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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Checking Out the Guides, Grid & Slices Preferences

The settings on the Guides, Grid & Slices Preferences page, shown in Figure 3.15, control how guides, a grid, and HTML slice guidelines appear on an image in Photoshop.

Figure 3.15Figure 3.15 The Guides, Grid & Slices Preferences dialog box.

Here is some essential information about these features and the settings that control them:

  • Guides. For those of you who are new to Photoshop, guides are non-printing screen elements that you pull out of rulers (press Ctrl(Command)+R) to help you align vertical and horizontal elements. You can hide guides, but it's a better idea to put them back into the rulers—to avoid embarrassing presentations (or choose View, Clear Guides). Any tool can be used to pull guides out of the rulers; however, only the Move tool can be used to put 'em back.

  • Guides were introduced in Photoshop 4 and are a big hit for users. The only possible gripe is that the default color of medium blue for guides is probably too dark for richly colored images. We suggest, at your discretion, that you click on the color swatch on the right side of the Guides area of the Guides, Grid & Slices Preferences page, take a ride to the Color Picker, and choose a lighter color.

    You are given a choice of either a solid line or a dashed line from the Style drop-down. Solid is the default because solid works best for most images.

  • Grid. Again, the Photoshop Grid is another non-printing element that assists in accuracy and alignment of areas on layers and so on. You set the increments and subdivisions of the Grid in the Grid area of this Preferences page. Grid increments are set independently of the Units & Rulers specifications. (Can you imagine Units & Rulers getting into a fight with Guides, Grids & Slices?)

  • We see nothing wrong with the conventional ruler layout for the Grid—a tick every inch with four subdivisions. It all depends on the way you work. If you work on the Web, for example, you might want to set the Gridline Every option to 10 pixels with, say, 5 subdivisions every tick to ensure precise Web media placement (the Web is one place where every pixel counts in design work).

    From the Style menu, you can choose Lines, Dashed Lines, or Dots. As we recommend for the Guides Style, Lines is most useful. Also, if needed, you can change the color of the grid by using the Color Picker to locate a color that contrasts the colors in your image.

  • Slices. Slices are actual pieces of an image file that you create with the Slice tool. (You'll learn about slices and Web page creation in Part VII, "Working for the Web with ImageReady.") In the Slices area of this Preferences page, you can choose the color of the indicator of the slice boundary (again, non-printing and invisible on the Web). I find that electric orange works nicely with almost any image.

  • The Show Slice Numbers setting gives you the option of showing the slice numbers. The numbers become part of the filenames of the slices, so it's probably a good idea to leave this option checked. Who knows; later you might decide to edit a slice of an image without the hassle of locating it or creating the sliced image a second time.

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