I have a rectangle that is 3.116” x 2.032”, that I want to arrange in a grid so that there is exactly .375” between each rectangle. Is there some quick and accurate way of doing this other than manually and using a calculator?

Answer

Yes. Use the Rectangle tool to create a rectangle on your page. Go to the Properties bar just above the work area and change the numbers in the Object size boxes (horizontal and vertical) to match your dimensions and click enter. Move this rectangle to the upper left corner of your page. Open the Transformations Docker (Windows/Dockers/Transformations/Position). The docker opens to the right of the workspace and provides a number of options for carrying out various functions, in this case manipulating a selected object. With the rectangle selected, type into the Horizontal Position box the exact width of the rectangle then click the plus sign in the numeric keypad and type in .375”. Make sure the Vertical Position box is set to zero, then click the Apply to Duplicate button. A new rectangle will appear to the right of the original one and will be exactly .375” from it. Continue to press the Apply to Duplicate button until you have the desired number of items in one row.

Next, select the entire row; then in the Position Boxes, make sure the Horizontal box is set to zero, then type in –2.032-.375 and click Apply to Duplicate and repeat until the correct number of rows is achieved. Depending on how the page is set up, the rows may land above or below, but either way they can all be selected and positioned properly on the page.

The secret here is to let Corel do the math. Most users understand that they can enter exact amounts into any number boxes and expect accuracy, but many may not be aware that simple (+,-) formulas can be added, letting Corel calculate the results. It is a very convenient feature.

Jim Sadler, Visual Identity and Communication; A&E columnist