Remove All Guides for Sketch

In July of 2014 I authored a small plugin for Sketch. It does one thing: removes manually created guides from selected artboards. You can execute the command either from the menu or by pressing a shortcut. This simple operation since then has saved me countless seconds automating a mundane everyday task.

Remove All Guides in action

Manual guides are fairly old tools in design software. They were included in Photoshop for the first time back in November 1996 in version 4.0. The function of the guides is pretty straightforward: to be a visual aid in aligning layers of the artboard.

There are multiple ways to create a guide (or set up multiple guides in a grid) in Photoshop. The most common way is simply clicking inside the ruler and dragging to the artboard. You can then move the guide around (unless you locked guides). If you want to delete the guide you simply drag it out of the workspace, or you can use the “Clear Guides” command from the menu.

Built-in “clear guides” command in Photoshop

Guides in Sketch have a pretty similar behavior. You create them by clicking on the ruler and you remove them by dragging them out (note that you can only move them inside the ruler area). The major difference is that there's no way to quickly remove all of them at once.

Built-in workflow for clearing guides in Sketch

Guides are by their very nature a temporary thing. You quickly use them to align objects optically or when your layout is just so complex and multi-layered that those smart guides align and snap everywhere except where you need them. Manual guides come to the rescue in such scenarios, but later on they became major interface in Sketch. It takes precious seconds of precise dragging to clear your artboard from them. And you can't just click anywhere, you have to move your cursor to the exact location on the ruler. If you have multiple artboards you have to repeat the process. That it a lot of manipulation for something that is meant to be discarded in the end (or at least will never make it to the export results).

Remove All Guides doesn't transform your workflow and is as invisible as it gets. It does one simple thing that may make your everyday Sketch usage a little bit smoother and faster.