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Move and align layers

You can move and align any layer or multiple layers using the Arrange tool. You can move layers around manually or enter specific coordinates of where exactly on the canvas you want your layer to be placed.

Move a layer
  1. Choose the Arrange tool by doing one of the following:
    • Click in the Tools sidebar.
    • Choose Tools > Arrange (from the Tools menu at the top of your screen).
    • Press the V key on your keyboard.
  2. Drag the layer on the canvas to move it.

When you move layers, they automatically snap to other layers on the canvas. You can press and hold the Command ⌘ key to temporarily disable snapping, or deselect the alignment guides in the View menu at the top of the screen to turn off snapping completely.

Move a layer incrementally
  1. Choose the Arrange tool by doing one of the following:
    • Click in the Tools sidebar.
    • Choose Tools > Arrange (from the Tools menu at the top of your screen).
    • Press the V key on your keyboard.
  2. Select the layer you'd like to position.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Move an object one pixel: Press an arrow key.
    • Move an object ten pixels: Press and hold the Shift ⇧ key while you press an arrow key.
Position a layer using x and y coordinates
  1. Choose the Arrange tool by doing one of the following:
    • Click in the Tools sidebar.
    • Choose Tools > Arrange (from the Tools menu at the top of your screen).
    • Press the V key on your keyboard.
  2. Select the layer you'd like to position.
  3. Enter x and y values in the Position fields.


    • The x value is measured from the left edge of the canvas to the object’s upper-left corner.

    • The y value is measured from the top edge of the canvas to the object’s upper-left corner.

    When you drag an object, its x and y coordinates are displayed.

    To change the units used for the x and y coordinates click the Position pop-up menu in the Tool Options pane and choose a different unit.

Align objects vertically or horizontally

You can align objects so they line up along a vertical or horizontal axis.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click Arrange in the Tools sidebar.
    • Choose Arrange > Align Objects (from the Arrange menu at the top of your screen).
  2. Select the layer you'd like to align. If one layer is selected, it aligns to the canvas. If two or more layers are selected, the layers align to the layer most in the direction you selected. For instance, if you align three layers to the left, the leftmost layer doesn’t move, and the other objects align to it.
  3. Click one of the alignment buttons below the layer order slider in the Tool Options pane or choose one of the alignment options:

    Top Edges: — aligns all your selected layers to the top edge of the topmost layer.

    Vertical Centers: — vertically moves all your selected layers to align them along one central horizontal axis.

    Bottom Edges: — aligns all your selected layers to the bottom edge of the bottommost layer.

    Left Edges: — aligns all your selected layers to the left edge of the leftmost layer.

    Horizontal Centers: — horizontally moves all your selected layers to align them along one central vertical axis.

    Right Edges: — aligns all your selected layers to the right edge of the rightmost layer.

Tip: You can also align objects to selections — for example, if you make a selection with the Rectangular Selection tool, any objects will align to the edges of the selection.

Equally distribute objects

Distributing layers lets you arrange them according to their edges or centers. For example, you can automatically space objects to set equal distances between every left edge.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click Arrange in the Tools sidebar.
    • Choose Arrange > Distribute Objects (from the Arrange menu at the top of your screen).
  2. Select three or more layers you’d like to equally space.
  3. Click one of the alignment buttons below the layer order slider in the Tool Options pane or choose one of the distribution options:

    Top Edges: — equally spaces any layers between the top and bottom selected layers according to their top edges.

    Vertical Centers: — equally spaces any layers between the top and bottom selected layers according to their vertical centers.

    Bottom Edges: — equally spaces any layers between the top and bottom selected layers according to their bottom edges.

    Left Edges: — equally spaces any layers between the leftmost and rightmost selected layers according to their left edges.

    Horizontal Centers: — equally spaces any layers between the leftmost and rightmost selected layers according to their horizontal centers.

    Right Edges: — equally spaces any layers between the leftmost and rightmost selected layers according to their right edges.

Pixelmator Pro User Guide