Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm wondering if there's any tool or method that I can use to determine where the midpoint is between any two objects in Illustrator.

To give a simple example, say I have a simple rectangle at the top of my artboard, and another at the bottom.

Simple Example

How can I find the exact centre of the area between those two objects?

Additionally, how can I find relative central points, such the centre of the area between the central points of each object?

Despite the simple example, I would also like to be able to apply this method to finding the centre point between any two objects, of any shape and placed anywhere on the artboard.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

For general eyeballing it.....if you select both object, the bounding box encompasses both. Use the handled on the bounding box to place guides. There's your center point.

bounding guides

For precision, select the objects and note the W and H measurements in the Info Panel.

122.394 x 50.579 in this case

info

Select the top, leftmost object.
Then choose Object > Transform > Move.
Enter half those values in the fields or insert the equation
(122.394/2 - value divided by 2, Illustrator will do the math)
And click the Copy button

move

This will place a duplicate of the top left object. Now, the top-leftmost point in the copy is the exact center between the outer edges of the two objects.

And you can see below, eyeballing can get close, but the second method is much more exact.

center

Precision without the math....

Make certain you have the center points set to be visible in the Attributes Panel.

center point

Draw a random temporary item somewhere between the two objects. In the image below, the circle.

circle

Select all three shapes and click the Distribute Horizontal Centers then click the Distribute Vertical Centers buttons on the Control Bar.

control

The circle will be placed exactly at the center of the two objects. Therefore the center point on the circle is the exact center between the outer edges of the two objects.

circle center

If you want to find the center of the area between two objects, turn on Smart Guides View > Smart Guides and simply draw a rectangle the edge of the first shape to the edge of the second shape. The Smart Guides will help you snap to the edges. The center of the resulting rectangle is the center of the area between the objects.

animation

share|improve this answer
    
Eureka! The last method is what I'm looking for, but this covers everything. Nice! –  Dominic Sep 28 '13 at 21:12
add comment

A couple of simpler ways to get guides exactly between things. If you want a point instead (e.g. to read off co-ordinates), you can do the same using a single point from the pen tool instead of guides.

First...

  1. Unlock guides (View > Guides > [untick] Lock Guides)
  2. Make sure rulers are visible (View > Rulers > Show rulers)

Then...

...for exactly half way between two objects

Drag a guide down roughly between the objects. Select them all (including the guide), and from the Align window, Vertically distribute space (if there's no such option, "Show options" from the flyout menu). And/or horizontally for a horizontal guide.

enter image description here

...for exactly half way within the space taken up by two objects...

Group the two objects, drag down a guide, select the group and your guide. Click on the group again so it's marked solid blue (a 'key object'), then from the Align window use Vertical Align Center. And/or horizontally for a horizontal guide.

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.