Create Guides in After Effects

This tutorial is on how to create guides in Adobe After Effects. I’ll show you how to create them, move them around, snap elements to them, show/hide them and remove them.

Before you watch it I want to give you fair warning! I recorded it sitting in my car while waiting in an enormous line to get my car inspected but I think it turned out pretty good. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Recapping Tutorial on How to Create Guides in After Effects

Create Guides in After Effects

The first thing you need to do to create guides in After Effects is go up to the Rule menu and select Show Rulers. Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Command+R (Mac) or Control+R (PC). The rulers will now appear to the top and to the left of the Composition monitor.

To create a guide, click inside on of the rulers and drag it into the Composition monitor. When you release your mouse the guide will stick to that point. Remember, these guides do not appear on final output. They are only there to help you position objects in the Composition monitor.

To move a guide, make sure the Selection Tool is active (just hit the “V” key first) then click on a guide and move it. You can add as many as you want.

Composition Panel in After Effects with Guides Created

Snap to Guides

As an example, create a new Solid. Use the keyboard shortcut Command+Y (Mac) or Control+Y (PC). Then draw a quick mask around it. Activate the Selection Tool and move the Solid around. If snapping is on, then the Solid will stick to the guides.

Go up to the View menu and find Snap to Guides. Turn this on or off as desired. The keyboard shortcut is Shift+Command+; (Mac) or Shift+Control+; (PC).

Removing Guides

To remove a guide, first make sure your Selection Tool is active. Then click on the guide and drag it into the ruler. Repeat as needed!

Show/Hide Existing Guides

If you want to keep the guides but just don’t want to see them then you need to hide them. Go up to the View menu and select Show Guides. You can use the keyboard shortcut Command+; (Mac) or Control+; (PC).

This will alternate between showing or hiding the guides each time this is performed.

Additional Recommended Viewing: Convert Text to Paragraph or Point in After Effects

Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel or email list (or both!) to be first to hear about new tutorials for After Effects, Avid Media Composer, Photoshop and more. I try to keep them pretty short — about 1:30-3:00 generally. Is there anything you’d like to see next?

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