It’s long been accepted that building a solid grid is the foundation of a strong site design. Of course, the grid shouldn’t dictate design decisions, but it sure is a great way of making that blank page look a little less blank.
Frustrating then, that Photoshop hasn’t evolved past its rather archaic approach to grids; one of the many issues that have contributed to its decline as a primary design tool for web designers. However, that issue has now been addressed in the incredible free extension Griddify.
Released by gelobi, the extension adds an intuitive panel to Photoshop that includes three simple, but all-encompassing, options: Griddify, Divide, and Wrap.
The Griddify option will create a grid of guides; the default option is vertical, left to right, just enter a pixel value and hit ‘Griddify’ and a guide will be added at intervals matching the value you entered; you can even enter multiple numbers, giving you the option to create columns and gutters; then click the orientation button and add guides horizontally to create your baseline. The Divide option is excellent for laying out responsive sites, as it splits the selected area into the specified number of sections. Finally, the Wrap option adds guides to the edge of your selection, it will even offset the guides if you enter a number other than 0.
One of my favourite features is the ability to limit your guides within a selection, allowing you to quickly nest grid structures.
There are a couple of issues with the plugin: it isn’t currently as crisp as you’d like on retina displays, and the insertion point isn’t clear when entering values; however these are more than made up for by the core functionality.
It’s unlikely that Griddify will arrest the decline of Photoshop by itself, but if you’re still working with the PSD format, it will save you hours of time that used to be spent clicking ‘View > New Guide…’
Even if you’re not a Photoshop user, make sure you check out the awesome web presentation gelobi put together—it might look like a video, but watch to the end to find out what it really is.