Line it Up!

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Layout with grid and guide turned on

 

Do you know how to use grids, guides, rulers, and alignment tools in your program? These simple tools are very important to make everything look great on your layout. Some elements don’t need to be used in a linear fashion, but most of the time it makes better design sense to have your photos or embellishments lined up evenly. These tools are especially useful if you are making your own template, or using a line of items as a focal point on the page.

Here are a few posts that discuss using the built in tools that come with most programs.

Here’s a step-by-step screenshot recap of my own process. I’m using Photoshop Elements 8 for this demonstration. In the top toolbar, I selected “View” and accessed the drop down menu. I then selected “Grid” so that it would show on top of the black paper I used for this layout.

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I decided to also use a “Guide” for this project, which means I can turn on a line guide on a certain area of the canvas. In the same drop down menu, I selected “New Guide”

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I then entered the position I wanted the guide line to be in the canvas space. I chose a vertical line at the position of 3 inches (my project is 12 x 12). This can be repeated as many times as you want.

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The result is that I get a bright line to guide me in placement of items on the canvas. You can use this tool alone, or with the grid option also selected as I am doing here.

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As I add the numbers on this layout, the grid helps me keep track of the spacing between them and where they are placed on the page. Note that they are not all evenly spaced because my journaling is bigger in some areas, but the grid did help me visually even things out.

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Another way to check the placement of a line of items is to use the “Align” tool.

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Click on the Align drop down menu from the lower tool bar and while the desired items are all selected in the layers area, choose how you want to align them. I could choose to align them all by either the left edges or the right edges since they are equal in dimensions. In this case I chose to align the horizontal centers, which also gave me the same result.

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When you no longer want to see the grid or guide, simply uncheck them in the view menu. You can also “Clear Guides” when you are ready to use new ones.

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Here’s my finished layout! I love how all the numbers all line up! It would be distracting to have them any other way.

favorite flowers

Layout by Katie. Credits: Mari Koegelenberg Thrifty Finds. Traveling Typewriter font.

 

Familiarize yourself with the simple built-in tools that your program offers to help you make your layouts look their very best!

katie big

P.S. I (Steph) was out of town for a few days and came home to pretty sick kids, so I am running a bit behind with the winner from the Pixel Gypsy post on Monday.  I’m so sorry!  The winner is Diane and she won $10 in product from Pixel Gypsy!  THANKS to everyone who played!