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The rectangles below have been grouped together by me. I realized that I probably should have aligned them before grouping them. I'm wondering if there is a way to align them (to their top edge) within their group.

enter image description here

Also, after I am done with the alignment, is there a way to "expand" or "transform" these rectangular objects until they are the same width, and aligned on the bottom side? They are very close, but could be a few pixels off here and there. I am just curious if there is such a workflow for aligning and expanding objects as necessary to that they are "flush" with the alignment plane.

Illustrator knows where the boundaries of these planes are. Take this selected object for example: enter image description here

It clearly knows the outermost boundary points in the object to make a rectangle.

  • note: i may split this quesiton into two, but stackexchange is only letting me ask one question in 5 minutes so i have to wait for a bit to split. – user391339 Sep 14 '14 at 22:05
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    You can double click a group with the selection tool to enter isolation mode, in which you can align objects without having to ungroup. – Joonas Sep 14 '14 at 22:12
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You can select all the paths you want to be equalized with the white arrow selection tool.

Then go in the menu "Object", then "Path" and then select "Average".

There you will see the window as shown on my screenshot below. You will be able to choose if you want to make them equal horizontally, vertically or join them. In your case, you want to select the "horizontal" axis. It will align all the corners you selected to be equal.

Now this is an option to make points/paths equal with other points you select BUT if the size of your rectangles matters, note that it will change the size slightly as it will move your paths and equalize them to an average position you cannot really configure. It's still a good way to quickly fix that kind of issue!

How to align paths in Adobe Illustrator horizontally and vertically

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Actually you asked three questions. The first is about dealing with grouped objects.

There are two ways.

1) Double Click the group to get in to the group and align the objects. 2) Ungroup the objects, align and regroup them.

The second questions is regarding make all the objects the same width. You have to manually select the objects and change their width one by one.

Alternatively, you can find some script online, but illustrator by default doesn't give you such functionality.

Regarding aligning the anchor points of the objects. You can select vertical or horizontal anchor points or either side at a time and use Alignment Panel (or use Average command from context menu).

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