Deke’s Techniques 377: Two Ways to Create Center Guides in Photoshop

Hi, Deke here, writing an actual post on my own web site for once. So, you know, merry new year and junk like that!

In the most recent edition of Deke’s Techniques, #376: Developing the Perfect Holiday Portrait, I disappointed more than a few of you with my lack of aesthetic sensitivity. By way of a reminder, here is a detail from the final version of said "perfect" portrait, complete with impossibly bright eyes.

A wonderful portrait except the eyes are too bright

And here, in hindsight, is how the eyes should have looked.

In other words, I make one bad call and everyone’s on my case like brown on rice. Which is why the series is called Deke’s Techniques as opposed to, say, Deke’s Tasteful Techniques.

Which is way, today, I figured I’d concentrate on something that has nothing to do with good taste and everything to do with pure practicality: Creating guides—one horizontal and one vertical—through the exact center of any image, regardless of how large or small, in Photoshop.

If only for the sake of contrast, I begin with the conventional 9-step solution, which I’ve seen demonstrated more times than I can count. And then I demonstrate the much improved 4-step solution, which involves the use of a little known command under the View menu that goes by the name New Guide.

Best of all, you can record the 4-step technique as an action, after which point you can play it back in a single step. Just click on it!

And if you’re a member of, then you can check out two follow-up movies: #378, in which I show you a new way to create a network of center guides (and much more) in Photoshop CC; and #379, in which I show you a couple of ways to create center guides in Illustrator. (If you’re not a member of, click here for a free week.)

In any event, enjoy. And, as always, let me know your thoughts, nice or not!

Next entry:Deke’s Techniques 380: Clearing the Recently Used Fonts List from InDesign

Previous entry:Deke’s Techniques 376: Developing the Perfect Holiday Portrait

  • Thanks as always

    Hehehe ‘Stop Reading’ :)

  • Center Guide Tutorial

    Thanks, Deke, for the shorter method for placing guide lines at the center of an image. Really good tip.

    I was not able to create an action that would work for all document sizes based on 50% placement. The recorded action records the dimensions in inches rather than in percent and so works only on that exact size image?

    I can make the action stop at the guide dialog and manually enter 50%, but I can’t get the 50% parameter to record with the action. I must be missing something.

    Any suggestion?



  • You have to switch the rulers to percentages to record properly

    To me it’s a bug in Photoshop. If my rulers are in Pixels but I record the action by explicitly typing in 50%, the action gets recorded in Pixels. To me it should have recorded the 50% I typed in.

    You have to change your rulers to percentages BEFORE you record the action. Then you can set the rulers back to whatever you want after you finish recording. When you play it back it will use the recorded percentages and ignore your ruler values.

    It took me a minute to figure out how to get it to work. I did it once with 25%, 50%, and 75% for both vertical and horizontal.

    I uploaded the action here (

  • Nice tip

    Don’t the guides snap to the center when whichever pixel based layer is selected???

    I just draw the guides for the layer I select, and they snap to the center…

    But still, good tip about recording it as an action

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