Basic Alignment tools in Inkscape

My inner engineer (the one that I need to subdue to do asymmetrical things) demands that I use the alignment tools on most of my projects.  They are a quick and easy way to line up parts of a file.

To bring up the Align and Distribute window, either click on the align and distribute button in the top toolbar, or press Shift Control A on your keyboard and the window will appear.

align window

Which objects are moved and where they go depends on the selection in the “Relative to” drop down box.  The choices are :  last selected, first selected, biggest item, smallest item, page, drawing, and selection.

The selection in the drop down box determines what is the “anchor” or the piece that does not move.  The yellow/orange shape in the Align and Distribute window is the “anchor”.   All of the rest of the selected pieces move in relation to the “anchor”.  I usually either use “page” or “first selected”.   The following image is how the objects I am using were before using the alignment tools.  The green square is the “anchor” in all examples since I used the “biggest item” selection.


Vertical Alignment

  1. The right sides of the objects are lined up against the left side of the “anchor”
    vert align1
  2. All of the left sides are lined up.  The anchor does not move.
    vert align2
  3. All of the vertical centers are lined up.
    vert align3
  4. All of the right sides are lined up.
    vert align4
  5. The left side of the objects line up with the right side of the “anchor”.
    vert align5

Horizontal Alignment

  1. The bottoms of the objects are lined up with the top of the “anchor”.  The anchor does not move.
    horiz align1
  2. The tops of the objects are lined up.
    horiz align2
  3. The horizontal centers of the objects are lined up.
    horiz align3
  4. The bottom edges are all lined up.
    horiz align4
  5. The tops of the objects are lined up with the bottom of the “anchor.
    horiz align5

Inkscape also has Distribution tools and Align and Distribute for nodes, but I will go over those in a different post.

One Response to Basic Alignment tools in Inkscape

  1. leslie folks says:

    thanks for all your help with inkscape every time i open it I have to have your blog open also to figure out what im doing!! thanks for all your help!!

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