The alignment tool

How many times a day when working on layouts do you want to quickly check the alignment of two objects, but it isn’t worth setting up a guide or a ruler? Or the software just doesn’t have that capability? So you slide another open window over to see if things do line up nicely against an edge – for instance a column of numbers in Microsoft Word – but that’s a little clumsy.

Wouldn’t it be cool if the mouse pointer could sprout a line, vertical or horizontal that you could just move with the mouse to anywhere just for a quick check?

And what about if the line could be rotated to check any alignments. So you have two objects, one to the right and up a bit from the other but you want to check that they are the same height – you sprout your line from the mouse, rotate it to touch the bottom of each object, then slide it up and check that the tops align too. Simple.

And what if this feature was built in to the operating system rather than the application – then your line would cross the whole screen and you could check the size across two applications, neither of which need be aware of the feature!

So we’d need a key sequence to turn the line on and off, one to toggle between vertical and horizontal, and one to enable free rotating. Perhaps one to flip through a number of colour schemes and rendering methods to allow good contrast regardless of background.

Wouldn’t that be pretty useful?

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