Studio Tip and Tricks #3: Aligning

20 May

This simple project was easily made using the alignment tools on the LAYOUT menu. It’s a quick and easy way to perfectly centre objects on the page or with each other; to line up objects with each other; to evenly space out objects.

READ ON to find out just how easy it is and how they work.

TAKE THE POLL AT THE END and tell me what you think of this post.

The align and distribute tools are found at the bottom of the LAYOUT TOOLS menu. We will be focusing on the 6 align buttons and the 3 “TO” buttons that you find underneath. We’ll start by describing what each of these 9 buttons does and then go through how I used them to create the project featured above.


STEP ONE: Decide TO what you would like the programs to align the objects you choose.

ALIGN TO GROUP: This will line up all the objects you select to one another.

ALIGN TO FIRST ITEM: This will line up all the objects you select to the position of the very first object you chose.

ALIGN TO PAGE: This will line up all the objects you select in relation to the page as a whole.

STEP TWO: Decide what kind of alignment you would like to happen.

ALIGN LEFT: Will shift objects you select so that the left edges are perfectly lined up.

ALIGN CENTRE VERTICALLY: Will shift objects you select so that they are centered with each other vertically.

ALIGN RIGHT:  Will shift objects you select so that the right edges are perfectly lined up.

ALIGN TOP: Will shift objects you select so that the top edges are perfectly lined up.

ALIGN CENTRE HORIZONTALLY: Will shift objects you select so that they are centered with each other horizontally.

ALIGN BOTTOM: Will shift objects you select so that the bottom edges are perfectly lined up.


STEP ONE: Centering the second background on top of the first.

We’ve placed the main background on our page and we would like the second smaller square perfectly centered on top.

First we select align TO PAGE

Then we select our smaller background and choose ALIGN CENTRE VERTICALLY.

Next we select ALIGN CENTRE HORIZONTALLY. The result is a perfectly centred page

STEP TWO: Creating a perfect grid of smaller squares for the photos and quotes.

I started by positioning one of the squares where I wanted it to be on the larger background using the ruler grid (VIEW – RULER- SHOW RULER). I used the position of this square to help me position the other 3.

I used the ALIGN TO FIRST ITEM to make this happen.

First I aligned the bottom edges of the bottom two squares. KEY ACTION: the key here is to select the object that is in the correct position first, then hold down the shift key and select all other object you want to align to the first one. Here I selected the bottom left square first, then the bottom right one.

Next choose the ALIGN BOTTOM button and the right square is shifted to line up perfectly with the left square along the bottom edge.

Next we will line up the two right squares along their right edges. Again we’ll select the bottom square first and then the top square so that they are being aligned according to the position of the bottom square.

Next choose the ALIGN RIGHT button to shift the top square to the right to perfectly line up with the bottom square.

Now I aligned the two left squares – again selecting the bottom square first and then the top one.

Then I chose the align left button which shifted the top square a little to the right so they were perfectly lined up.

Next I am going to align the top two boxes horizontally to each other which means I am going to choose ALIGN TO GROUP.

This time it doesn’t matter which box I select first and they are being aligned to each other

As you can see the program has shifted both boxes so that they are now lined up together around their centre axis. My boxes are now all perfectly lined up in a grid.

I continued to use the alignment tools to centre my photos on the smaller stripped boxes, selecting the stripped backgrounds first and then my photo – ALIGN TO FIRST TIME/ALIGN VERTICAL/ALIGN HORIZONTAL.

I also used the alignment tools to line up my letter for Bob and Dorothy – make sure they were all perfectly aligned along their bottom edges. I places my B and my D where I wanted them first and then selected all my letters, ALIGN TO FIRST ITEM, ALIGN BOTTOM.

I highly recommend just playing around with these tools until they become very familiar to you. Once you get the hang of them they are SUPER handy when creating pages from scratch or when you’ve modified a template and need to realign objects.


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