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    How to use the Alignment Tool in GIMP/Photoshop

    In this tutorial we'll discuss the use of the alignment tool (looks like a box with arrows pointing away from it).

    1-Set up canvas
    First Create a new canvas (Cntl+N) 1000x1000 pixels. Set up multiple layers of anything you want. I created one layer then duplicated that same layer 5 times. I spaced these out in a rough vertical alignment. I want to align these vertically and distribute them so the space in between the layers is perfectly even. (See below) This is where the alignment tool comes into play.

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    Activate the alignment tool (Q). It is the icon of a box with 4 arrows pointing away from the box, in the tools palette. Once activated click on each of the layers you want aligned while holding down the shift key, starting with the layer that appears at the bottom of the canvas. They will appear as below once selected

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    2-Align cont.
    click the align 'center of target' icon on the top center of the alignment options palette. The selected layers will center vertically like so:
    Name:  align3.jpg
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    3-Distribute the layers
    Now to distribute these layers evenly we'll need to do a little math. Take the height of your canvas (Mine is 1000 pixels) and divide by 2. Take that number and enter the negative of it in the offset field at the bottom of the distribute options (In my case -166) It is -166 because we selected the lowest layer on the canvas first (Not sure why this is, let me know if you figure it out). If you select the top most layer you I would enter 166 instead. Whatever you choose the top most or bottom most layer must be chosen first for this to work properly. Click on the 'Distribute vertical centers of target' icon at the bottom center. You should get the following:

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    4-The 'relative to:' field

    Below is a diagram with a brief explanation of all the options in the 'relative to' field. I used the 'First item' option for the above tutorial. I invite you to use all of them, experiment see exactly how they work.

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    Hope you all find it useful!
    Last edited by Fiona_Wildblood; 11-01-2012 at 08:50 AM.

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