Centering a layer element

Posted By
Aug 28, 2004
Very often when I add a new layer, containing text, or another item into an image, I want to center the element in the new layer horizontally, or vertically.

It would seem that there must be a quick way to do this, but I haven’t been able to find it.

With text which is center justified in its own text box, centering the text box horizontally would then place the text in the center of the overall image.

With a layer consisting of an element that was pasted into an image, that layer is transparent, except for the element pasted in.

I know that I can center things the "hard" way, by doing some arithmetic. But, it would seem that there should be a way as there is in many programs, similar to right clicking, and choosing "center horizontally".

So, am I missing this somewhere?

Ron Hirsch

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Aug 28, 2004
I neglected to mention that I am familiar with using GUIDES. These of course allow the most flexibility.

What I’m seeking is a quick/simple path to just centering an item.

Ron Hirsch
Aug 28, 2004
Layer -> Align Linked

Use a layer that fills the canvas. Align linked requires you to link the layers and align to the active layer (it bases alignment on the outermost pixels on the active layer).


Layer -> Align to selection.

Ctrl-A to select all then just align to selection.

If you do this often enough, Just make an action and assign a shortcut key.
Aug 28, 2004
Thanks for quick response.

That’s exactly what I was looking for – I guess I missed it when I was browsing around the menu items.

Ron Hirsch
Aug 28, 2004
Hey Ron…You may find the following Action Set useful, if only for visualizing centers and zones.

FIND CENTER: Draws out a horizontal and a vertical guideline that intersect in the center of any size document.

CREATE ZONES: Draws out 4 guidelines to form an evenly spaced "Tic-Tac-Toe" grid in any size document.

Aug 30, 2004
Just ran across your question. Try holding down the shift button and dragging the new layer onto the layer you are working with.
Aug 30, 2004
Thanks for the tip. When I read your message, a light flashed in the depths of my mind, and I now remember actually using that method a number of years ago. But, with so many "quick shortcuts" in PS, it get to be tough to remember them all.


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