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How to Use Guides and Grids in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 includes numerous useful features that help you lay out your images precisely. After you have guides are in place, here are a few of the things you can do with them:

  • Turn the Snap to Guides feature on or off. Choose View→Snap To→Guides.

  • Lock all guides so you don’t accidentally move them. Choose View→Lock Guides. You can also press Alt+Ctrl+semicolon (Option+Command+semicolon on the Mac).

  • Remove all guides and start from scratch. Choose View→Clear Guides.

  • Change a horizontal guide to a vertical guide (or vice versa). Hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) while you drag the guide with the Move tool.

  • Align a guide at a precise location on the ruler. Hold down the Shift key while you drag a guide to force it to snap to the ruler ticks.

  • Create a new guide in a precise location. Choose View→New Guide, click the Horizontal or Vertical option, and type a distance from the ruler where you want the new guide to reside.

  • Hide and show guides. Click the View Extras icon in the Application bar and select Show Guides from the drop-down list to toggle the view off and on.

The Photoshop grid feature offers a convenient canned set of guidelines already nicely arranged for you at preset intervals. You can use a grid for any application where you want to align objects in a pleasing, geometrically precise arrangement.

Grids share some features in common with guides but boast a few differences, too:

  • Like guides, grids don’t print with your image. They’re used only as reference lines in your onscreen image.

  • Objects and tools can optionally snap to the lines on a grid, depending on whether you have View→Snap To→Grid turned on or off.

  • You can show or hide grids by choosing View→Show→Grid. Or click the View Extras icon in the Application bar and select Show Grids from the drop-down list to toggle the view off and on.

  • You can change the color of the grid and select solid lines, dashed lines, or dots for the grid by choosing Edit→Preferences→Guides, Grid, Slices (Photoshop→Preferences→Guides, Grid, Slices on the Mac).

  • You can specify the distance between grid lines and the number of subdivisions between grid lines in the Preferences dialog box.

    [Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tacojim Image #667546]
    Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/tacojim Image #667546
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