I'm using Photoshop CS5. I have a PSD file. We'll say it's 600x400. I have guides set up at, let's say, 100 pixels over and 27 pixels down, which I am using to position a layer correctly.

I have to do this in ten more PSDs. They are all the same 600x400. I want the guides at the same spot so when I drop in my new element, it's always at the same coordinates.

Is there a way to copy or export the guides from my original PSD to the other PSDs? I know that I can create a template with the guides and drag in my ten new images... I want to know if there's a quicker way.

  • Ugh. Sadly - no. – Joel Glovier Sep 10 '11 at 14:44
  • Create the guides and Save As abc01, abc02, abc03... – user2515 Sep 25 '11 at 19:23
  • That was the last line of my question: I know I can do it that way, but I wanted to know if there were a better way. – Lauren Ipsum Sep 26 '11 at 0:09

The best way I know to "save guides" is to create an action which actually creates the guides. Some notes:

  • When recording the action, it is better to create the guides using ViewNew Guide… rather than dragging.
  • Also note that while you can type whatever unit in the guide creation box (e.g. "95%" or "2px") the action will convert the value to whatever the ruler unit is set to while recording.
  • And when you later run the action, it will use the converted value regardless of what the current ruler unit is set to.

(I also answered to a related question on SuperUser)

It's unfortunate that guides can't be copied in Photoshop in the same manner as they can be in other programs like InDesign.


I recently came across http://www.guideguide.me/ as well, and it is a wonderful tool to save presets like these without having to modify any configuration file. It's very solid and intuitive.


Someone dear to me made this script because I needed to copy and paste guides from one doc. to another. This script will let you import and export preexisting guides in your documents. The instructions on how to use it are included. http://www.mediafire.com/?zz7j7t3fl824p31


You can also modify the "default new doc sizes.txt" and create your own "guide templates". You have to be careful to copy the original so you can revert it back if need be. A bit of math is needed to break down the percentages but once complete it works like a dream.

Here is my example:


"640 x 480"                     640     480    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
"800 x 600"                  800     600    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
"1024 x 768"                1024     768    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
"1152 x 864"                1152     864    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
"1280 x 1024"               1280    1024    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
"1280 x 1024 (2 column equal)"      1280    1024    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0    white "none" 11.72 v 12.5 v 49.61 v 50.0 v 50.39 v 87.5 v 88.28 v
"1280 x 1024 (2 column left)"       1280    1024    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0    white "none" 11.72 v 12.5 v 35.16 v 35.94 v 87.5 v 88.28 v
"1280 x 1024 (2 column right)"      1280    1024    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0    white "none" 11.72 v 12.5 v 64.06 v 64.84 v 87.5 v 88.28 v
"1280 x 1024 (3 column equal)"      1280    1024    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0    white "none" 11.72 v 12.5 v 36.72 v 37.89 v 62.11 v 63.28 v 87.5 v 88.28 v
"1600 x 1200"               1600    1200    pixels  screen dpi RGB 8 1.0
  • 2
    can you explain your example a bit more? I'm seeing a string of data which doesn't make any sense. – Lauren Ipsum Dec 15 '11 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Lauren: He's talking about modifying a configuration file for Photoshop that specifies the various presets you're presented with when you create a new document. Perhaps tbbjr can include the default location of this file in his answer to make this more clear. – Lèse majesté Dec 15 '11 at 23:47

GuideGuide is an excellent tool to create guides just by inputting values. This could be very useful, especially if you're a web designer as you can create a complete grid with margins, columns and gutters.


I've used JavaScript to batch redefine guides on multiple documents at once in the past, but I can't for the life of me find the link to the actual script. This isn't the script I used, but it seems to do the same thing (though I'm not sure if in simultaneous multiples) so you might find it useful.

GuideGuide sounds like a much easier way of doing this for individual documents, though.


I generally just turn smart guides on and use shapes/paths (boxes and lines primarily). It's easy to wireframe using simple shapes and then use them for guides as well.

At some point I'll usually deleted the shapes and actually replace them with real guides. But that's usually later in the design process when the wireframe is locked in.

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