TL;DR I want my pattern to be centered with the (dashed) outer circle, but I want the text to stay at the same position in correlation with the pattern/circle.

enter image description here

I want the pattern to be centered to the outer circle, but whilst keeping the text at the same distance in correlation with the pattern circle. (almost like a key object - but within a group) so that it will move the text with the shape, but not consider it in the equation while aligning.

This can apply not just to text, but any "other object" to be left out of the equation.

(I do not want to be remaking the shape or measuring and manually replacing the other object)

  • Having a hard time figuring out what's being asked. Keep relation between center ball and text, but center the pattern ball within the outer circle? Is there more to it than that?
    – Scott
    Feb 9, 2018 at 6:32
  • @Scott yes, that's it
    – Welz
    Feb 9, 2018 at 11:43
  • would it be a problem to use the logo as key object and rather than centering the logo within the circle, to do it the other way round and center the circle to the logo?
    – CrazyQwert
    Feb 9, 2018 at 13:46
  • @CrazyQwertCra if I do that... the text gets out of place.
    – Welz
    Feb 9, 2018 at 13:53

4 Answers 4


Assuming the pattern ball is a group. This is fairly straight-forward, unless there's some aspect I'm not seeing. The Pattern ball and type need to not be grouped.

  • Align Pattern ball and text as desired.
  • Using the Selection Tool (black arrow), select the pattern ball and the outer circle
  • (Still with the Selection tool) click the pattern ball again. It should highlight additionally indicating the key object
  • Click the alignment options you want. The outer circle will align with the pattern ball. the text and pattern ball won't move at all. Only that outer circle will move.
  • I have no clue why/how I missed this. [embarrassed]
    – Welz
    Feb 9, 2018 at 20:18
  • @WELZ if you had the pattern ball and the text grouped, then things operate a bit differently making them both the key object. So it's kind of common to overlook grouping in some cases. I do it often.. and yes.. I facepalm when I realize its merely the grouping that needs changed, at least temporarily.
    – Scott
    Feb 9, 2018 at 21:56

There's a shorter way but without using the align buttons. Could be placing guides right in the middle of the big circle, then doing the same on the smaller one and make them match. Software wont align the circles if you're grouping them with other objects. enter image description here

  • Why bother with the guide? Why not just use the object center?
    – joojaa
    Feb 9, 2018 at 12:40

If by aligning you mean centering, so both circles are concentric, what I would do in this case is copying the pattern and text as they are and put them on a side so you keep them safe. Then I would ungroup the ones that are still in the outer circle and erase the letters, so now you have just the circle pattern. Now you can align both circles either vertical and horizontal ways so is concentric with the outer circle. When done I would just put the copy of both text and pattern, manually, over the pattern matching the circles. After that just arrange the grouped items sending them to the back so you can delete the circle you used for the trick.Hope it helps!

  • That is what I currently do... I'm looking for a simpler/ easier method. Thanks for your answer though.
    – Welz
    Feb 8, 2018 at 23:11

Use Transform Effect

  • Group your icon and other object.


  • Add a Transform effect to the other object. This way you can translate and rotate the other object without affecting its true position.


  • Centering works as you ask for.

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