribute them evenly along a horizontal or vertical axis.

To work with the Align palette:

1.
Choose Window > Align. This opens the Align palette .

Figure 4.42. The Align palette.


or

If the Align palette is behind other palettes, click the Align palette tab.

2.
Choose Show Options from the Align palette submenu to see all the commands in the palette.

To align objects:

1.
Select two or more objects.

2.
Click an alignment icon as follows:

  • Click a vertical alignment icon to move the objects into top, centered, or bottom alignment .

    Figure 4.43. The effects of the vertical align commands.

  • Click a horizontal alignment icon to move the objects into left, centered, or right alignment .

    Figure 4.44. The effects of the horizontal align commands.

Tip

The align commands move objects based on the best representative of the controls. For instance, the Align Left command uses the left-most object; Align Top uses the top-most object, and so on.


You can also move objects so the spaces between certain points of the objects are equal. This is called distributing objects.

To distribute objects:

1.
Select three or more objects.

2.
Click a distribute icon as follows:

Click a vertical distribute icon to move the objects so that their tops, centers, or bottoms are equally distributed .

Figure 4.45. The effects of the vertical distribute commands. Notice that the middle object changes position to create an even distribution of space.


Click a horizontal distribute icon to move the objects so that their left edges, centers, or right edges are equally distributed .

Figure 4.46. The effects of the horizontal distribute commands. Notice that the middle object changes position to create even distribution of space.


You can also distribute objects based on their absolute size. This ensures that the space between the objects is equal.

To distribute the space between objects:

1.
Select three or more objects.

2.
Click a distribute space icon as follows:

Click the vertical space icon to move objects so the vertical spaces are equal .

Figure 4.47. The effect of the vertical distribute space command.


Click the horizontal space icon to move objects so the horizontal spaces are equal .

Figure 4.48. The effects of the horizontal distribute space commands.


The 1.5 Align palette also has controls to space objects numerically. You can apply a numerical distance between the tops, centers, bottoms, or sides of objects.

To use spacing to distribute objects:

1.
Select two or more objects.

2.
Check Use Spacing in the Distribute Objects section of the Align palette.

Figure 4.49. The Use Spacing option for Distribute Objects allows you to set a specific distance between the tops, centers, bottoms, or sides of objects.


3.
Enter the numerical distance in the Use Spacing field.

4.
Click one of the Distribute Objects icons. This separates the objects by setting a specific space between the tops, centers, bottoms, or sides of the objects.

Tip

If a positive number moves the objects in the wrong direction, use a negative number.


You can also set a specific numerical distance between the objects themselves.

To set the spacing between objects:

1.
Select two or more objects.

2.
Check Use Spacing in the Distribute Objects section of the Align palette.

Figure 4.50. The Use Spacing option for Distribute Spacing allows you to set a specific distance between objects.


3.
Enter the numerical distance in the Use Spacing field.

4.
Click one of the Distribute Spacing icons. This adds a specific amount of space between the objects horizontally or vertically.

Tip

If a positive number moves the objects in the wrong direction, use a negative number.


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