View Full Version : Align & Distribution Tool Tips

07-07-2014, 10:22 PM
Here's a quick example on how to use the align and distribute tools. We'll shortly have a video tutorial on this subject on our Youtube channel www.youtube.com/neckdiagrams

As always more detail can be found in the Help Contents, in this case it's under under Help>Help Contents>Neck Diagrams>Reference>Align / Match Size / Distribute

The align and distribution tools can be found at the top of interface, just to the right of the Scale Generator icon. They're greyed out until two or more fretboards are selected / in focus. There's a variety of different align options but each individual icon will present a pop up with a description of it's function when hovered.

In the screen shot below I have selected all four fretboards which can be achieved in several ways, but I held the SHIFT key whilst clicking each one individually. You'll notice the one to the far right has black handles and not white like the others, this is because it's the Master Object. That is, the other fretboards will align / match size or distribute relative to this object.


In the second screen shot I have selected the Align Top function to quickly align the top of the three fretboards on the left to the one on the right.


Another alternative to using the align tools is to use the guideline and / or the grid as shown in the final screen shot. Here I've simply clicked on the vertical ruler on the left to add a horizontal guideline which makes it easy to see if object are aligned. Of course you can have vertical guidelines too. Guidelines can also be dragged along the rules to different locations.


Hopefully this info about provides a good starting point in understanding how the align and distribute tools work and will aid your workflow.

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05-08-2015, 08:36 AM
This is very useful indeed,

but what would be even better is the ability to copy, paste, align, distribute or move grouped fretboards.

Currently I can copy paste, but the other functions aren't available (unless I missed something)

Typical application: creating a chord chart for a jazz song, in which one need the ability to create pages showing something like
- 16 x (2-chord per bar) bars
- 32 x (2-chord per bar) bars
- 16 x (4-chord per bar) bars
etc ...

Currently even creating a blank fretboard page like this is quite a bit of work with my current neck diagram expertise, just to have the fretboards nicely aligned.

05-08-2015, 12:46 PM
Hi mhch,

The commands work on the selection, and not relative to other things on the page.

Note that Distribute Horizontally/Vertically requires more than 2 things selected, as there's nothing to distribute otherwise - the start and end items stay in the same place and you need something in the middle to distribute evenly between the first & last!

I think the guidelines trick mentioned above should work for your scenario also - especially if you put vertical guides so the left edge of the first fretboards is always aligned. Then you can clone rows easily (CTRL+drag on Windows, ALT+drag on Macs, maintaining spacing and align via the guide line.

However, we're planning on adding the ability to create groups of objects in a future release, which I think might make things a bit easier for you as these tools could then be used on the groups!

09-27-2015, 10:50 AM
Note that Distribute Horizontally/Vertically requires more than 2 things selected, as there's nothing to distribute otherwise - the start and end items stay in the same place and you need something in the middle to distribute evenly between the first & last!

It would be great if you could distribute two objects relative to the page. Example: I am making two full fretboard diagrams on a custom 17" x 11" page. It would be handy to select both diagrams and be able to distribute vertically relative to the page, so there is an equal gap between the each diagram and the top and bottom edges. I can get it done with the rulers, but distributing relative to the page would be instant and no fuss. Graphics programs handle this by having a check box in the distribution controls that switches the distribution relative to the canvas rather than to just the objects.

09-27-2015, 02:28 PM

Yes, I use this frequently in Xara. We already have a ticket open to implement this in a future milestone. I'll add your comments to the ticket to give our devs an idea of what users are looking for.


09-27-2015, 02:37 PM
Thanks Dean. I am a new user. I tested the trial yesterday and it took very little time to wish I had tried this long ago. I quickly purchased pro and I am liking the program very much.

06-07-2016, 09:02 AM
can be save in pdf?

06-07-2016, 09:30 AM
can be save in pdf?

Hi there - if you mean can Neck Diagrams document be saved in PDF format, then Yes!!!. We have an 'Export as PDF' feature available in the the Pro version - http://www.neckdiagrams.com/buy

If you mean can the Align & Distribution walkthrough above be saved as PDF - it's basically taken from the Help Contents within Neck Diagrams. Just open ND and navigate to Help > Help Contents > Neck Diagrams > Reference > Align / Match Size / Distribute

I hope either of the above answers your question.