Distribute Objects with Custom Spacing in Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator allows us to align, distribute objects and spacing, even with custom or exact spacing defined in points, millimeters, centimeters, inches…

Align and Distribute Objects
To align, distribute objects or spacing you need first to open Align panel (Window > Align or memorable and easy to press shortcut Shift + F7) then to select all objects using Selection tool. With objects selected you can define key object simply by clicking on it with Selection tool (fat blue line around that object will appear). Next step is to ensure Align To: at the bottom right corner is set to Key Object (Key icon should appear). Now you can use Align and Distribute icons to align and distribute according to key object.
Define key object in Adobe Illustrator
Define key object in Adobe Illustrator

Distribute Spacing
At the bottom of Align panel is section Distribute Spacing section which can help you to evenly distribute spacing verticaly or horizontaly. When key object is set, text field on the right side at bottom will become active. In text field you can enter custom number in pt, px, mm, cm, or in (inches) to define custom spacing.
Enter value in text field to define custom spacing
Enter value in text field to define custom spacing

Distribute spacing with exact value in cm, mm,in, px, pt
With objects selected and key object defined enter value in text field, press Enter or Tab to confirm, then click either (or both) Vertical Distribute Space or Horizontal Distribute Space icon.
Distribute spacing in Adobe Illustrator
Distribute spacing in Adobe Illustrator
Real World Adobe Illustrator CS5

Illustrator / Moving, aligning, and distributing objects

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Illustrator CS5

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