10/28/15
7:19 am

Using Alignment Guides

Alignment guides in Pages, Numbers and Keynote make it easy to align objects to their centers or edges. With alignment guides you can quickly build groups of shapes or photos that lock together with perfect spacing and sizes.

Video Transcript
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. On this episode let's look at how to use Alignment Guides in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.

So here I've created a new document in Pages and to make things easier for this demo I'm going to go to Document and turn off the Document Body so that doesn't get in the way. But this all works even with the Document Body there.

Now I'm going to Create, Shape and create just a square. As I drag this around the screen these alignment guides appear there for the center so I can align this very easily to the center. It kind of snaps into place as I drag through it. I can also have the edges go to the center or the edges to the edge of the page, or the center of the edge. Anyway I want to do it. I get the top, I get the center vertically like that, I can lock it right to the very center of the page by locking both vertical and horizontal.

I'm just dragging around and these yellow lines are appearing. If you don't see them check in Pages, Preferences under Rulers and make sure you have Alignment Guides turned on.

Now there is more than just locking to the page itself. I'm going to create another shape here and I can lock this shape to the other one. So you can see here that it's locking both the top and the bottom and also the center there because these shapes are the same size. I can do it vertically here like that. If I were to adjust the size of the shape then it makes more clear that I can lock center to center, I can lock bottom to bottom, I can lock bottom to center. Any of these alignment guides in any of the directions I can kind of lock things to it. So it's very easy.

This not only works for moving but also for resizing. So as I resize this you can see it locks there. So I can very easily lock the top and the bottom to get to be the same height even if it is a different width. I can go down here and if I want to get this to be the same size I can easily lock it like that and then bring it back over here and lock it in place. So it is very easy to resize objects so that they are the same size as other objects or at least the same width or the same height.

So let me show you how you can use this to create a really quick perfectly laid out set of blocks. So I can lock these two top to bottom like that. What I'm going to do is going to, if I select this, use the down arrow key it moves down one pixel basically. I'm going to move back up and I'm going to hold the Shift and down arrow key and it moves it a greater distance. I think it is approximately ten pixels. So I create a nice little gap there.

Now I can create another shape and I can lock it here and I'm going to Shift and right arrow to move it the same distance apart. Now I'm going to drag this shape here so that it locks to the bottom there.

So these could be three photos here and you can see how I very easily created perfect symmetry between these. All the edges are all nicely locked together. I can continue to do that. I'm going to Option, drag here to duplicate that item and then drop it there and then do the same thing down here. Then what I'm going to do is, well, let's go and I'm going to make this exactly the size of two of these with the gap.

I'm going to put this here at the bottom, Shift and right arrow to give it the same spacing; Shift and right arrow for that to get the same spacing and then drag this across like that. So you can see it is very easy and quick to create these shapes like this. I can continue to do it like that, Shift and down arrow and then I'm going to create Option drag this. Put this in this place there and now it is as simple as that. Very easy. These are now perfectly spaced. Perfect margins between everything and everything is really even.

So these can be photos or I can actually just drag and drop photos into these to create a nice photo collage. It is perfectly aligned in really no time flat at all. I don't have to mess around with rulers. The rulers are there and I can certainly see what I'm doing a little clearer with the rulers but I don't even need to use those to have these be perfectly spaced.

I can also drag and select all of these, group them together now, so I'll do Arrange Group like that, and then now I can drag them as one group here. So I can center the entire thing on the page if I wish, there's the page center, so now I can actually align other things to this. So you can continue to group and ungroup things and align them to create exactly the effects that you want.

This works the same in Numbers and Keynote. I can do the same thing here. I'm doing it in Keynote and creating exactly the same type of deal and it works basically the same way. You get a little bit more feedback in Keynote since you're actually doing these layouts a little more commonly and you can see how it is actually giving you some information there.

Also the Preferences give you a little more detail here under Rulers. In Keynote you get four different options instead of just two. With Pages you can also change the color of these.

Comments: 3 Responses to “Using Alignment Guides”

    Dave
    10/29/15 @ 8:16 am

    Once again a very helpful presentation. I didn’t have a clue that the alignment guides could do so much and be a very valuable tool. Thanks again.

    Shirley
    10/29/15 @ 11:43 am

    I have been using the rulers to drag out a guide which I find almost as good as you don’t have guides bouncing out and distracting your thought process.

    Marilyn
    11/1/15 @ 10:54 am

    THANK YOU . . I haven’t upgraded to El Capitan, yet, but was able to learn two things to use in my current version of Pages in this video; please don’t stop making your videos . . ever, mn

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