How can I check the distance between two objects in px like in Figma or Adobe XD? I googled a bit but did not find any way to do this.

This is what I want to achieve.

In Figma. enter image description here As you can see, it displays the distance between two objects by holding the alt button.

In Illustrator. enter image description here

Is there any way to do it? Thanks :)

2 Answers 2


Smart Guides don't work like that in Illustrator.

You'd need to have at least two objects, then click and drag one to a third position. Note that the pixel distance will display only when the gaps are the same.

Here's an example

enter image description here

  • So there is no way to see the distance between exactly two objects? illustrator should have this feature.
    – Tr0jAn
    Aug 28, 2021 at 17:17
  • @Tr0jAn Well you could use other methods, for example guides, or a shape of known size which could be deleted afterwards. So, it's not right to say there is "no way". Perhaps it could be easier, and that would be nice, but I don't think it's fair to say it "should have this feature". Some people might not need it. I've never needed it myself for example. If you want to get something like this implemented, Adobe has a feature request page here
    – Billy Kerr
    Aug 29, 2021 at 0:26
  • Thanks for explaining :)
    – Tr0jAn
    Aug 29, 2021 at 4:41
  • @Tr0jAn well, figma is more for doing layout, illustrator is for illustrating. Having a function for gaps between boxes isn't as useful if all you have are random blobs or buch of lines. Indesign has this feature because its designed for layout. Having more and more features for layout makes illustrating harder. Illustrator defaults are even at this point overburdened making it hard to use illustrator for many tasks without turning snapping features off. Adding more would definotily make illustrator worse/or atleast illustrator team should recognize that snapping isnt a all or nothing thing
    – joojaa
    Aug 29, 2021 at 7:50
  • and finally decide to panelize the snapping options. In either case you (@Tr0jAn) try to use illustrator as figma. This wont generally work, every software will have different planned workflows. And while this makes it harder to change apps, it is genuinely a good thing. If all applications would be the same there would be no reason to use other apps. In fact there would just be one app vendor.
    – joojaa
    Aug 29, 2021 at 7:51

Illustrator does not have the ability to show dimension labels without the cumbersome task of creating them yourself. And even in so doing they would not adjust either their length or dimension number when the measured objects are moved relative to one another.

Illustrator is at it's base a vector drawing program. While it is extremely robust, it does not have every possible feature. Dimensioning is more in the realm of CAD programs and layout programs.

In the past when I have needed exact number spacing between objects or to know the exact spacing between existing objects I have used these different techniques-

One is to simply draw a line (or any shape) at the required spacing length and use it as a temporary spacing device to move your objects to. I usually will give it a magenta stroke so it is easily identifiable and can be deleted or hidden later.

Another way to have specific spacing between objects is to put the objects exactly next to each other and with the Selection Tool (Black Arrow) selected hit Enter. This brings up a dialog box into which specific numbers can be entered and the selected object can be either moved or copied. You can also move selected objects using the transform panel (Window> Transform) by adding or subtracting from the X and Y fields- the input boxes accept simple arithmetic (like xxx.xxx pts+100).

If you need to know the spacing between 2 objects that are other than horizontally or vertically spaced then draw a line between the 2 and look in the Transform Panel under the Line Properties and you can see it's exact length and angle.

Finally, there is a paid plug in for Illustrator called HotDoor CADTools which brings some CAD useability to Illustrator and, of course, the dimensioning you are wanting is included with that. (I have no affiliation with them)

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