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- Converting shapes to paths and paths to shapes
- Moving, deleting, copying, and rasterizing shape layers
- Drawing pen paths
- Inverting a path
- Combining shapes
- Adding strokes to shape layers
- Creating shape layers from type
- Creating custom shapes from Illustrator symbols
- Building a photo grid
- Combining vector masks and layer masks
- Converting a shape layer to a selection, vector mask, or layer mask
- Working with paths and clipping paths
Skill Level Intermediate
In this movie we're going to see how we can align and distribute our shape layers. I have a Background layer. I'm going to choose my Shape tool by pressing the U key. I'm going to use my rectangle. I have a different color from the Background layer chosen. I'm going to draw myself a square by holding down the Shift key and dragging. Now I'll switch to my Move tool by pressing the V key, then hold down my Alt or Option key and drag away from that to create a copy, and you can see that I'm deliberately dragging at different distance. And I'm making sure they're no actually aligned with each other. So there we have a few copies of that.
Now let's say that I wanted to align these layers. Well, I would come and select them all by holding down the Shift key and clicking through, starting at the top and clicking down at the bottom, and then I get my alignment options on my tool options bar. So I can align their top edges. I can distribute the space evenly. And I could align their bottom edges, their center edges, etcetera. But what I can't do is I can't at the moment align these as a group and if I did want to do that, if I wanted to take this group of six shapes and then put them in the center of my canvas, horizontally and vertically, that wouldn't be possible at the moment.
And if I were to try it, then what's going to happen is something like that, not what I want. So instead, what I need to do is group these together, Command+G or Ctrl+G to put them in a group, and then we can center them as a group, but you'll notice that my Align and Distribute icons have now become dimmed, but if I press Command+A to Select All, they come back, and then I can align the group to the selection.
So I can now click on my center vertically and my center horizontally. So the basic alignment options, they work as you would expect. The only trick is that if you want to treat things as a group, put them in a group folder and then make a selection and you can align to that selection.