I've been working on this file with a lot of guides(in Illustrator) and at some Point I was wondering is there a way to give different color to guides ? Like the gutter guides to be black, the main layout and columns guides to be green, some other guides I've done while placing other content a different color...

Is that posible?

The workaround I found so far is to make a "guide" layer and draw lines after the existing guides and give them different colors and then lock the layer, but It would be nice to use the default guides and stuff and as it is a quite simple thing I'm thinking this already exist but maybe I just donno about it. (I know in very Adobe Software(PS,AI,ID you can set a main color for all guides, I am looking for custom color for each guide).

If that is not possible, how do you work when you have a lot of guides and want to know which guide stands for what? I kind of keep the boxes I created to make the guides around the canvas, but its not so efficient sometimes...have a look at the screenshot to see what I mean: enter image description here

Thank you

10 Answers 10


Other than Photoshop, whose guides are monomanically monochromatic, guides in the rest of the CS applications pretty much follow the rule that when selected they will assume the color of the layer they're placed on.

If you have, say, three layers in AI or ID and place guides on each one, a simple marquee selection will expose their "true colors" so you can quickly identify which belongs to which layer. You may have to adapt your workflow slightly to make this useful (e.g., you might need more layers than you are used to). With a crowded artboard you would have to be careful not to move a guide by accident, especially if you're used to AI's default of the guides being locked. If I were your lead or AD I might suggest this, nonetheless, because copious use of layers is a good and heavily neglected work practice in AI.

An alternative workflow, that would allow you to quite literally give every guide its own color if you wanted to, would be to make a non-printing guide layer on top of the layer stack. Instead of placing the usual guides, you would draw .25 pt strokes in the colors of your choice. You can lock the layer and reduce its opacity to, say, 80% so the lines are visible but don't get in your way while you're working. You can just turn the visibility off when you want to see the artwork sans guides. An advantage of this approach is that it allows you to easily create "guides" at arbitrary angles, or of arbitrary shapes. This is actually a closer analogy to the traditional drawing-tablet workflow, back before computers made it all so easy...

  • Ok. thats interesting, I didn't even thought Im placing guides on layers, somehow I thought guides are somewhere on top of it all and they belong to no layer(that is probably because in AI I sometimes don't use more than 1-3 layers :D) So yeah, probably I'm might have to change my workflow to make this work for me – Flavius Frantz Feb 18 '12 at 10:07

In Photoshop Extended, you can also use the count tool to label your guides. The count tool lets you create different count groups, and each group can be set to a different size/color. You can also selectively show/hide the count groups.

This won't change the way the guides look, but it will place a colored number next to each guide that will be visible no matter how much you zoom in/out. The count tool can also place a marker where you click, but I usually just leave the marker size unchanged, which seems to hide the markers.

Photoshop Extended count tool screen shot

  • The count tool is interesting also, I saw its there at some point but never found a practical way to use it, this might be one. Thanks for the tip! – Flavius Frantz Feb 18 '12 at 10:08

It's easy to change the color of guides in Illustrator. Just select your guide line, right click on it and select the Ruler Guide option. There you can change the color into whatever you want. If it's not a ruler guide (say you made it by going to Layout -> Create Guides) I think you have to change its color on the Master page using the above method.


Unfortunately no. Guides are always a single color. You can change that one color in the preferences, but it will always be just one color.

Your workaround is a good one and about the only way you can use different color lines for guides.


In Adobe InDesign cc 2015 or 2014 you can set different color easily. Just draw a guide and right click on it and select on Ruler guides and then you will see a dialog box that you can change the color what you want.

  • Please add an screenshot showing what you mean ... – Mensch Jun 16 '16 at 3:29
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    For InDesign, this already has been answered. – Jongware Jun 16 '16 at 8:27

This is a total mixup of almost right and almost wrong answers dating back to 2012.

In 2021, this is very much doable via the Preferences panel in either Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign. Each of these have a Guides section where you can definitely change the color of the guides.

Illustrator enter image description here

InDesign enter image description here

Photoshop enter image description here


I make my own grids in illustrator... cause i also had the same problem with guides... Been working like this for years now and it works for me... All my templates have different colored strokes of grid in them... to guide me - before I design anything I make a grid for it... like this: Logo prototype 1 for prunel projects - south africa

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    This doesn't really answer the "how" of the question well... – Zach Saucier Aug 8 '15 at 13:11

InDesign (at least as far back as CS3) allows for individual coloring of guides through the Ruler Guides dialogue box. This can be found (I'm working in CC 2014) in Layout > Ruler Guides.

All guides by default are Cyan. There's no setting in preferences to change the default. However, you can select any number of guides (since InDesign treats guides as objects) and change their colors all at once. Use one of the pre-existing colors or create a custom color.

  • Almost correct. "All guides by default are Cyan. There's no setting in preferences to change the default" – no. By default they have the color of the layer they are placed on. – Jongware Jun 16 '16 at 8:28

edit > preference > guide and grid


you can't change the colours of individual "guides" but you can use lines to make an icon grid and change the individual colours of the individual strokes :)


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