Diagramming Basics: Manage Object Layout

Once you are in the Lucidchart editor, you can easily add objects to your canvas by dragging them from the left panel and dropping them anywhere on the canvas. You can manage the layout of these objects using Lucidchart’s wide variety of arrangement tools. Read on to learn how to leverage these options to easily create an organized diagram.

When you move an object around your canvas, the object’s X and Y coordinates will display beneath it in the units specified in the page settings panel. You can use these coordinates as a guide to place the object in the proper position on the canvas.

x_and_y_coordinates.png

Grid lines are another great tool to facilitate the positioning of objects on the canvas. You can turn grid lines on and off in the page settings panel, and use the snap to grid feature to force objects to adhere to these lines. Learn more about grid lines in the Page and Document Settings article.

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Please note: Snap to grid is overridden if you right-click a shape and use the "arrange" or "align" options. 
When you drag a new object onto your canvas or move an existing object, blue guide lines will automatically appear to help you align it to other objects. If the edge of the object lines up with another object’s edge, dotted lines will appear between the two objects.

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Similarly, a straight blue line between two objects indicates that their centerpoints are in alignment.

centerpoint_line.png

If you place one object’s edge directly against another’s, a solid blue line will appear where the two edges meet.

shared_edges.png

Lucidchart will also help you arrange objects on your canvas by displaying measurements indicating the distance between two objects. These measurements will appear in blue along the guide lines between the objects, and their units will correspond to those specified in the page settings panel.
If you have two or more overlapping objects on your canvas, their arrangment will correspond to the order in which they were added, with the newest object at the front and the oldest at the back.

overlapping_objects.png

You can easily adjust this arrangement by right-clicking on one of the objects, hovering over “Arrange,” and selecting one of the following:

Bring to Front: Bring an object to the front of all overlapping objects.
Send to Back: Send an object to the back of all overlapping objects.
Bring Item Forward: Bring an object to the front of the object directly in front of it.
Send Item Backward: Send an object to the back of the object directly behind it.
With Lucidchart’s align and distribute shortcuts, you can easily reposition objects on the canvas so that they are aligned or evenly distributed. To apply these shortcuts, right-click on the object(s) you would like to reposition, hover over “Align” or “Distribute,” and select one of the following:

Align Objects Left/Right: Send a single object to the left or right of the canvas, or align a group of objects with the object in the group that is furthest left or right.
Align Objects Horizontally (Center): Send a single object to the horizontal midpoint of the canvas, or align a group of objects with the midpoint between the objects in the group furthest left and right.
Align Objects Top/Bottom: Send a single object to the top or bottom of the canvas, or align a group of objects with the object in the group that is closest to the top or bottom of the canvas.
Align Objects Vertically (Middle): Send a single object to the vertical midpoint of the canvas, or align a group of objects with the midpoint between the objects in the group closest to the top and bottom of the canvas.

Distribute Horizontally/Vertically: Spread a group of objects evenly out between the objects in the group furthest left and right.
Distribute Vertically: Spread a group of objects evenly out between the objects in the group closest to the top and the bottom of the canvas.


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