If i draw a rectangle shape and a circle shape. Is there a way to find the absolute center point of the rectangle shape (x and y) and put the circle shape right in the center?

I can freely move the circle inside the rectangle but I don't know where the center of the rectangle is.

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4 Answers 4


One way is to use the Align Panel (Window> Align).

Select both objects.

Click again on the rectangle to make it the "Key Object" the other object(s) will align to. It will show with a larger blue outline.

In the Align Panel click Horizontal Align Center and then Vertical Align Center.

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  1. In the main menu, click View, and make sure Smart Guides are enabled. Or Ctrl/Cmd+U toggles Smart Guides on/off.
  2. Drag and drop the circle away from the shape
  3. Click and drag the circle onto the rectangle, and drop it when "Center" appears

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Alternatively, select both shapes, open the Align panel Shift+F7, and click on the horizontal and vertical align center buttons.

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To add to the existing answers, you can find and edit the X and Y values of a specific object (or group) by selecting the object (or group) and looking at the Main Menu → Window → Transform panel.

Using this method you can actually type in the X and Y value by hand, to make sure multiple objects are always centered to the same specific (X,Y) pair.

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While the main methods are covered already lets add them all.

  • Use alignment panel (Window → Align) and align to key object horizontally and vertically. (See answer by Kyle)

  • Use of smart guides should suggest center. If you have smart guides on and you haven't changed the defaults. (See answer by Kerr)

  • You can use the transform panel to copy the location of center (See answer by Lucian)

  • You can make the bounding box center visible for the object rectangle in the extended attributes panel if its not visible. This should allow point snapping even if you dont have smart guides on.

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  • You can use the direct selection tool to copy and paste 2 edges on top of the object and rotate then 90 degrees with rotate each. The benefit of this is that it will find the center for things that are NOT centered on the bounding box like a triangle for example, but this works fine for a box also.

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