You use the Align panel (Window > Object & Layout > Align) to align or distribute objects horizontally or vertically along the selection, margins, page, or spread. Consider the following when working with the Align panel:
Align panel overview
The Align panel doesn’t affect objects to which you’ve applied the Lock Position command, and doesn’t change the alignment of text paragraphs within their frames.
Text alignment is not affected by the Align Objects options. (See Align or justify text.)
You can use the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box (Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts) to create custom align and distribute shortcuts. (Under Product Area, select Object Editing.)
A. Vertical alignment buttons B. Vertical distribution buttons C. Use Spacing distribution D. Horizontal alignment buttons E. Horizontal distribution buttons F. Alignment location options
Align or distribute objects
You can use the Align panel to align or space selected objects horizontally or vertically to the selection, margins, page, or spread.
Using the Distribute Horizontal Centers option for even spacing
- To align objects, click the button for the type of alignment you want.
- To distribute objects, click the button for the type of distribution you want. For example, if you click the Distribute Left Edges button when Align To Selection is turned on, InDesign makes sure that there is an equal amount of space from left edge to left edge of each selected object.
A. Creates even spacing between the centers of each object B. Keeps the overall width the same as before the transformation
Using the Distribute Horizontal Centers option and adding a value for Use Spacing
To set the space between objects, either center to center or edge to matching edge, select Use Spacing under Distribute Objects, and then type the amount of space you want to apply. Click a button to distribute the selected objects along their horizontal or vertical axes.
A. Spaces the objects evenly from their centers by a specified value B. Changes the overall width of the objects as a whole
Using the Distribute Horizontal Space option and adding a value for Use Spacing
- To set the space between objects (facing edge to facing edge), under Distribute Spacing, select Use Spacing and type the amount of space you want between the objects. (If Distribute Spacing is not visible, choose Show Options in the Align Panel menu.) Then, click the Distribute Spacing button to distribute the objects along their horizontal or vertical axes.
A. Creates spaces of a specified value between each object B. Changes the overall width of the objects as a whole
When you use spacing with vertical distribution, selected objects are spaced from top to bottom, starting with the top-most object. When you use spacing with horizontal distribution, selected objects are spaced from left to right, starting from the left-most object.
You can also use the Smart Spacing feature to align or distribute objects while moving them. For example, if two vertical objects are 12 points apart, moving a third object 12 points below the second object causes temporary guides to appear, allowing you to snap the object into alignment.
Align objects using the Gap tool
The Gap tool provides a quick way to adjust the size of a gap between two or more objects. It also lets you resize several objects that have commonly aligned edges simultaneously, while keeping the gaps between them fixed. It’s a one-step way to adjust your layout by directly manipulating the space between objects.
The Gap tool ignores locked objects and master page items.
Drag to move the gap and resize all objects aligned along the gap.
Shift-drag to move the gap between only the two nearest objects.
Ctrl-drag (Windows) or Command-drag (Mac OS) to resize the gap instead of moving it. Adding the Shift key resizes the gap between only the two nearest objects.
Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Mac OS) to move the gap and objects in the same direction. Adding the Shift key moves only the two nearest objects.
Ctrl+Alt-drag (Windows) or Command+Option-drag (Mac OS) to resize the gap and move the objects. Adding the Shift key to resize the gap and move only the two nearest objects.
To view hints on using the Gap tool, select the Gap tool and open the Tool Hints panel (Window > Utilities > Tool Hints).
Distribute objects using Live Distribute
When transforming multiple selected objects, you can resize the space between the selected objects proportionally instead of resizing the actual objects. For example, if you want to change the spacing between five aligned rectangles, you can do so without using any Distribute commands.