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How To Move Objects In Photoshop To A Specific Position

Photoshop allows you set the canvas size to anything you like. You can set the size in pixels, or in inches and you can change it while you’re working on a file. For every canvas that you create, every pixel on it is mapped to a position that is defined in x and y coordinates. These coordinates can be used to move objects in Photoshop to a specific position , and there are angles that allow you to rotate them.

Find x/y Coordinates

First, open Photoshop’s preferences from Edit>Preferences. Go to Units & rulers, and change the units from inches to pixels.

Next, assuming you know where you want to move an object to by just looking at the canvas, you need to find its address i.e., its x/y coordinates.

Go to Window>Info to show the info window. Position your mouse cursor over the area you want to find x/y coordinates for.

The Info window will tell you the exact coordinates for your cursor’s current position. If you move your mouse around, it will update in real time. Note down the coordinates.

Move Objects

Select the layer that the object is on and tap the Ctrl+T (Windows) or Command+T (Mac) keyboard shortcut to enter free transform mode. On the top bar, you will see input fields for x/y coordinates. Enter the ones you noted down in the previous section, and the object will be moved to that position.

Objects are position by their center i.e., the center that appears when the object is in free transform mode is the point that is positioned where you specify it in the x/y coordinates fields. The object is not positioned from its left-top edge.

What this means is that the entire layer’s center will be used. To make sure the object is moved accurately, you should make sure there isn’t so much as an extra pixel worth of a dot on a layer. Only the object you intend to use should be present on the layer.

It might help to also use guides and grids while you try to figure out where to move an object. Drag them out and create intersection points if you need to snap an object to a particular position and the x/y coordinates aren’t working for you. Use linked layers if you need to keep two or more layers at relative positions to each other, and lock them down once you’ve positioned them correctly. It is possible to position items off-canvas if you enter the wrong coordinates so if your object disappears you can hit undo, or just drag the mouse cursor to find its outline. Zoom out and it will be easier to find it.

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