Align to Object

Is there a way to align to an object in Rhino? I can do this in Illustrator and this is frustrating me. Whenever I use the “Align” command and select “Vertical Align”, and choose both objects, it moves both objects. I only need the rectangle to move. I don’t need the vertical lines to move. Help is greatly appreciated!

Try the Distribute command.

use the gumball(aligned to object, with snappy dragging setting) drag the axis (in this case looks to by X) then toggle the between snap. I’ve created an alias for the between snap which makes it a little easier.


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How did you create the “alias” for the between snap? I’m not sure how you got the line to appear horizontally at the top of the two lines.

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Distribute command.
Select the three objects: line, square, line
Select XAxis option
Complete the command

The distribute command only distributes the spacing, it doesn’t center it. I want the rectangle to be between the two vertical lines.

i did not see that he mentioned between, my post was more or less obsolete.
well good question and useful to investigate, since i use between pretty often it was time to create one :slight_smile:

use for example B and enter _Between done. once a command has started just enter b it will recognize the alias.

Thanks for the help guys. While your solutions “work”, it’s still a pretty convoluted solution to an easy problem. It literally takes two hands and doing some ballet with the mouse to execute this task. I wish they would implement “align to object” like Illustrator and LightBurn (laser engraving software) does. Seems simple enough. Do you know if McNeel listens to suggestions on improving the software?

McNeel listens, but there are many more suggestions than they can accomodate so they have to be selective.


Did you get your alias figured out?

It may seems a little difficult at first but i can’t see an easier (less clicks) way of doing this – especially in 3D. Slide the axis, hit the short cut key and click 2 points. What advantage is there to what Illustrator and LightBurn does?


Interestingly enough, this drawing is in 2D only. I’m making guitar fretboards and cutting the inlay with the laser. I like Rhino for almost every aspect of drawing except this feature. In Illustrator or LightBurn, you can select an object, then select a second object (or group) and pick which object you want to align to. So it keeps one object stationary while aligning to it. This is obviously crucial with guitar frets as I don’t want them to move when centering an object. They need to be the stationary point.

What is the shortcut key? I’m on a Mac, by the way.

You have to create the shortcut yourself.

In the File>Properties>Aliases give it a key or two (i use BB) and ‘Between’ for the command macro

Note that SmartTrack is also enabled (which creates the white lines you see in the alignment demo)

Okay. So I’m still confused. You’re creating your own alias for a shortcut?

Yup! Rhino will do a lot of things while in the middle of a command. Such as Move then BB or distance for instance.

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Hello - Align > VerticalCenter and the Between OSnap is probably quickest.


Creating an alias is a good idea. Thanks for the hint!

The Distribute command with XAxis does center a rectangle between two vertical lines. A centered rectangle between two vertical has equal spaces on eiither side.

For an irregularly shaped object between two vertical lines Distribute with XAxis centers the bounding box of the irregularly shaped object.

Pascal, when I’ve done the Align command, this is what I get.

David, I was able to get it to distribute evenly between two vertical lines, but it wouldn’t then distribute it on the Y axis the same way. Not exactly sure why, but it simply raised the left line partially. See attached.

Hi Chris - sorry, I mean, select the box/rectangle only and just Align that with the Between Osnap.