January 20, 2011

New GuideGuide panel sets columns & grids in Photoshop

Designer Cameron McEfee has created “GuideGuide, a columns, rows and midpoints panel for Photoshop CS4 & CS5.”

The tool sets margins, columns, and midpoints, and it even pays attention to active selections. I’ve only kicked the tires a bit, but the panel seems solid and useful. Do note that because it sets each guide separately, setting numerous guides may fill up your undo stack (meaning that you won’t be able to undo operations prior to creating the guides). I’ll look into whether that’s something that could be addressed in the script.

In any event, nice work & thanks, Cameron. [Via Joel Eby]

[PS: The panel was done in Flash. Just thought the haters would like to know.]

Posted by John Nack at 8:40 AM on January 20, 2011


  • David A Rogers — 8:48 AM on January 20, 2011

    Extremely useful tool. Thanks

  • melgross — 9:02 AM on January 20, 2011

    Interesting idea. But John, please stop continuing this argument over Flash with your unnecessary pithy comments. You then blame us for responding to them, when you’re just baiting people. Just say that it was done in Flash.

  • Cameron McEfee — 9:02 AM on January 20, 2011

    Thanks for the post, John!

    Another guy at Adobe informed me of the guide/history issue. I’ll be fixing that in the soon-to-be-released version, as well as an issue that causes problems when you move the zero point of the rulers.

    • Trevor Morris — 12:17 PM on January 20, 2011

      Pardon me if you already knew this, but you should be able to wrap the creation of guides with suspendHistory() to end up with a single history step. Great work!

      • Jeffrey Tranberry — 12:53 PM on January 20, 2011

        Trevor. Yup. I sent Cameron some example code already.

      • Cameron McEfee — 9:47 AM on January 22, 2011

        I took care of that issue and a couple others last night. I’m just waiting to fix a few more things before I release an update. Should be ready in the next week or so.

  • Mark Jenkinson — 9:31 AM on January 20, 2011

    Really now. It doesn’t seem at all odd to you that something as useful and practical as this had to be developed by a third party? This, and another third party developed panel (Remove Copy), kicks all the “innovation” and bloat that PS has gained in the most recent upgrade. Having just recently upgraded to CS5, I am amazed at how rapidly PS is adopting features that are marketable, but not overly useful in real world usage. This Panel on the other hand, represents a level of usefulness that we power users have been clamouring for. We don’t particularly need “Content Aware” fills, and white borders outlining every pixel when zoomed in at 600% or greater on GPU enabled systems, and guides that don’t snap properly to objects or line up properly with marquees that don’t accurately depict whether you are selecting one pixel or another. Okay, rant over. Thanks John for passing on Cameron’s great work.

    • imajez — 10:47 AM on January 20, 2011

      Mark – Content aware fill is not only quite magical unlike a certain Apple device, but a very, very useful time saver too. It is certainly not a marketing gimmick and nothing else.
      Instead of pointlessly complaining about the Pixel Grid, why not simply turn it off. Took me a few secs in PS to work out out. In case you haven’t got those 3 seconds to spare as you don’t want to use Content Aware Fill, try View/Show/Pixel Grid. ;-p.

    • Thomas — 11:38 AM on January 20, 2011

      Thank you so much. I’m glad someone nailed this one more time.

      Remember “dear adobe”?
      I’m still reading it and still there is so much truth generated there.

      I really wish Adobe never started their program listening extensively to their dear customers.
      They pretend to but they don’t listen.
      They rather should have kept the arrogant approach rather than trying to pretend being your bosom buddy.

    • David — 3:21 PM on January 22, 2011

      I use Content aware fill a lot, mostly as an improved spot heal tool. The biggest drawback of the tool for me is that it can’t rotate the source of the patch, so you can’t really use it to clean up a curved element.

      I don’t use puppet warp much, but when I do, it lets me do things that would be nearly impossible to do with other tools.

      I have a long list for less flashy improvements I’d like to see, but I like that I can solve a lot of my own workflow issues through scripting Photoshop. Too bad Extension Builder costs $1500…

  • Austin — 11:40 AM on January 20, 2011

    Man, who knew there were so many bitter mother fuckers in the world, before we had the internet?
    What position does a fucking software package hold in your life that it compels people to such whining?

    Maybe an Internet Commenter should put out a map of the software world with little reticles on it.

    John: I wouldn’t blame you for not moderating this one through. Just had to say it.

  • Benny — 12:58 PM on January 20, 2011

    That’s a sure winner tool for webbie layout. Should have known this for 2 days ago where I sat quite a long time nursing guides!

    Next step would be Character Styles to make changes to chunks af text easy.

  • Wayne Johnson — 2:09 PM on January 20, 2011

    I rarely have a snigger at my desk. However, your Flash comment made me laugh. Thanks from a Flash sceptic.

  • Tim Mackey — 11:40 PM on January 20, 2011

    This is so awesome! I can’t even describe how happy this post made me, I’ve been wanting functionality like this in Photoshop for years! Thanks for posting, John, and kudos to Cameron the panel’s creator.

  • Coşkun OLCA — 5:16 AM on January 21, 2011

    Great tool! Thanks for post & also thanks to Cameron for creating this very useful tool. Also I’m still waiting functions like “Support guide sets (e.g. for grid layouts)” from here;


  • Martin Schaefer — 8:34 AM on January 21, 2011

    Hi John,

    did you know, that you can create guides by entering percentage values in “View / New Guide”? This is very helpful to generate guides for golden ratio.

    Only downside, sadly, you can’t record this to an action, because the action stores corresponding pixel values only (not the percentage you entered). So we can’t create a simple action that works on all document sizes.


    • PECourtejoie — 3:57 PM on January 21, 2011

      Martin, I just tried again, and an action correctly records the percentage, and applying it to another document of different size works flawlessly. Try to record the fact that you change the rulers to percentage (It should work without that-and does not record it-, but one never knows).

      It is also possible to edit the new doc sizes document, to create custom documents with guides.

      • Martin Schaefer — 5:18 PM on January 21, 2011

        Hi PECourtejoie, thanks for this hint. I wasn’t aware that changing the ruler scale unit would affect the recording of the new guide parameter. A bit weird to be honest. If I enter “%” as the unit, this should be recorded.

        Anyway. Now I know how it works and Adobe will add these small usability quirks to the next JDI stack. :)


        • PECourtejoie — 1:15 AM on January 22, 2011


          How are you creating the guides? from the new guides menu?
          I am creating them by dragging them from the rulers, (so therefore I set the units to percentage before.) That might be the issue you are running into!

          I just checked, and yes, if I create a new guide from the View>New Guide… menu with 50 % as the value, but with the rulers set in inches, the action WILL pick up the inches values.

          So whenever you want to create a new guides action, set the rulers beforehand to the units you want to record them into (no need to record the change of units in the action, as you might not want to change them in the documents the actions will be played into.)
          Hope this helps! ;)

  • Tenaitch — 7:19 AM on January 22, 2011

    Great tool, will find this useful on a daily basis, I’m tired of the ancient New Guides dialog that dosn’t let me create horizontal and vertical guides at 50% simultaneously.
    When will Adobe give us guides that run at any given angle on the document? I need this when aligning photo comps.

  • James — 7:29 AM on January 23, 2011

    I find it somewhat hilarious that John takes a jab at Apple with the Flash comment, but I have yet to have the panel display properly in any install of this panel I’ve tried.

    Garbled text and blank entry boxes. Don’t get me wrong, it works – but you have no idea what things do without trying because no text appears in the panel:


    • Cameron McEfee — 12:11 PM on January 23, 2011

      Are you using it in 64bit mode? A number of people have reported the panel not displaying properly in 64bit mode. It’s something I’m trying to figure out at the moment.

  • Dave Stevenson — 11:02 AM on January 23, 2011

    Cameron: this is an amazing panel. Thanks so much!

  • garbled — 11:23 AM on February 17, 2011

    Flash is trash.

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