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When designing in Photoshop I frequently place a guide a certain distance away from an object so that I can keep consistent spacing (e.g. all headings could have 40px of padding below them). In Photoshop, I can use the Ruler tool to measure 40px from an existing object/guide, than drag a new guide out, let it snap to the end of the ruler, and release it.

In Illustrator, though, the Measure tool disappears as soon as I start to drag out a guide.

Is there a way to place a guide (ideally) or an object itself (if guides aren't possible) a certain distance away from an existing object or guide?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Place the guide at your starting point, adjacent to the edge of the object you'd like to move it away from. Make sure lock guides is off.

Click the guide, hit Enter on your keyboard. In the move dialog type the distance you'd like the guide to move either vertically or horizontally.

Bing! You're done.

Initial Position of Guide

Exactly repositioned guide

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Draw a line , or any object, at the edge of the object. Then use Object > Transform > Move to move the line the distance you want. Then use View > Guides > Make Guides to make the line a guide.

With Illustrator any path can be made into a guide. So basically just create objects and then turn them into guides.

In fact, if you have an existing object, or group of objects...
Select the objects and choose Object > Path > Offset Path, input a value, click OK then choose View > Guides > Make Guides.

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