Align and distribute diagram elements

Visual Paradigm supports two types of positioning features: alignment and distribution which allow the positioning of selected shapes in accordance with the alignment/ distribution option through the toolbar or grouping resource icons. Alignment refers to the edges and the centers of selected shapes are aligned to each other while distribution refers to selected shapes are distributed in the same direction based on their centers or edges.

Aligning diagram elements

Select a few model elements with the mouse on the diagram pane before executing alignment.

Selected shapes
Selected shapes

Through Toolbar

  1. Select Diagram > Alignment and then an alignment option from the toolbar.
  2. As a result, the alignment of all selected shapes is based on the last selected shape. Note that the last selected shape refers to the shape with no-filled selector.
    Shapes are aligned
    Shapes are aligned
  3. For turning the non-selected shape into the last selected shape, click a shape with pressing Ctrl key.
    Change the last selected shape
    Change the last selected shape

Through grouping resource icons

  1. When move the mouse over one of the selected shapes, grouping resource icons will be shown.
  2. Select an alignment option from the drop-down menu of Align Top on the grouping resource icons.
    Select Align Left on resources
    Select Align Left on resources
  3. As a result, all selected shapes are aligned in accordance with the last selected shape.
    Shapes are aligned
    Shapes are aligned

Setting model elements same width and height

Besides aligning the shapes, shapes can also be resized through the toolbar, grouping resource icons or Align Shapes Dialog.

Through toolbar

Select Diagram > Alignment and an alignment option from the toolbar.

As a result, the shapes are resized.

Shapes are resized
Shapes are resized

Through grouping resources

Select an option from the drop-down menu of the Same Width on grouping resource icons after select a few shapes on the diagram pane.

Resize through grouping resources
Resize through grouping resources

Through align shapes dialog

After select a few shapes on the diagram pane, select Diagram > Alignment > Align Shapes... from the toolbar to unfold Align Shapes Dialog. You can select an option by clicking the option button directly.

Align Shapes Dialog
Align Shapes Dialog

Distributing diagram elements

In addition, model elements can be distributed in various directions through Distribute Shapes Dialog, the toolbar or grouping resource icons.

Through Distribute Shapes Dialog

After select a few shapes on the diagram pane, select Diagram > Distribution > Distribute Shapes... from the toolbar to unfold Distribute Shapes Dialog. You can select an option by clicking the option button directly.

Distribute Shapes Dialog
Distribute Shapes Dialog

Through toolbar

Select Diagram > Distribution and then select an distribution option from the toolbar after select a few shapes on the diagram pane.

Through grouping resource icons

Select a distribution option from the drop-down menu of Distribute Horizontally on grouping resource icons after select a few shapes on the diagram pane.

Distribute shapes on grouping resource icons
Distribute shapes on grouping resource icons

Related Resources

The following resources may help you to learn more about the topic discussed in this page.

 
9. Pinning connector ends Table of Contents 11. Adjusting caption's position and angle in BPD
 

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