Using Align & Distribute Tools

The tools to align and distribute items on your page might be the secret design weapon you don't even realize you have.

Need to line a few items up but struggling with rulers, smart guides or a grid? Simple solution: use the ALIGNMENT TOOL.

Let's say we want the three boxes in the following graphic to be aligned with each other according to their left sides.

Select all the items you'd like to align, go into the PROPERTIES menu and choose what alignment option you'd like. Align to top, center on one another vertically, align to bottom, align to left, center on one another horizontally, align to right. 

 

In this instance, we chose align to left and all three boxes aligned their left sides.

 

In the case of wishing to equally space items on a layout, we'd want to use the DISTRIBUTION or SPACING tools. In the graphic below, the boxes are randomly placed, not lined up, not spaced equally. Either drag and select all of the items or select a group by using the shift key or the multi-item select tool.

The SPACING tool looks at what items are selected and will distribute everything evenly between the left-most item and right-most item when using the horizontal spacing tool (selected below). 

  

Now that items have even space between them, using the ALIGN tool again will line things up. Perfectly spaced, perfectly aligned design elements!