I am creating a lot of small circles and then I tried to ditribute them evenly using the "Distribute Spacing" and then selecting on the "Align to Key Object" by selecting on one of the circles.

enter image description here

And once I cliked on the distribute, it did get distributed, but when I calculated the distance from the center of 1 circle to the next, the distance is not exactly .5mm, its slightly larger.

enter image description here

How would I go about making the distribute evenly from the center. I think that currently its distributing from the corner.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • Its not 5 mm between centers but 5mm bethween min and max boundingbox.
    – joojaa
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 19:03

2 Answers 2


If you need the spacing wirth respect to center, you can try this approach. I'm not sure of your exact dimensions of your circle, but I'm considering a circle of diameter 1 cm and I need a spacing of 2 cm from between their centers.

So what I'll do is:

2 cm - (2 * Radius of circle)

=> 2 cm - 2 * 0.5 cm = 1 cm

This 1 cm I'll use for distribution amount.

enter image description here

I've considered simplest dimensions and calculation here. If the radius of your circles is not random, I think you can try this approach.

  • 1
    Draw one... Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform... enter 5mm for vertical distance and enter # of copies.. hit Ok.. Expand.
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 8:19
  • 1
    @Scott yeah. I think you can add it as an answer.
    – Vikas
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 8:39
  • @Scott I think your answer is awesome! 👏 Really thank you! Please write this in the answer so that I can upvote it and mark it as answer. There is just one small thing with this is though, all the elements that get created are not different elements, they are linked to the first one. Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 12:29
  • 1
    @vika Your method is also not too bad but a bit complicated in the case of random diameter. And it doesn't seem like the "Illustrator" way. Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 12:30
  • @SankalpSingha you can use Scott's approach.
    – Vikas
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 12:32

The distribute functions will equalize space between the objects. Distribute won't give you a specific distance between objects unless you've carefully measure/divided the distance between the first and last object.

The Key Object really has little bearing on distribution distance. The Key Object won't be moved and all distribution will take place with that in mind.

Essentially the Distribute functions are not precision operations to gain a specified distance between objects in most instances.

If you require the objects to be the same and a specified distance apart here's a possible method to use...

  • Draw one circle
  • Select the circle with the Selection Tool (black arrow)
  • Choose Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform
  • Enter the distance you wish to have between circles in the Move: Vertical field
  • Enter the number of circles you wish to have in the Copies field
  • Click OK

You should then have the number of circles you want at the specified intervals

enter image description here

CS6 screenshot, but the dialog is pretty much the same in newer versions, it merely looks a bit different.

To gain access to each circle as a individual objects you can "bake in" the effect by selecting the first circle again (if it's not still selected) and then choose Object > Expand Appearance. This will create individual circles while removing the dynamic effect.

Another way is to...

  • Draw one object
  • Choose Object > Transform > Move and enter the distance desired
    (or double-click the Selection Tool [black arrow] in the toolbar)
  • Click the Copy button in the dialog window.
  • Then choose Object > Transform > Transform Again to repeat the copy/move
    (using the menu shortcut makes it faster --Command/Ctrl+d)

Just keep hitting the shortcut until you have the number of objects you want.

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