Adobe Photoshop – Change Ruler to Pixels from Inches

Not only is Adobe Photoshop popular because of its performance and usability, it also allows you to customize a lot of the various menus and tools that you use the most. One important element in using Photoshop is to make sure that everything is in the right unit of measurement, so you might be looking for a way to change the ruler from inches to pixels.

Setting the display on your Photoshop CS5 installation is something that can take a while to get just right. As you use the program more and more, you will find that there are certain elements of the program that you need to change in order to optimize your image editing.

If you decide to permanently keep the ruler visible on the screen as part of this customization, you may find that the default inches measurement is not very helpful and that you want to use pixel intervals instead. Since these rulers can be a helpful way to measure elements that you add to your image, then it’s important to use a unit of measurement that provides helpful information.

This is an option that is adjustable in the settings in the program, so you can change the ruler from inches to pixels in Photoshop CS5. The method for doing so involves customizing a menu that you may not use very often, so you can continue reading below to learn how to do it.

How to Change Ruler from Inches to Pixels in Photoshop CS5

  1. Open Photoshop.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Choose Preferences, then Units & Rulers.
  4. Select the Rulers dropdown, then choose pixels.
  5. Click OK.

Our article continues below with additional information on changing Photoshop inches to pixels, including pictures of these steps.

How to Edit the Ruler Settings in Photoshop CS5 (Guide with Pictures)

If you have been using the ruler as a guide in your image editing and creation, then you know how important it can be when you need to make things symmetrical and correctly sized. But often times the specifications that you receive for an image or from a client will have dimensions that are defined in pixels, which makes the inches measurement less useful. Luckily you can easily change the ruler from inches to pixels to simplify the process of getting your image to those specifications.

Step 1: Launch Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Step 2: Click Edit at the top of the window.

Step 3: Click Preferences, then click Units & Rulers.

preferences menu, units and rulers menu

Step 4: Click the drop-down menu to the right of Rulers, then click the pixels option.

change ruler from inches to pixels photoshop cs5

Step 5: Click the OK button at the top-right corner of the window to apply your change.

The next time you open an image in Photoshop CS5, the ruler will be displaying distance as pixel units instead of inches. If the ruler is not visible, you can display it by pressing Ctrl + R on your keyboard.

More Information on Adobe Photoshop – Change Ruler to Pixels

As you click the ruler drop down meu you will notice that there are a handful of other units that you can set for your rulers. These include:

  • Pixels
  • Inches
  • CM (centimeters)
  • MM (millimeters)
  • Points
  • Picas
  • Percent

While our article focuses on switching the Photoshop ruler from inches to pixels, you can use the same steps to switch the ruler to any of the other unit options listed above.

Under the Rulers dropdown is a Type dropdown menu. The options on this menu include Pixels, Points, and Millimeters. Changing this setting will affect the size options when you add words to your image. For example, it’s likely that your current setting is “points.” When you are selecting font options, that would mean that you have options like 8 pt, 12 pt, 72 pt, etc. Switching the Type selection will change that to display the text size as either pixels or millimeters instead, which can be more helpful.

When you are navigating to this menu via the Edit > Preferences > Units & Rulers method you most likely noticed that there are a lot of other preferences you can adjust. So many of the elements of the Photoshop experience can be modified that it’s worth looking through the current default settings and seeing if there’s anything there that you would like to adjust.

When you are adjusting the size of your images you can use the Image Size menu or the Canvas Size menu, both of which are accessible through the Image option at the top of the window. Both of these menus include dropdowns for their height and width dimensions where you can specify document or image size in your preferred unit of measurement. This includes inches, centimeters, millimeters, pixels, and more.

This article was performed using the Adobe Photoshop CS5 version of the application, but these same steps will also work in newer versions of Photoshop, including the Photoshop CC version that is available as part of a Creative Cloud subscription.

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