Today’s Question: I add text information to my photos in Photoshop when preparing the images to include in a slideshow. This often includes several text elements, and I’d like to align them all. Is there a way to automate this task rather than just moving each text layer pixel by pixel until they all align?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The Move tool actually includes several options for aligning layers. You can select all of the text layers you want to align, make sure the Move tool is active, and then click the applicable button on the Options bar to align the selected layers.
More Detail: If you are aligning text layers I recommend that you also ensure that the alignment of the text itself is set based on how you will align the layers. This will ensure that if you edit the text later, you won’t alter the alignment of your text layers. So, for example, if you will align the text layers on their right edges you will want to use the right-align setting for each of the text layers.
To select multiple layers on the Layers panel you can click on the first layer you want to select and then hold the Shift key and click on the last layer you want to select. You can also toggle the selection of an individual layer on or off by holding the Ctrl key on Windows or the Command key on Macintosh while clicking on the name of the layer. When using the Ctrl/Command key to toggle the selection of individual layers, just be sure not to click on the thumbnail for the layer, as that will cause a selection to be loaded for the layer within the image.
Once the layers you want to align have been selected on the Layers panel, you can align them automatically using a set of options available with the Move tool. Select the Move tool from the toolbox (or by pressing “V” on the keyboard) and then click on the applicable alignment button from among the six options on the Options bar.
The first three alignment buttons on the Options bar relate to vertical alignment, enabling you to align the selected layers on their top edge, their vertical center, or their bottom edge. The last three alignment buttons enable you to align the selected layers on their left edges, their horizontal centers, or their right edges.
Once the selected layers are aligned with each other, you can continue using the Move tool to adjust the position of all of the selected layers. And provided you have set the text alignment to match the layer alignment, if you modify the text for any of the aligned text layers the updated text will remain properly aligned.