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Position objects precisely

Microsoft Expression Design lets you work both in a freeform manner (moving objects around until they look right) and in a precise, methodical manner (positioning or moving objects in or to exact locations).

You can move selected objects in small, precise increments by nudging them with the arrow keys on your keyboard, or by using the mouse while holding down the SHIFT key for precise vertical or horizontal alignment.

To move an object using the arrow keys

  1. Select an object.

  2. Press an arrow key to move the object one step in that direction.

To move an object using the mouse

  1. Select an object.

  2. Click the mouse, and begin to drag the object horizontally or vertically. Once you begin to move the object, click SHIFT to keep the precise vertical or horizontal alignment. For example, if your object is positioned one inch from the left edge of the layer, you can move the object up or down while keeping the object positioned one inch from the left edge.

The size of the step is determined in the Options dialog box, in the Units and Grids panel, in the Nudge increment field. Hold down the SHIFT key when pressing an arrow key to move the object by ten times the set amount, or hold down the CTRL key to move it by 1/10 the set amount (unless the Nudge increment has been set to 0).

You can also use the Action Bar to position any object or group of objects.

To move an object using the Action Bar

  1. Select an object or group of objects.

  2. On the left side of the Action Bar, click the registration point Cc294851.be82a820-b5c5-486c-a15a-092947c5fa3e(en-us,Expression.30).png icon to indicate which part of the selected object you want to stay stationary during moving. For example, if you want the lower-left corner of your object to remain in place when the rest of the object scales, click the lower-left corner of the registration point icon.

  3. Adjust the X (horizontal position) and/or Y (vertical position) sliders by dragging them, or click to enter a numeric value.

To move the object by a specific amount (instead of specifying a position on the page), on the Action Bar, click the Transform options icon Cc294851.580a6978-9a74-422a-b48e-61739a9087b7(en-us,Expression.30).png, and then click Relative Transform. For example, you might do this if you want to position an object exactly 15 pixels farther to the right.

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