How to align multiple objects and paths as one while keeping shape?

New Here ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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The title says it all. When I have made a logo and there's mutiple parts and I want to center it, it messes all the parts up. How do I center it while keeping the shape without combining it all? Example in photo: http://puu.sh/5BFR8.png

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Explorer , Dec 14, 2017 Dec 14, 2017
Here's my workaround:Select all the art that you want centred on the artboard.Go to Artboard Options and select Preset "Fit to selected art"Once you've okayed that go back to Artboard Options and choose the actual artboard size you want (making sure the 'transform from centre' marker in the transform position box is selected.Okay it and the art is centred on the artboard.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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Does Object > Group not work for you?

Or you could make a symbol of (a copy of) your artwork.

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Mentor ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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Yeah, just group the objects together (Object > Group). Or if for some reason you wanted to center the group without grouping them, you could select all the shapes and set the x value of the center point to half the width of the artboard.

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Valorous Hero ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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Yeah, grouping as already suggested is the only way  considered as one unit for the alignment tools.

I wish there was a feature that would consider a selection as one unit for alignment purposes so I can keep my layers and groups hierarchy.

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Mentor ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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That's what sublayers are for. Illustrator already creates a hierarchy of all shapes on any given layer, whether they're grouped or not.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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In my ears it sounds like you're not getting Emil's point about aligning selections, Kris.

I think he meant something different (which I also would welcome).

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Mentor ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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No, I understand perfectly. He wants to align his logo with the center of the artboard, but he seems to think that grouping the individual elements of the logo will ruin his layer hierarchy. He doesn't seem to understand that a design that is grouped into one object still has a layer hierarchy in the layer's sublayers. There is no need to have each element of the design on a separate layer; Illustrator does that for you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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No, Kris, you are confusing the OP's task with Emil's statement in post 3 (which contains a valuable thought about aligning selections).

Read the second line in post 3 again. Perhaps you can understand the idea.

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Advisor ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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What I have done in the past, and let me know if this works for you is: duplicate the image you want to align, group that duplicate and align it, select all the original elements and using one point to snap to one point on the grouped copy  aligning the original elements.  Does this make sense or have I had way too much Mt Dew today.

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Mentor ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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Ack. I did confuse the two people, but my answer applies to both.

I wish there was a feature that would consider a selection as one unit for alignment purposes so I can keep my layers and groups hierarchy.

There is such a feature; it's called grouping your objects. Layer hierarchy is maintained in the sublayers. It would be impossible to align multiple shapes as one unit if they weren't grouped together; how would Illustrator know they were supposed to act as one unit instead of being aligned individually?

And we're talking about this in the context of a logo, which is a single cohesive unit, and as such should really be grouped at all times anyway.

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Valorous Hero ,
Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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Well, grouping just for the purpose of aligning may interfere with grouping and layering for other purposes. Also often I need to align just parts of an object (points or edges) along with separated objects preserving the current spacing between the selected objects and segments.

As to how it can be done, well that's what programing is for, the whole point of it is to create solutions for this kind of problems. As for the user interaction, there may be more elegant solutions but my first thought is to increase the functionality of the selection sets by moving them from the menu in a selection sets panel where multiple selection sets can be selected. This will also add selection functionally to make selection by adding together multiple selection sets - currently it is one at a time. Even if they only put them in a panel, that would make them more useful - I almost never use them and forget about them because I hate digging in menus just to create a selection.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 05, 2013 Dec 05, 2013

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Kris, realised that your imagination about aligning selections as one (temporary) unit without grouping them is currently restricted to the status quo.

I don't badmouth that, but I don't agree at the same time.

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LEGEND ,
Dec 05, 2013 Dec 05, 2013

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Reckon it’s about time we heard from ErraticFox.

All this speculation is getting us going round in circles.

Like I said in my first post, a Group is probably the best bet, followed shortly by a Symbol.

Either will do the job, but until we get feedback no-one will be any the wiser.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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Mt. Dew man saves the day; all other suggestions either not helpful, sassy, or both! Thank you from someone 7 years in the future

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New Here ,
Dec 29, 2016 Dec 29, 2016

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Late to the party, but try this if you still need an answer.

Make a selection of what you are using as your alignment "center". Go up to control panel and change the "Y" value of the location to a specific number-it doesn't matter what number, pick 1 or something, just remember that number. It will move all parts of the selection to the absolute location of Y=1, without disrupting layers. Make a second selection of what you are trying to align to the alignment "center" that you just moved to Y=1. Change the "Y" value of this selection to match, Y=1. It will move this selection directly on top of the previous image, aligning the Y values, without changing any layer orders. I hope that makes sense.

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New Here ,
Feb 19, 2017 Feb 19, 2017

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Another way to work around this illustrator stupidity, especially so for cases like centering to artboard, is to make your selection go to the transform panel and choose your Y and or X position appropriately. For example if you want to move your Logo to the center of the artboard you can choose your logo then go to the transform panel choose the middle reference point and set the Y and X position half of the value of the size of your artboard. This is not as easy as it would be if you could group items and maintain your layer organization but it does the job.

As a side note answers like KrisHunt​'s​ are neither helpful nor constructive and really piss me out. If you don't know what you are talking about or you are not willing to understand what one's problem is please STFU.

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Explorer ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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sgv_6618  wrote

Another way to work around this illustrator stupidity, especially so for cases like centering to artboard, is to make your selection go to the transform panel and choose your Y and or X position appropriately. For example if you want to move your Logo to the center of the artboard you can choose your logo then go to the transform panel choose the middle reference point and set the Y and X position half of the value of the size of your artboard.

This is indeed the proper way to achieve the centering of multiple non-grouped objects.

Not only can this method be used to center to the artboard (see below), but you can center entire selections of objects to other objects by:

  1. selecting the key object (the one you want to align to),
  2. noting it's X & Y coordinates in the Transform panel (make sure the Reference Point selected is in the center point),
  3. selecting your collection of objects and entering those coordinates into the Transform panel in the respective X & Y fields.

You can even move the selected objects by using the up/down arrow keys in the X & Y fields in the Transform panel.

A quick way to get the X-Y coordinates of the Artboard: just activate the Artboard tool (Shift+O) and the numbers will be right there in the Control Bar. Again, make sure the selected reference point is the center point for centering.

Also helpful: when aligning to an artboard, be sure you reset the ruler origin point to the artboard while the Artboard Tool is active. Do this by double-clicking the spot where the rulers meet in the top left of the artboard. I think this has something to do with whether or not you are using Artboard Rulers or Global Rulers (a setting I never knew about until now). My setup had Artboard Rulers enabled.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 02, 2017 Jun 02, 2017

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Wow! That is once again a lack of usability understanding by the Adobe..

I'm using CS6 and the fact that you guys are still fighting with this absence of logic in the Ai-behavior in the 2017 versions is really strange!

Here's my workaround:

  1. a) if you have the same graphic as a vector or a PNG, whose borders = outer dimensions of the graphic (e.g. logo) – GOOD! Proceed with that and place it onto the artboard – that is your reference graphic.
    b) if you don't have it, then copy-paste your graphic onto a new layer (make sure Paste Remember Layers is OFF!!! ) and group the duplicate – that is your reference graphic.
  2. Align this reference however you like.
  3. Make sure the Smart Guides are ON!  (Ctrl+U / Cmd+U)
  4. Drag the graphic you wanted to align in the first place and that has your wanted layer order (select them all for that, of course) until it overlays the reference graphic perfectly.
  5. You can delete that reference graphic now.

Looks like many steps, but it takes actually not that long

Cheers!

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Explorer ,
Dec 14, 2017 Dec 14, 2017

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Here's my workaround:

Select all the art that you want centred on the artboard.

Go to Artboard Options and select Preset "Fit to selected art"

Once you've okayed that go back to Artboard Options and choose the actual artboard size you want (making sure the 'transform from centre' marker in the transform position box is selected.

Okay it and the art is centred on the artboard.

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