Align Objects: Horizontally / Vertically Are Reversed

Editing a form in Graphic Mode, the Align functions seem to be messed up:
“Align vertically” aligns objects horizontally and “Align horizontally” aligns vertically.

Hmm, I see what you mean, but on the other hand I’m not sure reversing the designations would be helpful either. The good news is that the icons correctly show the result of the operation.

Maybe there is some other terminology that could be used? My mind is blank at the moment…

How about Vertical Axis, Horizontal Axis and Both Axes? That would match the terminology of the other items, that talk about aligning edges. Or maybe it should be all plural – Vertical Axes, Horizontal Axes and Both Axes?

I regularly use a modern drawing progam, Sketch, which treats the alignment vertically and horizontally the opposite of Panorama; and I always think it is wrong Besides, Panorama has the icons showing what a vertical and horizontal alignment look like, which I can look at those to get it right. So I vote for keeping the current practice, although it might be possible improve the terminology, but keep the icons, please.

No, that’s too complicated. I would keep the icons and simply switch the names:
In all applications I know – e.g. Numbers, Pages, Excel, graphic applications – “center horizontally” means move things horizontally from left to right or vice versa (to reach a common vertical axis). “Center vertically” means move things up and down (to reach a common horizontal axis).

Or you use the same nomenclature as in Panorama 6: Under the title “Align Objects”, these two options were named “R/L Centers” and “T/B Centers”.

The only verb in the menu is “Center”; in the others “Align…” is implicit. So (Align) Vertical Axes or (Align) R/L Centers would be good. Or Vertical Centers, or Vertical Midlines…

I encounter these options regularly in a couple of graphics apps I use and I always choose the wrong one because the terminology is ambiguous. I suspect that a reference to axes would be much better.


I looked at a few graphics programs and see that both Pages and Autodesk Graphic only use Center and Middle. Center means to align them on the same vertical axis one above the other. Middle means to align them on the same horizontal axis next to each other. Canvas uses Center Vertically to align on the vertical axis above each other and Center Horizontally is on the same horizontal axis next to each other.

Panorama is the only one to actually give the icon view so it is pretty obvious to know which to choose. I personally have no problem with any terminology as long as the icons are retained.

So Canvas is using the exact same terminology that Panorama X currently uses?

Keynote uses the same terms. Seems rather unclear to me, but as you say, with the icons it is clear what is going on.

Actually Canvas is just slightly different using simply Center Vertical and Center Horizontal.

The terminology seems to depend on either

  • targeting that particular axis or
  • describing where the movement happens.
    Apple prefers the latter, as you can see in the description of text alignment options in Pages Help. (Excuse the German screenshot, but you clearly see where “horizontally” and “vertically” are used.) By the way, Apple uses (only) icons for that purpose.

That shouldn’t be too hard to remember Kurt :wink:


I believe this is the least ambiguous of all options.


I have no idea what option you are referring to as the least ambiguous.

I think Michael was referring to my sentence:

Or you use the same nomenclature as in Panorama 6: Under the title “Align Objects”, these two options were named “R/L Centers” and “T/B Centers”.