By Dani Beaumont
May 14, 2019 ·
5 min video
With the new artboard guide feature in Adobe XD, adding guides to artboards is as simple as pressing and dragging; and duplicating those guides is an absolute breeze. Let me show you what I mean.
I'm working on a design flow here representing a mobile interface. And if you'll notice the same iOS controls are on pretty much all of the artboards that I'm looking at. I want to do a quick check to see if I've placed them in the right position on each of the artboards. So I'd like to add some artboard guides. To begin with, I'm going to zoom in on this first artboard so that I can see the details just a bit more. From there, when I'm ready to add a guide to my artboard, what I want to do is move my cursor to slightly above the artboard when I want to drag a guide from the top, or slightly to the left of the artboard to drag a guide from the left.
I'll go ahead and start from the top. I'm going to press and drag the guide down. You'll notice it seems a bit jumpy as I'm dragging. That's because it's snapping to actual elements that are on the artboard. If I want a smooth drag I can hold CTRL on the Macintosh or CMD on Windows and it will ignore any of the objects on the design canvas. Notice that as I drag down the Y value in the tooltip here is coming up to let me know where I am as I drag. I'm going to go ahead and bring it back up towards the top and drop it just below the iOS elements right about there. Next, I want to drag some guides from the left, so I'll come to the left-hand side and press and drag a guide. Notice as I do so, I'm now getting an indicator that lets me know how far away from the left or right side of the artboard I am. So I'm going to drag until I get to about 25 pixels from the left and I'll release. Once again, I'm going to press and drag and come all the way to about 25 pixels in from the right-hand side. And already I can see that my header content needs to adjust a little bit to be balanced between those margins, I'm going to press and drag one more guide from the top just below this button here, and then I'll release.
Now that I have those guides all set with the first artboard, I want to apply the same set of guides to these other artboards that I'm working on. So to do that, I'll go ahead and zoom out a bit so I can see the other artboards. I then want to come in and select either the artboard that I have the guides on, or any one object within that artboard, just so that that artboards is in a selected state. From there I want to pull down on View > Guides, and select Copy Guides from the menu. With those guides on the clipboard now, I want to paste them to my destination artboards. To do that I'm going to come in and press and drag to select all of the artboards that I want to apply the guides to. I can tell that they're selected because they have that blue selection color. I can then come in under View again under Guides and say Paste Guides, or a little more handy, I can just come to a keyboard command here and type CMD-v on the Mac or Ctrl-v on Windows to just paste the guides. So pasting what's on the clipboard there to all of the active artboards. Well, now that I have this set if I zoom in on any one of my artboards and start to press and drag content, those will now snap to the guides, letting me know where I am in relationship to them.
If I'm done aligning everything and it's in good shape, and I want to go back to designing, I can hide all of the guides using keyboard commands as well. So if I want to hide all of the guides on the canvas, let's go ahead and zoom out here for a moment. What I can do is pull down under View to Guides and select Hide all Guides. Notice that we have a keyboard command for this as well, which is CMD-; on the Mac or Ctrl-; on Windows. Notice I can lock and unlock guides here as well. Now in order to free up that keyboard command what we needed to do is move the Show/Hide object command to CMD- or Ctrl-, This brings both of those shortcuts in line with other Adobe applications like Photoshop or Illustrator. So you've got some consistency between apps in the Adobe portfolio.
Well indeed, these have been a long time in coming, but it's great to have this elegant guide implementation built directly in the XD application. I encourage you to give it a try.
To maintain precise alignment of elements throughout the design, Adobe XD provides several types of guides that can be used on artboards. This tutorial will walk through how to add guides in Adobe XD. To add a guide to an artboard simply hover over the left or top of the artboard and drag a guide on. Artboard guides in Adobe XD provide relative measurements to other objects and guides so you can place them with confidence knowing they'll be just where they're needed.
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