I'd like to align objects such that a single anchor point in each object are aligned, dragging the rest of each object with them. For example, going from this:

enter image description here

To this:

enter image description here

I've eyeballed it here to illustrate, but is there a way to accomplish this accurately?

4 Answers 4


The easiest way to do it in my opinion is illustrated below.

  1. Take your original shapes, and add those lines to it.

  2. Draw a box, centred about that line. Make sure it's wider than the original shape. Group the box, line, and outline.

  3. Select the shapes and click the vertical align button.

  4. Delete extra shapes as necessary.

Align Problem

  • I wish I had thought of this. Clever!
    – Evan
    Feb 21, 2017 at 19:40

Make sure you have smart guides and snap to pixels enabled. Then drag a guide from rulers (if not visible hit CTRL+R) into the scene to align on one of the points. Select the object and start dragging with the direct selection tool (white arrow) from the corner point while holding down the SHIFT key, until it snaps to your guide.


Another way is to first construct the objects along the same vertical guide (see image) and then rotate by anchor points. When you select an object, hit the R key to choose the rotate tool, then click a corner of the object touching the guide (see where it says anchor in the image below). This locks the rotation around that specific point, instead of the object center. So you rotate while keeping that corner locked in place (see video for more tricks).

note: similar to @joojaa's answer, but in reversed order

enter image description here

  1. Select top anchor with direct selection tool (A) and copy (CTRL+C)
  2. Select hole object with selection tool (V) and lock it (Ctrl+2)
  3. Past in front (Ctrl+F) of your previous copy anchor and eliminate other two anchor associate with top anchor
  4. Please don't forget to active smart guides (Ctrl+U) and snap to point (Ctrl+Alt+"). If you hide bounding box (Ctrl+Shift+B) it's very good but not necessary.
  5. Now select and drug your object with pressing "Ctrl" then you can see smart guides show align reference to your targeted top single anchor.
  6. After alignment please delete single anchor and unlock your object.

I hope in this way you can align any object to any anchor point. Thanks

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