Align multiple objects on a slide

If you have multiple objects on a slide, Adobe Captivate can automatically and perfectly align the objects for you. This is an easy way to create precise and professional-looking project slides.

You have many options for aligning objects both vertically and horizontally. Some of the alignment options depend upon the location of the anchor object. The anchor object is simply the first object you select. You might want to select the largest object or the object that appears first as the anchor object. So that you can easily identify the anchor object, it appears with white resizing handles, while any subsequent objects you select appear with black resizing handles.

The alignment is based on the registration point of an object, which is the upper left corner of the surrounding box of the object. This point is constant in Adobe Captivate and cannot be changed. In objects with thick strokes, the registration point is in the center of the strokes.

  1. Open the slide in which you want to align the objects. The slide must contain multiple objects.

  2. Select Window > Align. The alignment options display above the main toolbar, as shown below:

  3. Select the objects on the slide by holding down the Shift key and clicking the individual objects.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • Click an alignment option on the alignment toolbar.

    • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the selected objects, choose Align, and select the appropriate option from the pop-up menu.

The x (horizontal) and y (vertical) coordinates of the mouse are automatically displayed in the lower-right corner of the Adobe Captivate project window as you move the mouse. Knowing exact coordinates can help you place objects in a precise location on a slide. When aligning objects, it can be helpful to display the grid.

You can move objects using only the keyboard. Select an object and press an arrow key on your keyboard to move 1 pixel at a time. To move an item by the number of pixels defined in the grid, select an object and press Control+arrow key.

To change the height or width of an object by 1 pixel, hold Alt and press an arrow key. Similarly, hold Alt+Shift and an arrow key to change the size 15 pixels at a time.

Align objects using smart guides

Smart guides appear as dotted lines when you drag objects to reposition, resize, or rotate them. Smart guides are vertical or horizontal lines through the center of an object. Based on these guides, objects that you drag are aligned with the nearest object within the threshold distance.

Note:

Smart guides do not appear when you try to reposition or resize objects using keyboard.

Smart guides are enabled by default. To disable smart guides, click View > Show Drawing/Smart Guides.

Aligning objects on the Timeline

The Timeline lets you align objects easily. For example, you can align objects to the playhead, the start of a slide, the end of a slide, another object, or a point in time.

Display the Adobe Captivate Timeline

  1. In an open project, double-click a slide that contains objects you want to align.

  2. If it is not open already, show the Timeline by clicking the splitter bar. To expand the Timeline, click the display arrow. You can also open the Timeline from the View menu by selecting the Show Timeline option, or using Control+Alt+T.

Align an object to the playhead

When you sync an object to the playhead, the object moves to the location of the playhead in the Timeline.

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) an object on the Timeline and select Sync With Playhead.

Sync with Playhead
Sync with Playhead

Align an object to the start of a slide

  • Click an object on the Timeline and drag it to the left side of the Timeline.

Extend the playing time of an object to the end of a slide

  • Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) an object on the Timeline and select Show For Rest Of Slide.

Align an object to a point in time

  • Click an object on the Timeline and drag it to the left or right so that the left edge of the object bar aligns with the correct time in the header.

    For example, if you have a caption that currently appears at the same time the slide displays, but you want a slight delay, drag the caption so that its left edge aligns with 2s (a 2-second delay) or 4s (a 4-second delay) in the header.

    You can select multiple objects and move them at the same time. Hold down the Shift key and click objects to select consecutive stacked objects in the Timeline or to select nonconsecutive objects, hold down the Control key and click the objects to move.

    You can adjust the zoom level of the Timeline easily. Click in the Timeline ruler and spin the mouse wheel on your mouse to increase or decrease the zoom level.

Align objects with the grid

Adobe Captivate contains an optional grid that you can display while working on individual slides. The grid lets you more accurately place and position objects on a slide.

You can also select the Snap To Grid option if you want objects that are placed near grid lines to automatically “snap” to the nearest lines.

Display the grid

Select View > Show Grid in an open project.

The grid, a light pattern of dots, appears on the slide.

Align objects with grid lines

Select View > Snap To Grid in an open project.

To test the snap-to-grid behavior, add an object such as a highlight box to the slide, and then move the box. As you move the box, it automatically lines up with the grid lines.

Change the grid scale

  1. In an open project, select Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Adobe Captivate > Preferences (Mac OS).

  2. In the Category panel, select Global.

  3. In the Grid Size field, enter a new value for Grid size. Larger numbers display fewer grid lines; smaller numbers display many grid lines for more precise object placement.

The x (horizontal) and y (vertical) coordinates of the mouse are automatically displayed in the lower-right corner of the Adobe Captivate project window as you move the mouse. Knowing exact coordinates can help you place objects in a precise location on a slide.

You can move objects using only the keyboard. Select an object and press an arrow key on your keyboard to move 1 pixel at a time. To move an item by the number of pixels defined in the grid, select an object and press Control+arrow key.

Snap objects to guides

To precisely align objects to guides, use the Snap To Guide menu in View > Snap to Guide.

Object edges will snap to (be pulled toward) the nearest guide when you draw, move, or resize objects.

The exact range within which an object snaps to guides is called the snap-to zone, which you can adjust by specifying the offset.

Keep the following guidelines in mind as you align objects to guides:

  • To snap an object to a guide, drag an object toward a guide until one or more of the object’s edges is within the guide’s snap-to zone.
  • Guides must be visible for objects to snap to them. 

To align objects to guides, complete the following steps:

  1. Choose View and make sure that Snap to Guide is selected (checked).

  2. To specify the snap-to-zone, choose Edit > Preferences > Default > Snap to Guide offset.

  3.  In the Snap to Guide offset box, set a value between 5 and 25 pixels and click OK.

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