Align Objects in InDesign Creative Suite 5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

In InDesign CS5, you can align visually without the need for any extra tools or panels. If you keep Smart Guides activated (they’re on by default), when you use the Selection tool to select and move objects around a page, guides appear automatically. These guides appear when the selected object is aligned with other objects on the page or with the page itself.

If viewing these pesky guides starts to bother you, choose Edit→Preferences→Guides & Pasteboard (Windows) or InDesign→Guides & Pasteboard (Mac) and turn off the four options underneath the Smart Guide Options heading.

You can also align objects on a page by using the Align panel: Choose Window→Object & Layout→Align. This panel gives you control over the way elements align to one another or to the overall page. The Align panel has many buttons to control selected objects. Mouse over a button to see its tooltip describe how that button aligns elements.

If you’re not sure what each button does after reading the associated tooltip, look at the icon on the button. The icon is sometimes helpful in depicting what the Align button does to selected objects.

Here’s how to align elements on the page:

  1. Select several objects on the page with the Selection tool.

    Hold the Shift key while clicking each object to select several objects.

    Each object is selected when you click it on the page. If you don’t have a few objects on a page, quickly create a couple new objects by using the drawing tools.

  2. Choose Window→Object & Layout→Align.

    The Align panel opens.

  3. Select the kind of alignment you want to apply to the selected objects.

    Try clicking the Align Vertical Centers button. Each selected object aligns to the vertical center point on the page.