I'm addicted to using the X, Y, W, and H parameters in the upper right of the window in Illustrator . It makes precision layouts, resizes, and measurements trivially easy.

I understand you can get precision placement in Photoshop by putting a horizontal and vertical guide exactly where you want an object to snap to, but there are countless disadvantages to that method. Are the writable XYWH fields hidden somewhere in Photoshop as well? Or is there another way to put something at an exact spot, resize it to an exact size, or read off its exact dimensions as easily?

1 Answer 1

  1. Select the layer (or specific item using the appropriate selection method - i.e., lasso, marquee, etc.)
  2. Press "v" for the move tool. Or click on the move tool icon in the tool bar. Whatever makes you happier.
  3. Hit ctrl+t (or cmd+t is you're using a Windows version) or select Edit -> Free Transform (again, let your soul run free and pick the method that makes you all warm and fuzzy.)

The x,y,w, and h should be visible in the top left bar thusly:

enter image description here

  • I see where that bar appears for the resize tool. Thanks for pointing that out. But for placement, selecting the move tool (whether by mouse or 'v' on the keyboard) doesn't bring up a similar bar.
    – baudot
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:27
  • Oh, I get it. The transform also acts as the move.
    – baudot
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:42
  • 1
    I still want to know how to do more things with numeric precision in photoshop, like positioning a selection so precisely. But you've given me a first push in the Photoshop way of doing this, and for that you get the CheckMark of Answeringness.
    – baudot
    Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 16:49
  • 3
    Remember, Photoshop is a raster graphics program; some of the precision you enjoy in Illustrator is because it's a vector graphics program. There's going to be an inherently higher level of control due to this. You may find it's easier on you if you do all your layout in Illustrator (prep your raster images in Photoshop and place them in Illustrator). Commented Jan 13, 2012 at 19:01

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