#CreativeFriday – Smart Guides in Photoshop CC 2014

On of my favourite enhancements in Photoshop CC 2014 is Smart Guides. I have used this a few times now and it’s saved me so much time and provided an ability to get very accurate results very quickly.

Smart guides are also now turned on by default, and are available under the view / show / smart guides menu option. If you need to turn this option off, you can, just be deselecting the smart guides menu option.


How can smart guides be used to speed up our design and accuracy. Let us take this example below. I have created 3 rectangles on the canvas and I would like to align them up so that the distance between them are the same.


Notice the lower left hand lower rectangle (highlighted in blue dashes), is selected in the layers panel (highlighted in yellow), and the move tool is selected. To get the measurements, hold down the CMD key on the Mac or CTRL on a PC then by moving the cursor over the top left hand rectangle (highlighted in red), Photoshop CC will show the purple distance marker between the two objects, the number shown in the pink box is the distance in CM.

If CM is not the required measurement, then it can be changed in the preferences panel.


If we scoot back to the canvas, we can also check the distances to other objects as well, by using the CMD key (Mac)/CTRL (PC). In the following example, the rectangle marked with blue dashes, is selected in the layers panel (marked yellow). As the cursor is moved over the other rectangles the distances will be shown, in this case, the top right rectangle (marked in red), notice that there are two distances measured, this will help lining up. While the cursor is over the top right rectangle, the arrow keys can be pressed to nudge the objects around, in this case, it can be moved left until the correct distance is reached.


The distances to the edge of the canvas can also be read by moving the cursor out of the canvas area, while any object is selected in the layers panel.


In the example below, the blue icon (marked in pink) is out of alignment from the others on the page. The layer that relates to the icon can be found by selecting the move tool (marked in red), then right clicking on the canvas. The tree of objects (marked in yellow), will be displayed. Selecting the ‘icon-genre-electronic.png’ in this case will select the layer marked in orange (as shown below).

Once selected in the layers panel, the CMD key (Mac) / CTRL key (PC) can be used to hover over the next closest icon to find the  distance. Using the arrow keys, the object can be moved. Assuming that at least 2 objects are next to each other (and if more they are also equally spaced), then the moving object will snap into place, then all distances will be shown.


In the following example, all distances are shown that are equal, the icon is now in the correct place.


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