Pivot & Align Tools

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Date Updated: 
Author Name: 
Lorne Brooks

Pivot & Align Tools (PAT) are a set of macros bundled into a quad menu (or a single quad list) that allow you to perform various object alignment, pivot alignment and object snapping functions, among others. Most of the functions can operate on a selection of multiple objects at once, including grouped objects as part of the selection (open or closed).

There's a PDF guide available in the Help menu item and also attached below.

Two pre-configured styles available...


There are two styles of layout for the quad menus: List (single quadrant) and 4x4 (all quadrants). Both are available under the Quads tab in Customize. You can assign hotkeys to both of them or just your preferred one.



Version 2.1;

- Added support to handle groups and subgroups as part of a selection for all operations. Selected members within an open group can be manipulated as though they are single objects. Both grouped objects and non-grouped objects can be part of the same selection operation.

Version 2.0;

- Added "Snap To Surface >" for each local axis in both positive or negative directions, which moves a selection to a picked target surface along that local axis.

Version 1.9;

- Added new tools for object alignment (min, max, center, even spacing) within a selection for any axis; similar to how 2D vector tools work except in 3D.

- Moved "Snap To Surface" into a submenu with items to allow moving a selection to a picked target surface in any axis and in either positive or negative direction. Also added ability to toggle align orientation to surface normal (via options menu) when snapping to the target surface.

- Removed "Snap To Surface Base". Same result can be achieved using pivot tools and snap to surface.

- Moved "Pivot Min Z" and "Pivot Max Z" into a new submenu called "Pivot Move" along with new items for the other two axes.

- Moved "Align To Surface" Shift+Click mode to a toggle in options menu instead. Shift+Click no longer does anything.

- Changed "Snap Z" to only move the object to z=0 and not touch the pivot. Also added "Snap Z Base" to put the pivot at the object's base then move to z=0.

Version 1.8;

- Added an alternative method for "Align To Surface" when Shift-Click is used while activating the tool. Allows drag placement of selected objects onto a picked target surface. Also added to "Align N Objects > Surface" to allow drag placement of selected objects to different picked target surfaces.

Version 1.7;

- Added "Align Axes" submenu to allow alignment of selected objects to a picked target object in axes: X,Y,Z,XY,XZ & YZ. Note: "Align Pivot" aligns all three axes.

- Added "Align To Surface" which moves a selection of objects to a picked surface and aligns them to the surface normal.

- Added "Align N Objects" submenu with options for aligning multiple objects to separately picked targets. Options include: Pivot, Pivot Orient, Surface and Vertex Snap. Placement is based on the order in which the source objects were picked using Ctrl select.

- Added "Pivot Align To Surface" which moves the pivots of a selection to a picked surface point and aligns them to the surface normal.

- Added a link to PDF guide.

- Renamed "Pivot World" to "Pivot Orient To World".

- Moved "Pivot Orient To ..." functions into a submenu.

Version 1.6;

- Added new function "Pivot Orient To 3 Objs" & "Pivot Orient To 3 Verts", which allows a selection of objects to have their pivots oriented along 2 axes based on 3 picked points (verts or objects). Renamed 2 point picking methods from previous change (1.5) to "Pivot Orient To 2 Objs" & "Pivot Orient To 2 Verts". Renamed "Pivot Orient" to "Pivot Orient To Target".

- Added new function "Pivot Align To Object". Performs the same as... Hierarchy panel > Pivot tab > Affect Pivot Only > Align To Object. Renamed "Pivot Align" to "Pivot Align To Target".

- Added three new functions; "Object Align To Pivot", "Object Align To World" & "Object Center To Pivot". These perform the same as... Hierarchy panel > Pivot tab > Affect Object Only > Alignment functions.

- Renamed "Pivot Vertex Snap" to "Pivot Align Vertex Snap".

- Fixed Pivot Toggle not updating in viewport when toggled.

- Moved some quad UI elements around for clarity.

Version 1.5;

- Added two new functions "Pivot Orient To Objects" & "Pivot Orient To Vertices", which allows a selection of objects to have their pivots oriented along the vector of either two picked objects or two picked vertices.

Version 1.4;

- Changed the "Pivot World" function to use ResetTransform.

- Added "Reset Pivot" function - uses the standard reset pivot found in the hierarchy panel.

- Align Average Pivots and Align Average Centers now work on CAT rigs and Biped parts as picked target objects.

Version 1.3;

- Removed the menuman.setShowAllQuads call as it was interfering with the "Show All Quads" interface option for LBTools - PAT Quad - 4x4. Note that this still may not work - you may need to rebuild your custom workspace from scratch to get it working (a Max interface issue).

Version 1.2;

- Added a new option "Pivot Max Z" which moves the pivot to the maximum bounding box Z position.

- Added a new option "Pivot World" which aligns only the pivot to the world orientation.

- Fixed some bugs with picking objects.

Version 1.1;

- Quad-menu items are now active when nothing is selected. Instead, selection catches have been added which display message boxes.

- Added a Reset Scale function. Same as reset scale in the hierarchy panel, but also works on hierarchies - unlike the standard version.

- Added an About panel for contact and version info.

Version 1.0;

- First public release.



Additional Info: 

The two quad-menus can be found under the Quads tab in Customize. Assign hotkeys to one or both of them.


Drag the MZP file into your Max viewport. A restart will be required to initialize the quad-menus.

Files will be copied to...




Version Requirement: 
3dsmax 2010-2022
old_2-0_lbtools_pivotaligntools.mzp417.46 KB
lbtools_pivotaligntools.pdf434.52 KB
lbtools_pivotaligntools.mzp419 KB


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mohamed_6482's picture

have same problem quadmenu not appear (show all quads)

thaaaaaaank you too much for improvement but please can you fix quad menu issue
my problem is quadmenu (show all quads)option not working

lbrooks's picture

Re: not show as quads menu


This should be fixed now in version 1.1. The quad items are now clickable even when nothing is selected.

Lorne Brooks

mohamed_6482's picture

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