Cic_3157.ENU.bmp Align / Distribute

The Align / Distribute tool options.

Given a number of objects, this tool can be used to either align them or distribute them in each of the X, Y, and Z directions. What action to apply is selected from the Align/Distribute tool options palette.


To apply this tool, you need to select the objects to be aligned and/or distributed as a set, that is by pressing the shift key when picking them. At least two objects need to be picked. The order in which they are picked is significant and it is used when distributing the objects. Because frequently this operation involves many objects, frame picking them or using Select All from the Edit menu may be convenient. In these cases the order in which the objects were generated is also used as the pick order, when distributing them.


The tool options separates the transformations by the X, Y, and Z axes.  Each of which include a drop down menu with various options.


The top option represents no action. The three Align options represent minimum, center, and maximum justifications, which are relative to the direction. For example, relative to X, min X is the left most end of an object, center is its mid-X, and max is the right most end. Whichever is selected is used to line up the objects.  These examples can be seen below in the left column.


The four Distribute options are minimum, center, maximum, and between justifications that are, again, relative to the direction and used as bases for the distances applied when distributing the objects.  For example, on the XY plane, a Distribute Min justification will distribute each picked entity in a way where the minimum X point of each object are equidistant.   Distribute between will justify the picked entities so the maximum points and minimum points of sequential objects are equidistant.  These examples can be seen below in the right column.  


These justification options are supplemented by the Distribution Type options, which are two for each direction: Between Ends, retains the positions of the minimum and maximum objects, divides their distance by the number of remaining objects plus 1, and places the remaining objects in the order they were selected (or assumed to have been selected). At Distance places the lowest object first and then the remaining at the given distance from each other. See examples below.

The Align / Distribute Drop-Down menu




Original Object Placement


Distribute Between




Align Min


Distribute Min




Align Center


Distribute Center




Align Max


Distribute Max