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How To Use Grids and Guides in Photoshop

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Photoshop grid and guides are tools to make editing your photos easier.

Use them if you need to straighten lines in a photo or when creating a layout.

In this article, I’ll show you how to use both of them.

How to Make a Photoshop Grid

We’ll start with the Photoshop grid. The grid is non-printing and a great help when aligning objects or laying out elements symmetrically.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid

Architecture and landscape photographers will find it helpful to straighten buildings and horizons.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid for editing architecture photography

It’s very easy to make a grid in Photoshop. Here’s how.

Step 1: Add a Grid

Open any file or create a new one. Go to View > Show and choose “Grid” to add a grid to your workspace. It will pop up immediately.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid - add a grid

The Photoshop grid consists of lines and dotted lines. You can now edit the appearance of the lines, units, and subdivisions.

Step 2: Edit the Photoshop Grid Preferences

Go to Photoshop CC > Preferences and select “Guides, Grid & slices…”. For Windows, go to Edit > Preferences and select “Guides, Grid & slices…”.

A new window will pop up where you can edit the Photoshop grid preferences.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid - grid preferences

You can change the color of the lines and their appearance.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid - edit grid preferences

And, more importantly, you can set how far apart you want the grid lines from each other. Then, depending on your project, set how many subdivisions you want between the main lines.

Step 3: Snapping

Enable Snapping if you want Photoshop to help you place objects. Go to View > Snap to and select “Grid”.

You’ll notice now that objects will click into place on your grid.

A screenshot showing how to make a Photoshop grid - add snapping to your grid in Photoshop

When finished, turn the grid off again to check out your design.

How to Add Guides in Photoshop

Guides have a similar purpose but the difference is that you create every guide line yourself.

Step 1: Rulers

Before you can add guides, you need to add the rulers to your workspace. Go to View and select “Rulers”.

Two rulers will appear. One on the left and one at the top of the workspace.

A screenshot showing how to add a Photoshop guide - photoshop ruler

You can also change the ruler preferences. Go to Photoshop CC > Preferences and select “Units and Rulers”.

A new window will pop up where you can set the units and other preferences.

Step 2: Add Guides

To create a guide, simply click on one of the rulers and drag a guide onto your photo or layout.

A screenshot showing how to add a Photoshop guide - photoshop ruler

To move a guide, make sure the Moving tool is selected and then click on a guide and drag to move it.

A screenshot showing how to add a Photoshop guide - photoshop ruler

Once you have created all the guides you want, you can lock them. Go to View and select “Lock Guides”.

Step 3: Snapping

You can also add Snapping to your guides. Go to View > Snap to and select “Guides”.

Like before, this will make objects snap or click into place along your guides.

A screenshot showing how to add snapping to a Photoshop guide - photoshop grid and guides

Step 4: Remove and Hide Guides

When you’re finished, you can either clear or hide guides in Photoshop.

Go to View and select “Clear Guides” to remove them.

A screenshot showing how to remove and hide Photoshop guides

Go to View > Show and select “Guides” to hide or make them reappear.

Conclusion

The Photoshop grid and guides are useful for all kinds of projects. I use them mostly when I want to straighten landscape or architecture shots.

If you like graphic design, you’ll want to use the grid or guides for laying out and/or aligning elements.

Why not check out this tutorial on creating cool levitation photos with Photoshop next!

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