Aligning and Distributing Content on Multiple Layers

You can use the Align and Distribute commands or the Move tool to arrange objects and to allocate the space between the objects. The objects can be aligned according to their top, bottom, left, or right edges or their vertical and horizontal centers. Likewise, the space between the objects can be allocated according to the same parameters (Figure 11-10).

Figure 11-10: In this example, the commands Align Horizontal Centers and then Distribute Horizontal Centers were used to align and distribute objects on three separate layers.

To align objects, select two or more layers and then choose an item from the Layer ^ Align submenu or select the Move tool and then select the appropriate align button. The objects align according to their edges or centers. For example, if you select Align Top Edges, all the objects on the selected layers move and align to the edge of the object that has the topmost edge.

To distribute objects evenly, select three or more layers and then choose an item from the Layer ^ Distribute submenu, or select the Move tool and then select the appropriate distribute button (located to the right of the align buttons on the options bar). The objects distribute according their edges or centers. For example, if you select Distribute Top Edges, all the objects on the selected layers move and distribute in line with the edge of the object that has the topmost edge.

The case is slightly different if you want to align or distribute objects relative to the object on the active layer. You must first select the layers, choose Layer ^ Link Layers, or click the link button in the Layers palette. Next, select the layer containing the object you wish to align to or use as the basis for the distribution.

NOTE The Distribute Linked command becomes available only when the following conditions are met: (a) when three or more layers are selected or linked, (b) when the layers do not have their positions locked, (c) the Background layer is not included among the selected or linked layers

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