When smart guides turn blue…
Smart Guides were introduced in InDesign CS4. By now most of us have probably encountered them, those green and pink smarties that pop-up when we are moving objects around the page or resizing or transforming objects. But have you encountered blue ones yet?
Smart Guide preferences
InDesign?s preferences for Guides & Pasteboard, provide us with some indication as to when smart guides might appear:
- when objects align to centers of other objects (or page) center
- object edge alignments
- when dimensions match
- when spacing settings match
We can also control whether or not we want to see all of these available Smart Guide Options, by selecting or deselecting the option check boxes in the preferences. Alternatively you can disable all smart guides from the View > Grids & Guides menu or the View Options widget drop down menu in the menu bar.
We?ll see pink-guides when (center alignments):
- the selected object’s bounding box edge aligns with the page center
- the selected object’s bounding box center aligns with the page center
We?ll see green-guides when (edge/center alignments):
- the selected object’s bounding box edge aligns with another object’s bounding box center or edge
- the selected object’s bounding box center aligns with another object’s bounding box center or edge
- When selected object’s rotation angle is identical to that of another object’s rotation angle.
- When objects have the same width or height as another object.
- When objects are a distributed equal amounts apart
A small side note: Smart guides will display only for those items that are visible within your document window. So if you’re encountering a case of smarties overload… use the zoom tool and drag a marquee around the objects for which you want to use the smart guide feature.
If Green is not your colour? You can change the default Green smart guide colour by editing its Colour setting in the Guides & Pasteboard preferences.
Blue* (* or other layer color)
Gap based smart guides were introduced to InDesign with the CS5 release and appear displaying their layer color when we use the newly introduced Gap Tool and work as a smart gap dimension indicator and appear in the color of the layer in which the objects reside.
Whether you are moving a block of gap-attached objects (Alt-drag), or resizing a gap (Ctrl/Cmd-drag), or moving individual gaps (Shift-drag), or are performing a combination of any of the aforementioned, the little blue* smart guides will appear indicating that your current gap-size is identical to another gap-size InDesign spots. This not only applies for gap sizes between objects but also gap sizes to the page edges.
Most of us hate dragging out ruler guides when we’re designing a layout, as it pollutes our view right? So from now on when moving, placing, resizing objects with either selection tool(s) or gap tool, we can let those smarties guide our objects into place. :)
In all honesty I must add that the gap based smart guide doesn’t behave entirely as its Pink and Green siblings. Deselecting Smart Guide viewing (View > Grids & Guides), does not disable the appearance of these lovely blue* arrows. However, when you deselect the Smart Spacing check box in the Guides & Pasteboard preferences they will no longer appear.
Note: For the purpose of the screenshots I did disable the Show Transformation Values check box (Preferences > Interface). If you have that option enabled, you can even control the measurement settings. The Gap Tool will always provide W or H settings in the Control panel for you even if you’ve got this option disabled.