Adobe Photoshop: How to Change Ruler to Pixels from Inches


Michael Collins

To change the ruler in Adobe Photoshop from inches to pixels, simply go to the ‘Edit’ menu, select ‘Preferences’ and then ‘Units & Rulers.’ In the ‘Units’ section, you’ll see a drop-down menu next to ‘Rulers,’ where you can choose ‘Pixels’ instead of ‘Inches.’ This quick change will make it easier to work with digital images, where pixels are the standard unit of measurement.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Ruler to Pixels in Adobe Photoshop

Before you start working on your digital masterpiece, it’s crucial to set up your workspace to reflect the correct units of measurement. If you’re working with digital images, pixels are your best bet. Follow these steps, and you’ll have your rulers showing pixels in no time.

Step 1: Open Adobe Photoshop

Open Adobe Photoshop on your computer.
When you open Photoshop, make sure that you have the correct document open that you want to work on or create a new one if needed.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Edit’ Menu

Click on the ‘Edit’ menu located at the top of the screen.
The ‘Edit’ menu is where you’ll find all sorts of settings that can help customize your Photoshop experience.

Step 3: Select ‘Preferences’

From the ‘Edit’ menu, select ‘Preferences’ which is usually near the bottom of the menu.
‘Preferences’ is where you can tweak Photoshop to work better for you – it’s like the control center for customization.

Step 4: Choose ‘Units & Rulers’

In the ‘Preferences’ menu, click on ‘Units & Rulers.’
This is where you can adjust the units of measurement for your rulers, which are essential for precision in your work.

Step 5: Change the Unit of Measurement

Next to ‘Rulers,’ there’s a drop-down menu – click on it and select ‘Pixels.’
Selecting ‘Pixels’ will ensure that your rulers will now measure in pixels, which is the standard unit for digital images.

After you complete the action of changing the ruler to pixels, your rulers will now display measurements in pixels instead of inches. This will make it easier to design and edit your images with precision, as most digital images are measured in pixels.

Tips: Maximizing Efficiency When Using Pixels in Adobe Photoshop

  • Familiarize yourself with the pixel dimensions of common social media sizes for optimized graphics.
  • Use the ‘View’ menu to enable ‘New Guide Layout’ for creating pixel-perfect grids.
  • Consider setting ‘Snap to Pixels’ in the ‘View’ menu to ensure your designs align perfectly.
  • Remember that changing to pixels won’t alter the size of your document, just the way it’s measured.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + R on Windows, Cmd + R on Mac) to quickly show or hide the rulers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will changing the ruler to pixels affect my print work?

No, changing the ruler to pixels won’t alter the print quality of your work. It simply changes the measurement system on the rulers for on-screen design work.

Can I switch back to inches after changing to pixels?

Yes, you can change the ruler measurement units back to inches at any time by following the same steps and choosing ‘Inches’ instead of ‘Pixels’.

Does changing to pixels affect the resolution of my image?

No, changing to pixels only affects the unit of measurement for the rulers. The resolution remains the same.

Is it possible to set pixels as the default unit of measurement?

Yes, once you set pixels as the unit of measurement in ‘Preferences,’ it should remain that way until you change it again.

Can I use pixels for the rulers in all Adobe software?

Most Adobe software, like Illustrator and InDesign, also allow you to change the ruler units to pixels, following similar steps.


  1. Open Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Click on the ‘Edit’ menu.
  3. Select ‘Preferences.’
  4. Click on ‘Units & Rulers.’
  5. Change the unit of measurement to ‘Pixels.’


Changing the ruler to pixels in Adobe Photoshop is a breeze, and it can significantly streamline your workflow, especially if you’re predominantly working with digital images. By tailoring the software to suit your needs, you can ensure precision and efficiency in your design process. With the tips provided, you’ll be mastering pixel-perfect designs in no time. Remember, the key to a great design is not just creativity but also the precision that comes from using the right tools and measurements. So, go ahead, switch those rulers to pixels, and see how much smoother your Photoshop experience can become.