In Adobe Illustartor CS5, you can select/click, hold the mouse, and drag the Vertical ruler to make a vertical Guide (Cyan Color by default). The same can be done with the Horizontal ruler to make a horizontal guide.

The Preferences panel shows this for Smart Guides. I don't know if it's related or not.

Smart Guides

In the following image, I have both horizontal and vertical guides. I also have a line segment placed at a angle. How would I go about creating a guide at that angle just like the other two guides. That is, a guide which is not vertical or horizintal but at a angle like the line segment.

enter image description here

6 Answers 6


Draw a path..... any path..... Select it and choose View > Guides > Make Guides.

With the Make Guides command you can turn any path, or series of paths, into guides, whatever those paths may be.

The below involves a third party solution so I'm adding it just in case that's an option.

Astutegraphics.com has a tool called VectorScribe, a plug in for Adobe Illustrator.

Within VectorScribe there's a panel called the Protractor Panel: protractor

What this panel does is allow you to alter Illustrator's default X/Y graph and constrain angle to anything. For example, you can click the "30" button to change the X coordinates to follow a 30° angle. THe red line on the panel indicates the currently set angle. If you want a custom angle, just click the box with the red line in it and enter the angle you want.

30 degrees

Once you set an angle, the Illustrator grid will be rotated to match the set angle.....


With this set, you can then actually draw at that angle (I turned off the grid because Illustrator's screen refresh is just poor, you have to zoom in and out to get the grid to refresh which I didn't think was important for the image below.)......


No keys or shortcuts are being used I'm just dragging with the rectangle tool.

Once an angle is set objects traditionally horizontal are created at that angle, shapes and type being the most noticeable. This essentially allows you to work at an angle other than 0°.

  • Is this the only way. Can't do it like the normal horizontal or vertical guides?
    – Jawad
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 15:55
  • 1
    Nope you can't "drag-out" angled guides from anywhere. The only way to make angled guides is to draw them (or use the perspective grid).
    – Scott
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 16:00
  • @Scott You've helped me once again. Have they officially made you the king of graphicdesign.se yet? Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 11:55
  • It's amazing how these commands are right under my nose, but I never "saw" it before. Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 11:56

The only way to do that is like @Scott is saying in his answer, but...

I just wanted to clarify things about Smart guides cause I see you posted a screenshot about that in your question, I hope this will help you understand them better:

Smart Guides are not directly related to normal Guides in Illustrator(the ones you manually drag from the Ruler,

Smart Guides are those green guides that appear when you select and move an object in Illustrator, not your typical bright blue Guides that you drag from the Rulers, but these Smart Guides appear by themselves when you move an object, they have a bright green color, have a look at the screenshot, the birght green lines, that say "intersect" are the Smart Guides:

enter image description here

  • Ah. Getting a lot of "Ah" moments now. Thank you for clarifying that.
    – Jawad
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 11:09
  • 2
    One of the most useful keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator is ctrl-U (or cmd-U) - it switches smart guides on and off. Personally I usually have them turned off to keep the app responsive, and switch them on when I'm doing anything that needs to be precise. Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 22:44

Just wanted to clarify, guides can be rotated using the rotate tool. For angled guides, I usually drag a guide to a point of intersection, then use that point of intersection as my pivot for rotating.

  • This should be the correct answer... the rotate tool is def the easiest way to have custom rotated guides.
    – agupta231
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 19:45

Under preferences -> General set the Constrain Angle to the desired grid angle.


My answer is the same as this question on grids. Here's the short version ...

Everything in Illustrator is a guide.

Thanks to smart guides and user defined constrain angles, you can use anything in the document as your guide. If you don't want to export those guide elements, just keep them on a dedicated layer.

enter image description here


It would be really nice if guides worked that way, but they don't. Generally I make a guide layer and use the line tool for angular guides and just keep the layer locked on top of all the other layers.

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