Feature request: Distribute widgets by a specified margin


I run across the need for this constantly. I have a series of widgets arranged horizontally or vertically and I want them to have some consistent amount of space between them. I might have a vertical series of form fields that I want to be set 10px apart, or a row of tabs in a tab bar component where I want 24px between each tab. Or (and this happens literally every single day) I want my widgets to line up with zero space between.

In each of the above cases, I do the following:

  1. Select all the widgets I’m trying to lay out.
  2. Align them vertically or horizontally, based on the left- or top-most widget.
  3. Select all but the left or top widget and drag/move via keyboard until they are the correct distance apart (or congruent in the case of zero space, which by the way is very very difficult to discern sometimes).
  4. Continue this process until I’m done.
  5. Make some small change to one of those widgets that gets thing out of alignment.
  6. Start back at step 1 and repeat.

The Distribute tool allows something of a workaround here since you can use it to evenly spread your widgets out from first to last, and then check the distance between them. But this is a pretty fiddly process, especially in the case where you want your widgets lined up congruently (zero space between).

If we had a Distribute By X tool where X was a number of pixels you can enter (0 to n), this process would be a dream, and I’d spend a lot less going GRRRR. Please consider adding it.

RW from Chicago


I did want to mention that I am aware you can often get pretty close to this by setting the padding on your widgets to the intended margin between them, and then just lining them up congruently. But this doesn’t always work, especially when you are also using visible borders, and you still do have the issue where lining up with zero space between is an inexact process.

I also really appreciate the features that Axure has been adding to help this process along. I attached a screenshot where you get some popup badges when you have things lined up consistently, which are a great step along the way.