Why is GuideGuide slow?

GuideGuide itself doesn’t do anything too memory intesive. Unfortunatelly, each application has a different plugin system with varying performance limitations.


GuideGuide has to look at every path in your document to check if it is a guide. This is an expensive operation in Illustrator’s plugin system, so if your document has a lot of paths, this process can take a long time.

Compound paths do not contain guides, so GuideGuide will ignore them. You can improve GuideGuide’s performance by converting any groups of paths that don’t need to be independent into compound paths. This is particularly effective single color artwork made of many shapes. To create a compound path from your work, use the Pathfinder tool or Object > Compound Path > Make.

I am investigating ways to improve this performance in the future.


There are currently no known performance issues. Please report any issues you experience.


There are currently no known performance issues. Please report any issues you experience.


There are currently no known performance issues. Please report any issues you experience.

How to report performance issues

Performance is a tricky thing to troubleshoot because it’s something that is felt rather than an actual error. Here is the easiest way to narrow down the source of a performance issue.

  1. Make note of the action you are doing with GuideGuide.

  2. Make a new, empty document.

  3. Do the same action with GuideGuide that you were doing with GuideGuide. Be sure the same result happens in your blank document as in your original document. For example, clicking Add center guide slowly adds a guide to your original document, make sure that it also adds a guide to your blank document. In a blank document, GuideGuide should work “normally”. You may close the blank document.

  4. Now that you have determined that your original document is the problem, it’s time to isolate the cause. If you are able to, please send me the file.

If you cannot send me the file because it contains sensitive content, you can still help narrow down the cause.

  1. Make a copy of your document. We’re going to wreck it.

  2. In your copied document, delete everything, then use GuideGuide again as before. Performance should have improved. Undo your delete. This confirms the content of the document is the problem.

  3. Delete half of the content of your document. You can decide what that means, whether it is half of the layers or half of the art.

  4. Do your action again. If performance improved, the source of the problem is in the deleted content. If GuideGuide is still slow, the problem is in the content that remains. Delete whichever half does not cause the performance issue.

  5. Repeat this process until you have isolated the content that causes performance issue.

  6. Once you know what is causing the problem, if necessary, delete all other content in the document except for the problematic content.

  7. Now that you know what is causing the performance issue, try to create new, generic content that is the same type of thing. Is the issue a graphic that contains 1000 shapes? Make a new graphic with 1000 circles. Delete your original art, then do your action again to confirm that the performance issue still happens with your new fake content.

  8. Please send me the file so that I can investigate the problem.