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Join Justin Seeley as he reveals how designers can create vibrant web graphics, wireframes, and complete web site mockups in Adobe Photoshop. The course covers creating a custom web workspace for maximum efficiency; drawing, coloring, and optimizing web graphics; creating vector shapes and text that scale seamlessly; mastering transparency; building navigation bars and buttons; and speeding up these tasks with the Photoshop automation tools.
As you continue to make mockups inside of Photoshop, you're going find that your best friends start to become the rulers and the guides that are available to you inside Photoshop. In this movie, I am going to be walking you through how to utilize the rulers and the guides inside of Photoshop to make it a little bit easier to start laying out all of your different mockups that you might have. So the first thing you have to do is make sure that your rulers are actually present onscreen, and in order to do that, you can simply hit Command+R or Ctrl+R on your keyboard or go up to the View menu and make sure there is a check mark next to Rulers.
As long as there is a check mark there, the rulers are being displayed right here. Just in case you haven't set your document up properly and these don't look like they are representing pixel values, you can always right-click on those and change it from Pixels to Inches, to Centimeters, to Millimeters, or whatever it is you might be wanting to use. For web and screen-based design, we want to use pixels though, so I will go ahead and leave that on Pixels. I also like to bring up the Information panel, or Info panel, so that I can see where I'm at, at any time in my document. So I will go to Window and select Info.
You can also hit F8 on your keyboard in order to do that. And I like to have this sort of free floating out in the window, so I will undock it and move it right there. This is only for when I am creating my grids and guides that I am going to be working with. Why do I do this? Because when I move my mouse over my document, watch what happens in the Info panel. I get an instant read of exactly where my cursor is, both on the X and Y axis, and it also samples the color that I'm hovering over at any given time as well, making it easy for me to see color values as well as X and Y coordinates for placing guides inside of my document.
In order to start placing guides in your document, all you have to do is click and drag out from a ruler and then drop the guide by releasing your mouse anywhere you want it to go inside the document. I can do Command+Z or Ctrl+Z to undo that and remove the guide. Now in this case, I have got a pretty big document. If I open up the Image Size dialog box by going to Image > Image Size, you will see that it's 1200 pixels wide by 2000 pixels tall. So now I am going to put what I call an anchor shape directly in the middle of the document so that I can set up the overall width of the blog template that I'm trying to design.
So I am going to grab my Shape tools, and I can do that by hitting the letter U on my keyboard or simply by coming down, clicking and holding, and finding the rectangle tool. Once I have the Rectangle tool selected, I am simply going to click in the middle of the document somewhere and I am going to type out 960 pixels wide. And it can be whatever Height you want. I only need it to be that specific width. So I will go ahead and hit OK. That generates a 960-pixel-wide rectangle in the middle of my document, but it's not right in the center where I need it to be.
So I am going to select the Move tool with the letter V on my keyboard. I will use Command+A or Ctrl+A, or you can go to Select > All in the menus. Once you have the entire canvas selected, just hit Align vertical centers and Align horizontal centers. That gets this directly in the middle of your document, making it easy for you to drag out guides that snap to it. I am going to press Command+D or Ctrl+D to deselect, and I am going to zoom in so I can see exactly what I am doing. I will come over to the left and I will grab a guide and I will let it snap to the edge of that shape, come out, drag another guide, let it snap to the edge of that shape, and now without having to do any math or calculations, I've actually created a 960-pixel-wide window in which to place objects inside my design.
I can now throw away my anchor shape. I am going to pan up by temporarily holding down the spacebar key and I am going to drag out a guide for the header at the top of the screen. So I am going to click and drag. You will notice as I drag, I get this little pop-up that tells me exactly where I am on the X and Y axis. This is sort of like a mini Info panel that is associated with the guides, as I draw them out. So in this case, I am going to drag this down until it reaches 100 pixels and once it does, I'll release the mouse. So that is going to be the height of my header that's going to be at the top of my blog.
Hold down the spacebar key and pan down, and I am going to click and drag out another guide. Now remember, this document is 2000 pixels tall, so if I want this to be around 300 pixels tall for the footer, I need to drag this guide down until it hits about 1700 pixels. So once it hits 1700, I'll release, and now I have my guide placed there as well. I can also build in margins if I want to. So I will go ahead and click to drag out another guide. I am going to let it snap to this guide. And it's at 120 pixels, so if I want a 15-pixel margin, I will just drag this in till it reaches 135. And if you can't get it right on the dot, that's okay; just release your mouse and then zoom in a little bit and you should be able to make that one-pixel adjustment.
So I will do that. 135. There we go! Now I'll click and drag out another guide. I am going to bring all the way over until it's right on top of that other guide, which is at 1080, so I need to back that in 15 pixels, so that needs to be at 1065. Once it gets there, there we go, and now I can do the same thing: click and drag a guide from the vertical. And remember it's 2000 pixels tall, so 15 pixels would be 85, 1985.
There we go. And same thing for the top. I will pan up by holding down the spacebar, click and drag, and I can just drag this out to 15 pixels, like that. So now I have 15-pixel margin on the inside, 15-pixel margin on the top, and also on the bottom. I have my header space carved out. I have my footer space carved out. If I zoom out on my document, you can see that I've laid down the basic structure of my blog design simply by utilizing the rulers and some guides here inside of Photoshop.
Now, another thing that might be helpful for you is if you turn on a grid. So if I go to the View menu, go down to Show, I can actually go over and turn on a grid, and that grid might make it a little bit easier for me to place items inside my document. Now in some cases, this is a little bit distracting, especially if you've already drawn out your own guides, like I have here. So if you're more of a guide person, use your guides; if you are more of a grid person, try using the grid. In this case, I am going to turn it back off by going to View > Show and uncheck the grid.
So now that I've got all of my guides in place, I'm now ready to start adding shapes to this in order to complete my mockup.
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