4.2. Align

Figure 14.117. The Align tool in toolbox

The Align tool in toolbox

The Align tool is useful to align the image layers with various image objects. When this tool is selected, the mouse pointer turns to a small hand. By clicking on an element of a layer in the image, you choose the layer which will be moved (with Shift + click, you can choose several layers to be aligned); this focused layer has small squares in corners and is called target. Various buttons in the dialog allow you to select how the layer will be moved. And you can select the image object (other layer, selection, path...) the selected layer will be aligned with.

4.2.1. Activating the Tool

You can activate the Align tool in several ways :

  • from the image-menu, through: ToolsTransform ToolsAlign,

  • by clicking on the tool icon: in the toolbox,

  • by using the Q keyboard shortcut.

4.2.2. Key modifiers (Defaults)

Shift

You can select several layers by holding Shift when clicking the layers.

[Tip] Tip

Sometimes it's easier to choose multiple layers using rubber-banding: click somewhere outside an imaginary rectangular region covering the layers you want to choose. Then drag out that region by moving the pointer, and release the mouse button. Now every layer, which is completely inside the dragged rectangle, is selected.

Note that now there is no target first item the selected layers can be aligned on.

4.2.3. Tool Options

Figure 14.118. Tool Options for the Align tool

Tool Options for the Align tool

Normally, tool options are displayed in a window attached under the Toolbox as soon as you activate a tool. If they are not, you can access them from the image menu bar through WindowsDockable WindowsTool Options which opens the option window of the selected tool.

Align
Relative to:

To reference the image object the layer will be aligned with.

  • First item: the first selected item when selecting multiple layers holding the Shift key. Note that there is no first item when you select multiple layers using rubber-banding.

  • Image: the image is used as alignment reference.

  • Selection: the selection is used as alignment reference.

  • Active layer: the active layer, in the layer dialog, is used as alignment reference.

  • Active Channel: the active channel is used as alignment reference.

  • Active Path: the active path is used as alignment reference.

Figure 14.119. Alignment References Examples

Alignment References Examples

An image with a selection, a text layer and an active layer. This layer is cropped to content.

Alignment References Examples

Image is the alignment reference. The Alignment References Examples (Align right edge of target) command has been used.


Figure 14.120. 

Selection is the alignment reference

Active layer is the alignment reference

Path is the alignment reference


Align buttons

These buttons become active when a target is selected.

  • : to align left edge of target with left edge of reference.

  • : to align center of target with center of reference horizontally.

  • : to align right edge of target with right edge of reference.

  • : to align top edge of target with top edge of reference.

  • : to align center of target with center of reference vertically.

  • : to align bottom edge of target with bottom edge of reference.

Distribute
Distribute buttons

These options are used when you have several targets and want to arrange them. targets are the layers selected with Shift + Click.

Note that Relative to options are active when using Distribute.

  • : to distribute left edges of targets with left edge of reference.

  • : to distribute centers of targets with center of reference horizontally.

  • : to distribute right edges of targets with right edge of reference.

  • : to distribute top edges of targets with top edge of reference.

  • : to distribute centers of targets with center of reference vertically.

  • : to distribute bottom edges of targets with bottom edge of reference.

  • : to distribute targets evenly in the horizontal.

  • : to distribute targets evenly in the vertical.

    Last both buttons ones are new in GIMP-2.10.

Offset

This offset can be positive or negative and is expressed in pixels. Distribute add it to the left edges, horizontal centers, right edges, top edges, vertical centers, or bottoms of targets.

Figure 14.121. Example for the Distribute commands

Example for the Distribute commands

Base image: three layers. Example for the Distribute commands (Distribute right edges of targets) will be used.

Example for the Distribute commands
Active layer is yellow (reference). Offset = 0: all layers are aligned on the the right edge of the yellow layer.
Example for the Distribute commands
Active layer is yellow. Offset = 10:

4.2.4.  A practical example

Figure 14.122. Origin

Origin
Four text layers, with same size. We want to align them at center of image.


      

Origin

We select them as targets with Shift + Click.

Origin

Alignment reference (Relative to) is Image. Offset = 0. We used the Origin (Distribute vertical centers of targets) command.

Origin

After using the Origin(Distribute targets evenly in the horizontal) with offset = 5.


4.2.5. Align using the rubber-band box

Figure 14.123. Align using rubber-band box

Align using rubber-band box

We clicked left from and above the red layer, and dragged out a region covering the red and the yellow layer by moving the pointer towards the bottom right corner.

Align using rubber-band box

Selection is the reference. After a click on the Align using rubber-band box button, both layers align with the left side of the selection.