Jan 07, 2011

GuideGuide 2 is now available

This post is super old! Check out the latest GuideGuide at

The original GuideGuide

I give you GuideGuide: a columns, rows and midpoints panel for Photoshop CS4 & CS5

*Note* Thanks to all the love you guys have been showing GuideGuide, I’ve come across a number of improvements and features I plan to fix/implement. Please see the bottom of this post to see what’s coming up.

After many hours spent meticulously nudging nav elements and building grids for layout in web comps, I began to wonder why Photoshop didn’t have a grid tool like InDesign. At a certain point I decided to stop thinking about it and just build a tool to do it for me.

How To Install

Download GuideGuide below. Unzip the file and copy the resulting guideguide folder into the Panels folder found at:

  • Windows (32 bit)*: \Program Files (x86)\Adobe Photoshop *lt;version>\Plug-Ins\Panels\
  • Windows (64 bit)*: \Program Files\Adobe Photoshop <version>\Plug-Ins\Panels\
  • Mac: /Applications/Adobe Photoshop *lt;version>/Plug-Ins/Panels/

Once that is done, restart Photoshop and find your panel under Window > Extensions > GuideGuide.

**On 64 bit systems, Photoshop is installed in both locations by default. If you launch Photoshop and do not see GuideGuide, make sure you have installed it in the version you have launched. *

Download GuideGuide 1.0

GuideGuide has 3 major features: finding midpoints, making margins, and creating rows and columns.

  • Midpoints

    GuideGuide originally started as a script that drew guide lines at the middle of the document. I got tired of my old method which involved selecting all, transforming the selection, then dragging guides to the midpoint. The original script would draw the guides to the middle of the document in one click. Here, there are three options: horizontal middle, vertical middle, and both horizontal and vertical middles. Simply click the icon of the midpoint you want to find and a guide will be added to the document.*

  • Margins

    Just like they sound. Fill in the desired margins and click “Create Guides” to place margins at the specified locations.*

  • Rows and Columns

    The real power of GuideGuide is in the columns and rows. Add your desired numbers of rows, columns and gutter widths. When you click “Create Guides” your grid will be created on the canvas with guides.* As a handy spacing tool, create columns without gutters (I use this to align navigation elements evenly).

  • Mixing Units and Values

    I’ve set up GuideGuide to work with multiple unit types. Want a 10 px top margin and a 50% bottom margin? Do it! If it’s mathematically possible, GuideGuide will create it for you. Leaving a field blank will cause it to be omitted. Forget to specify units? The current ruler units will be used.

  • *Stage Vs. Selection

    Making columns and rows or finding the middle of a document is fine and dandy, but what if you want to find the midpoint between two objects? Here’s GuideGuide’s secret trick. If you have an active marquee selection, it will be used as the reference point for anything GuideGuide can do, rather than the stage. Simply draw a selection between the two items you want to measure between and click the desired midpoint button.

  • Beta

    GuideGuide is still very new. I’ve hardly had a chance to find every bug, so it may break on you now and then. If you find any problems with it, please screenshot what the panel looks like and email me the details.

  • Future updates

    A number of you have emailed me about bugs or improvements. While I may not implement everything you suggest, I’m certainly listening to your suggestions. Here’s a list of things I plan to do in the future. I’ll keep track of features suggested by other people and give them credit as they are implemented.

Next Version:

  • Fix the focus problem causing keyboard shortcuts to be ignored until you click back on the document.
  • Include the ruler zero point in the calculation so guides don’t get thrown off when it’s adjusted.
  • Fix the issues where each guide shows up in the history, instead making it a single entry.

Future Versions

  • Duplicate guide checking
  • Clear all guides
  • Savable Guide Presets

And of course, if you like GuideGuide, spread the word on Twitter!