• Tips for Creating Guide Lines in Photoshop or PSE

    When you are setting up a document for a digital project, using Photoshop and Elements' guides can help you position page components with precision. This is the first in a three-part series on using guides in Photoshop and Elements.

    Open up a document and turn on rulers by pressing Ctrl R (Mac: Cmd R) on your keyboard to get started. Alternatively, you can choose View > Rulers from the Menu bar. You'll need the rulers open to use guides effectively.

    There are two ways to create a guide:
    Position your cursor over a ruler. Click and hold as you drag toward your open document. When you release the clicker, the guide is created. You can pull a guide down from the top ruler or over from the left ruler.
    From the Menu bar across the top of the page, choose View > New Guide. This opens the New Guide dialog box. Choose either Horizontal or Vertical orientation and indicate the position by typing in the position box. You may type a measurement like 6 in, 6 cm, or 6 px in the box. Alternatively, you can type a percentage like 50% to center the line.

    To center guides:
    You can center guides by using the View > New Guide method. Creating both horizontal and vertical lines at 50% will give you the center point of the document.
    You can also center guides by getting the Move tool and pressing Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) on the keyboard. This opens the transform controls with small boxes at the center point of the sides. You can drag guides to these side handles to create centered guides.

    To use the "Rule of Thirds":
    When you are designing a page, you can use the "Rule of Thirds" to create a visually-pleasing arrangement. Just divide your document into thirds both horizontally and vertically using guides. Place your focal image at one of the guide intersections. As you click and drag an image using the Move tool, you can use the image bounding box to align it over a guide line. Make sure “Show Bounding Box” or “Show Transform controls” is ticked in the Options when the Move tool is selected.

    To prepare a page for printing:
    Guides are a great tool to use when you want to create a borderless print. Your printer guide will help you determine how close to the edge of the document you can position important images. Draw out guides to form a border around the page and position the images within the guides. For example, if your printer recommends a quarter-inch border, create guidelines 1/4 inch from each of the four sides.

    Using guides takes the guesswork out of positioning items on your page. You'll be able to center text and elements, place items in a visually pleasing arrangement, line up elements and ensure that important items are not too close to the edge of the page before printing.

    Check back in two weeks for the next Designer Digitals tip on changing guides.