Tip 9 : Aligning and Spacing in Rapidstudio

We often want to create a collage of photo's as a page design. Most of the time we are not totally confident in creating this type of layout in Rapidstudio, as you have to be accurate in your aligning and spacing of pictures. In this tutorial I will be explaining how to create a collage of pictures on a page, as it covers most of the alignment and spacing topics.
I hope this tutorial will help you realise your design intent more accurately and efficiently.
You will probably start with a page layout something similar to this

We are going to start with top row of pictures. The following explanation only refers to the top row, we will be dealing with the rest of the images a bit later.

First of all we need to move the pictures next to each other horizontally to see if they will fit in the "Safe Area" of the page. In this example the pictures are too wide and overlap the safe area horizontally. Please note that you will have to leave a decent amount of space between the safe area and the frames of the images. Otherwise your book might look untidy if there is too little safe space.
We need the top images to have a uniform width, so that they look neat and ultimately fit onto the page. I clicked on the first image(master) and pressed the "CTRL" button and left clicked on the rest of the images to select them all.
You will see that the image I selected first has got blue dots on the edge, indicating this image as the "master" of the selected images. The other two images has got white dots around their edges.
I then "right-clicked" on my page to bring up the menu. I then clicked on "Make same size" and finally I selected "Width". This will resize my selection of images to the same width as the master.

I then needed to make the width of the images on the top row smaller(since they where going over the safe area), so I selected them all again. I then placed my cursor over one of the sides and dragged the side to a new width. This automatically updated the rest of the selection and all the images had the same, smaller width.
Now I placed the images on the utmost left and right hand side within the safe area. These to images will act like "posts" and the rest of the images will refer back to them.
Again I select the top row of images. I then "right-click" on the page, select "Spacing" and finally I select "Make horizontally equal". This will make the spacing equal between the images
I then made sure that ONE of my images are the right distance from the top safe area. I only want to move the image in a vertical position, as my horizontal spacing and position is perfect. I achieve this by selecting the image and press the up/down arrow key. Once I have moved it into the right position vertically, I selected the WHOLE row again, making sure that I select my master image first. I then right-clicked and choose the "Align" option followed by clicking on the "Tops". This aligns all the images in the row to the master's top postion, since you moved into the correct vertical position earlier.

Now that our top horizontal row's spacing and horizontal size is correct we need to start working on our vertical sizes and spacing. We are now only going to deal with the left vertical column, so if I refer to the column, its the left vertical column.
I start by selecting the entire column, making the top image my master. Once they are selected I "right-clicked" and left-clicked on the option "Make same size" and then "Both". This makes the entire column's image sizes identical.

I continued by aligning the left's of the column. At this stage I saw that I had too little vertical spacing. Therefore I selected my column and made the vertical image size smaller. Once I was happy with the size, I got the two image "posts" in the correct vertical height.(Posts refers to the top and bottom pictures that act as an reference when you make the spacing equal) I then made my vertical spacing equal.
The above steps are mentioned briefly, as it is the same process that I followed with the first row. Please refer back to the above steps of the row if you are unsure how to do follow the steps outlined in the previous paragraph.
As we can see in the below screen-shot, the left column and the top row has got the right size and spacing. What I am going to do next is resize the rest of the images on the page.

I then aligned the bottoms of each row to my column that i set up previously.
Once that was completed I aligned the left sides of the images to the top row which was set up previously.
The end result is neatly aligned collage of pictures, ready to be printed!


  1. hi Hannes

    thanks, the above tutorial was indeed very helpful!

    some questions though:

    - what is the minimum space between photos that will optimise the page’s printing area (area between safe areas / white space) in order to make the photos as big as possible, while not printing so close to each other that it looks like they're overlapping?
    - how do you measure the space between? I've been told that working on “View --> Print size (100%)” is a true reflection of the size, e.g. if you measure 5 mm between photos with a ruler on screen, it will print 5 mm between photos. please confirm?
    - why doesn’t “Right click on photo --> Properties --> changing e.g. width by typing 8 cm --> click OK” work? i.e. the only way I’ve managed to change a photo’s position and size is by dragging, as described in your tutorial


  2. Hi Louie,
    Thanks for the feedback, Hannes is not longer with RapidStudio, but I'll answer your questions.
    - Spacing between the photos is totally objective, you've got to decide what kind look you want the page to have. If the photos are quite clean and plain you can make them much larger without the page looking full or busy. If the pics themselves are busy, it might be better to give them some breathing room. Putting a thin border (1mm or 0.5mm) on might also help let you increase their size without making the page feel too full. I guess what I'm saying it it's up to you as a designer to decide how to keep the feeling or mood of the book consistent and clear.
    - unfortunately there isn't a way to measure the space between photos. If you want to do it by the math, you can always take the horizontal start position of the first image, add the width of the image and then subtract that from the horizontal start position of the second image? Bit this is a lot of head work, I would go with the feeling of the page, what looks and feels appropriate. The zoom level is by no means accurate. the software doesn't know the physical size and pixel size of your monitor. Plug in a bigger or smaller monitor and you'll get a different result. if you adjust the zoom till a photo on the screen measures correctly with a ruler according to its properties then it should be more-or-less accurate, but the zoom does happen in steps, so it would be fluke if you find a combination that fits and works.
    - the photo should change when you adjust the properties. It might be a bug in your version. Please mail us on info@rapidstudio.co.za and we'll investigate and see if we can resolve it.

    Kind Regards

    1. hi Steven

      thanks so much for the prompt reply, it did indeed answer all my questions.

      I'll send an email shortly to info@rapidstudio.co.za.

      Hopefully we can resolve the properties issue as it's quite frustrating to do e.g. bleeding with drag and drop - it takes forever to get the measurements right. also, being able to manually make changes to the properties will go a long way in simplifying your "head work" plan B suggestion as it will ensure accuracy in establishing post-photos and from there apply the tips for spacing and aligning.

      kind regards


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