PFRE is the original online resource for real estate and interior photographers. Since 2006, it has been a community hub where like-minded professionals from around the world gather to share information with a common goal of improving their work and advancing their business. With thousands of articles, covering hundreds of topics, PFRE offers the most robust collection of educational material in our field. The history of real estate photography has been documented within these pages.
All Articles


Image banner for the November 2023 PFRE Photographer of the Month Winner Javier Sotomayor, with a featured image of his winning photo titled "Open"

Congratulations to Javier Sotomayor, November 2023 PFRE Photographer of the Month! The theme this month was "Open." Javier Sotomayor - Entry #879 Dave Koch - Entry #877 Peter Wingfield - Entry #874 Here's what Javier has to say: Hello First of all I wa ...



For over a decade, photographers from around the world have participated in PFRE’s monthly photography contests, culminating in the year-end crowning of PFRE’s Photographer of the Year. With a new theme each month and commentary offered by some of the finest real estate & interior photographers anywhere, these contests offer a fun, competitive environment with rich learning opportunities. 

Contest Rules


View / Submit


View Archive


PFRE prides itself on the depth and breadth of the information and professional development resources it makes available to our community. Our goal is to help real estate and interior photographers be successful while bringing the community together and elevating the industry as a whole.

Conference News

No items found

How to Evenly Space Objects in Photoshop

Published: 10/06/2023

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you are a photographer or graphic designer, you must have run into situations where placing objects evenly on a canvas is challenging. Learn how to evenly space objects in Photoshop to achieve accurate placement of elements in your real estate photo edits.

How to Evenly Space Objects in Photoshop

You can use the Smart Guides and the Move tool to space objects evenly in Photoshop. The Smart Guides act as intuitive measurements that allow you to snap elements to nearby objects accurately. Meanwhile, the Move tool lets you use Align Options, Distribute Options, and the Auto-Align Layers option to control spacing.

If elements are scattered in a messy way, it kills the appeal of the visual. I will discuss these below in detail so you can get the hang of these features and practice them to perfection.

Step 1: Create a Document With Multiple Layers

The first thing you need to do is to create a new document with thumbnail-size images of various properties. You can use this to create a flyer, adding text and other elements later. For example, this is a color-filled background with three images on separate layers.

Color-filled background with three images on separate layers

Alternatively, you can create a document using vector shapes to practice their placement using the options described below. Make sure that you deselect a shape by pressing CTRL/CMD + D before creating new duplicate layers

Step 2: Space Objects Evenly Using the Smart Guides

The first feature I will consider is the intuitive Smart Guides in Photoshop. The feature answers the spacing and aligning issues you may encounter while designing.

Images using Smart Guides
  1. The Smart Guides are turned on on the Photoshop CC interface by default. However, you can enable this by going to the View menu, hovering on the Show option, and clicking Smart Guides
  2. Once turned on, you can view alignment and spacing values between an object and its neighbor. This makes accurate and even spacing possible. 
  3. If you want to view the measurement in pixels rather than inches, press CTRL /CMD + R to enable the Ruler tool. Now, right-click on the Ruler and select Pixels from the drop-down menu. 
  4. If you press CTRL/CMD while hovering over layers, Smart Guides will display measurements allowing you to snap to the nearby object accurately while moving the layers.
  5. Hold ALT/OPT key and drag a layer to copy it. The Smart Guides will help you place it at the proper distance. 

Step 3: Space Objects Evenly Using the Move Tool

Although very useful, the Smart Guide method to space objects requires manual alignment and distribution. However, there are times when many elements need an arrangement and precise spacing. In this case, you may use the Move tool options to do the job automatically for you.

If on a separate layer, each object can be aligned and distributed accurately along with the other elements on your document. The 12 Alignment and Distribution options are accessible via the Layer menu and the options bar of the Move Tool.

Selecting Layers

Remember that to use the Align/Distribute options, you must select at least three layers in your layer panel. Unless you do that, the options won’t be available to you. 

The adjustment layers, vector layers, or any Smart Objects that do not have the needed information about alignment or distribution cannot be selected.

  1. Select consecutive layers by clicking on the first layer, holding down the Shift key, and clicking on the last layer to select the series. 
  2. For non-consecutive selection, press and hold the CTRL/CMD key and keep on clicking the layers you intend to space in even proportions.

Using Layer Submenu

With the layers selected, go up to the Layer menu. Choose any of the six options from the Align option to ensure even spacing from a specific perspective.

Choosing the Align Option in the Layer menu

Alternatively, go to the Layer menu, and hover over the Distribute option. Here you can choose any of the six options from the submenu to distribute the layers in the right proportion.

Choosing the Distribute Option in the Layer menu

Using the Align Options

The six Align options and the six Distribute options are also accessible as icons on the top options bar when you select the Move tool. Select the desired object layers and click on any icons that will fulfill your placement command.

Move Tool Option Icons

The six align options in Photoshop are:

  • Align Top Edges: The option will align the objects concerning the top edge of the selection border.
  • Align Vertical Centers: Each object has a vertical center which this option will use to align them in even spaces.
  • Align Bottom Edges: The opposite of top edges, this option will align objects to their bottom edges.
  • Align Left Edges: Place objects evenly aligned according to their leftmost pixel.
  • Align Horizontal centers: Aligns objects based on their horizontal centers.
  • Align Right Edges: Places objects evenly aligned accordion to their right-most pixel.

Using the Distribute Options

The six Distribute options are:

  • Distribute Top Edges: Consistent spacing of objects to their topmost pixels. 
  • Distribute Vertical Centers: Consistent spacing of objects to their vertical centers.
  • Distribute Bottom Edges: Consistent spacing of objects concerning their bottom-most pixels. 
  • Distribute Left Edges: Consistent spacing of objects to their left-most pixels. 
  • Distribute Horizontal Centers: Consistent spacing of objects concerning their horizontal centers. 
  • Distribute Right Edges: Consistent spacing of objects to their rightmost pixels.

Using the Auto-Align Layers

The Auto-Align is another feature that is very handy while using the Move tool. It can align layers with some similarity in content around the borders. 

To overlay the matching content, choose a reference layer in the Layer panel and click on the Auto-Align icon. The feature will place the images so that the matching content will be overlapped.

Step 4: Group Object Layers to Move Them Together

Here is a tip to avoid moving a layer accidentally after you have perfectly aligned and distributed them. Make a group consisting of every object spaced in the correct position.

This will help you move the whole group together if needed. Likewise, this will help void changing the placement of a layer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are the Align And Distribute Icons Greyed Out in the Move Tool Options Bar?

The Alignment and Distribute options are only available for use if you have three or more layers selected in the Layer panel. You need to specify to Photoshop the elements that need to be spaced evenly.

Why Should You Align and Distribute Objects Evenly in Real Estate Photos?

You need to Align and Distribute objects evenly to achieve perfect visual coherency in marketing materials like flyer designs and ads. This is also necessary when combining several pictures in the form of a collage. Likewise, this is essential when aligning images with relevant text in a graphic.


Using Smart Guides and the Move tool, you can quickly space elements at equal spaces in a multilayer document and create visual coherency without figuring out measurements. The efficient tools in Photoshop can help you achieve proportional spacing between objects when editing real estate images.


Rela Logo
CS6 PSE Logo
HD Photo Hub Logo
Aryeo Logo
FullFrame Logo

Learning Topics