Julieanne Kost's Blog | Tips for Grids, Guides, and Ruler Options in Photoshop (2023)

Adobe PhotoshopVideo Tutorials

Here are several of my favorite tips for working with Grids, Guides and Rules in Photoshop!

Working with Rulers

• Command + R (Mac) | Control + R (Win) quickly displays rulers along the top and left sides of a document.

• To quickly change the ruler’s unit of measurement, Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) within the ruler area and select the desired units from the context sensitive menu.

• To display the Units & Rulers preferences, double click in the ruler area.

• To change the Ruler’s point of origin (the zero point of the rulers), click and drag the box in the upper left corner of the rulers (where they meet) and reposition. Double clicking at the intersection of the rulers resets the point of origin to the upper left corner of the open document.

• In order to quickly find the center of an image, set the rulers to percentage and drag out guides to the 50% marks (you can also use View > New Guide but I find dragging faster).

Working with Grids

• Command + ‘ (Mac) | Control + ‘ (Win) toggles visibility of the grid.

• To create a grid that displaysthe “Rule of Thirds” overlay, choose Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices. Set the “Gridline Every” to 100% and the “Subdivisions” to 3.

Working with Guides

• To place a single guide at a specific location in a documents, choose View > New Guide. To enter a value that is different than the current units of measurement, type the value and then the unit (px, in, cm, mm, pt, pica, %).

(Video) Tips for working with Rulers, Guides, Smart Guides, and Grids in Photoshop

Julieanne Kost's Blog | Tips for Grids, Guides, and Ruler Options in Photoshop (2)

• To add a guide using the rulers, click in the ruler area, and drag the guide into the document. Option -drag(Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) from the ruler to toggle the orientation of the guide (vertical to horizontal).

• Option -click (Mac) Alt -click (Win) on a guide to delete it.

• Double click on a guide to display the Guides, Grid, & Slides Preferences.

• To add multiple guides at one time, choose View > New Guide Layout. Select the Target (Canvas, Artboard, Selected Artboards), guide color, number of Columns and Rows, Width, Height, Gutters, Margin amount and whether or not to Center the Columns and Clear Existing Guides.Choose Presets and select Save Preset to save the guide layout for future use.

Julieanne Kost's Blog | Tips for Grids, Guides, and Ruler Options in Photoshop (3)

• With the Move tool selected:

Option + Shift -click (Mac) | Alt + Shift -click (Win) on a guide to select multiple guides. Then, with the same keyboard modifiers, drag to reposition multiple guides at once.

Option + Shift -double click (Mac) | Alt + Shift -double click (Win) double click on a guide to display the Edit Selected Guide dialog

Right -click (or Control -click Mac) to display the Guides contextual menu.

Note: if you have a tool other than the Move tool selected, hold Command (Mac) | Control (Win) to temporarily access the Move tool, then add the other modifiers to select/reposition guides.

• To create a guides based on a shape, choose View > New Guide From Shape. And you’re not limited to only shape layers, you can create Guides from Type layers and pixel based layers! As you can see from the examples below, the Guides are created based on the bounding box around the contents of the layer.

• To reposition a guide using the Move tool, position the Move tool directly on top of the guide. When the icon changes to a double headed arrow, click and drag to reposition the guide.

• Shift-drag a guide to snap it to the ruler tic marks. Note, this shortcut works even when “snap to” is off (View / Snap To…).

(Video) Tips for Working With Guides in Photoshop CC | Adobe

• Drag a guide outside of the image area to quickly delete it.

• Command + ; (Mac) | Control + ; (Win) toggles the visibility of guides.

• Command + Option + “;” (Mac) | Control + Alt + “;” (Win) locks/unlocks guides (View > Lock Guides). When changing image size of a document, unlock the guides to resize the guides proportionally. Lock them if you need to keep exact numeric values.

• Guides (and paths) can be difficult to see on high resolution monitors because they are anti-aliased. To make them appear thicker, select Preferences > Performance. In the Graphics Processor Settings, click Advanced Settings and uncheck Anti-alias Guides and Paths. Note: you won’t see the change until you click OK in both the Advanced Graphics Processor Settings and close the Preferences.

Changing the Color of Guides, Grids, and Slices

• To change the color of the guides (including Smart Guides), grid, and/or slices, select Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and either select a color from the drop-down list, or, click in the color swatch to the right and choose any color you would like.

• To change the color of selected guides, first select the guides, then choose View > Edit Selected Guides and use the Color options to change the color. Or, use the shortcut: Option + Shift + double click (Mac) | Alt + Shift + double click (Win) on the selected guides to display the Edit Selected Guides dialog.

• To change the visual representation of the guides or grid, use the pull-down menu to choose line, dash, or dotted (Grid only).

Smart Guides

• Smart Guides can be tremendously helpful for aligning and determining distances between multiple layers as they are being repositioned within a document. Check out the videos below to learn how.

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop, you’ll discover how to use Smart Guides to quickly align and distribute layers and shapes in Photoshop CC.

Pixel Grid

• If you Zoom into an image above 500%, a Pixel Grid is displayed on top of the image. This can be especially helpful when trying to align shapes such as rectangles so that they begin and end on a full pixel (to avoid anti-aliased edges). However, to toggle this off, you can uncheck Pixel View under View > Show Pixel Grid.

The illustration below demonstrates three options:

• The first shape was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on. As a result, all sides of the rectangle are solid (note, even though the initial rectangle shape might not have been drawn in perfect alignment to the pixel grid, Photoshop automatically snapped the rectangle to that grid because the preference was turned on).

• The middle illustration was drawn with the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned off. This resulted in anti-aliased edges (varying levels of opacity) because the rectangle (the vector path) was not perfectly aligned to a pixel edge when the rectangle was drawn.

(Video) How to Align and Distribute Layers using Smart Guides in Photoshop CC | Adobe

• The final illustration is the same rectangle as in the second illustration (the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference was turned off), however the Align Edges option was enabled for the rectangle shape layer (in the Options bar) after drawing the rectangle. Enabling the Align Edges option “jumped” the fillof the rectangle to the nearest pixel grid (you can still see that the original shape (the black path), is not aligned to the pixel grid, but the fill is being forced to Align Edges to the edges of the pixel grid. Align Edge is a convenientway to align objects to the pixel grid on a “per shape layer” basis if you want to turn off the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference.

Julieanne Kost's Blog | Tips for Grids, Guides, and Ruler Options in Photoshop (7)

I expect that most people will leave the Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid preference turned on as it will help to avoid anti-aliased edges when drawing shapes as well as transforming them making alignment clean and precise.

Adobe Photoshop, Video Tutorials

Grid (6), Guides (7), Pixel Grid (1), Preferences (21), Rulers (2), Smart Guides (4), Snap Vector Tools and Transforms to Pixel Grid (2)

Julieanne Kost's Blog | Tips for Grids, Guides, and Ruler Options in Photoshop (8)

by Julieanne Kost

Posted on05-30-2017




  • By carlyle - 6:31 AM on May 30, 2017

    Julieann, where are all those free and wonderful Photoshop and Lightroom tutorial videos you use to make? Are you still making them? I can only find fresh content on Lynda.

  • By Richard Battilana - 12:39 PM on June 1, 2017

    Smart grids looks like an alternative method of creating diptychs and triptychs.
    Thanks again

  • By Robert C - 2:48 AM on June 4, 2017

    Thanks for the Grid tutorial.
    Is there a simple way to convert grid lines into an image of ‘grid’ lines? ie. the grid lines embedded in the document (as on maps).
    An artist wants to overlay a grid image (png) on his photo and print the photo with grid lines to assist a canvas drawing.

    • By Julieanne Kost - 9:01 AM on June 7, 2017

      There isn’t a command to convert guides to shapes but you might want to post it to the forum to see if anyone has come up with a solution. I suppose you could take a screenshot of the image with the grids on and the layers hidden then overlay the screenshot in screen blend mode to hide the white…

      (Video) Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial - How To Use Photoshop Guides

      • By Robert C - 10:30 PM on June 9, 2017

        “take a screenshot of the image with the grids on..”
        That’s thinking outside the box. Thanks very much.!!

(Video) The Key to Using Smart Guides in Photoshop CC | Adobe


What are rulers guides and grids in Photoshop? ›

About rulers, grids, and guides

In Expert mode, rulers, grids, and guides help you position items (such as selections, layers, and shapes) precisely across the width or length of an image. In Quick mode, only grids are available. When visible, rulers appear along the top and left side of the active window.

What menu are grids guides and rulers available? ›

Use the View menu to show or hide the rulers (Expert mode only), the grid, or the guide. The View menu also helps you to enable or disable the snapping of items to the grid or guide.

Where are grids and guides found in Photoshop? ›

Show or hide a grid, guides, or Smart Guides

Choose View > Show > Grid. Choose View > Show > Guides. Choose View > Show > Smart Guides. Choose View > Extras.

How do I use rulers and guides in Photoshop? ›

Rulers and Guides
  1. In the menu, click on Photoshop and select Preference and General. ...
  2. Select Units & Rulers from the sidebar in the pop-up window and adjust your ruler to inches, pixels, millimeters, or other unit of measurment you wish to use.
  3. Click the OK button when you are finished.
Oct 26, 2022

What are the 3 measurement options for the ruler in Photoshop? ›

By default, the Ruler tool displays distance in pixels, but you can change it to one of the following: inches, points, centimeters, millimeters, picas and percent. To change the measurement unit, right-click the ruler and select one of the options.

What is the main purpose of using the ruler guides and gridlines? ›

You can use rulers and the grid to help you align, size, and position objects precisely on a layout. Rulers: Showing the rulers displays a horizontal and vertical ruler along the edge of a layout. Guide lines on each ruler track the position of the pointer as you move the pointer on the layout.

Where do rulers grid and smart guides lie under the in the main menu in Adobe Illustrator? ›

Go to the overhead menu and choose Illustrator > Preferences > Guides & Grid (Windows users choose Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid from the overhead menu).

In which menu grid option is available? ›

To choose it, use the 'Grid' command from the View menu (keyboard shortcut: Command-2) or click on the middle of the View button in the toolbar.

What is the menu to display the grid lines? ›

To show the gridlines, in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word, click the View tab, and then check the Gridlines box. To hide the gridlines, clear the Gridlines check box.

What are ruler guides used for? ›

Ruler guides are nonprinting objects used for aligning content that can be positioned anywhere. There are two types of ruler guides: page guides and spread guides.

How do you display rulers and guides? ›

Show the rulers

Go to View and select Ruler. If the vertical ruler doesn't show, make sure you're in Print Layout view. If it still doesn't show, you might need to turn the ruler on. Go to Word > Preferences > View (under Authoring and Proofing Tools).

What are the different types of rulers for measuring? ›

The different types of rulers are wooden rulers, steel rulers, plastic rulers, folding rulers, metal tapes and plastic tapes.

What does the ruler measure in Photoshop? ›

Using the Photoshop Measurement feature you can measure any area defined with the Ruler tool or with a selection tool, including irregular areas selected with the Lasso, Quick Select, or Magic Wand tools. You can also compute the height, width, area, and perimeter, or track measurements of one image or multiple images.

How many types of scale ruler are there? ›

Referred to as 1:10, 1:20, 1:30,1:40, 1:50 or 1:60 scale. Typically in civil engineering applications, 1:10 (1″=10′) is used exclusively for detail drawings. 1:20 and 1:40 scales are used for working plans. 1:60 is normally used only to show large areas of a project.

What is the importance of grids and guides in Photoshop? ›

Photoshop grids and guides are tools to make editing your photos easier. Use them if you need to straighten lines in a photo or when creating a layout.

What are the two types of ruler guides page guides and spread guides? ›

You can create two kinds of ruler guides: page guides, which appear only on the page on which you create them, or spread guides, which span all pages and the pasteboard of a multiple-page spread. You can drag any ruler guide to the pasteboard. A ruler guide is displayed or hidden with the layer on which it was created.

What do gridlines and guides give you? ›

Gridlines help give you visual cues when you're formatting in PowerPoint. The default horizontal and vertical gridlines make a grid of one-inch squares.

How do you view the ruler and gridlines? ›

To enable rulers, gridlines and guides in PowerPoint, go to the View tab on the top ribbon. In the Show group on the View tab you will see three checkboxes – Ruler, Gridlines and Guides. To make these visible on your slides, simply check the check box for each option you want to see on the slide.

What other view menu options are available to change guides? ›

The following guide options are available in the View > Guides menu:
  • Guides > Show guides makes guides visible. (Adding a new guide turns on this setting.)
  • Guides > Lock guides keeps you from moving existing guides. (Adding a new guide turns off this setting.)
  • Guides > Clear guides removes any guides.

What is menu grid? ›

The Menu Item Name grid contains columns for the Menu Item Name, Article number, Container, Portion, Sales Price, Included, and if the menu item is Web Bookable (X in the W column).

What is grid settings? ›

A grid system is a library of HTML/CSS components that let you structure a website easily. Grid systems help you create responsive websites that have consistent designs and ensure cross-browser support.

Which function is used to display grid lines in a plot? ›

With Pyplot, you can use the grid() function to add grid lines to the plot.

What is the shortcut for grid in Photoshop? ›

Press Ctrl (Mac: Command) ' (Apostrophe) to show/hide Grids.

Which function is used to display gridlines in the graph? ›

The . gca() function is used to get the current polar axes of our plot. We use the . grid() function to represent grids in our plots.

How do I get smart guides in Photoshop? ›

By default, Smart Guides are on. To make sure they are on, choose View > Show > Smart Guides. For this tutorial, you will also need your rulers visible. Choose View > Rulers to ensure that rulers are on.

What is guide layer in Photoshop? ›

Guides help to control the size and location of the slices you will make in Photoshop. They are optional but often set the stage for a successful artwork set. Organization using folders is key to making sure the art layers are easily hidden when needed.

What is the difference between rulers and guides? ›

Guides are a lot like rulers. The big difference is that you don't use them to measure. Instead, you use them to align different aspects of your image such as text, layers, etc.

Are guides and grid the same True or false? ›

A grid is a series of crisscrossed lines that aid in aligning objects to each other on the Stage. A guide is a horizontal or vertical line you can position to align objects.

What is a ruler used for InDesign? ›

A ruler is a stationery item and drafting tool used when drawing lines, as a guide for cutting, and for various other uses. It is available in different shapes and materials, depending on the type of lines the user wishes to draw.

Where is the ruler in Adobe? ›

Choose View > Show/Hide > Rulers & Grids > Rulers.

What is a guide layout? ›

What are layout guides? Layout guides help you maintain the alignment of objects, such as pictures, text boxes, and tables. When enabled, the layout guides give you visible guidance to align objects on the page.

How do I make a grid table in Photoshop? ›

Create a table from scratch
  1. Using the Type tool , place the insertion point where you want the table to appear.
  2. Choose Table > Insert Table.
  3. Specify the numbers of rows and columns.
  4. Specify the number of horizontal cells in the body row and the number of vertical cells in the Column.
May 18, 2021

In which tab can I find the option gridlines and ruler? ›

Pick the View tab and then move to the Show group, where you'll see checkboxes for Ruler, Gridlines, and Guides. Select Ruler, or.

What menu can you show your rulers? ›

To show the rulers, on the View tab, select the Ruler box. To hide rulers, clear the Ruler box. If you select the Ruler box and still don's see the vertical ruler, you might need to turn the ruler on.

What are grids in Photoshop? ›

Photoshop grid lines slice up your canvas into numerous subdivisions that you can use to determine spacing and alignment between objects. These lines are non-printable, so they'll never show up in your finished image.

Where are guides in Photoshop? ›

Press Ctrl (Mac: Command) ; (Semicolon) to show/hide Guides. Press Ctrl (Mac: Command) ' (Apostrophe) to show/hide Grids.

What is the use of ruler tool in Photoshop in computer? ›

The ruler tool in Photoshop has a protractor mode that can be used to draw a second measuring line that's connected to the first. To use this tool, draw your first measuring line, then click “Option/Alt” while clicking on the desired end point of the first line and dragging out your second line.

Is there a ruler in Photoshop? ›

To show or hide rulers in Photoshop, choose View > Rulers or press Cmd + R (Mac) or Ctrl + R (Windows).

Why are grids used in photography? ›

What is the Purpose of Grids in Photography? Put simply, grids are used to restrict the spread of light in your scene. Depending on the lights or modifiers you are using, they may be attached directly to the light (as with Profoto monolights) or are an addition to modifiers.

How do you show the ruler and guides? ›

Show the rulers

Go to View and select Ruler. If the vertical ruler doesn't show, make sure you're in Print Layout view. If it still doesn't show, you might need to turn the ruler on.

How do I create a guide shape in Photoshop? ›

Create guides from a shape or object

Open the downloaded file in Photoshop. In the Layers panel, select the "Step 1" layer. If you don't see the Layers panel, go to Window > Layers. Select View > New Guides From Shape, which creates guides in your document based on the dimensions of the object in the selected layer.

What is measuring tools in Photoshop? ›

The Measure Tool calculates distances and angles in the work area. In the Toolbox, select the Measure Tool. To calculate distance from one point in the work area to another, drag line between the points.


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