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Illustrator Quick Tip: Align to Key Anchor (point)

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.

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.”

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.

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. 🙂

I'm the editor-in-chief of I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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