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Change the brush size
Press the [ ] keys. If you hold the shift key down and go [ the brush will get softer and ] harder to a total of 5 different levels of softness. Try it, it rocks. Works for a bunch of tools.
When you are using the marquee tools, shape tools and resizing objects, its always a bear to keep things in proportion. Make a habit of holding down the shift key while dragging and you will have perfect circles and squares, custom shapes will look how they should and resized objects will keep their proportions intact.
To fill a layer or selection with foreground color press Alt/Option+delete To fill a layer or selection with background color press Command/Ctrl+delete Now to get really cool: To fill just the area with pixels hold down the shift key as well as above. This toggles the preserve transparency option. And press Shift+Backspace to open the fill dialog box
Bring up the Free Transform tool
Ctrl/Cmd +T. Scale and rotate by dragging the handles. Right click (Cmd Clk Mac) and now you can do lots of cool things like skew and distort.
To hide the selection "marching ants" press Ctrl+H (Command+H) This also works to hide the highlight on the text on 6.0. Now you can preview the color of the text.
To select all pixels on a layer
In the layers Palette click on the layer thumbnail while holding down the Cmd/Ctrl key
To move a selection to its own layer
press CMD+J (Win Ctrl+J) This will copy it. To cut and move a selection press Shift+Cmd+J (PC Shift+Ctrl+J)
Sucking out all the color
Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+U to remove all the color (Desaturate) and make your image grayscale while still in RGB mode. Note: using the channel mixer will produce a better result. Click on the Grayscale option.
To auto-select a layer
Hold down the Cmd/Ctrl key while clicking on it in the main image window
HIDE 'N SEEK
Press the "F" key to cycle through differant screen modes. Press Tab to hide the tools
*when you see / use Mac or PC key depending on your platform e.g.
+ key means hold down more than one key at a time.
When working with filters there are a few things that are good to know.
Whenever possible, apply as smart filters so you can adjust the image later
Zoom into 100% view to see what the filter is doing at a pixel level. It may look good from a distance, but what is really happening?
Don’t use a filter for the sake of it. Make sure that the effect is tasteful and fits the subject your working on.
Don’t overuse the filters. You’ve seen it. A beautiful dull brown muck of, well who knows what? It’s easy to get carried away while having fun. Just because the lens Flare is new to you, doesn’t mean that you should use it in every image you work on.
Go for natural. A well-filtered image, shouldn’t look filtered. Use a light touch.
Above all, have fun and experiment!
JPEG or GIF?
If the image contains large areas of solid color, limited gradients or simple repeating patterns, use GIF (Graphic Interchange Format)
If the image is more complex in color, like a photograph use the JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group) compression. When saving as a JPEG, as a generalization never use more than 40%-50% compression.
Did you know if you apply a Gaussian blur to the image you can reduce the file size further? (I don't recommend more than 1.2 or it will affect image quality too much. Even .8 should suffice)
When doing text for the web, either use no anti alising or sharp. If you use very small type make sure you have wide kerning (space between letters) This will make it a lot easier to read. No point in having a beautiful website if no-one can read it.
Warning. Be careful with those fancy textured backgrounds. While they may look pretty, they can make your page impossible to read, or at best difficult, and if its too much work, the surfers will go elsewhere (unless you have the formula for turning lead into gold.)
From Photoshop to ImageReady
just click the button at the bottom of the tools palette. From V 6.0 and up you don't have to save the image, its all automatic. Slick!
Always save at 72dpi for the web
When saving in Photoshop use the Save for web option
Adobe has announced the latest version of Photoshop CS4 and Creative Suite 4. See our CS4 Learning site for in depth coverage of Photoshop CS4 and most of the other CS4 Products. Find reviews, new features, videos and get our 70 page CS4 Superguide!
Shadow Highlight Adjustment layer
Shadow Highlight is a great adjustment for bringing back some of the areas that have become plugged up in our photos. The good thing about this adjustment is that we don’t lose any of the detail in the midtones. Perhaps your disappointed because its still not an adjustment layer. Don’t worry because if has that exact functionality with a little workaround. Make your layer a smear object and now apply Shadow Highlight as a Smart Filter. You now have a re-editable Shadow Highlight. This also works for the Variations Adjustment
Hide and seek
Have you gotten used to the new interface yet? Heres’s a tip that will make you love it. As you probably already know, pressing the Tab key will hide all the palettes. Ok you knew that, so it’s not the tip, here’s the tip. If you roll your mouse to the left or right edge of the screen, the palettes will pop out for your use. Make your selection and then roll back to your image and the palettes will disappear again.
Here’s another tip to help you love the new interface. Have you noticed that when your in icon mode (everything is minimized) and you expand a palette to choose it’s option, it stays open and now you have to make an extra step to close it? Right click anywhere in the palettes and choose Auto Collapse Icon Palettes. Now when you choose an option and then click in your document, the palette will automatically collapse closed again.
B&W drag to change color
The best way to convert a color photo to Black and White is to use the new Black and White Adjustment. While using this adjustment, you don't need to quess which colors belong to which tones. Drag your mouse over the image and the underlying tone will adjust.
Open JPG in RAW
I’m sure that all the cool new options in Camera Raw haven’t gone unnoticed to you. Don’t you wish that these options were available to all images? Good news, they are. You can now open Jpg and Tiff formats inside Camera Raw and make use of the tools. Right Click on the Image in Bridge and choose: Open In Camera Raw. The jpg or tiff is now open in Camera Raw ready for all the cool tools. Remember though, if you want to take full advantage of the Raw tools, you should shoot in Raw on your camera.
Have you noticed how nice and cool Bridge is now? I know this is a Photoshop Magazine, but as I’m also a Flash Fanatic and Flash is now an Adobe app, I have to say it! The coolest thing in Bridge is that you can now preview swf files. Ok here’s a killer tip. The swfs actually work! You can run them inside Bridge and not have to guess what file does what anymore.
Zooming the Loupe in Bridge
Did you know that Bridge now has a loupe tool. This tool is suspiciously like a little brother to the loupe in Apples Aperture. (Alright then, a very little brother). Click on the thumbnail and you will see a zoomed in loupe. Drag across the thumbnail to change position. Click the plus and minus keys to zoom in or out.
Draw straight lines
There are other ways to draw a straight line than using the line tool. After this tip, you may find your need to reach for the line tool reduced, in fact this may even break your addiction. While using any of the drawing tools; Brushes, Pencil, Dodge and Burn, Eraser, Blur, Sharpen and Smudge holding down the shift key will cause you to draw in a perfectly straight line either vertical or horizontal. An added feature will let you create straight lines between points by clicking, Hold down shift and click again anywhere to join the 2 points.
Easy loading of Layer Styles
Start Photoshop> Open your email program if they were emailed to you or navigate to their files on the hard disk> right click/Option Click, then select open and the style set will be loaded automatically
Closing Multiple windows
How long would it take you to close all these documents in Photoshop? Just hold down the shift key when you go File>close and Photoshop will close all the open documents.
Creating a composite layer
This tip will show you how to put the information from all the layers onto 1 layer without merging! Really Cool!
Want to use RGB Filters while working in CMYK?
As you know some filters like the render filters are disabled in CMYK. Here is a neat tip, work in RGB mode with CMYK preview turned on. CTRL/CMD+Y build your file as normal then when you are finised, convert it to CMYK. This will allow all the filters to work, give you a smaller file size to work on (used 1/4 less memory) and you won't "lose" your colors when you convert it. Only use CMYK for going to a commercial printing press.
Custom Gradients Made Easy
When you are making a new color gradient and you want to use the same color more than once, don't recreate it. Just hold down the option/Alt key and drag a copy of the slider.
Quick Color Change
To change the color of an image: press Cmd/Ctrl+U this will open the hue/saturation dialog box, slide the hue slider to change the color. Use the saturation to adjust color intensity. Brightness, to adjust... well the brightness. Click on colorize to add color to a grayscale image or to add a "duotone effect to a RGB/CMYK image. I also like to use the hue/saturation to restore some luster to an image after converting for RGB to CMYK
(L) Before and (R) after using the colorize box.
To constrain a selection to a perfect circle or square hold down the shift key.
To start drawing from the center hold the Alt/Option key.
Ever find that you started drawing a selection and you need to move it while you are drawing? No problem, just hold the spacebar and drag.
A lot of Photoshop problems can be fixed by dumping the preferences file: While launching Photoshop, Hold down Alt+Ctrl+shift on the PC or Cmd+Option+Shift on the mac. When asked to reset the preferences say yes.
Before you do this, save your custom Patterns, actions, styles, brushes, gradients, shapes and color pallettes. These will also be reset. Tip: You can create an action to do this, so you have a one click backup! (Don't forget to save the backup action first)
Make a new Document from a layer
Under the layers pallete, when you hit duplicate layer, you can change the document setting to "New" to create a brand new picure from any layer.I wish I knew about this one a few years ago!
Reducing file sizes and speeding up large images,
Even what you can't see, is effecting your file sizes. If you have imported an image that is larger than your canvas size. Select all and crop. You will be surprised how much you can save. Also delete unwanted layers, they can add up a lot too.
Whenever you want to duplicate an image on a layer, (eg. you are putting star-bursts everywhere) Just hold the Alt/Option key and drag.. zap, a duplicate. To keep it aligned, also hold down the shift key as you drag.
Color Modes and formats
For the web use RGB and save as a jpeg if its a photo. If you want tranparency, use gif or png. If you need animation save as a gif. For print use CMYK and save as either a tiff or an eps. For most print purposes 300dpi. To print to an inkjet only, RGB and 300 dpi.
Straight Lines with brushes.
To draw a straight line with any of the brush tools just click, hold the shift key and click again anywhere. A straight line will be drawn between the 2 points! Also works with most tools including erasers and even the highlight tool in the Extract filter.
Quick Black and White
If you press Ctl/Cmd+Shift+U all the color will be removed from the selection. If no selection is made, then the entire layer will be turned into grayscale instantly.
Color Modes Demystified
A simple, real world approach Welcome to my new column. Here we will be looking at the things that make Photoshop tick. The things that we see in the menus all the time and may not understand what they do. This will be the "Techie column for non Techies." Enjoy
I have had many people ask me, "What are all the different color modes for in Photoshop?" Rather than try and be too technical I will attempt to describe then in a usable way. If you like this article, let me know and I will write one on different file formats.
Bitmap: I would use for some line art in low end situations, doesn't support color on a printing press but background shows through as transparent. Also used for wallpaper on PC computers.
Grayscale: For black, white and shades of gray., When you use this mode all color information is lost. However you must convert to grayscale before you make it a duotone. This mode doesn't support alpha channels.
Duotone: This is when you want to add some depth or color to a b&W image, or just get a trendy effect. A true duotone lets you choose 2 ink colors on your image and will print as a 2 color job on the press. There is also a Tri-tone -which has 3 colors and a quad-tone that has 4. You can produce some very sharp black and white (Grayscale) images with this and it is used in photography books all the time.
RGB: Uses the computers colors (Red, Green, Blue) and is the best option for the web or electronic publishing. Also called additive colors.When defining color spaces, use sRGB for web and Adobe RGB for printing, in most cases avoid the other RGB colorspaces unless you are doing specialized tasks that take advantage of these. Pro Photo is another useful colorspace but many of the colors can't be reproduced on an inkjet printer.
CMYK: Color printing presses print with 4 ink colors Cyan, Magenta, yellow and black. If you look at a magazine close up you will see tiny patterns of dots, these dots are arranged in different patterns and sizes to fool the eye into seeing colors that are not really there, e.g. brown etc. This method is used in most full color printing. I would only use this if you are going to a press. The disadvantages are, the image is a third larger than RGB, and you will lose some brightness as CMYK does not support as wide a tonal range as RGB. Also called subtractive colors.
Lab: LAB stands for Luminosity, a and b channels. Luminosity is the grayscale information and the a and b channels contain the color. It's useful to seperate the colors from luminosity for some different types of image correction including sharpening, noise reduction and also to increase the saturation of colors without damaging the overall color balance.
The printing world is filled with variables and a terminology that can sometimes confuse the design artist. In this article, Gregg will, in very general terms and language, try to give you a jump start in understanding the print world and aid you in making important decisons when it comes time to get your work printed.More