Graphic design is all about precision. Whether it’s perfectly centering a book title, aligning vector graphics, or creating balance between a multitude of layers, it takes more than just “eye-balling it” to get precise placement. That’s why professional designers rely on snap lines to help them get the job done.
If you’ve never heard the term before, snap lines refer to the lines that appear when you’re moving layers around your design canvas. For example, when you’re trying to perfectly center a layer in BeFunky, a cross of snap lines appears to indicate when your layer is dead center on the background canvas (like the picture shown above). While the way we’ve shown snap lines in the past has been helpful, we’ve tremendously improved the functionality and settings of our snap lines so that you can design like a true professional!
Your New And Improved Snap Lines
When we say we’ve improved the snap lines in BeFunky, we’re talking professional-level changes. Things like displaying the distance in pixels between layers, snap-gap indicators to show you when there’s a flawlessly equal gap between layers, and so much more. Here’s everything you need to know about your new and improved snap lines:
Snap Lines For Scaling Graphics
Resizing (or scaling) a layer is as simple as clicking and dragging the blue circles around it. Now, when you’re trying to perfectly scale the layer to match the size or coordinates of other layers, snap lines will appear when you’ve got things perfectly aligned.
That means no more guessing whether or not your layers match up size-wise in the scaling process!
Snap Gap Indicator
When you’re moving multiple layers around your design canvas, you may run into instances where you need a layer equal distance between those other layers. In the past, this would have been a guessing game, but now when you’re moving a layer in between other layers, a purple snap gap will appear to show you when you’ve achieved equal distance.
Not only this, but if you enable Display Distances, the snap gap will also show the exact amount of pixels between those layers (indicated by purple numbers in the middle of the snap gaps), so you can be more meticulous in your layer placement than ever.
Precise Pixel Measurements
Any time these new blue and purple snap lines appear, it means you’ve aligned your layers in some way. That could mean the edges line up between layers or the design canvas itself. You’ll now notice that if you enable Display Distances, numbers appear along with the snap lines to show the pixel distance between all of the coordinates.
Just like building anything, measurements are ultra-important in creating balanced graphic designs. With the new displayed pixel distances, you can rest assured that all of your design elements (whether it be text boxes, graphics, or image layers) are placed in perfect harmony.
Speaking of precise pixel measurements, there are a few keyboard shortcuts you'll want to know about when it comes to perfectly placing your layers. First, by selecting any layer and holding down the Option (or Alt) key on your keyboard, you'll be able to see all of the pixel distances that are directly related to your layer. Keep in mind that you'll need to make sure Display Distances is enabled (instructions on that below) for the Option key shortcut.
Second, any time you've got a layer selected and want to reposition it in the tiniest increments possible, simply use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move it up, down, left, or right.
Relevant Snap Lines
Our previous snap line system showed the lines spanning the entire screen. But to keep things more organized for you, snap lines will only appear to show the distance between relevant layers.
Turn Snap Lines On And Off
These new snap lines are amazing for design, but what happens if you find them distracting? You now have total control over whether or not the snap lines and/or pixel distances are displayed, so if you ever find yourself wanting to turn them off, simply click on the Alignment icon in the left side of the bottom toolbar.
This will bring up an Alignment menu where you can enable and disable Snapping and Display Distances. Enabling Snapping will allow you to see the snap lines as you design with layers, and enabling Display Distances will allow you to see the pixel distance numbers in addition to the snap lines. Feel free to adjust these settings to your liking at any point in your creative process.
We’re so excited for you to be able to design with freedom and precision! These snap line options are going to help you up your creative game for sure. Whether you’re editing a photo, creating a collage, or designing anything with layers, you’ll have the guidance of these improved snap lines to make you feel a whole lot more confident!