How to Align Objects in Adobe Illustrator

When you are initially learning Adobe Illustrator, navigating the tools might be a frustrating process. Object alignment in Illustrator projects is a skill to develop.

Graphic design depends heavily on item alignment. It speeds up the creation of visuals and gives you complete control over the items on your page.

In this article today, I will be showing you how you can align objects in Illustrator. My name is Aly, I am a graphic designer with a certification in Adobe Illustrator.

I have been using Illustrator for years now and can assure you that knowing how to align something is a very essential tool. 

How to Align Objects in Illustrator 

There are many ways to align objects in Adobe Illustrator. For example, you can use the arrow keys on the keyboard, input exact values in a panel or dialog box, or you can drag items to align objects freely. 

The most common and quickest way is using the Align tools. Follow the steps below to learn how you can align your objects using the Align tools in Adobe Illustrator. 

Step 1: Open your document in Adobe Illustrator and choose the shape you want to align. Next, we will go up to Window > Align

Step 2: Make sure the Align to Artboard option is chosen in the align menu once the window pops up. 

From here you can highlight your objects, and for this example, I will be using the Horizontal Align to Center and now my object is aligned in the center of my artboard. 

If you want to align your objects differently below is a list of what each of the alignment positions does. 

  • Horizontal Align Left: aligns objects you have selected through the left side to the left-most object in the group.
  • Horizontal Align Center: aligns all of the objects you have selected through the point in their center.
  • Horizontal Align Right: aligns objects you have selected through the right side to the right-most object in the group.
  • Vertical Align Top: aligns all the objects through the top to the object at the top-most level.
  • Vertical Align Center: aligns all of the objects through the center along the vertical axis.
  • Vertical Align Bottom: aligns all the objects through the bottom to the object at the bottom-most level.

Step 3: Now you will be able to highlight any of your objects and select which alignment position you would like. 

Underneath the Align Objects is the Distribute Objects which when you highlight your objects if you have multiple that are not grouped together this tool will distribute them evenly across your artboard.

The same goes for the Distribute Spacing options as they will space your objects evenly across your artboard. 

The distribution options are just as important as the alignment of objects in Adobe Illustrator. When using these you can assure that your objects are going to be in the exact spot that it needs to be, you don’t have to make any guesses to figure it out. 

Bonus Tips: 

  • The align tool is a good way to help you to see how your design looks from multiple positions on the artboard, so play around with the different positions of aligning. 
  • By using the Selection Tool (keyboard shortcut V), you must select all of the items before you can click on the object that will serve as the key element. then select the tool you want to use from the Align panel.
  • Command + F7 is a shortcut to open the alignment panel. 

Final Thoughts

In Adobe Illustrator, learning how to align objects correctly is a really useful skill. As you continue to become familiar with the Align panel features, you may fully control the organization of your project. 

The align tools are one of the most crucial abilities for anyone learning Illustrator to grasp in order to become a more effective designer. 

Any questions about aligning objects in Adobe Illustrator? Leave a comment and let me know.

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