Is it possible to make multiple guides at once in Photoshop?

If I click "Add new guide" and then enter a value, say, 20px. Is it possible to make a guide that is 20px off of every edge? How?

3 Answers 3


(Workaround) Actions.

For the example you provided:

  • Choose Actions window and Create new action
  • Image → Canvas size...
    • [✓] Relative
    • Width: -40 pixels
    • Height: -40 pixels
  • View → New Guide...
    • [✓] Horizontal
    • Position: 0
    • repeat for vertical
  • View → New Guide...
    • [✓] Horizontal
    • Position: 100%
    • repeat for vertical
  • Image → Canvas size...
    • [✓] Relative
    • Width: 40 pixels
    • Height: 40 pixels
  • Choose Stop from the Actions window

If you want to enter the Canvas size (ie. "guide margin") value every time you run the actions, just tick the Toggle dialog on/off checkbox in the Actions window next to the Canvas size actions. (Remember to double the wanted "guide margin" length and start with negative lengths.)

NB: You might get black borders, if your file has data on the default Background layer. You could work this around by doing a Duplicate Layer... action on the Background layer as the first step in the action set.

NB2: I'm currently on a computer with a rather old version of Photoshop (CS 1) and it translates the 100% into pixel units before saving the data to the action. This might not be the case with CS 5, but I can't test it for the next two weeks.

EDIT! The action will translate the typed units to whatever the ruler unit is set to. So, to save guides at "100%" in your action, change the ruler unit to percent just before adding new guides and aftewards back to pixels. You can change the unit back to what it was after you've saved the action — action will stay to use the percent value.

You can change the ruler unit from the Preferences or by second-clicking a ruler.

In order to get the action to work with documents with different resolutions, you must tick the Toggle dialog on/off checkbox in the Actions window next to the last two Make → New Guide actions.

Running the action Photoshop will ask for the guide positions, for which you will have to give the aforementioned 100%. This way Photoshop will nag you with 2 dialogs, but it's quite automatic and faster than manually creating four guides.

  • Great Answer! I will select when I get this to work.
    – Moshe
    Dec 29, 2010 at 1:22

For PhotoShop CC 2014, go to View > New Guide Layout...

The values you want for your example are:

 ☑ Columns
    Number: 1
 ☑ Rows
    Number: 1
 ☑ Margin
    Top: 20px
    Left: 20px
    Bottom: 20px
    Right: 20px

You can drag new guides from the rulers on all sides of the canvas. Just click and drag from there.

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