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Photoshop Tips Straight from the Studio

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Here's your chance to follow former Adobe Creative Director Luanne Seymour Cohen into the studio as she takes you on a tour of some of the hottest tips and best shortcuts in Photoshop CS. If you love the best-selling Classroom In a Book series and are looking for the next step, look no further than our new Creative Studio series from Adobe Press!
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Here's your chance to follow former Adobe Creative Director Luanne Seymour Cohen into the studio as she takes you on a tour of some of the hottest tips and best shortcuts in Photoshop CS. If you love the best-selling Classroom In a Book series and are looking for the next step, look no further than our new Creative Studio series from Adobe Press!

Varying the brush size

To change brush sizes quickly as you paint, press the [ and ] (left and right bracket) keys. Press the [ key to reduce the size and the ] key to increase the brush size. The increment of change depends on the brush size. A brush size between 0 to 100 pixels will change by 10-pixel increments. A brush between 100 to 200 pixels will change by 25-pixel increments. A brush between 200 to 300 pixels will change by 50 pixels. A brush size between 300 to 2500 pixels will change by 100 pixels each time you use this shortcut.

Controlling the Hue Jitter

To change the foliage color as you paint, select the Color Dynamics option for your brush. You can change colors by specifying a Hue Jitter percentage. First, select a foreground color from the Color palette. Then enter a value for the Hue Jitter percentage in the Color Dynamics section of the Brushes palette. The larger the percentage, the more the hue will change as you paint.

If you want to better visualize how Hue Jitter works, change the Color palette display to HSB Sliders using the palette menu. Then slide the H slider back and forth to see the hue change.

 

Controlling Hue Jitter color changes

A good way to control the color changes as you paint is to choose the two colors that will define the range of color change. First, select a foreground and background color. The foreground color will be the main color. The background color will mix into the foreground color according to the percentage you specify. Select a percentage for the Foreground/ Background Jitter. The higher the percentage, the more background color will be mixed into the foreground color as you paint.

 

 

Removing perspective distortion with the Crop tool

You may want to remove a perspective distortion rather than introduce one. These distortions are common in photographs of buildings or other objects with rectangular planes that were photographed from an angle. You can use the Crop tool to correct the problem. Note that this correction only works on images that contain a rectangular object.

  1. Select the Crop tool in the toolbox and roughly select the area to be cropped and corrected. The selection doesn’t have to be perfect because you will adjust it in step 3.

  2. In the tool options bar, select the Perspective option.

  3. Move the corners until they align with the edges of the object that you want to make rectangular. These edges will become perpendicular after the crop.

  4. Press Return/Enter to complete the action. Notice that the edges of the cropping area are now perpendicular to the edge of the image.

Converting unit values on the fly

You don’t have to do the math to convert from pixels to points or from inches to centimeters, and you don’t have to change your preferences. Let Photoshop convert values for you. When you enter a value in the tool options bar, you can follow that number with any of several abbreviations for units of measurement. For example, if you know the height should be 2 inches and the width should be 150 pixels, you can enter “2 in” for height and “150 px” for width. Following are the abbreviations that Photoshop recognizes:

Pixels px, pixel Millimeters mm, millimeter
Inches in, inch Picas picas
Centimeters cm, centimeter Percent pct, percent, %

Frequently used shortcuts

Shortcut Mac OS X keystrokes Windows keystrokes
Repeating a task
Reselect last selection Shift+Command+D Shift+Ctrl+D
Use last Levels settings Command+Option+L Alt+Ctrl+L
Apply last filter Command+F Ctrl+F
Display last filter dialog box Command+Option+F Alt+Ctrl+F
Transform with copy Command+Option+T Alt+Ctrl+T
Transform again Shift+Command+T Shift+Ctrl+T
Transform again with copy Shift+Command+Option+T Shift+Alt+Ctrl+T
Speeding up painting
Fill with foreground color Option+Delete Alt+Backspace
Fill with background color Command+Delete Ctrl+Backspace
Get eyedropper while painting Option Alt
Select background color Option+click a pixel Alt+click a pixel
(eyedropper)
Select foreground color Click an image pixel Click an image pixel
(eyedropper)
Return to default colors D key D key
Switch fore- andbackground colors X key X key
Display Fill dialog box Shift+Delete Shift+Backspace
Decrease brush size [ key (left bracket) [ key
Increase brush size ] key (right bracket) ] key
Select previous/next brush size , (comma) or . (period) , (comma) or . (period)
Paint with straight line Click-Shift-click Click-Shift-click
Cycle through blending modes Shift+ – (minus) or + (plus) Shift+ – (minus) or + (plus)
Set opacity for paint tools Any number key (e.g., 0 = 100%, 9 = 90%, etc.)  
Show/hide Brushes palette F5 F5
Show/hide Color palette F6 F6
Revert F12 F12
Fill Shift+F5 Shift+F5
Viewing images
Toggle between Standard and Quick Mask modes Q Q
Toggle between screen modes F F
Fit image in window Double-click hand tool Double-click hand tool
Magnify 100% Double-click zoom tool Double-click zoom tool
Switch to hand tool Spacebar Spacebar
Switch to zoom in tool Command+spacebar Ctrl+spacebar
Switch to zoom out tool Option+spacebar Alt+spacebar
Zoom in on specified image area Command-drag over preview in Navigator palette Ctrl-drag over preview in Navigator palette

Shortcut: Zoom with an open dialog box

You can access the Zoom tool with the keyboard while a dialog box is open. This is handy when you want to compare the image with a preview proxy in a filter dialog box. Choose one of two methods:

  • Move the pointer outside of the dialog box and over the image. Press Command/Ctrl to convert the pointer to the Zoom tool for zooming in. Press Command/Ctrl+Option/Alt for zooming out.

  • Press Command/Ctrl+ – (minus key) to zoom out. Press Command/Ctrl+ = (equal sign) to zoom in.

Shortcut

Mac OS X keystrokes Windows keystrokes

Creating and moving layers

Create and name new layer Option-click New Layer button Alt-click New Layer button
Rename layer Double-click the layer name Double-click the layer name
Delete selected layer Option-click Delete/Trash button Alt-click Delete/Trash button
Create layer from a selection Command+J Ctrl+J
Move several layers at once Link layers before using Move tool Link layers before using Move tool
Show/hide just one layer Option-click eye column of that layer Alt-click eye column of that layer
Show/hide multiple layers Drag through eye column Drag through eye column
Center a layer dragged from another file Press Shift while dragging layer into window Press Shift while dragging layer into window
Masks(layer, vector, clipping)
View layer mask Option-click layer mask thumbnail Alt-click layer mask thumbnail
Disable/enable vector mask Option-click vector mask thumbnail Alt-click vector mask thumbnail
Discard/apply a layer mask Drag layer mask thumbnail to Trash button Drag layer mask thumbnail to Trash button
Create layer mask from selection Make selection; click Add Layer Mask button Make selection; click Add Add Layer Mask button
Toggle between layer mask/composite image Option-click layer mask thumbnail Alt-click layer mask thumbnail
Toggle rubylith mode for layer mask on/off \ (backslash) \ (backslash)
Select layer’s transparency mask Command-click layer thumbnail Ctrl-click layer thumbnail

Tool Shortcut Keys

Tool Shortcut key Tool Shortcut key
Marquee tools
M
Gradient, paint bucket
G
Move tool
V
Blur, sharpen, smudge
R
Lasso tools
L
Dodge, burn, sponge
O
Magic wand
W
Path selection tools
A
Crop tool
C
Type tools
T
Slice tools
K
Pen tools
P
Healing brush, patch tool
J
Shape tools
U
Brush, pencil
B
Notes, audio annotation
N
Clone stamp, pattern stamp
S
Eyedropper, color sampler, measure tool
I
History brush, art history brush
Y
Hand tool
H
Eraser, background eraser, magic eraser
E
Zoom tool
Z

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