Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

Getting Started with Photoshop

  • Getting Started with Photoshop
  • Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web
  • Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools
  • Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools
  • Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selections

Layer Shortcuts and Tasks

  • Rename layers by double-clicking on the layer name.
  • Change the transparency of a layer by changing its opacity with the Opacity slider, or typing a value into the Opacity box (which is visible when you have the Selection, Move, or Crop tools selected).
  • Duplicate a selected layer by pressing Ctrl-J (Command-J on a Mac). You can also duplicate a layer by dragging it while pressing the Alt (Option) key.
  • Select multiple layers by holding down Ctrl (Command on a Mac) and clicking the layer names. This forms a temporary link between the selected layers that allows you to move them as one unit, delete them all, and so on.
  • You can also link layers together. Select layers by clicking on them while holding down Shift or Ctrl (Command on a Mac). Once you have selected all the layers you wish to link, click the Link Layers button at the bottom-left of the Layers palette (signified by the chain). Linking layers allows the link relationship to remain even after you select a different layer (unlike the process of simply selecting multiple layers).
  • To unlink all the layers, select one of the linked layers and go to Layer > Unlink Layers. To unlink a single layer, select the layer you wish to remove from the link and click its corresponding link icon; the other layers will stay linked. To temporarily unlink a layer, hold down Shift and click on its link icon (a red “X” will appear over the link icon). Reactivate the link by holding down Shift and clicking the link icon again.
  • Rearrange layers by dragging the layer above or below other layers. Use the “move down” shortcut Ctrl-[ (Command-[ on a Mac) and the “move up” shortcut Ctrl-] (Command-]) to move selected layers up and down. Shift-Ctrl-[ and Shift-Ctrl-] (Shift-Command-[ and Shift-Command-] on a Mac) will bring layers to the very top or the very bottom of the stack.
  • Select a layer by using the keyboard shortcuts Alt-[ and Alt-] (Option-[ and Option-] on a Mac). These keystrokes let you move up and down through the layers in the Layers palette.
  • Create a new layer by pressing Shift-Ctrl-N (Shift-Command-N on a Mac). This will bring up the New Layer dialog box. Want to create new layers quickly without having to deal with the dialogue box? Simply press Shift-Ctrl-Alt-N (Shift-Command-Option-N).

Merge a layer into the one beneath it by pressing Ctrl-E (Command-E). If you have selected layers, this shortcut will merge those selected layers together.

Quick Keyboard Shortcuts
Naturally, most of the tools in the toolbox have a keyboard shortcut. You can learn each tool’s shortcut by hovering your cursor over a tool for a few seconds: a tooltip box will appear, displaying the name of the tool and its shortcut. If additional tools are available in the flyout menu, you can cycle through them by pressing Shift-[keyboard shortcut]. Keyboard shortcuts can save you valuable time — pressing “V” to bring up the Move Tool is certainly a lot quicker than moving the cursor over to the toolbox to select it. It may not seem all that significant right now, but the time you take to access tools will add up over the course of a project! For your convenience, whenever I mention a tool, I’ll list its shortcut in parentheses, e.g., the Move Tool (V).

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

Photoshop Toolbox

You’ve probably been hanging out to get stuck into the very nifty Photoshop toolbox. In this section, I’ll introduce some of the most frequently used tools found in the toolbox. I’ll discuss some of the other tools in later chapters as we apply them to solutions.

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

You’ll notice that some of the tool icons have small black triangles in their bottom right-hand corners. These icons contain hidden treasures! The triangle indicates that there are more related tools available; if you click on the tool icon and hold it down, a “flyout” menu will appear,displaying the additional tools.

Secret Selections
Selections can have varying levels of transparency, known as the degree of opacity. It’s actually possible to make a selection with an opacity of 100% in one area, but only 20% in another area. If a selection contains any pixels for which the opacity is more than 50%, they will be displayed with a border of dotted lines. Photoshop won’t visibly outline areas with less than 50% opacity (though they will still be selected). Selection tools automatically select at 100% opacity. We’ll learn about creating transparent selections using Quick Masks and alpha channels later in this chapter.

Selection Tools

You can use the selection tools to select certain areas of your document for editing. If you use a selection tool, only the area that’s selected will be affected by any changes you make. You can “feather” selections (specify a fuzzy radius for them) using the Feather field in the options bar. The example at the top of the next page shows two rectangles: one created by filling in a selection with a feather of zero pixels, and one that’s created by filling in the same selection with a feather of five pixels.

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

Marquee tools (M) are used to create rectangular or elliptical selections, including selections that are “single row” (one pixel tall, stretching across the entire width of the document) and “single column” (one pixel wide, stretching through the entire height of the document). To make single-row or single-column selections, click with the appropriate tool on the image area where you want to select a row or column.

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

You can use the Lasso tools (L) to create freeform selections. The Lasso Tool comes in three different forms:

  • Lasso Tool (L) – Click and drag the Lasso Tool to draw aselection area. Releasing the mouse buttonwill close the selection by joining the start and end points with a straight line.
  • Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) – Click at different points to create vertices of a polygonal shape. Close the selection by moving your cursor to the beginning and clicking once, or pressing the Enter key.

No Selection Sometimes Equals All Selected
If you’ve made a selection, only the pixels within the selection are active and can be worked on. Some tools can be used without making a selection at all. However, be aware that if you have not made a specific selection, Photoshop will assume that you are working on the entire layer and any changes you make will affect all pixels in the layer.

  • Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) – If you think you need help with making your selection, try the Magnetic Lasso Tool. Photoshop will attempt to make a “smart” selection by following the edges of contrast and color difference. Click once near the “edge” of an object and follow around it — Photoshop will automatically lay down a path. You can also click as you follow the line to force points to be created on the path. Close the selection by pressing the Enter key or clicking at a point near the beginning of the selection.

Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools

Magic Wand

The Magic Wand Tool (W) selects areas of similar color. You can change the tolerance (how close the color values should be to the sampled color in order to be selected) of a Magic Wand selection, and choose whether you want the selection to be contiguous (pixels that are touching) or not (in which case, matching colors across the entire document will be selected).

Selection Shortcuts and Tasks
Hold the Shift key to add another selection to the first. Hold the Alt key (Option key on a Mac) to subtract your new selection from the first. Hold Shift-Alt (Shift-Option) to select the intersection of your first and second selections. Use the arrow keys to move the selection pixel by pixel. If you feel that this doesn’t move your selection quickly enough, hold down Shift and use the arrow keys to move the selection ten pixels at a time. Press Ctrl-J (Command-J on a Mac) to copy the selection into its own layer. To cut the selection into its own layer, press Shift-Ctrl-J (Shift-Command-J). If this seems familiar to you, it’s because I mentioned earlier how to copy a layer using the same keyboard shortcut. Now that you know that not selecting anything sometimes means that everything is selected, it makes sense that simply by selecting a layer in the Layers palette, you can copy the entire layer by pressing Ctrl-J (Command-J). To deselect a selected area, click outside of it with one of the Marquee tools, or press Ctrl-D (Command-D on a Mac). To reactivate your last selection, press Shift-Ctrl-D (Shift-Command-D).

Go to page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

And if you enjoyed reading this post, you’ll love Learnable; the place to learn fresh skills and techniques from the masters. Members get instant access to all of SitePoint’s ebooks and interactive online course Foundations of Photoshop.

Comments on this article are closed. Have a question about Photoshop? Why not ask it on our forums?

Replay

Category: design Time: 2007-10-05 Views: 1

Related post

  • Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools 2007-10-05

    Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selec

  • Getting Started with Photoshop 2007-10-05

    Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selec

  • Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web 2007-10-05

    Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selec

  • Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selections 2007-10-05

    Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop Getting Started with Photoshop: Saving for the Web Getting Started with Photoshop: Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: More Tools Getting Started with Photoshop: Alpha Channels and Selec

  • Getting started with build tools 2011-12-09

    I am on my final year on CS, working on my first significant project, so I thought its about time to learn and use build tools. I have read about Maven mainly and heard about Ant. I would like to know your opinion about which I should learn to use fo

  • BDD in Laravel: Getting Started with Behat and PhpSpec 2015-08-12

    This post was originally published in the community tutorials section of Semaphore CI, the hosted continuous integration and deployment service. BDD (Behavior Driven Development) is a complicated subject for many developers, and getting started with

  • Get Cooking with Photoshop and CSS - 3 Low-fat Recipes 2005-08-10

    Are you a CSS guru- but a layout and graphics newbie? Or are you a whiz at making great Websites using tables, but feel lost with this whole CSS thing? Perhaps you're a little bit of both- or are trying to be! You may have gone through lots of Photos

  • Getting Started with Java 2001-03-13

    Looking to learn how to build dynamic Web sites? There are many options out there, the most popular of which include ASP, PHP, and other scripting languages. Another option is Java. Oh sure, Java began as a language for writing Web-based Applets and

  • The CSS Anthology: 101 Essential Tips, Tricks and Hacks, Chapter 1 - Getting Started with CSS 2004-11-10

    Cascading Style Sheets sound intimidating. The name alone conjures up images of cryptic code and syntax too difficult for the layperson to grasp. In reality, however, CSS is one of the simplest and most convenient tools available to Web developers. T

  • Getting Started with Sharepoint 2010 Development with no prior Sharepoint knowledge 2010-09-16

    My boss wants me to learn Sharepoint 2010 development (and he wants me to learn it now!). I have never done anything with Sharepoint. Where should I start? About Me: I am an Asp.net developer, and I know my way around .Net and the web ... I just neve

  • Getting started with a microprocessor 2011-01-14

    I'm reading about a microprocessors at the moment and wondering if I could get started with an 8-bit microprocessor. What would I need to get started. I understand that they need external RAM and ROM. I don't know whether it is still possible to get

  • What should I know/read/do to get started with Linux (Ubuntu) 2011-04-16

    I am a Windows user. I work as a web developer. I would like to start using Linux, slowly perhaps as my main OS. I would like to know more abt Linux, like what Anti-Virus/Firewalls are recommended (if needed?) abit more abt the shell commands. And in

  • Getting started with ArcObjects? 2011-04-27

    What is the best route or place to get started with ArcObjects if one is not a developer and not aiming to become a developer? I've been using gis professionally for a long time, almost two decades, arcinfo/arcgis for most of that; I'm pretty good. I

  • Where can I find information on getting started with Selenium 2 2011-05-07

    Some background. I am a long time WatiN coder, and have been since I first looked a Selenium a few versions ago, and decided that it didn't meet my needs, then went with WatiN. I now want to switch to selenium 2 (selenium web-driver) What are the bes

  • Getting Started with MapBasic? 2011-06-19

    I am new to MapBasic. I googled for tutorials and found various PDFs but could not get started with the resources. I would be glad if anyone could provide some path for learning MapBasic. --------------Solutions------------- I was lucky enough to lea

  • Getting started with vmware vSphere 2011-06-23

    I am just getting started with virtualisation after being pointed towards it via another question on SF. I have installed vmware vSphere on one of our servers (HP ProLiant DL360 3.0GHz, 4GB RAM, 70GB HDD in Raid 1). I have a few questions regarding v

  • How to get started with Github (for me)? 2011-07-20

    I registered myself in github a few days ago. Mainly for starting projects to share some of my ideas with others as well as get the source available from anywhere. This is my first open-contribution site. I mean, I haven't used sourceforge or Google

  • Getting start with Zend PHP framework 2011-07-25

    This question already has an answer here: Why is Zend Framework so complicated? 7 answers I've been working with PHP for couple of months now. Learning online, copy paste some code from online tutorials etc. One major problem now is there are many un

  • Recommended Resources To Get Started With Terminal-Only Linux Server? 2011-08-19

    I want to try to setting up a headless (terminal-only) Ubuntu Linux server, and am trying to find resources to get started. I've been a GUI Linux/Windows user for a while now, and have run through a tutorial to setup a server on an Ubuntu desktop (wi

iOS development

Android development

Python development

JAVA development

Development language

PHP development

Ruby development

search

Front-end development

Database

development tools

Open Platform

Javascript development

.NET development

cloud computing

server

Copyright (C) avrocks.com, All Rights Reserved.

processed in 1.189 (s). 13 q(s)