How to Align Objects with Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to align objects with Adobe Illustrator from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.

Transcript

This is how to align objects in Adobe Illustrator.

So once again we're in Adobe Illustrator here. We're going to select our rectangle tool. You'll notice that we're going to work with a rectangle tool a lot. We're actually going to click, and we're going to drag this tool out. You can change the color if you want down in the fill selection area to the lower right of the tool panel.

We're actually going to drag out, let me delete that one, we're going to drag out a bunch of small rectangles. So let's do this. So we're going to use three of these. Let's make it four. When you're aligning in Adobe Illustrator, a lot of people, they may want to zoom in and inch things up one by one, but there's a lot faster way to actually do that.

What you'll notice is that if you select multiple objects, in this area of your window you'll notice that an alignment area will come up. It's designated by multiple rectangles and actually a left or middle or right divider. These are the ways that you're going to align, according to this. Now to the far left of this panel, and we're actually going to make it a little bit easier. We're going to click our window menu item, and we're going to go to align. That'll actually bring up a small align window for us.

Now if you want, you look at these and this, as you hover over it, is horizontal align left. So let's say we have all these items, and we want them all to align to the left side. Now what this will do, depending upon what you have selected here in this little drop down window you have align to selection, key object and align to artboard. Right now by selection, it will align to whatever item is at the left most portion. So if we click that, all boxes align to the left. Now if we were to click right, they would all align to the right. And if we were to click middle, it'd center them according to wherever the center point was of that full selection.

Now if we were to undo these the same goes to top, bottom and middle if we were to align them vertically. Then we have distribute objects. This is an alignment option that allows you to set up the distances between them. So we can horizontal distribute left which will align to the left most object's placement, middle and then right. Same thing for the middle objects and the right. Same thing for top, middle and bottom. It distributes them evenly across the board.

When you have items that are on a full artboard you may want to align them to the artboard itself. So you'll go down in this selection and you'll select align to artboard. You'll click align to bottom. You'll notice they go to the bottom. Top. You can align them to the middle of the art board, the middle again. You just fool around with this to get the hang of it.

The key object is when you want to align your items to each other, but there's a specific item that you want to align them to. So the key object, we're going to change the color of one of the rectangles so we know which one is going to be the key object. If we select align to key object, and we have to place this one on top, select the items, and then if we center it you'll notice everything aligns to this object. Because it's bigger, everything else fell behind it. Same goes for left and right, top, bottom and vertically align center.

And that's how you align objects in Adobe Illustrator.

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