While learning a new program, it is often quite exciting to explore the extensive capabilities at your fingertips; however, it can also be a little overwhelming at times when there is a lot to take in. But, don't worry. Today, I will share a few easy tips and tricks for all those beginning their journey with Adobe Illustrator.

So, what does it take to make graphics attractive? Good design? Vibrant colors? Exciting 2d animation? Did I miss anything?  What about the alignment or distribution between two or more objects? 

Imagine a graphic with distorted alignment and non-uniform distribution. Did that impress you? No, right?

Therefore, to make the graphics more attractive, it's quite essential to manage the alignment and distribution between the objects. And that's why we should have a good knowledge of alignment and distribution.

Adobe Illustrator allows for very precise control while aligning and distributing objects. Find out how to use the Align and Distribution panel to align objects and distribute them uniformly.

So, Let's get started!

Why do you need Alignment and Distribution?

While working with a variety of objects, you will often need to align them regularly or distribute them across a specific distance. However, you no longer need to try and figure out the math on your own and then move each object manually. 

Instead, you can simply apply the Alignment and Distribution functions that Illustrator's Align palette offers to align and distribute objects precisely.

Cool, right? 

Getting started with Alignment

  • First of all, we take a new file (Ctrl+N) of any size.
  • Now, draw a rectangle shape on the artboard using a Rectangle tool (M).
  • Now, I want this exact square in the center of this artboard.
  • Or use the shortcut key combination of Shift+F7.
  • We can see the Alignment tool at the top of the panel, distribute objects tools in the middle, and distribute spacing tool at the bottom.
  • If you want to align this rectangle shape to the artboard, make sure that you have selected the Align to artboard option in the alignment panel. So if we want to align this rectangle shape to the artboard, make sure that you have selected the Align to artboard option in the alignment panel.
  • We have to select the artboard and click on the Horizontal Align Center option to align it to the center of the artboard horizontally.
  • We have to first select the rectangle.
  • Now, click on the Vertical Align Center option to align it vertically in the center of the artboard.
  • As you can see, the rectangle gets vertically aligned to the center of the artboard.
  • We have to select the rectangle and click on the Horizontal Align Left option to align it in the left of the artboard.
  • As you can see, the rectangle now gets aligned to the left of the artboard.
  • We have to select the rectangle and click on the Horizontal Align Right option to align it to the right of the artboard.
  • The rectangle now gets aligned to the right of the artboard.
  • We have to select the rectangle and click on the Vertical Align Top option to align it to the top of the artboard.
  • Now the rectangle gets aligned to the top of the artboard.
  • We have to select the rectangle and click on the Vertical Align Bottom option to align it to the bottom of the artboard.
  • Now the rectangle gets aligned to the bottom of the artboard.
  • Now click align the Horizontal Align Center option and Vertical Align Center option to align the rectangle to the exact center of the artboard.
  • So, if we want to align this rectangle shape to another object like a circle, rectangle, or any other object or text, ensure that you have selected the Align to selection option in the alignment panel.
  • Let’s draw some more rectangles of different sizes.
  • Now, let’s see how they will look when we apply different alignments on these selected rectangles.

Getting Started with Distribution

You can distribute functions that appear in the bottom half of the Align palette to distribute multiple objects evenly. Illustrator takes the objects at the two extremes of the selection and uses them as the distribution boundaries. All objects between the two shapes at the extreme corners are distributed evenly, based on the specific distribution function you have selected. 

Let’s learn how to distribute the objects in Illustrator.

  • Let’s take some rectangular shapes on the artboard and align them left, as shown in the image.
  • As you can see, there is an irregular spacing between the shapes. I want equal spacing between the rectangles, which means every rectangle will be at the same distance from each other. Keep in mind what type of distribution you have selected Artboard or Selection.
  • While we have selected the Align to Selection option, space will be distributed between most Top objects/shapes to most Bottom object/shape and most left object/shape to most right object/shape.
  • Select all the shapes and by using the Selection Tool. Click the option Vertical Distribute Center.
  • Now you can see, the space between the shapes is evenly distributed in just one click.
  • Select all the shapes and by using the Selection Tool. 
  • Click the option Horizontal Distribute Center.
  • Now you can see, the space between the shapes is uniformly distributed in just one click.

Watch this video to see alignment and distribution in action.

Wrapping Up

That's it, folks! I hope you find these Illustrator alignment and distribution tips and tricks helpful. Adobe Illustrator has a lot of exciting features in store for you. So, keep experimenting, and try out new things. 

Remember, both Alignment and Distribution play a very significant role in the graphics world. So, knowledge of the two will surely boost your productivity and make some challenging tasks easier for you. It entirely depends on how you use these tools to make your work easy.

I hope you enjoy learning and exploring this great tool! And, if you have any questions for us, do get in touch with us.

Looking for a 2d animation company or an explainer video production company? Well, reach out to us now and get a personalized price quote!

Frequently Asked Questions

In graphic design and illustration, alignment and distribution refer to the arrangement and positioning of objects, shapes, or text elements within a design or layout. Alignment involves adjusting elements to have consistent edges, centers, or baselines. This creates a sense of order and cohesion in your design. On the other hand, distribution pertains to the equal spacing or arrangement of multiple objects or elements, ensuring they are evenly distributed within a defined space. These techniques are crucial for achieving a balanced and visually appealing composition, whether you're working on print materials, web design, or any other visual medium.

While both align and distribute are techniques used in design, they serve slightly different purposes. Alignment focuses on adjusting the position of objects to create order and consistency. It ensures that elements share a common edge, center, or baseline, making the design look neat and organized. On the other hand, distribution pertains to managing the spacing between multiple objects. It ensures that these objects are evenly spaced within a defined area, maintaining harmony and balance. In summary, alignment is about positioning, while distribution deals with spacing.

In design software like Adobe Illustrator, you can align and distribute objects by selecting the objects you want to adjust and using the alignment and distribution tools provided. For alignment, you can choose options like align left, right, center, top, bottom, and more to arrange objects precisely. To distribute objects, you can use options like distributing horizontally or vertically, ensuring even spacing between multiple elements. These tools make it easy to achieve precise alignment and distribution in your designs.

In Adobe Illustrator, the distribute options are used to control the spacing between selected objects. When you have multiple objects that need equal spacing between them, you can use the “Distribute” function. This can be particularly useful when creating things like grids, columns, or evenly spaced elements in your design. Illustrator offers options like “Distribute Horizontally” and “Distribute Vertically,” which automatically calculate and apply equal spacing between the selected objects, creating a balanced layout. These options save time and ensure a consistent look in your design.