Suppose I need to draw a grid in Photoshop, each square being the same size, and a certain amount of pixels tall and wide, and the grid lines having a certain pixel width. Like this:

10 by 10 grid of white squares on a black background. Black borders all around the square as well

Currently I do this by drawing one square, copy+pasting+moving+merging it a few times to create one row, copy/pasting that a few times to create more rows above each other.

It works, but feels very clumsy, I'm sure there ought to be a more efficient way to do this?

What are some efficient methods for creating a grid of equally sized squares?


5 Answers 5


Try using patterns. For your example of a square:

Draw your initial square and marquee-select a smaller square that includes the top and left sides only. Then select Edit > Define Pattern... and save your pattern with a name.

Next, marquee-select the area that you wish to fill. Then select Edit > Fill... , choose Use: Pattern and select your square pattern.

enter image description here

  • how can you make it so there are no half cells, in that it fits perfectly? Jun 5, 2017 at 21:17
  • 1
    In the example above, I used the info palette to measure the grid-size. In this case, it was 86px. If you want to tile a canvas without 'half-cells', use a value that multiplies evenly into your canvas dimensions. Jul 21, 2017 at 11:37
  • Well, I have the layer in which I drew the square selected and the marquee all set up, yet Edit > Define Pattern is a disabled menu choice for me. Baffling. Nov 12, 2018 at 22:01

If you are attempting to create a grid just for your benefit while designing, there's an extension named GuideGuide that will do this efficiently.

If you need the grid to be part of the design, I'd recommend creating a line using the marquee tool and then duplicating it as many times as you need, then using the Layer >> Distribute options to get them perfectly even.


Under the "view" tab New Guide layout

this will open a new window Preset - you can save, load & create a guide layout to use over and over again check or uncheck columns or rows depending on your needs I suggest having "preview" checked Number = The number of guides you desire Width = The distance between the generated guides Gutter = the space between guides Margin = sets your designs desired margins, you can type in a value for top, left, bottom and right

center columns and clear existing guides can be selected as well

This is for Photoshop CC 2015.5

  1. Select photoshop → preferences → guides, grids & slices.

  2. Define grid as desired

  3. Select view → show → grid; then check extras.

  4. Check view → snap to grid; then check snap.

  5. Turn on the Paths window if it isn’t already visible. Create a new path called Horizontal.

  6. Use the pen tool (P). Define a horizontal line segment at the top of the grid. Single click first on left side, then the right.

  7. Use the path selecetion tool (A, black arrow). Click on the path, hold down option (Alt) to make copies of the object.

  8. Create another new path called vertical.

  9. Use the pen tool (P). Define a vertical line segment of the grid on the left side. Single click first on the top, then the bottom.

  10. Use the path selection tool (A, black arrow). Click on the path, hold down option (Alt) to make copies of the object.

  11. Create a new layer for the grid (optional). Otherwise, the grid will be drawn on whichever layer is active.

  12. Palette window  → Select horizontal path, then choose stroke path (using foreground color) from the options submenu (click the little triangle with three lines on the upper right corner of the palette window), choose brush or pencil.

  13. Repeat previous step to stroke the vertical path.

  • 3
    That is a tremendous amount of work to do it like this. Sep 11, 2015 at 19:24
  • Actually, that was quite quick for me. Is there any better way to create a grid of paths (rather than pixels)? Very neat having it snap to the grid. Thanks!
    – emrys57
    Apr 21, 2017 at 15:27

I found a quick way to solve my problem (I have PS CS4): I used "Show Grid", adjusted the size etc in Preferences, got it exactly how I wanted it, and then took a screenshot of the image, Pasted it into my file as a new layer, and trimmed it to size & scale. This will not be hi-res enough for some users, but it was super-quick and worked for my needs.

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