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I am creating an animated sprite list in Adobe Illustrator. I finished creating the sprites and used the Horizontal/Vertical Distribute Center commands to distribute the objects equally in some area.

But, if the objects are spread too far apart, the Distribute Center tool leaves, albeit equal, much distance between the objects. The opposite is true: if the objects are too close then distributing them will just overlap them.

My question is, is there any tool that just puts objects side by side?

I imagine that this tool would work if the objects aren't even equal in size.

I have viewed this question and answer but it is not what I need.

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Help! One of the side effects of having Illustrator assign the distance between the objects is that when I animate the sprite according to the sprite sheet, the animation is broken. – Mzn Feb 15 '12 at 11:53
If you do this with 2 fresh new tables (rectangular grids) be sure to group the tables seperately first, otherwise the cells will start reacting on their own. – Kim Jul 14 '14 at 21:14
up vote 26 down vote accepted

You can align to a specific dimension (horizontal or vertical) using the "Distribute Spacing" selection in the "Align" tab.

enter image description here

Select the objects you want to distribute, single-click on one object to set it as the anchor object, and enter the amount you want them distributed. Click on either the distribute vertically or horizontally button.

You can also use this to place two objects exactly next to each other; just set your spacing to "0".

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Oh my, this answers the question perfectly. I have some objects on glow, is there a way to include these in the calculated image width/height? Because Illustrator doesn't take them into account if I set distance to zero and the glow overlaps. Please augment your answer with such information. Thanks a lot. – Mzn Feb 15 '12 at 15:37
Well, if you add the glow radius to the spacing it might solve that issue... – lawndartcatcher Feb 15 '12 at 16:57
yeah that's what I did. just one simple extra step :) +1 for follow up :D – Mzn Feb 15 '12 at 17:14
If the "Distribute Spacing" buttons are not there, then you must click in the top right corner of that little window and select "Show options". Then it will appear. – Alec Jacobson Jan 16 '14 at 21:34
This is not a good design by Adobe. Illustrator has Align Objects on the top of the interface as soon as the select tool is used so I looked and looked for Distribute Spacing there. Forgot about this extra panel... – Henrik Ekblom Oct 3 '14 at 16:49

Referring to align to key object: to determine the key object, select the first object, and then, while pressing the select button, selecting the second one, it will declare the first object as the key object, as referred to above. If you don't do this and select the 2 objects at the same time, it will not give you the option align to key object but align to key anchor and give a different result.

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