May 10 2016

Tech Tuesday: 5 Things To Learn About The Photoshop Grid


Whether you are using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, knowing that you can turn on a grid and use it to suit your needs can really facilitate your project. Here are 5 things to remember:

1. Turn on/off the grid. From the Menu bar, click on View > Grid to turn on/off the grid. The handy shortcut is Ctrl + ‘ (the apostrophe). Mac users will use Command + ‘.

2. Use the snap-to-grid function. When you are lining up objects, it is often handy to have the objects line up to the grid. To turn on Snap to Grid, from the Menu bar click View > Snap to > Grid. Using the Move tool, move an object near a gridline to see it snap to grid. Sometimes you need to zoom in to clearly see this function in action.

3. Turn off grid when using the Brush tool. If you have the grid on while drawing with the Brush tool, the strokes will try and snap to grid, causing a jiggy-jaggy effect. Turn off the grid to draw a smooth line . . . unless, of course, you like that jiggy-jaggy look!


4. Change grid preferences. By default, the gridlines are dark gray, with 4 subdivisions per gridline. However, you can make all kinds of changes to the appearance of the grid. To access the Grid Dialog Box, from the Menu bar click Edit > Preferences > Guides & Grid. Mac users will click Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor > Preferences > Guides & Grid.


  • To change the color of the grid, click on the Color drop-down menu (red arrow). Choose from pre-selected colors or select Custom to choose your own.
  • To change the style of the grid, click on the Style drop-down menu (green arrow). Choose from lines, dashed lines, or dots.
  • To change the unit of measurement of the grid, click on Measurement drop-down menu (blue arrow). Choose between pixels, inches, cm, mm, points, picas, percent.
  • You can also change the frequency of the gridlines by clicking in the Number box to the left of the Measurement menu.
  • To change the subdivisions of the grid, click in the Number box next to Subdivisons (yellow arrow).
  • The current color of the grid is shown in the color swatch (purple arrow). In this example, the grid color is a medium gray.

5. Grid does not print. The grid is designed to help you place your objects and therefore does not print, even when you have the grid turned on. If you want to print a grid, you can draw individual lines on top of the Photoshop grid. If you want to learn how to do this and more, you should sign up for our Photoshop Essentials class. Photoshop Essentials 2 starts on May 23, 2016.

We hope you will use the grid more often now. It’s a big help!