Find the Exact Center
in Photoshop Elements

You can find the exact center of your photo in Photoshop Elements.

But that's not all. With this easy technique you can also find the exact center of a Layer or any part of an image.

Sometimes it's helpful to know where the center is. Maybe you want to add something like text or a banner.

But whatever your reason is, here's 5 quick and easy steps to help you.

Click to watch the video below to see how it's done. Under the video there's a summary of the steps for you to use as a quick reference.

Follow The 5 Steps Below To Find The Exact Center On Your Photos

STEP ONE- Duplicate The Background Layer.

The first step is to duplicate the Background Layer.

You can quickly do that by pressing Command-J on a Mac or it would be Control-J if you’re on a Windows PC. I’ll do that and you can see that it added the duplicate Layer in the Layers Panel.

Your duplicate Layer will probably be named "Layer 1". Mine is named "Background copy" because I had already added the "circle" Layer.

STEP TWO- Show Rulers.

We’re gonna use some guides to mark our exact center so we need to make our rulers visible because that’s where you get guide lines from as you’ll see in a minute.

Go up to the View menu and choose “rulers” by clicking on it.

Notice there’s also a keyboard shortcut that you can use to show the rulers: Shift-Command-R on a Mac or Shift-Control-R on a PC.

Now we see our rulers along the top and the left side of the Active Image Area.

STEP THREE- Activate "Free Transform".

The next step is to use Free Transform. To quickly activate Free Transform press Command-T on a Mac or Control-T on a PC.

When you do that it adds a bounding box around the outside edges of your photo. The bounding box is just a line with 8 “handles” on it which can be used for resizing and rotating your photo.

But we're not going to use the Free Transform bounding box for resizing or rotating. In the middle of the Bounding box is a cross-hairs. And that cross-hairs is what we're after.

You’ll also see that there’s a green check mark and a red “No” symbol. Since the bounding box is around our entire photo that cross-hair is the exact center of the photo.

STEP FOUR- Add Guides.

Now we can use PS Elements guides to mark our center based on the cross-hair.

To get a guide you click on the ruler and continue holding down the mouse button as you drag onto your photo. You get vertical guides from the ruler on the side and you get horizontal guides from the ruler at the top.

Click-and-drag a guide out from the side ruler and bring it over the center of the cross-hair. The guide will actually “snap” kind of like a magnet once you get close to the center of the cross-hair.  When it’s in place you can release the mouse button. 

Then go up to the top ruler and do the same thing to place a horizontal guide at the center of the cross-hair. Now we know that where the two guides intersect is the exact center of our photo.

STEP FIVE- Cancel "Free Transform".

We no longer need the Free Transform bounding box so click on the “No” symbol to cancel out of it. You can also get rid of it by pressing the Escape key on your keyboard.

And that's all there is to it! Those are the basic 5 Steps to find the exact center with Photoshop Elements.

Find the Exact Center of a Layer

To find the exact center of a Layer you can follow the same 5 Steps as above.

All you have to do is to make sure the Layer that you want to find the center of is active. And all you have to do to make a Layer active is to click on that Layer in the Layers panel.

The active Layer is the one that's highlighted with blue in the Layers Panel. Just make sure you make your Layer active before STEP THREE (Activate Free Transform).

Find the Exact Center of
any Part of an Image

To find the exact center of just one area of a photo, use the STEPS outlined above, but use the following instructions in place of

STEP THREE(a)- Transform A Selection.

Make a selection around the area that you want to find the exact center of.

Go up to the Select Menu and choose "Transform Selection" to put a bounding box around the selected area.

In the middle of the Bounding box is a cross-hairs. And that cross-hairs is what we're after.

You’ll also see that there’s a green check mark and a red “No” symbol. Since the bounding box is around our entire selection that cross-hair is the exact center of the selected area.

And that completes this tutorial on how to find the exact center in
Photoshop Elements.

Until next time, this is Rick saying . . . Take care!

You might also like . . .

How to Use Guides in Photoshop Elements.

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