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In many cases I would like to distribute objects within a specific region. For example, I might want to have items equally distributed inside of a rectangle. How can I do this?

I tried selecting all the items and the rectangle, then choosing "Selection" area as the relative distribution context, but it did not work.

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You can add a couple of dummy objects to mark the outermost limits for distribution.

For example, in order to distribute the black circles within the red rectangle, I added 2 blue rectangles and snapped them to the outside of the red rectangle.

Red rectangle with 5 randomly placed black circles, and then 5 equally distributed black circles

Then you select all your inner objects, plus the 2 outside dummy objects, and distribute them at will.

Take care with stroke widths and snapping options, since object distribution is always with respect to bounding boxes (not to object nodes).

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