I have a set number of elements on a coordinate plane. I want to proportionately increase the spacing between them in the X axis by say 20%, without warping their shape in the x dimension; the spacing isn't equal so I cannot use the distribute options in the Align panel. How do I do that?

  • Perhaps Windows -> Align, Disribute Objects Horizontally? Then you control the spacing by moving the first and last object of the group Aug 23, 2016 at 20:02
  • see my reply below: I need the currently unequal spacing between objects preserved, just changed by a set %. Basically like what would happen if I highlighted them all and dragged horizontally, but I don't want the objects themselves changed just their spacing. Aug 26, 2016 at 21:55

3 Answers 3


Try this:

  • Select your initial objects and then right click > transform > scale.
  • Select "non-uniform" and enter 200% for horizontal and 100% for vertical, hit OK.
  • Now right click again and choose transform > "transform each". Set your horizontal to 50% and keep the vertical at 100%, hit OK.

The space between the center points of your objects has increased 200% while the initial size of the objects is retained.

This is not the same thing as the absolute space from edge to edge of each object being scaled at 200% but it may get you the result you are looking for. Also, this example uses 200% (double size) and 50% (half size) because they are the easiest to work with but the same can be done for other scales. For instance, scale objects 125% (a 25% increase to size) and then return to them to their original size by scaling at 80%.

  • This works well. I used this method to re-space +50 objects already organically laid out, each with particular and unique spacing. It was an "explosion" formation, and the overall form was good, but needed to be spaced out more without affecting the object size.
    – Kalnode
    Dec 3, 2018 at 17:33

You would use Window > Align > Distribute Spacing
If you don't see Distribute Spacing option, choose Show Options in the Align panel window menu located in the upper right of the panel window.

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Select the objects you wish to space or re-space by a specified amount.

Click Align To: > Align to Key Qbject in the drop-down menu.

Specify the amount of space desired in the Distribute Spacing Box.

Select the desired Key Object you want to use from among the objects.

Click the Distribute Spacing > Horizontal Distribute Space button


  • When I use the distribute spacing option it does not change the current spacing by the desired amount, but rather spaces them all equally by the desired distance. If I have 15 objects with different spacing between them, and I just want to increase said spacing by say, double, while keeping their differences distributing spacing doesnt work. Aug 26, 2016 at 2:28
  • Could you post an image of what you want it to look like? I don't understand what your desired outcome is.
    – TCDesigner
    Sep 6, 2016 at 2:19

This might be done in steps in a workaround.

  1. After you have your objects distributed as you wish with desirable spacing, fill the spaces with placeholders that can be selected and globally resized by percent as you desire.
  2. Distribute the objects horizontally (or vertically) using their edges.
  3. Finally, delete the objects you used as "spacers" leaving the original figures you wanted to respace.

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