Explore how to create, precisely position, delete, and show and hide guides—as well as learn more about the limitations of Photoshop guides.
- [Instructor] So I'd like to show you the basics of working with guides and rulers in Photoshop. First of all, we need to turn our rulers on so that we can drag out guides from the rulers. If you don't see your rulers, come to the View menu and choose Rulers, or keyboard shortcut Command or Control + R. Now if you want to change the increment that the rulers are displaying, and mine are currently displaying pixels, then you can move into the ruler and right-click. This behavior slightly different from Illustrator or InDesign where you would actually move to the intersection of the rulers, and you can see that that doesn't work here in Photoshop.
So let's say that I want to drag down a guide to indicate a 100 pixel top margin. Move into the ruler and then click and drag. I'm using my label to indicate my Y coordinate, and even though I have my snap option on you can see it's difficult for me to hit 100 exactly. Anyway I'm going to drop it there and my next guide I will place numerically. But for now, just a couple of other things that relate to dragging out guides.
Let's say I'm dragging out another horizontal guide and I realize that actually I was after a vertical guide. So I'll hold down the Option or Alt key as I'm dragging, and that will convert one type of guide to the other. So now let's see how we can place guides numerically. From the View menu come and choose New Guide. In this case I want to use a guide to indicate my right-hand margin. My canvas is 1,440 pixels wide, and I want a 100 pixel right margin, so I'm going to have a vertical guide positioned at 1,340.
If I want to move the guides, I can do so, assuming that is that they are not locked. Once your guides are in position you can lock them. Command + Option + Semicolon, and that same keyboard shortcut will unlock the guides. When the guides are unlocked, if you want to clear a guide you can just drag it back into the ruler from whence it came. I'll just undo that, or you can come to the View menu and choose Clear Guides, and that's going to get rid of all of the guides.
I'll now just undo that to put them back. There are some limitations of working with guides in Photoshop, and if you are used to working with guides in Illustrator or InDesign, they behave in a slightly different way. So first of all there is a limitation with the guide color. We can change the color, and we can do that in our Guide Preferences, and for Windows users your preferences will be under the Edit menu. I'll come to Guides, Grid & Slices, and here I can change the color of my canvas guides.
I'll explain in an upcoming movie the distinction between artboard guides and canvas guides, but these are canvas guides. I can change their color, but that's going to apply to all of my canvas guides. What I can't do is I can't select certain guides and make them a different color, as I could do in InDesign. Another thing I can't do is I can't assign guides to a specific layer, as I can do in Illustrator and InDesign.
The guides are not attached to any particular layer, so they are either on or they are off, regardless of your layer visibility. And there's just one more thing, and that is that we can change the zero point of the ruler. This is the point from which our coordinates are measured. Our X being the distance from the left-hand side of the canvas, and our Y being the distance from the top of the canvas. To do this, move into the ruler intersection and drag down.
So if I move my zero point right there, you can see that that has now changed its position on the horizontal ruler, and on the vertical ruler. So there are the basics of dragging out guides in Photoshop, positioning them numerically, locking the guides, and showing and hiding the guides.
- Grid types
- Creating guides from shapes
- Creating a baseline grid
- Adding breakpoints
- Building crop overlay grids
- Grids in action