How to Align and Position Objects

How to Align and Position Objects

Learn about the various CorelDRAW tools that will help you position objects with precision and ease: guidelines, align and distribute options, and live guides.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. You will find a written version of this tutorial below, and a printable PDF copy to download on the Download Resources tab above.

Learn about the various CorelDRAW tools that will help you position objects with precision and ease: guidelines, align and distribute options, and live guides.

Thanks for watching! We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. You will find a written version of this tutorial below, and a printable PDF copy to download on the Download Resources tab above.

See what's new in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021!

Download your FREE 15-day trial for Windows or Mac and fuel your creative fire with the new perspective tools, flexible design space, progressive photo editing tools, and much more.

Download these free resources:

Written tutorial for Windows (PDF, 815 KB)
Written tutorial for Mac (PDF, 740 KB)

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Resources
Quick Start Guide (PDF, 2 MB)
Keyboard Shortcuts (PDF, 3.5 MB)
CorelDRAW User Guide (PDF, 28 MB)
PHOTO-PAINT User Guide (PDF, 26 MB)

Tutorials for Mac

Tools You Need

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021

Fuel your creative fire with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021: a complete suite of graphic design software for professional vector illustration, layout, photo editing and more.

PNG Clipart Creator

Save time and effort with the PNG Creator macro for CorelDRAW that will automatically extract objects or groups and convert them to individual PNGs.

CorelDRAW Standard 2021

Dream it then design it with CorelDRAW Standard 2021, the go-to graphic design suite for hobbyists and home businesses.

Wacom One Creative Tablet

The Wacom One creative pen tablet offers a natural pen experience on a 13” screen, perfect for creatives seeking great value for their money.

How to Align and Position Objects

When creating objects in CorelDRAW, you don’t have to rely on just your eyes to place things where you want them. With smart drawing tools like guidelines, alignment and positioning options, and live guides, every object can easily go just where it should.

Click on any of the images below to view full-size.

We’ll look at three dockers that have all the options you’ll need for aligning and positioning objects.

Guidelines

This business card template has 8 dashed blue lines – these are guidelines.

In the Objects docker, these guidelines are on the Master Page layer, where they can be turned on and off with the Eye icon.

If the guidelines color is hard to see against your document background, you can select them all in the Objects Docker, and right-click on a different color swatch on the Color palette to change their color.

Guidelines Docker

The Guidelines docker is one place where you can create guidelines. The existing ones are listed here: 4 horizontal and 4 vertical.

The Eye icon at the top of the docker can toggle guides on and off. At the top of the docker you can set a different line style and color for new guidelines that will be created.

To place a new horizontal guideline, we set the drop down to Horizontal then enter the Y distance of 0.8” and click Add.

The guideline is created, but isn’t quite positioned perfectly where we want it, at the top of the light blue box.

We can select the guideline, change the Y dimensions to 0.855, and click Modify. Now the placement is correct.

Here are more methods of creating new guidelines:

  • Select an existing guideline and press Ctrl + D to copy it, then move it by dragging or by entering an exact distance.
  • Click and drag from the ruler into the document, and modify placement as needed.
  • For an angled guideline, choose that option from the drop down. Create the guide using the default X and Y values, then with that guide still selected, enter an angle and click Modify.

We’ll make a copy of this guideline and move it a bit to one side.

You can click on the guideline again to toggle between position and rotate modes. Continue moving and rotating until the guideline is placed correctly.

If you want to be sure your guidelines won’t be moved or deleted, you can select them and lock them with the Lock icon in the lower right of the Guidelines docker.

 

Using Guidelines

For this next section be sure that Snap to Guidelines is enabled. This is the second icon at the top of the docker. Now you can reference guidelines when creating objects. For example, we can use the Pen tool to easily trace this shape along the guidelines.

 

Custom Guidelines

New in CorelDRAW 2021, any custom guidelines you create are now listed in the Guidelines docker. For example, you can draw an ellipse in a document and then drag it from the page onto the Guides layer in the Objects docker.

In the Guidelines docker, the ellipse appears as a custom guideline, and you can use the icons in the bottom right corner to lock or delete the custom guideline.

World Scale View

When a drawing is created using a scale, guidelines can reflect drawing units or real-world units. In this example, guideline locations are set according to the current drawing units of mm. The drawing scale is 1:175.

To update the drawing units to match the scale, go to Layout > Document Options. On the Rulers tab, click the Edit Scale button at the bottom and enter the custom scale of 1:175.

Once drawing units match the real-world units, you can update the guideline units as well. Click the Options icon at the top right of the Guidelines docker and choose Show at Scale.

Align and Distribute

Next, let’s look at the Align and Distribute docker, where a variety of placement options can be found. In this example, the four groups are all selected.

If you want the four selected groups to line up neatly with one another, click Align Center Vertically, or Align Top.

Objects move to align with the last object selected.

To space the groups evenly, try Distribute Center Horizontally, or Distribute Space Horizontally.

Some other useful settings are the Outline option under “Align objects to” in the docker, which aligns grouped objects relative to the group outline, and the Extent of Page option under “Distribute objects to”, which distributes selected objects across the page rather than the bounds of the selection.

There are also several other alignment options, such as Page Edge or Page Center, or you can specify an alignment point with the rightmost “Align objects to” option. Using this, you can enter coordinates or click Specify Point to pick a point directly on the document.

With this point set, click Align Bottom to bring all groups down to that horizontal level.

Live Guides

Finally, let’s look at the Live Guides docker. When Alignment Guides are enabled, there are several alignment options to choose from, such as Object Edges.

 

With this option enabled, you can create shapes that align with existing edges.

  • With Intelligent Spacing, you can draw a shape spaced exactly between two shapes.
  • With Intelligent Dimensioning, you can scale an object and get indicators when a dimension is matched with an existing object.
  • Or you can rotate an object to match the same rotation angle as an existing object.

Dynamic Guides

With Dynamic Guides enabled, you can choose the angles to snap to.

As you move the cursor around, the various angled guidelines appear, and you can even use guideline intersections when placing objects.

If you want angles other than the standard ones that appear by default, you can create custom angles with the plus icon.

See what's new in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2021!

Download your FREE 15-day trial for Windows or Mac and fuel your creative fire with the new perspective tools, flexible design space, progressive photo editing tools, and much more.

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Comments (4)

  • Liliane Verlinde Reply

    bedankt voor de uitleg heel interessant

    April 16, 2020 at 4:41 am
  • Staying Armed Reply

    I just started using the demo of Coreldraw for Mac and am finding that keyboard shortcuts for alignment don’t work like they did on Windows? I can no longer select items and press E or C to vertically or horizontally align items…..is this actually the case or am I not doing something correctly.

    Please forgive me, I’ve always been a Windows user and just recently got my first Mac.

    March 28, 2019 at 9:54 am
    • Adam Reply

      Hello Staying Armed,

      Unfortunately there currently are no shortcuts for alignment options in the Mac version of CorelDRAW. We followed Mac shortcut conventions as much as possible, and had to make some hard choices for which shortcuts to include under them! We appreciate the feedback however, and have passed it on to the CorelDRAW team for their consideration.

      Best,
      Discovery Center Team

      March 30, 2019 at 10:08 am
      • Alina Keitlin Reply

        Why not set the shortcuts like Windows? All guys worked in Corel until today know them, and new users anyway must learn. But for what, please, we have a table of shortcuts for Mac in the built-in guide?

        April 6, 2019 at 8:37 am

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