This is lesson 2 in our series on how to space designs around the page equally in Silhouette Studio. If you haven’t read about method #1 using Snap to Grid, you can find that post here. Today, we’ll learn about using Snap to Guides.
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Before I show you this method, you should know that it is a feature in Designer Edition and above. To learn about what that is, see this post. I will tell you all day every day that Designer Edition is a good investment. You can purchase it by clicking this image and using the code 10OFF at check out (be sure you’re signed in so you see the spot to add the code).
Snap to Guides for equal spacing
In Method #1, I showed you how to use Snap to Grid so that you could move your designs around the page in set increments. But when you set up the grid, the horizontal and vertical lines are always the same distance apart. Let’s say you want the lines you see to be different distances. In that case, you can use guide lines. (For detailed information on creating guides, see this post.)
When you use the guide lines and move your object, as you get close to a guide the designs “snaps” to it. The outer edge of the bounding box lines up perfectly along that guide. A blue line indicates that it’s aligned to the guide.
To use this, you’ll need this setup–
- Turn OFF Snap to Grid.
- Show Grid is optional. It might be helpful when creating your guides, but it could be distracting. It’s up to you.
- Turn ON the Snap to Guides.
- Turn ON your ruler (also in Designer Edition and above only), as you pull guides out from the ruler.
- Show Guides should be ON by default as soon as you pull out a guideline. If for some reason it isn’t, turn it on.
Create a guide by putting your mouse in the ruler area and dragging it toward your virtual mat. The guides will show you their location on the page, so just make sure to space them apart by the same amount. Mine are 1.5″ apart vertically and 2.5″ horizontally. Now you can easily make copies and move them around the page set at equal spacing.
Here’s my filled page, with the guides turned off so it’s easier to see.
Pros of this method
- You can have different spacing in your horizontal and vertical lines.
- The design’s bounding box will rest at the guidelines with any copy/paste method you choose.
- It only snaps when you get the outer edge of the bounding box close to a guide, so you don’t have to snap it if you don’t want to.
- By using the arrow keys on your computer keyboard, you can also move it without it snapping.
- You can make any edge of the bounding box the one you snap.
- If you have several designs of different sizes, you can create the same amount of space between them. Here, I added guides based on each design, but then put a second guide to indicate my 1/2″ spacing. The right edge of the first flower is 1/2″ apart from the left edge of the second flower, and so forth.
Yes, I could do that with the Align option of Space Horizontally, but this way I can force the left side of the leftmost flower to a specific spot and vice versa on the right one.
- When using this with text, the software aligns the baseline of the letters, not the outside of the bounding box, along the guides. If you were to use Align Bottom, it would be the box itself. I find this really helpful when mixing fonts or using something like a bouncy brush font. This will be based on how the designer defined the baseline when they created the font.
Cons of this method
- It takes time to set up. It’s also harder to get accurate because you have to really pay attention to what location you put the guides. (It might involve some math).
- The guidelines are a feature in Designer Edition and up.
- You can only set up guidelines in increments of 1/16 (.625)”because you are placing them. In the grid, you can set any number you like because you can input the number.
- In order to get the shapes to snap to the exact top, bottom or side of the page, you have to create a guideline there. If you were using Snap to Grid instead, you wouldn’t have to do that as the edges of the page are part of the grid.
- As with Snap to Grid, your final set of shapes may not be centered on the page. You can select them all and then use the Center to Page icon to do that.
What happens when both Snap to Grid and Snap to Guides are on?
Let’s say you turn on your grid with 1″ spacing, but then add guidelines at locations that are not along the inch lines. And you have both Snap to Grid and Snap to Guides on. What happens then? How does the software choose which element to snap to? Snap to Grid overrides Snap to Guides.
In our next lesson in this series, I’ll show you how to use the Fill Page feature.