4 ways to align objects


Make sure that everything on your canvas is perfectly spaced by using the ruler and guidelines. Click the ruler icon to display the ruler, and then click anywhere on the ruler to create a guideline. Click and drag the guideline to place it exactly where you need it.

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In this video, we're going to show you 4 ways to align objects in BioRender, a very popular question we get.

The first is gridlines. Second is guidelines. Third is using the internal enable alignment function. And then the fourth is using the align feature.

So the first is relatively straightforward. You can think of gridlines as grid paper that you use to create graphs and we actually have this sort of grid paper overlay called a grid.

So going to the right hand side of the canvas here, you'll notice this sort of graph paper symbol. If you click that. You'll actually notice you get a nice overlay of a grid paper pattern. You can actually increase the size of those squares or decrease it as you see fit. And then, of course, you can start to align your objects according to that grid paper pattern.

Now the second way to align objects in BioRender is using guidelines. So I'm going to navigate over to our figure here. And for this to work, you're going to need the ruler to be visible. If it's not showing, it's probably because your ruler is hidden. Which you can do to save space. So just make sure that the ruler is turned on. And all you do is navigate to the ruler and start to click down where you want your guidelines to exist. Now, it doesn't have to be perfect, but just roughly lay down whereabouts you'd like your objects to line up to.

So I'm going to use those guidelines now as a marker for where to align my objects. So see, for example, the steps here in a protocol: now I can kind of guess roughly where I would like those objects to line up. There we go. So that's using guidelines. And of course, I can move the guidelines once I've laid them down and of course, they won't export with my figure. If I click export, they won't show up in the preview. As you can see, I can also hide them. So if I'd like to use them later. But I'd like to remove them for now, so I can hide them. Or of course, I can delete permanently. So I'm going to go ahead and hide the guidelines. And you can see here it looks much neater after I've used the guidelines to align the objects. So that's a second way to align objects in BioRender.

The third is enabling what we call the enable alignment function. So if you come up here to the view menu and you roll down to the enable alignment, what you'll notice is that the objects will start to auto align and snap into place. What also has happened is the sort of red and purple lines have appeared as I move the object around the canvas. Now, this is very helpful if I have repeating objects See, for example, this beaker, if I had three of them, I'm just alt dragging here to duplicate.

And you'll notice that as I move the beaker away and closer together, it's showing me the distance from the other beakers. So it kind of snaps into place assuming that it kind of knows roughly where I'd like to place it.

Now, some people find that it gets a little bit noisy with all of the lines appearing when you don't need it too. So again, the same thing goes for enable alignment, you can actually turn it off if you don't need it. And again, moving it now is going to be a little bit smoother. It won't snap into place, and your objects will move there. So that's a third way to align objects in BioRender. 

The fourth and final is simply using the align feature. The last but not least, and this is a very popular way to align objects again that are maybe repeating or appear in a row. So, see, I happen to have these steps and they were a little bit misaligned like so. How do I get them to sort of straighten up so that they're all in the same row? So what I would do is select all the objects like so simply by dragging my mouse across all the objects. Now they've all been selected. And I'm going to come up here to the align function and select whatever would be the most appropriate way to align the objects.

In this case, I'm going to try to center align them using the center align symbol. And you'll notice that it will center align all of the objects down the sort of horizontal axes. In this case, it's probably going to look better if I top align it. So it looks like it's this simple here and that looks a little bit more even, at least for my purposes here. If I navigate down here, I can do the same for this row.

Align and top align. There we go. Now the same thing goes for if I had again repeating objects like this, I could use the enable alignment function but in some cases, I can actually simply evenly distribute those objects across my canvas. So first, I'm going to select all the objects, come up to the align tool and in this case, it doesn't really matter because they're all the same size, so I could center distribute or top distribute, and it wouldn't really matter.

What would be helpful in this case is to sort of evenly distribute them across each other. So I'm going to use the distribute function below by clicking that. You'll notice that they're now perfectly distributed amongst each other - all six beakers. So this is a really helpful tool. Again, if you have repeating elements on your canvas and you want them to be evenly spaced. So those are the ways to align objects in BioRender, gridlines guidelines, enabling alignment, and using the align feature.

Due to continuous improvements in BioRender, the application may appear slightly different in some of our videos.
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