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Little production helpers like aligning. Here is something that InDesign users have been wanting ever since they saw their Illustrator colleagues use it, about a bazillion versions ago. It's called Align to Key Object, and if you are not familiar with this phrase, let me show you what I mean. Now, because of the resolution of the video, I can't see the Align icons in the Control panel, which is what I would normally use. So I am going to have to open up the actual Align panel, which is under Object & Layout > Align. Let's say that I want to align these guys all vertically.
So I am going to select these four squares. And you can see from the selection rectangle encompassing them that if I use the default, which is Align to the Selection, and let's say that I want them all right-aligned, so I'll come over here and click Align the right edges, they are going to be aligned there. I am going to undo, because that's not where I want them aligned. Let's say for whatever reason, I like the position of this object, and I want all four objects to be right-aligned with this guy. To designate this as the key object, it's very difficult. I hope you are watching closely. Do I have your full attention? Good, do this. There, the end.
Just click it and then you see that new little interface thing that CS6 has in various locations, of a heavy outline in the layer color surrounding the object. This is the now the key object and if I click Align right edges, everything aligns to that. Yay! I am going to undo. It still stays selected as the key object, because I wanted to call your attention to the Align To menu. Do you see the cute little key? A little skeleton key, Align to Key Object. So it's another choice in the Align To dropdown menu. Now what if you change your mind. You are like, you know what, I want everything aligned to this thing. Very simple, just click there. That's all.
When you have a selection, clicking again on something that's selected will make it the key object. If you don't want it to align to the key object, you just want it to align to the selection, or perhaps to something like align to margins or page, just click it again to deselect it. That's all. Nice and easy. Or, if you must, you can go over to the Align panel menu and choose Cancel Key Object, maybe even assign a keyboard shortcut to that. To align things to a key object after you make your selection of all the objects you want to align, click once more on the object that should be key.
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