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