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How to Align and Distribute Layers in Photoshop Elements 11

If you’re a precision junkie, you’ll appreciate Photoshop Elements’ capability to align and distribute your layers. These commands can be especially useful when you need to align such items as navigation buttons on a web page mock-up or a row of head shots for a corporate publication.

Follow these steps to align and distribute your layers:


In the Photo Editor, in Expert mode, select the layers you want to align in the Layers panel.

Select your first layer and then Ctrl-click (Command-click on the Mac) to select more layers.


With the Move tool selected from the Tools panel, click the Align option in the Tool Options and choose an alignment option.

Elements provides you with handy little icons that illustrate the various alignment types.

Note that, depending on which alignment type you choose, Elements aligns to the layer element that’s the farthest from the top, bottom, left, or right. If you align to the center, Elements splits the difference among the various layers.


In the Layers panel, select three or more layers that you want to distribute evenly.

With the Move tool selected from the Tools panel, click the Distribute option in the Tool Options and choose a distribution option.

The Distribute commands evenly space the layers between the first and last elements in either the row or column.

As with aligning, you find an icon illustrating the distribution types.

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