How to Place Objects in Illustrator Using XY Coordinates

Written by marie clay
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How to Place Objects in Illustrator Using XY Coordinates
Vector images can be positioned by coordinate and then reconstructed mathematically when opened for viewing. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Adobe Illustrator is a powerful software for the development of vector graphics. Unlike rasterised images produced in Photoshop and other applications, vector images are based on mathematical functions and can be resized to any scale and still appear crisp and clear without any loss of quality. When inserting an object into Illustrator's canvas you may find using an XY coordinate system a more precise and refined method of positioning your items exactly where you want them displayed.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create or insert the object you want to place in Illustrator. Use a function in the "tools" window to create a shape or line or click "file" and "place," and then select an object on your computer to place in the work area.

  2. 2

    Click inside the box labelled "X" in the "control" toolbar at the top of the screen. Replace the present number with the distance from the left you want the object to appear.

  3. 3

    Click inside the box labelled "Y" in the "control" toolbar and replace the present number with the distance from the top you want the object to appear.

  4. 4

    Click the up or down arrow next to the "X" or "Y" values to adjust the value one whole number at a time and fine tune the position visually.

Tips and warnings

  • By default, Adobe Illustrator measures distance and size in points. If you are more familiar with pixel measurements, use the conversion chart via the link in the Resources section.

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