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 2019!

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Tools You Need

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019

Get all the professional graphics tools you need to work on Windows, Mac or on the go with CorelDRAW.app.

Comic Book Word Art

Make yourself and your friends the superheroes (or villains) in a comic book with collection of 80 word art images.

CorelDRAW Home & Student Suite 2019

A complete design suite for home and students. Edit photos and create reports, drawings, flyers, ads, business cards, logos and more.

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

With plenty of room to sketch, paint and design, this medium-sized tablet is a popular choice for artists and designers.

How to Align and Position Objects

In this tutorial you will learn how to align and position objects with ease and accuracy using the Guidelines, Align and Position, and the Live Guides inspectors.

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

Step 1: Guidelines

To begin, go to File > New from Template, and open up a Business Card template as an example.

The dotted blue lines you see running across the page are Guidelines. In this case, their default blue color is difficult to see on our blue background. To change their color, first find and select them in the Objects Inspector, then control-click a new color in the Color palette.

As long as you have Snap to Guidelines selected, any objects you create will automatically align themselves with nearby guidelines.

They can also help you keep alignment consistent across multiple similar designs. These guidelines are part of our Master page in this template, so if we create a new page, they will show up there as well.

The Guidelines Inspector

To create new guidelines, open the Guidelines inspector, choose Horizontal, Vertical or Angled, and enter the X,Y coordinates where you want to place your guideline. All existing guidelines and their coordinates are listed below.

You can modify guidelines’ coordinates, color, or style by selecting them in the inspector. Changing color and style without an existing guideline selected will set defaults for any subsequent guidelines you create.

To lock your guidelines in place and protect them from being deleted, just select them and click the Lock icon. To delete a guideline, click the Trash icon.

You can toggle View Guidelines and Snap to Guidelines in the inspector, as well.

Creating & Editing Guidelines on the Page

You can also create guidelines by going to View > Rulers and clicking and dragging from a one of the rulers onto the page.

To change the guideline’s position, just click on it and drag. To rotate it, click it a second time, and use the Rotate handles.

When you have your guidelines set, with Snap to Guidelines still enabled, try using them to create a precise object in your design.

Step 2: Align and Distribute

The Align and Distribute inspector offers multiple easy object placement options.

To align multiple objects neatly, lasso to select them and experiment with the different Align buttons, like Align Center Vertically, or Align Top.

NOTE: By default, your reference point for object alignment will be set to Last Object Selected but you can also choose Edge of Page, Center of Page, Grid, or Reference Point. For Reference Point, you can either set (x,y) coordinates or click the Set Reference Point button, and then click to set a point on the page. Now your objects will align to that point.

To space objects evenly, experiment with the Distribute buttons, like Distribute Center Horizontally or Distribute Space Horizontally. You can choose to distribute objects based on the edges of the bounding box that surrounds them when selected, or to the edges of the page itself.

Step 3: Live Guides

The Live Guides inspector allows you to use properties of existing objects to assist you in creating and manipulating other objects.

Alignment Guides

Enable Alignment Guides to see live guides pop up based on different criteria, like object edges, object centers, and object spacing. You can even match dimensions or angles of existing objects.

Margins

Activate Margins to see guides a set distance away from the edges of your objects.

Dynamic Guides

Finally, Dynamic Guides cause guides to appear at specific angles to points on your objects. To add a custom angle not already in the list, just click the plus button and enter the value of the angle you need.

And that’s it. Now you’re ready to align and position objects with ease.

See what's new in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019!

Download your FREE 15-day trial for Windows or Mac and dare to design differently with new non-destructive effects, improved pixel workflow, and other professional graphics tools.

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Comments (3)

  • 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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