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    How to Align Page Elements
    Topic posted November 17, 2011 by HenryBShutterfly Elite Master , last edited February 9, 2012
    2005 Views, 10 Comments
    How to Align Page Elements
    This posting shows how to use NCP tools to make alignments of page elements easy

    The All New Custom Path book provides the capability to create complicated page designs. It also provide tools to help align elements of a page. With a little patience and forethought, almost anything is possible. In this posting, I will attempt to show how some of the built in tools can be used in enhance the look of any book page.

    First, the tools are only available in the "Customize page" mode. Here's a screen shot of a simple page with a single photo and a single text box:

    With this simple design, I can easily align the two page elements by moving the text box until it aligns with the photo. As the edges align, blue lines will appear to help. They become a single line when the elements are aligned as shown here:

    If I add a third element such as an embellishment, this method can still work as shown here:

    However, the easier method is to select the three elements by holding down the "Ctrl" key and clicking on each element. Then, I use the "Align left edges" from the "Align" menu as shown here"

    As shown, the alignment is with the left edge of the text box, not the text which is in a middle alignment. However, if I modify the text to align left, I get the following:

    Similarly, I can use the "Align right edges" as shown here:

    Or the "Align centers",

    to get the effect I want. Just remember that the text in the text box has to have the appropriate justification in the box.

    Let's start with the following arrangement to show some of the other "Align" menu options:

    In this case, I select the photo and the embellishment only. Then, I choose the "Align top edges" to give the following:

    With the same 2 elements selected, I choose the "Align left edges" option to give the following:

    This is meant to show that multiple menu options can be applied to the selected elements to achieve specific results.

    To finish this example, I move the text box into the lower right corner. I can use the "Align bottom edges" if I like by selecting the photo and the text box:

    Please note that, when you select multiple page elements, they act as one and can seem difficult to separate. The best way I've found is to double click on an element to ensure it is selected so you can move it independently as shown here:

    Now, let's get more complicated by putting more embellishments on the page as shown here:

    To start, I'm going to select the letters "M I S T E R" and select the "Align top edges" as shown here:

    Although the letters are now aligned at the top, the spacing is different. Thus, with the letters still selected, I choose the "Even out horizontal spacing" option from the "Space" menu as shown here:

    Next, I add the letter "T" to the selection by holding down the "Ctrl" key can clicking on it. I then select the "Align middle" option as shown here:

    Even though the selections are different sizes, the works nicely. Finally, I use various selection combinations along with alignment and spacing tools to obtain the following:

    As mentioned above, selected elements behave as one element. Thus, it's possible to move them, resize them, or rotate them as a group as shown here:


    As a final note, be sure to click the "Apply Changes" button and return to the "Customize page" mode before using different or unfamiliar tools because you may not like the results. However, don't let this stop you from experimenting to see what can be done.

    Good luck and have fun!

    HenryB ( A Shutterfly user)



    • Joey

       GREAT & VERY helpful tips Henry!! I always wanted to try this but they were never never highlighted, so i figured i must have to do something else. I wish i would have seen this before i finished my last book. I like how you can align text to left or right. This is so helpful.

      I still get error messages asying the picture is too close to the edge. I used a pre-set template, so not sure why this is happening. I did ignore a few and I hope my book still turns out. Also I would get potentional misspelling of words, but when i clicked on the box - nothing was underlined!

      Thanks again for these amazing tips!!

    • Kathleen W.

      This is indeed very helpful!  I learned some of this through trial-and-error with my new book, but not all.   The sections about layering elements and aligning different subsets of elements in succession were particularly instructive.  Thanks for taking the time to do this, and including the screen shots!

    • Martin Allan

      Cool! Is there a way to align things relative to the page? E.g. to align a photo with the left edge of the page, and position it at the center of the page vertically?

      • HenryB

        Hi Martin,

        You can't use the align tools with a single picture. However, you can use the relative lines which show up in the "Customize page" mode as shown here:


        As you move the photo, the blue lines show up. As you drag the image down, you'll get a line when it's center aligns vertically with the page as shown above. You'll also get a line which matches the center of the photo and the horizontal alignment of the page as shown here:

        HenryB (A Shutterfly user)


        • Martin Allan

          Cool, thanks! That's pretty close to what I was hoping for.

          Is there a "snap to blue line" function, similar to what Adobe Illustrator or Microsoft Power Point have?

          • HenryB

            Not as far as I know.

            HenryB (A Shutterfly user)

            • Martin Allan

              OK. We can't zoom in for extra precision either, can we.

              • HenryB

                Not within the program. However, you can always use the Windows Magnifier if you use the Window O/S.

                You can also use the relative position from the edge which is displayed while you drag the picture and have the mouse clicked as shown here:

                HenryB (A Shutterfly user)


                • Martin Allan

                  Using the OS for zooming sounds like a smart idea...

                  I'm using a (slightly outdated) Mac.

                  Universal Access in System Preferences lets me enlarge everything: this helps some, but it's not ideal as it just enlarges every pixel, i.e. I don't get better resolution.

                  Firefox has a plugin for zooming, but I can't get Shutterfly to work in Firefox. (It asks me to "Please Wait" forever.)

                  Chrome has a very nice zoom feature, but it doesn't do anything on the Shutterlfy page where I edit my photo book.

                  Safari also has a zoom feature, but just like Chrome, it won't enlarge the page I need.


    • Joey

      Henry, i looked at this again and i don't think i have ever used the align or space tool. Makes more sense even viewing a 2nd time.


      Thanks again for always being so insightful & helpful.