Position and align objects

When you drag an object, alignment guides appear automatically when the object aligns with another object, and disappear when you stop dragging. By default, these guides appear when the object’s center aligns with the center of another object, but you can change their behavior so that they appear when the objects’ edges align.

You can also add your own horizontal or vertical alignment guides, and place them anywhere on a page. These alignment guides do not appear and disappear as you drag objects, but remain visible while you’re working. You can also lock alignment guides to avoid inadvertently moving them as you work.

You can also align multiple objects relative to one another, or specify an object’s location using its x and y coordinates.

Add and modify alignment guides

Do any of the following:

  • Add an alignment guide: Click a ruler and drag an alignment guide to the page.

    If the rulers aren’t showing, choose Show Rulers from the View pop-up menu in the toolbar.

  • Remove an alignment guide: Drag it off the edge of the page.

  • Change the default behavior of automatic alignment guides: Choose iBooks Author > Preferences, click Rulers, and select an option:

    • Show guides at object center: Displays guides when an object’s center aligns with the center of another object.

    • Show guides at object edges: Displays guides when an object’s edges align with the edges of another object.

    • Show relative spacing: Displays the distance between three or more equidistant objects in a line.

    • Show relative sizes: Displays an object’s size relative to another object (height or width).

  • Lock the alignment guide positions: Choose View > Lock Guides. To allow the alignment guides to be repositioned, choose View > Unlock Guides.

  • Change the color of alignment guides: Choose iBooks Author > Preferences, click Rulers, click the Alignment Guides color well, and select a color in the Colors window.

Align objects relative to one another

  1. Click the object you want other objects to align with.

  2. Command-click the other objects you want to align.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Position objects so that they align with the first object: Choose Arrange > Align Objects > Option.

    • Space the objects evenly on the page: Choose Arrange > Distribute Objects > Option.

Position an object using its x and y coordinates

  1. Select the object you want to position on the page.

  2. If the Metrics inspector isn’t open, click Inspector in the toolbar and click the Metrics Inspector button.

  3. In the Position fields, enter x and y values (in ruler units).

    The x value is measured from the page’s left edge to the object’s upper-left corner.

    The y value is measured from the page’s top edge to the object’s upper-left corner.

    Object being dragged, and x and y coordinate values appearing in overlay

    If an object is rotated, the x and y coordinates refer to the current upper-left corner, not the original corner.

    If the object is a line, the Start coordinates refer to the first endpoint you created (or the upper-left endpoint, if you didn’t draw the line). If you later flip or rotate the line, the Start coordinates continue to refer to the original endpoint.

    Metrics inspector showing x and y coordinates for a line's endpoints

To change the units used in the rulers (from points to inches, for example), choose iBooks Author > Preferences, click Rulers, and choose an option from the Ruler Units pop-up menu.