A Strong Support System - Using Guides

with 11 Comments

Barb BrookbankThe holidays are over, the decorations are put away, the turkey eaten, and hopefully the sweets are gone. I don't know about you, but I could use a little support right about now, especially in the waistband area! Hmm... I'm kind of like that when I scrap, too. I need support!

When you begin a new layout, do you sometimes find yourself sitting there staring at all that pure white empty space and wondering, "Where in the world am I going to start?" The answer is, "Use your girdles, oops, I mean Guides!" There is a giant support system hiding underneath all that white space!

In today's tutorial I'll show you how to quickly create a simple, clean, and balanced layout using this system.

Tutorial:

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12"x12" at 300ppi with a white background.
  • Make sure the Rulers are visible. In the Menu Bar choose View > Rulers.

Step 2: Set up the Guides

  • To set up the Guides, choose View > New Guide in the Menu Bar.
  • In the dialog box, choose Horizontal for the Orientation, enter 4in for the Position and click OK.
  • Repeat for another Horizontal Guide set at 8in and press OK.

  • Repeat the same steps for the Vertical Orientation — also set at 4in and 8in.

You now have your support system in place.

Alternative: If your version of Photoshop Elements doesn't have guides, use a grid instead:

  • Choose View > Grid.
  • Press Ctrl K (Mac: Cmd K) to get Preferences.
  • Click on Grid in the list on the left.
  • Enter Gridline every 4 inches with 1 Subdivision and click OK.
  • Use the gridlines as your visual guides.

Step 3: Add Your Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a photo.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Click on the photo and drag it onto the scrapbook page.
  • Close the original photo.
  • Position the photo so that the subject's face falls onto one of the "cross hairs" of the Vertical and Horizontal Guides. For this layout, I've chosen the upper left portion of the page. This is my starting point and the exact place where I want my viewer's eye to fall — right on the baby's face. Now I have the bare bones of my layout, and already things are feeling firmer!

Step 4: Add a Background Paper

  • Open (File > Open) a background paper.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the layer below the photo is activated.
  • Click on the background paper and drag it onto your scrapbook page while holding down the Shift key to center it on the page.

Step 5: Add a Frame

  • Open (File > Open) a frame.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is activated.
  • Click on the frame, drag it onto your scrapbook page, re-size if necessary, and position it over the photo. In this layout I've positioned the frame behind the photo and tilted it. This is where artistic license and breaking the rules come into play! How fun!
  • Close the original frame and paper.

Step 6: Align Your Elements and Journaling

  • Using the photo as a guide, add a title, elements, and journaling directly in line with your picture.
  • Try to keep things in proportion.
  • If the photo is small, keep the elements small.
  • If the photo is larger, the elements may be larger.

Credits:
Tip of the Week: A Strong Support System - Using Guides by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Christmas Lights by Julie Billingsley, available to Premier members December 2011.
Font: CK Jot
Concept: Rule of Thirds
Scrapbook page and photo by Barb Brookbank

Download a PDF version of this "A Strong Support System - Using Guides" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.


Step 1: Prepare the Workspace

  • Create a new document (File > New) that is 12"x12" at 300ppi with a white background.
  • Make sure the Rulers are visible. In the Menu Bar choose View > Rulers.

Step 2: Set up the Guides

  • To set up the Guides, choose View > New Guide in the Menu Bar.
  • In the dialog box, choose Horizontal for the Orientation, enter 4in for the Position and click OK.
  • Repeat for another Horizontal Guide set at 8in and press OK.

  • Repeat the same steps for the Vertical Orientation — also set at 4in and 8in.

You now have your support system in place.

Step 3: Add Your Photo

  • Open (File > Open) a photo.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • Click on the photo and drag it onto the scrapbook page.
  • Close the original photo.
  • Position the photo so that the subject's face falls onto one of the "cross hairs" of the Vertical and Horizontal Guides. For this layout, I've chosen the upper left portion of the page. This is my starting point and the exact place where I want my viewer's eye to fall — right on the baby's face. Now I have the bare bones of my layout, and already things are feeling firmer!

Step 4: Add a Background Paper

  • Open (File > Open) a background paper.
  • Get the Move tool.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the layer below the photo is activated.
  • Click on the background paper and drag it onto your scrapbook page while holding down the Shift key to center it on the page.

Step 5: Add a Frame

  • Open (File > Open) a frame.
  • In the Layers panel, make sure the photo layer is activated.
  • Click on the frame, drag it onto your scrapbook page, re-size if necessary, and position it over the photo. In this layout I've positioned the frame behind the photo and tilted it. This is where artistic license and breaking the rules come into play! How fun!
  • Close the original frame and paper.

Step 6: Align Your Elements and Journaling

  • Using the photo as a guide, add a title, elements, and journaling directly in line with it.
  • Try to keep things in proportion.
  • If the photo is small, keep the elements small.
  • If the photo is larger, the elements may be larger.

Credits:
Tip of the Week: A Strong Support System - Using Guides by Barb Brookbank
Kit: Christmas Lights by Julie Billingsley, available to Premier members December 2011
Font: CK Jot
Concept: Rule of Thirds
Scrapbook page and photo by Barb Brookbank

Download a PDF version of this "A Strong Support System - Using Guides" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

11 Responses

  1. Riet
    | Reply

    Barb, how very nice of you (and DS) to let us in to your design secrets! Looking forward to see more of them:)

  2. Marty Robinson
    | Reply

    Awesome job on your first tut. Way to go, Barb!

  3. Susie Roberts
    | Reply

    What a wonderful and simple way of creating a design!

  4. Mandy Gee
    | Reply

    Can you plese tell me which versions of Elements these instructions are for ? I know they aren’t applicable for PSE 5, but am unsure about 7,8 and 9 ?

    • Jen White
      | Reply

      Hi Mandy.
      Guides were introduced in Photoshop Elements 8.0.

  5. Sandybee
    | Reply

    Thanks for the tut. I always have trouble figuring out where to start and how to proceed.

  6. Gayle09@tpg.com.au
    | Reply

    What a great and easy way to do a clean page . . . thanks Barb for the wonderful tip. 🙂

  7. Anne Morris
    | Reply

    Great tips…thanks!

  8. Carol
    | Reply

    Thank you so very much for helping me so much with your instructions. I for sure need as much help as I can get. I don’t seem to have a very good eye for design so I truly appreciate your help.

  9. Cherry
    | Reply

    Thanks for this tip about starting a new page – appreciate the ideas!

  10. Janet LeBlanc
    | Reply

    Learning scrapbooking never ends. Lots of fun;) Thanks for the tip!…..

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