InDesign: Aligning by nudging, despite fractional units

When aligning selected objects in InDesign, you can nudge them by pressing the arrow keys. In some cases it can be impossible to use the arrow keys to align two objects when either object’s position is a fractional unit, such as an X position of 124.582 points. If the second object is positioned at 124 or 124.839 points, nudging it won’t line it up with 124.582 points because each arrow key nudge is one whole point from its original position.

If you just want the two objects to line up with each other, and you don’t care what the numbers are, select both objects and use the align buttons, which you can find on the Align palette and the Control palette. If you want to get rid of the fractional units but still nudge with the arrow keys, try these other two methods:

  • To nudge to grid increments, enable View > Snap to Grid.
  • To nudge by a single whole unit of measure, first click in the X or Y field in the Control palette, and then press the up arrow and down arrow keys. When a number field is active in the Control palette, nudging snaps the field’s value to the nearest whole number.

Both techniques are slightly different ways to easily nudge object after object to the same absolute, non-fractional position.


  1. Thank you very much for going to the trouble of writing such a helpful post. It is exactly the information that I was searching for.

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