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Alignment Tool — Aligning and Distributing Objects

Alignment Tool Functionality

The Alignment Tool enables you to position objects with respect to each other and to adjust the spacing between selected objects. The specified align/distribute operations apply to all components that are selected when you click the Apply or OK buttons.

Display the Alignment Tool by clicking the Align/Distribute button or by selecting Align Distribute Tool from the Tools menu.

The Alignment Tool provides two types of positioning operations:

  • Align — Align all selected objects to a single reference line.

  • Distribute — Space all selected objects uniformly with respect to each other.

You can align and distribute objects in the vertical and horizontal directions. The following sections provide more information.

Vertical Distribute, Horizontal Align

This example illustrates how to align three textboxes with three corresponding axes. In this example, the text boxes were just plunked down close to the desired position and then right aligned and distributed to have 40 pixels between them.

The following picture shows the initial layout.

Use Shift+click to select all three textboxes and then configure the Alignment Tool as shown in the following picture.

  • Set vertical distribution to 40 pixels.

  • Set horizontal alignment to right-aligned.

  • Click Apply.

The following picture shows the result.

Align/Distribute Menu Options

The Tools menu contains the alignment and distribution options that are available via the Alignment Tool.

The Smart Align and Distribute option aligns objects into rows and columns with equal spacing between each object. It is useful when you have a number of objects to align that can be positioned in an m-by-n grid.

For example, the following figure contains six axes that have been placed approximately into two columns in the figure.

To align all axes in a grid, select each axes (Shift+click each one), then select Smart Align and Distribute from the Tools menu.

The resulting alignment and distribution of the axes are shown below.

Snap to Grid — Aligning Objects on a Grid

Figures have a layout grid that can aid the hand layout of objects displayed in the figure. You can also enable a snap-to-grid feature that forces objects to align with the grid increments when moved.

To display the grid on the figure background, select View Layout Grid from the Tools menu.

To force objects to align with the grid, select Snap To Layout Grid from the Tools menu.

To move objects in the figure, enable Plot Edit mode by selecting Edit Plot from the Tools menu. Click to select an object and then drag it to the desired location.

The following picture illustrates a figure with four subplots. You can select any of the four axes and move them. All axis labels and the title move with the axes. Annotation objects move independently of the plot axes.

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