How to Center Object in Illustrator: Quick Guide

By Tata Rossi 11 days ago, Software Reviews

If you are a beginner designer, you should definitely learn how to center object in Illustrator to work with complex illustrations consisting of multiple surfaces or design an interface. I have described 3 methods of how to center objects by snapping to individual surfaces, such as a selected block.

Method 1. Automatic Alignment

You can use this method to create simple illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, if you have to manipulate only 2 objects and work on one surface. For example, these can be independent objects on a colored background, demonstrating or narrating something.

STEP 1. Add a New File and Create Custom Shapes

create custom shapes to center object illustrator

Open the editor, go to “File → New File”. Create an empty document of the needed size and draw arbitrary shapes on it, using brushes or add ready-made shapes.

STEP 2. Select Desired Objects or Group

select desired objects or group to center object illustrator

Go to the field with layers. Add a mark opposite every shape that you want to place in the center as in the example. Thus, you’ll bind the next action to the selected object.

STEP 3. Align Selected Shapes Horizontally or Vertically

align selected to center object illustrator

Go to the section with tools on the top. Click “Window → Align” or use the “Shift + F7” keyboard shortcut to bring up the menu. Click "Align Center" horizontally and vertically in that menu.

Method 2. In Relation to The Working Surface

This method to center object in Illustrator is relevant if you create complex illustrations with individual surfaces. For example, you can center a car moving along the road.

STEP 1. Draw a Custom Shape and Select an Object or Group

select an object or group to center object illustrator

Create a new document in Adobe Illustrator. Add any object and select it in layers, as we did in the first method. Next, open the panel "Window → Align" or click "Shift + F7".

STEP 2. Aligning Objects in Relation to the Artboard

select aligning to artboard to center object illustrator

There will appear a new menu - select the “Align to Artboard” tool located in the “Align To” line. This way, you can align both objects, or each of them separately.

Method 3. Using Hotkeys to Center Object Above Other

This method of how to center objects in Illustrator is useful if you create complex graphic objects that consist of many components. For example, it may be a complex scene of throwing a basketball into the basket.

STEP 1. Select the Needed Object

select the needed object to center object illustrator

After you’ve drawn or added ready-made shapes to a new document, select one object in layers, as shown in the example.

STEP 2. Align Selected Object above the Other

align selected object to center object illustrator

Go to the Artboard, select the shape that you just selected in the layers, hold down Shift + arrow key, drag your object over the other horizontally, as shown in the example. Do the same to align the object vertically.

If the program seems too confusing for you or it lacks some important features, you can examine the list of Adobe Illustrator alternatives, and choose the software that can fully satisfy your needs. In case you are satisfied with the toolkit and functionality of the program and want to master it further, make use of Adobe Illustrator tutorials available on the net.

Free Bonus Tools

illustrator fonts by fixthephoto

If you create complex graphic illustrations or even design interfaces, then you can take advantage of these free fonts, developed by the FixThePhoto design team. In just a few clicks, you will get ready-made professional fonts from fashion magazines or books to complement your designs.


  • • Why can't I align objects in Illustrator?

First of all, check whether Scale Strokes & Effects” and “Align To Pixel Grid” boxes inside the transform tool are UNCHECKED. This is the most frequent reason why you may have problems aligning objects in Illustrator.

  • • Is it possible to align objects in Illustrator without moving?

Select the objects you want to align and click the one you want to keep intact (without shift held).

This results in the object alignment “master”. Now you need to choose “align center”.

  • • I have none of the above-mentioned tools in Adobe Illustrator – what should I do?

Maybe, you are using an old version of the program, e.g., CS4. You need to visit an official website and update your program.

  • • Should I use Photoshop or Illustrator for creating graphic elements?

Illustrator has more tools for creating high-quality graphic designs, whether it is a picture for NFT or a graphical interface for an online site or mobile app. You can learn more about the pros and cons of every software, reading my Illustrator vs Photoshop review.