How to Place and Align Thumbnails on a Page in Adobe Photoshop

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In Brief...

Photoshop gives you tools for aligning and distributing layers. In this example, thumbnail images will be placed in a base image, then aligned and distributed down the right side.

This feature works the same in Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CC.


  1. To bring in the thumbnail images, go to File > Place Embedded.
    File Menu
  2. Select the images to be used and click OK. To complete the Place command, you'll need to press Enter (PC) / Return (Mac) for each image you're placing. They will appear stacked on top of each other in the image window and added as layers in the Layers panel.
    Placed Images and Layers Panel
  3. In the Layers panel, select the layer with the image thumbnail to appear in the top-most position, then drag the image to the desired location in the image window.
    Top-most Image
  4. Select the layer with the image thumbnail to appear in the bottom-most position and drag it to the desired location.
    Bottom-most Image
  5. In the Layers panel, select all the thumbnail layers by clicking on the top one, then holding down the Shift key and clicking the bottom one, so they're all highlighted.
    Layers Panel
  6. When multiple layers are selected, you'll see Align and Distribute buttons in the Options Bar. Click Align Right Edges, then Distribute Vertical Centers.
    Options Bar
  7. The thumbnails are now aligned and evenly spaced.
    Aligned Thumbnails

Author: Kate Cahill

Kate Cahill is a graphic designer, writer, and creative director who has developed content for print and web. As creative director, she has produced award-winning work for agencies focused on the pharmaceutical, and health and beauty aid industries. She has also served as production manager, with responsibility for the successful fulfillment of long-run print contracts. Kate has been delivering training for Webucator clients since 2010. Her enthusiasm for cutting-edge technology, combined with hands-on practical experience, brings an added benefit to her class. Kate teaches real-world techniques and integration of Adobe software, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint to produce a fully-developed and cohesive brand identity.