Make the Align Objects Contextual
Make the Align Objects functionality more closely resemble After Effects insofar as when you select 1element Align To Selection automatically sets to Composition and when two or more elements are selected Align To Selection is automatically selected. This 'Align Auto-selection' could be a preference.
If this isn't possible or sensible at least make the two options (Selection and Composition) both visible or bigger and not in a dropdown.
hey, I have a problem, how can I align 2 text boxes automatically in a way that make them arranged and with a similar width?
Edu Couchez commented
Sure! a must have. When I select only one object, it stays as "Align to selection mode". It's obvious that if I haven't any other object selected, is beacuse I want to align it to the Artboard, not align to itself.
These few seconds searching the small icon to change the align mode are a cognitive stress in complex projects.
Sam Otis commented
Yes! A "smart" or contextual default that switches between align to artboard for one item, and align to selection when multiple items are selected would be a great time saver.
+1 for pulling the align to artboard and align to selection options out of the dropdown for one click access as well.
Bobby Henderson commented
I just wish Illustrator could perform alignment operations like several other graphics programs I either currently use or have used in the past. When shift-clicking two or more objects to align either the first object clicked or the last object shift-clicked stays put an all other objects align to it. I can't stand all the extra clicks Illustrator requires of its users. And anchor point alignment is a pretty big pain in the backside. This really hurts Illustrator for technical drawing purposes. As for alignment preferences, that's something easily incorporated into a palette or toolbar. For example, CorelDRAW provides 5 object alignment preference buttons in its align and distribute palette to align objects to active objects, page edge, page center, grid or a numerically specified point. The same palette has 4 different text alignment preference buttons and a couple distribute preference buttons. This is on top of the six alignment buttons and eight distribution command buttons. You don't have to hunt through a bunch of drop down menus or preference boxes to get to any of that stuff.
Herman van Boeijen commented
I was just about to file this, again, too :) here goes:
Please make a third "Align to" setting, let's call it "Smart Align":
With a single object selected, always align to page.
With multiple objects selected, always align to selection.
And I'm totally in for the bigger / more legible icon / button for this.
I would like to have a way to more quickly toggle between Align To Artboard / Selection / Key Object. Or even a modifier key to switch the artboard option on, as the key object can be auto activated by just selecting the objec.
If the option to select what to "align to" could be a set of three buttons (selection, key object, artboard) instead of a drop-down menu it would really save a lot of clicking, you wouldn't have to open the drop-down menu then click the button every time. See my attached mock-up. Thanks!