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Using the Loupe Tool in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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Chris Orwig shows you how to use Photoshop's Loupe Tool, which comes in handy when you want to examine an image closely.
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#22 Using the Loupe Tool

For those times when you need to examine an image closely, the Loupe tool comes in handy. By default, the Loupe tool magnifies a portion of your image to 100 percent (that is, to the level of individual pixels), but you can change the magnification.

To use the Loupe tool:

  1. Select an image thumbnail in the Content panel.
  2. Click the image in the Preview panel. A virtual loupe appears on the screen displaying an enlarged view of the portion of the image where you clicked (Figure 22a).
  3. Drag the Loupe tool to view different areas of the image.
  4. If you want a closer look, press the equals key (=). To zoom out, press the minus key (–).
  5. To dismiss the Loupe tool, single-click inside the magnified area or click the X in the bottom right of the Loupe.

One of the ways the Loupe tool is most helpful is in examining several images at once. For example, you can use it to compare the sharpness of multiple similar images:

  1. In Bridge, Ctrl-click (Windows) Command-click (Mac) the images you want to compare. The images will appear in the Preview panel.
  2. In the Preview panel, click the first of the images you want to compare to open the Loupe tool.
  3. Click the second image you want to compare to open another Loupe tool. Continue clicking image previews until you have as many Loupe tools open as you need (Figure 22b).
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