fresh photoshop tutorials & resources
Log in Register
Painted Wood Photoshop Action Comics Book Photoshop Action Infographic JS Library Textures for Photoshop

Distribute Equal Space Between Layers in Photoshop
Tutorials Photoshop Tips 11747 Views January 28th, 2014

In Photoshop there are things you have to know just to make the workflow easier and to save a lot of time. For example you can align layers by hand or using the Rulers, the Grid and the Ruler Tool. But Photoshop also has more advanced tools to help you align and distribute layers. In this quick tutorial I will show you how to distribute equal space between layers in Photoshop, how to obtain equal spacing between text blocks, etc.


In Photoshop you can align and distribute layer content using the Move Tool. In this quick tip tutorial we'll talk about distributing layers in Photoshop, a feature that can prove really useful as I am going to show you later on.

What Distribute Layers Mean?

Distribute function actually adds an equal amount of space between three or more layers. Objects/Layers on the middle(as position on canvas) are moved in order to create this evenly distribute equal space.

Things to Know

First thing that you have to know is that the distribute layers option is only available for more than 2 layers. Which is logic if you think about it. So if you have just two layers and try to distribute them the option will not be active/visible. You can use any type of layer(text layer, vector shape layer, smart object, raster layer,etc), the only restriction is about the number of layers. You can even use hidden layers, layers with opacity lower than 50% and so on.

Objects must be on separate, linked layers in order to use these functions. There must be at least three linked layers to allow distributing and aligning in Photoshop.

How to Use it

There are two ways in which you can distribute layers in Photoshop. The first one is trough the Move Tool; the Move tool has align and distribute functions that are accessed through 12 buttons in the Tools bar.

The second option is to use the Layer>Distribute menu options. In both cases you have to have three or more layers selected. If you use menu commands to align or distribute, the Move tool doesn't need to be active.

1. Distribute Vertical in Photoshop

Ok so let's assume we have 4 layers(remember the minimum numer of layers is 3); I will use text layers; you can see you can use different text sizes, meaning that the content of the layer doesn't matter.

I've placed the layers one under the other, to show you a vertical distribution. As you can see the vertical space between the layers is not equal.

Select all the 4 layers, pick the Move Tool and click on the Distribute vertical centers button. You can of course choose one of the other two buttons(top edges, bottom edges) the only difference beeing the reference point.

As you can see in the image below, after clicking the distribute vertical centers button, the text layers from the middle were automatically moved, so that the space between their centers to become equal. So the result is an evenly distributed text layers.

Important to notice that the position of the top layer and the bottom layer remains the same. The layer(s) from the middle are the one that are being moved. Practically the distance between the first and the last positioned layer is the same before and after.

If you have layers with different content(different height size) like buttons for example use the Distribute TOP EDGES for equal space effect. If you want to create a vertical menu for example.

2. Distribute Horizontal in Photoshop

You can add even spacing align between three or more layers on the horizontal scale also. Let's say we want to create a horizontal menu and we have 4 layers

Select all the 4 layers, pick the Move Tool and click on the Distribute LEFT EDGES button. You can of course use one of the other two buttons(center, right) but for creating an equal space between the 4 buttons the "left edges" option is the correct one.

As you can see in the image below, after clicking the distribute vertical left edges button, the text layers from the middle were automatically moved, so that the space between their centers to become equal. So the result is an evenly distributed layers on the horizontal scale.

3. Combine Distribute Vertical with Distribute Horizontal in Photoshop

Let's say we want to evenly distribute each piece of navigation text so that there is the same amount of space between each both on vertical and horizontal scale.

Select all the 4 layers, pick the Move Tool and click first on the Distribute LEFT EDGES button and than on the Distribute TOP EDGES button. You will have an evenly positioned layers on both scales.

Practical Samples

You can use this Photoshop option in many practical ways. For example the distributing align is used for creating 3D effects in Photoshop as you can see in this tutorial.

Another use is when you want to create perfect aligned menus, whether we talk about vertical menu or horizontal menu designs. So if you want to make a navigation in Photoshop this tool is more than useful.

If you're looking for amazing textures and backgrounds for Photoshop, explore Textures4Photoshop where you can find 1000+ unique images. You can download all these textures and backgrounds for free to use in personal or commercial projects!

Be a Cool Dude!

With your donation you can help us maintain this website and keep producing free resources many months to come! Any amount counts

4 comment(s) for "Distribute Equal Space Between Layers in Photoshop"

5:22 AM Thursday, January 30, 2014
Aligning and distributing layer content is really easy. Now I know how to distribute an equal amount of space between each object in Photoshop :) reply
4:43 AM Friday, January 31, 2014
You can use Distribute and Arrange inside a Vector Shape layer that contains different shapes that are not combined. The rules remain the same, but instead of the Move Tool you have to use the Path Selection Tool to use the aligning and distributing buttons. reply
9:14 AM Thursday, March 05, 2015
Just stopping by to leave a huge, "Thanks!" for providing all of the wonderful resources and creating helpful tutorials. I am attempting to learn Photoshop from home and your site has been invaluable to me, as well as to many others, I am sure. reply
9:23 AM Thursday, March 05, 2015
I am glad to hear that our Photoshop tutorials are appreciated :) so thank you for your support! reply

Have something to say? Leave us a comment

Click to Upload Fan Art!

Share your Psd Dude inspired works

Pencil Sketch vs Camera Photo Effect Photoshop Action
Animated Kaleidoscope Photoshop Action
Recent Posts
Learn how to mirror an image in Photoshop from this quick tutorial for beginners. To flip an image P...
How to create a realistic pool water texture in Photoshop from scratch using filters and gradient co...
Useful Photoshop tutorials on how to create realistic looking sketch effect or pencil drawings. To c...
More than 70 amazing free textures that you can use for commercial projects. In this collection you ...

      Wax Stamp Seal Photoshop Creator
Popular Posts
You can create amazing gold text effects by using these unique gold Photoshop styles, both free and ...
Today's Photoshop collection of resources includes some amazing packs of metal chrome PSD text style...
If you want to know how to create dispersion effect in Photoshop in a easy way, here is a quick solu...
To create a realistic sketch in Photoshop you need some pencil sketch textures or better still you c...
In today list of free textures for Photoshop I have gathered over 100 amazingly beautiful wood textu...
I have decided to create a new character from Alice in Wonderland and I hope that maybe someday to r...
To create a Comic Book Effect in Photoshop we have to mix all sort of filters and blend them togethe...
Stitching and sewing can be created also in Photoshop with very realistic results. So in this tutori...
Hello girls and boys! Today i want to make a cartoon rainbow... i really hope you will like it! ...
In this tutorial I will show you how to create a 3D map in Photoshop using different 2D and 3D model...
Subscribe via email

      Metal Tag Photoshop Creator