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How to use the Silhouette Align Tool like a Pro

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial
Did you ever create a beautiful design in Silhouette Studio, but struggle when it comes to making sure everything is properly aligned. Eyeballing it NEVER works for me. Maybe you have better eyeballs than me, but I need the software to do the work for me and so I have gotten pretty familiar with the align tool. Today I'm going to share my tips with you so you can master the align tool, too.

The align tool can be found along the top tool bar (in blue below) in both V2 and V3 (and Designer Edition).   When you click on it you get this whole window down the right side that includes about 10 different ways to align. 

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial

The most common question I'm asked about aligning is how to get one design exactly in the center of another - evenly on all side. This is actually the easiest way to align.

The first thing you need to do is make sure that your 'inner' design (a three letter circle monogram in this case) is completely grouped.  To do this select the entire design > right click > group.

Then move the group into the shape that you want it in the center of (a circle in this case).

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial

Now select both the circle and the monogram. From the align tool window click the very top option "Center." This puts the monogram exactly in the middle of the circle.  Easy peesy.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, center

The reason it's important to group the monogram is because look what happens if you don't form the three letters as a group before you try to actually centers each individual letter in the circle.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, center, grouped, ungrouped

Grouping is key to aligning because it determines what will be aligned and how. As you can see there is a big difference between what his centered when it's grouped vs. not grouped.

Aligning top, bottom, left and right are pretty self explanatory, but it's the aligning horizontally center and aligning vertically middle that tend to hang people up...or maybe it is just me?!

Aligning a group of words or designs "horizontally in the center" means the middle of all of the words of designs will be centered on the vertical axis.  (Perhaps that's where the confusion comes in.)

If you type out all of your words in a single text box you can obviously just center the text like with the text tool...but if you have a group of words that each have their own text box, you'll want to select each of them and then click the "Align Horizontally > Align Center" option to line them up.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, align, align center

If I were to align these same words using the 'vertical middle align' (rather than Horizontal > Center)...this would happen.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, vertical middle align

But if you have a horizontal row of words that you want aligned so the middles are all lined up exactly, you want to align them vertically.   I knew I wasn't the only one getting confused...but you are still with me, right?
 Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, align vertical middle

Selecting all of the words and picking "align middle" from the Align Vertical window will move all of the words on the same horizontal axis.  In this case clicking 'align top' or 'align bottom' would have given us the same result. 

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, align middle

But there's only one'll notice that in this example the words 'Align' and 'vertical' are closer together than the words 'vertical' and 'middle'.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, space horizontally

To make the words each evenly spaced I keep them all selected and click "space horizontally."  You'll see that 'vertical' is shifted slightly to the right, but is still perfectly aligned on the horizontal axis.

Silhouette Studio, align tool, Silhouette tutorial, align vertical middle

And one final note, Center to Page puts whatever you have selected in the exact middle of your work area.  Just be sure you have grouped everything properly before you do this or you'll have a big jumbled mess centered right smack in the middle of your work area.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine! 

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!

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  1. hi
    Thank you for doing this blog
    I've recently got my Cameo, I'm new to machine-sofware-crafting ,well, you'd know it by my question :)
    When I hit either open or design options at the very beginning I do get a very detailed grid page. How can I have a clear design page like the one on your post?
    Thank you

    1. Under View at the top, deselect Show Grid.

  2. Is there a way to align to object?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. It took me the longest time to figure out which object would move when I would hit align to the top, etc. Now I know that it will move all the objects to the one that is the furthest on top for align top, the one furthest down for align bottom, etc. You should include that tidbit! It would have saved me many headaches!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Is there something we can do when we are trying to align something that has a bigger box or whatever around it that throws it off and it will only align by the size of the box, not the actual design or text...

  7. Is there a way to align to an object that you already have in place? Say I have a circle placed on a page exactly where I want it, and I want to align the monogram in the circle - without moving the circle?

  8. I have not been able to find the horizontal and vertical coordinates of objects. I was able to do it in Design Studio 3 but I still cannot find it on Design Studio 4.0. I do everything by coordinates, my hands shake and using the mouse can be difficult.


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