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Align, Distribute and Group Objects

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align objectsWhen you’re working with graphics, there are three techniques that will make it easy to line up the pictures so they look attractive: Grouping, Aligning, and Distributing.

Grouping Objects

Grouping allows you to combine two or more elements and join them together into one unit. To do this, click on the first object, hold down your Shift key, and click on each of the other objects until you can see all the handles showing. Then, look on the Arrange menu (although the location of the command may vary depending on the application), and choose Group.

All the objects will now become one, with one set of handles on the sides and corners. You can now drag the element where you want, or resize all of them proportionately at the same time.

If you want to separate them again, go back to the Arrange menu and choose “Ungroup.” All the handles will appear. Click OFF of everything, and then you can click on any one of the elements again.

Aligning Objects

Aligning allows you to line up your objects along any one side or middle. Choose from left, center, right; or top, middle, and bottom. To use align, click on the first object, hold down your Shift key, and click on each of the other objects until you can see all the handles showing. Then, look on the Arrange menu and choose Align, then specify which set of sides or handles you want to line up.

Distributing Objects

Distribute will take three or more objects and spread them out equal-spaced. Start by setting the left and right objects (or top and bottom objects) where you want them to go, and place the middle objects in their approximate locations. Select all the objects as described above. Do any Aligning first, then on the same Arrange menu choose Distribute, and then either Vertically or Horizontally, depending on how the objects are lined up or stacked.  All the objects will then be spaced out equally based on their middle handles.

Using these three location adjustments together will allow you to line up objects so that they’re pleasing to the eye, without any guesswork.

See these techniques in action!

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