Rulers, grids, and guides

About rulers, grids, and guides

In Expert mode, rulers, grids, and guides help you position items (such as selections, layers, and shapes) precisely across the width or length of an image. In Quick mode, only grids are available.

When visible, rulers appear along the top and left side of the active window. Markers in the ruler display the pointer’s position when you move it. Changing the ruler origin (the 0, 0 mark on the top and left rulers) lets you measure from a specific point on the image. The ruler origin also determines the grid’s point of origin.

Use the View menu to show or hide the rulers (Expert mode only), the grid, or the guide. The View menu also helps you to enable or disable the snapping of items to the grid or guide.

Change the rulers’ zero origin and settings

  1. In Expert mode, do one of the following:
    • To change the rulers’ zero origin, position the pointer over the intersection of the rulers in the upper-left corner of the window, and drag diagonally down onto the image. A set of cross hairs appears, marking the new origin on the rulers. The new zero origin will be set where you release the mouse button.


    To reset the ruler origin to its default value, double-click the upper-left corner of the rulers.

    Dragging to create a new ruler origin

    • To change the rulers’ settings, double-click a ruler, or choose Edit > Preferences > Units & Rulers. For Rulers, choose a unit of measurement. Click OK.

    Changing the units on the Info panel automatically changes the units on the rulers.

Change the guides and grid settings

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid.
  2. Under the Guides or Grids area:
    • Choose a preset color, or click the color swatch to choose a custom color.

    • Choose the line style for the grid. Choose Lines for solid lines, or choose Dashed lines or Dots for broken lines.

  3. For Gridline Every, enter a number value, and then choose the unit of measurement to define the spacing of major grid lines.
  4. For Subdivisions, enter a number value to define the frequency of minor grid lines, and click OK.
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