What's the Easiest Way to Align Layers in Photoshop?

I do a lot of graphics work and I'm constantly trying to align graphics or objects that are contained in separate layers. I use a variety of methods, but I don't think any of them are very good. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas or insight into the best and easiest (and most accurate) way to align graphics in layers.


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Let's say you've got three shapes as separate layers in your file. You can select all three shapes in the Layers panel and then use your Rectangular Marquee Tool to surround the shapes on the canvas. Then, click on the Move Tool to activate it. You'll see the options change in the options bar. Within those options are some align tools. Choose what you need to align the layers.

Alternately, you could click and drag each layer around right on the canvas and use the Smart Guides to align them. This is a great post that covers how to do that.

Just make sure the Smart Guides are turned on. View > Show > Smart Guides is the menu item for that. I hope this helps.