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Home Craft How to Keep Your PureRef Mood Board Organized: 6 Tips

How to Keep Your PureRef Mood Board Organized: 6 Tips

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PureRef is a fantastic tool for building mood boards and organizing reference images. The creators have gone a long way to building a tool for artists that looks beautiful and functions effortlessly, all you need to know is how to keep your PureRef board organized.


Since there are no buttons or menus visible, PureRef can be a little mysterious at first. But luckily, it only takes a few keyboard shortcuts to organize your PureRef board in a matter of seconds.


Overview of PureRef Shortcuts

In this article, we’re going to show you our top tips for organizing your PureRef mood board, most of which can be accessed through the menu when you right-click on the canvas.

Of course, using keyboard shortcuts is much more efficient, and along the way, we’re going to mention quite a few. After creating a mood board with PureRef it may help to refer back here if you can’t remember the keystrokes.

Shortcut Name Windows macOS
Arrange by name Ctrl + Alt + N ⌥⌘N
Distribute horizontal Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Up ⌥⇧⌘↑
Distribute vertical Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Down ⌥⇧⌘↓
Align bottom Ctrl + Down ⌘↓
Align left Ctrl + Left ⌘←
Align right Ctrl + Right ⌘→
Align top Ctrl + Up ⌘↑
Axis snapped move item Left MB + Shift Left MB + ⇧
Neighbour snapped move item Left MB + Shift + Space Left MB + ⇧ + Space
Scale Left MB + Ctrl + Alt Left MB + ⌥⌘
Normalize height Ctrl + Alt + Left ⌥⌘←
Normalize scale Ctrl + Alt + Down ⌥⌘↓
Normalize size Ctrl + Alt + Up ⌥⌘↑
Normalize width Ctrl + Alt + Right ⌥⌘→
Crop selection Left MB + C Left MB + C
Reset cropping Ctrl + Shift + C ⇧⌘C
Pack all and optimize Ctrl + Shift + P ⇧⌘P
Preset Dark Alt + 1 ⌥1
Preset Light Alt + 2 ⌥2
Preset Glass Alt + 3 ⌥3
Note Ctrl + N ⌘N

1. Auto Arrange Images

PureRef makes it easy to save time by automatically arranging images in different ways. This is great if you need to tidy up the canvas and collate all the images together in a neat layout.

If you’re sorting through a series of photographs it can be useful to organize the images by file name, in which case, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + N.

Align items is another handy function that you can use to distribute images in straight rows using the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Up for horizontal or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Down for vertical.

On the other hand, just like aligning text in a Word document, you can align images to the left, right, up, or down. After selecting the images you want, press Ctrl + Left/Right/Up/Down on the keyboard.

2. Move Images by Axis

When you’ve arranged your images in a neat order, you don’t want to ruin your work. So when it comes to moving images around, you can keep a tidy layout by shifting them along an axis. In other words, when you move an image, it follows a straight line from its original position.

In PureRef this is called “Axis snapped move item” and to do this, click on the images you want to move with the Left Mouse Button + Shift, then drag the image in the direction you want.

Another must-have time saver is auto-snapping an image to the edge of another image. Aligning images side-by-side is tedious. So to avoid doing it the manual way, try using the “Neighbour snapped move item” function. Simply select an image and press Left Mouse Button + Shift + Space while moving the image around.

3. Resize Images

When it comes to making images larger or smaller, keeping them pinned to the center and scaled to proportion is one way to keep your PureRef mood board satisfyingly tidy. Select an image, then press the Left Mouse Button + Ctrl + Alt, then move the mouse right to scale the image larger, and left to make it smaller.

You can also resize a batch of images to all have a similar size. This is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to sort through images of different sizes and make them easier to view as a group. In the menu, it’s listed under the heading Normalize. To resize images by height, for example, use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + Left.

Other options include resizing images by scale, size, and width; for these shortcuts head to the overview list at the start of this article.

4. Pack Everything Into the Window

For those of us too lazy to resize and arrange our images on the canvas, PureRef has you covered. In one swift shortcut, you can pack all the images on the page into the current window size. Even if the images are different sizes, it will find the optimal way to display them.

The function is called “Pack all and optimize” and all you have to do is press Ctrl + Shift + P. You can do this as many times as you need so if you want to make some images stand out by making the image bigger, hit the shortcut again to repack everything in neat order.

5. Change the Theme

PureRef comes with some preset themes such as light, dark, and glass. The glass setting makes the canvas transparent which is useful for drawing, or 3D modeling, from reference. In fact, using PureRef with Blender is a combo that we highly recommend.

You can change the preset theme at any time by pressing Alt + 1 for Dark, Alt + 2 for Light, and Alt + 3 for Glass mode.

6. Create a Note

The final thing left to help organize your PureRef mood board is to add some labels. Creating a note is as simple as pressing Ctrl + N and using the mouse to move the note around on the page.

Use it to add a title to the board or to write a special note beside an image. To delete a note, simply select it and press Delete or Backspace on the keyboard.

If you’d rather not download a program, check out these mood board creator websites.

Keep an Organized Mood Board With PureRef

PureRef is a boon for any artist who wants to create a mood board. Its clean and minimalist design helps you focus on creating, instead of battling with organizing large groups of images. With no visible buttons or menus on the screen, the secret to arranging images is in the keyboard shortcuts.

With just a few quick tips you will have your PureRef mood board looking neat and tidy in no time at all.



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