Illustrator Quick Tip: Align to Key Anchor (point)

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Today I want to share a quick alignment tip for Illustrator. First of all let me say that this is a very simple tip but it won't be useful every time. You have to need one of your points not to move. That's the purpose of this technique. Like I said, it's easy, so let's get started.

Illustrator Quick Tip: Align to Key Anchor

Aligning to a key anchor works very much the same as aligning to a key object except you need 1 less click. I have a very crude shape drawn below as an example. I want to align a few of these anchors to the highest anchor on the left, but I DON”T WANT THE ANCHOR I ALIGN TO TO MOVE AT ALL, which is why I'm using this technique and not simply the align to selection option in the align palette.

Step 1:

Select each anchor individually, and the LAST anchor you select will automatically be your “key anchor.”

Each anchor selected

Step 2:

First, make sure that “Align to Key Anchor” is active in the Align palette (it should happen automatically when manually selecting points), and then hit the “Vertical Align Center” button.

Align to key anchor

Step 3:

Done. You'll notice that the last anchor we selected didn't move at all. All of the other points wore aligned to match the key anchor's vertical location. Like I said, this probably won't be something you use every day, but it is good to know. 🙂

Finished. The last anchor selected did not move.