Aligning & Distributing Objects in AI - #7

Aligning & Distributing Objects in AI – #7

Aligning & Distributing Objects in AI – #7

In this lesson, we will introduce you to Illustrator’s Align & Distribute Commands, and teach you how to use them to line up and space objects precisely and evenly. First, we’ll explore the various options and commands available on the Align Panel. Then you will learn how to Align & Distribute objects to a Selection, to your Artboard, and to Key Objects. Finally, we will show you one way we can use these tools to easily Align buttons on a shirt.

Module Description Step
1 The Align Panel 1-9
2 Align to Selection 1-8
3 Align to Artboard 1-10
4 Align To Key Object 1-27
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MODULE 1 • The Align Panel

Step Description
1A Before we begin the lesson, a few important notes:

  • Some of you will be working on a Mac while others will be working on a Windows Platform, so I have included both Mac and Windows commands and shortcuts in this script, and often in the audio.
  • Note that I work on a Mac so the video will show Mac Commands.

Here are the keyboard shortcut abbreviations and differences:

  • Mac: Command (Cmd) = Windows: Control (Ctrl)
  • Mac: Option (Opt) = Windows: Alt
  • I will write the shortcut directions as follows:
    • Cmd/Ctrl + Keyboard Letter
    • Keyboard Letter + Opt/Alt

This means press & hold the specified key, then press the letter, or vice versa.

1B In the script, I have also made a few notes about the variation in Mouse Commands- specifically the “Right Click” Commanddepending on the type of Mouse that you have. If you have a:

  • Two-Button Mouse, you will:
    • Right Click to open the Right Click Menu
  • One-Button Mouse/Track Pad/Pen, you will:
    • Press & Hold the Option Key while you Click to open the Right Click Menu
  • I work with a one-button mouse most of the time.

If you have a one button mouse and a Mac, you might want to configure it to act like a two-button mouse:

  • Go to System Preferences.
  • Open up the Mouse options
  • On the “Point & Click”  page check the box to the left of “Secondary Click: Click on Right Side”.
  • Your Mouse will now work like a Two-Button Mouse.
2A With our business out of the way, let’s begin this lesson by downloading the Illustrator file supplied with this lesson video named: 5 Buttons, Saving it to your desktop and Opening it in Adobe Illustrator.You can see that I have already drawn five typical 4-hole buttons on the page, and I’ve Grouped all the parts of each button together so they will act as one object.

  • Note that these are not technical button drawings – simply illustrations to demonstrate the lesson. Later lessons will cover all the technical details you will need in order to build accurate tech packs.


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