Figma Support Forum

Ruler options: Flip Axis, Snap to Grid, Recenter Zero

I come from Photoshop (on a PC), where the rulers have additional options (probably more than I know). This request focuses on three options that I regularly use. If the team decides they want to only implement one of them, then I prefer the Flip option.

1 - Flip guidelines with ALT key
When I need a guideline, I often select it from whichever ruler is closest to my pointer. In Photoshop I am used to holding down the ALT key, to flip that guideline to its alternate axis.

For instance… a guideline dragged from the top ruler can be flipped from its horizontal orientation, into a vertical orientation. And vice-versa for the left ruler.

Limitation to consider: ALT is currently connected to an option that shows the total pixels that one object is from another object.

2 - Snap to grid with SHIFT key
In Photoshop, you can select a guideline and when you press the SHIFT key, you can snap that guideline to the active grid.

For instance… when a 10px grid is active, you can drop the guideline exactly in 10px intervals. This SHIFT also works in combination with the previous ALT, so you can do both at the same time.

3 - Recenter Zero marker
Again from my trusted Photoshop, its possible to recenter your zero from both rulers, by selecting the top left corner of both rulers, holding down the mouse button and dragging the zero marker to reposition your rulers.

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I’d recommend ditching rulers altogether and using layout grids instead. Yes, your suggestions would make rulers much better, but rulers are used in Figma much less often than layout grids. Rulers are good for temporary measurements only. Layout grids are what you probably need to be using most of the time. They are easier to maintain, you can save them as styles, make them stretch with the frame, nest them in multiple frames and much more. This versatility is not available with rulers.

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While your reasoning sounds logic, I wouldn’t just ditch a whole function, just because another method is supposedly better. A lot of designers use Figma for a lot more than prototyping alone. That’s also why it supports other frame formats. I’m not using grids to align my objects in a Cover page, or when designing a Twitter message.

It would also be weird to ditch a whole function, that was previously requested an-mass. To quote an article from 2017:

From the dawn of Figma time, our users have begged us for this feature. Appeals rolled in morning, noon and night — 100 requests in the last six months alone, from places as far flung as Lagos, Nigeria and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

My request is to build UPON a function which some of us users LOVE, not a request to remove it.

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Haha, yes, I totally understand you, and I didn’t want the feature to be removed. I just wanted to clarify how rulers and grids are usually used in Figma as it’s a common beginner mistake to use rulers when you should be using grids instead, especially for those coming from Photoshop or Illustrator. Now it’s clear to me that you know the difference well so there was no need for my explanation.