If you've never used the guides in PSP, you are missing a wonderful feature of this program.  Once you learn to use the guides, you will be amazed at how useful they are in creating your graphics. The guides can help you place images "precisely" on your canvas.

This is a quick tutorial to help you set up the feature in your program and show you how to use them effectively.

First, click on File/Preferences/General Program Preferences:

The following screen will open.  These are the settings I use - you can set them to your preferences, but I find that the brighter colors are much easier to see.  I recommend leaving "pixels" as your settings.  Input the numbers you'd like for your Grid and simply click on the color window to change the colors for your Grid and Guide.

Next, click on View and make your guides visible.  The following screen shot shows my settings.  I have my "Rulers" and "Guides" enabled.  You can tell by the appearance of the icons next to the option.  If the option is enabled, the icon appears "depressed":

The "Change Grid and Guide Properties" (seen above) allows you to make changes to your settings during the creation of a graphic. This comes in handy when your graphic contains the colors of your grid or guides; or, if you need to change the settings for your grids.

Now, let's try out our guides.

Open a new image 200x200.  Flood fill with white to make it easier on your eyes!

You can activate your guides while using any tool, but I will be using the Mover Tool in my screen shot.  Below you see the Mover Tool in the center of the canvas (1).  The second circle (2) is what you will see when you move your cursor to the left edge of your canvas.  (I have changed the color to red to make it visible, but yours will stay black.  Since your cursor stays black, you should not see the vertical line as it will be hidden by the edge of your graphic.)

When your cursor changes to crosshairs, left click with your mouse and "drag" your guide out onto your canvas. Release your mouse and your will see the following. Exact placement is not necessary at this time.  The "marker" (in circle) shows the location of the guide:

Right click on your "marker" to see the guide properties, where you can change the color, position, or delete the guide:

Change your marker position to 50.

Add another guide and place it at 150:

Now add two horizontal guides; by placing your cursor over the top edge of your canvas.  Place one at 50 and one at 150:

Okay, now that you have your guides what are you going to do with them?  You're going to learn to use them to save yourself a lot of aggravation when doing tutorials!!!

Have you ever done a tutorial with a step similar to this:

Using your Preset Shapes Tool, set to ellipse, draw a narrow oval in the middle of your screen, approximately 50 wide and 100 high.

~ or ~

With your Preset Shapes Tool set to ellipse, start at 75,50 and draw out an ellipse to 125,150.

The tutorial usually instructs you to watch the bottom of your screen to check your size:

This always meant getting out paper and pencil and making notes for me, since I can not remember all four numbers.

Once I learned to use the guides, it was much simpler.  Set your guides to the coordinates called for.  Click on the spot where the guides intersect at the top left and draw out to the lower right intersection of your guides.  You're ellipse is done to the exact coordinates called for:

This is just one example of how to use your guides.  As you experiment with them, you will find more and more ways to use them in creating graphics.

Try my April Showers Tutorial which utilizes the guides in creating the graphic.



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