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Alignment guides and Align tools for enhanced layout capability

Alignment tools and guides are available on the Design tab. It is easy to align elements to positions on the page and to select multiple elements and apply alignment to all of them.

Single Element Align Menu selections

When a SINGLE element is selected on the page and you select Align top, left, bottom, etc., the element is aligned within the context of the PAGE layout. So if you select Align Top the element aligns to the top of the page. If you select Align Center then the element is centered on the page on its X axis (horizontal). If you select Align Middle the element is aligned in the vertical middle of the page. Selecting Distribute Horizontally or Vertically on a single element has the same result as selecting center or middle from the menu.

Multiple Element Align Menu selections

Alignment for multiple elements is similar to single element alignment, except it's applied against the element positions that are selected. It uses the selected elements' minimum top and left and maximum bottom and right positions.

  • Distribute Horizontally or Vertically with multiple elements distributes the elements within the space bounded by the minimum and maximum edges (the top, right, bottom, left min. and max. positions).
  • Pack Horizontally or Vertically moves the selected multiple elements so that their edges touch.

Alignment Guides

Guides can be displayed on a selected element as it is moved around the page. There are six alignment guides: top, left, right, bottom, horizontal center and vertical center. You can set which guides to display on the Design tab ribbon in the Alignment area: Show Edge Guides (top, left, right, bottom) and Show Center Guides (horizontal center, vertical center).

You can also choose WHEN to show the guides on the Design tab ribbon in the Alignment area by clicking the Always Show button. When always show is on, the guides appear around the selected element at all times. When Always Show is off, the guides only appear when the element APPROACHES alignment with another element.

The style of each alignment guide changes in thickness, style and color as alignment is approached. As an element is dragged around the default guide style is a grey dashed line. As an element approaches another element's left, top, right, center, etc., the guide changes to a solid line with the thickness of the distance to the edge or center. For example, if you are dragging an element and the element comes within 9 pixels of another element, the guide appears as a translucent 9 pixel wide red line. As you approach the element, getting closer to alignment, the guide thickness decreases and the guide becomes brighter red. When perfect alignment is attained, the guide is a solid light blue line 1 pixel wide.

This  behavior works when moving the element using the arrow keys as well.

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