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 Mouse -click (Win) within the ruler area to select 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 displays the “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, %).
- 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).
- To add multiple guides at one time, choose View > New Guide Layout. Not only can you enter the number of Columns and Rows that you need, but you can also choose the Width or Height, Gutter, Margins and whether or not to Center the Columns. To reuse the guides in multiple images, save the guide options as a preset using the drop-down menu. Here are some examples of the guides you can create:
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…).
- 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 visual representation of the guides or grid, use the pull-down menu to choose line, dash, or dotted (Grid only).
- 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 video below to learn how.
- 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.