How to Center an Object in Adobe Illustrator

Aligning objects in Adobe Illustrator makes your design clean and professional. Do you want to center it on the artboard or in relation to other objects? The different Align options will help you achieve this.

To center an object in Illustrator, go to Window > Align to open the Align panel. Then select the object(s) you want to align and use the Align panel tools or use the Smart Guides to manually center the objects.

My name is Rita. I have been using Adobe Illustrator for over five years. When I started learning Adobe Illustrator, I struggled to align objects in my design projects (phew!)

In this article, I will show you quick ways to center an object in Illustrator. Let’s get started. 

Key Takeaways 

  • The shortcut key for the Align panel is Shift + F7.
  • You can turn on auto-align in Adobe Illustrator by clicking on View > Smart Guides. Smart guides help you auto-align objects as you move them around in Illustrator.
  • There are two center-align options in the Align Panel; Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center

4 Steps to Center an Object in Adobe Illustrator

As I said earlier, where you want to center your object will determine the align option to use.

When you want to center an object in Illustrator, you can align it to the artboard or with other shapes. We will consider both situations in this tutorial.

Note: All screenshots used in this tutorial are from Adobe Illustrator CC Windows Versions. Mac and other versions may appear different. 

It takes a few seconds to a minute to center an object on an artboard in Illustrator. For example, let’s place this circle at the center of our artboard.

We will do this in four quick steps.

Step 1: Select the object.

Step 2: Open the align panel. Go to Window > Align or use the shortcut Shift + F7

Step 3: Click on Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center on the Align panel. 

Step 4: Change the Align options to Align to Artboard

The object is now at the center of the artboard.

How to Center Multiple Objects in Illustrator

You can align multiple objects in Illustrator in no time. This method comes in handy when designing brochures, infographics, etc. 

You can see that the shapes are displaced. Let’s align these shapes following the steps below. 

Step 1: Select all the objects.

Step 2: Click the center align options. In this case, we are going to select the Vertical Align Center. That is because we want to align the shapes vertically on a straight line.

Your shapes are now vertically aligned.

We can also use the Align to Key Object option to center the shapes.

Using this method, you have to choose a key object to which the other objects will align. The square is our key object in this situation.

Let’s now align the shapes using the square as the key object.

Select all the objects, go to the Align panel and select Align to Key Object, then click on the square. 

Notice the blue line around the square is thicker. That is because it is the key object.

Select Verticle Align Center from the align panel to vertically align other shapes to the square. 

If you want to align texts and shapes, select the text and the corresponding shape. Then select Horizontal Align Center

You can also center the shapes and texts on the artboard. Select the texts and shapes and group them. 

Go to the align panel and select Align to Artboard. Select Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center to place them in the center of the artboard.

Final Thoughts

Aligning your objects in Illustrator makes your design look clean. And it’s easy to do too.

When you want to center objects in Illustrator, select the object/objects and click Horizontal Align Center and Verticle Align Center. If you have multiple objects, select them and choose Align to Selection or Align to Key Object.

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