Creating an Auto Layout in CorelDraw
Help File – Autolayout
Level – Intermediate to Advanced
For anyone who has owned a rotary engraver the one feature that we miss when we go to CorelDraw is a simple auto layout.
What is Auto Layout? Well basically it is a command that was controlled by one key. When you pressed this key your text and or logos would automatically space themselves out on the engraving plate.
CorelDraw can do this put it lacks the one-keystroke approach that we had in our rotary engraving software.
In this tutorial we will show you how to create a couple of an Autolayout a couple of different ways.
Once we have created the Autolayout we will create a one-button hotkey to activate the Autolayout.
To do this we will need to create what is known as a Macro.
Using Just Text
First of all we need to create some text. Figure 1 shows the text that I will use. This text is artistic text not paragraph text.
Now I know that we can equally space this text out using the shape tool. But there are two problems with this technique. The first is that when you drag down the text it will only go down and not up. Secondly if we have a logo in our layout than it cannot be layout with the shape tool.
For this reason we need to break the text apart into separate lines. To do this requires that we select this group of text and go to ARRANGE | BREAK ARTISTIC TEXT APART – see figure 2.
Once we have broken our text apart each line of text is a separate line object. You should now be able to select each line individually. See Figure 3.
Now we need to create 2 guidelines on our page. One guideline needs to be placed at the top of our page and one guideline at the bottom of our page. These guidelines will signify our top margin and our bottom margin. Figure 4 shows the guidelines placed on our page. I have purposely made the top and the bottom guidelines at different distances from the edges of the page. The blue lines in the drawing indicate the guidelines.
The next step is to move the top text to the top guideline and the bottom text to the bottom guideline. This has been done in Figure 4.
Note: make sure that your text is centered horizontally if you want it in the center of the page.
Doing an Autolayout
Creating an Autolayout is easy. First of all you need to select all the text in your drawing that you want to include in the Autolayout.
Next go to ARRANGE | ALIGN AND DISTRIBUTE | ALIGN AND DISTRIBUTE – figure 5.
Figure 6 shows the Align and Distribute dialogue box come up. Note: the one nice thing about the “align and distribute” box is that it is not modal. Thus you can select text or objects while the box is active. So with all the text that you want to align selected, click on the “center” check box as per the red box in figure 6. As we want the distribution of objects to be based on the selected objects make sure that you have the “Extent of the Selection” checked. Now click on the “APPLY” button.
Figure 7 shows the text evenly spaced out between the two guidelines.
Note: instead of accessing the pull down menu commands you can use shift +A for distributing vertically and shift + P for distributing horizontally. Thanks to Jeff Harrison for the tip