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Ten Things Beginners Should Know in Photoshop

10 CMD+D (PC:CTRL+D) to deselect–make the marching ants disappear. This is superior to using the mouse to deselect. (Drag out a 1×1 pixel selection just once, and you’ll remember this shortcut)
9 Certain tools don’t seem to be working correctly? Menu options unavailable? Press “Q” to toggle quick mask mode on & off. (The title tab for your image will show “Quick Mask” if it is on)
8 You can cycle tool groups by pressing SHIFT with the appropriate tool key. For example “L” selects the Lasso Tool. Pressing SHIFT+L will cycle through the Lasso, Polygonal Lasso & Magnetic Lasso. If you like mice, you can hold the OPT (PC:Alt key) while left-clicking the tool icons to cycle through the tool group.
7 Frustrated because CMD+Z (PC:CTRL+Z) just toggles Undo/Redo? Press CMD+OPT+Z (PC:CTRL+ALT+Z) instead to step backwards through your History steps. Want more than 20 History steps? Mac users goto Photoshop–>Preferences–>Performance (PC:Edit–>Preferences–>Performance) to adjust the History states.
6 The Filter menu doesn’t show every option? Your image is either CMYK color or 16-bit. Goto Image–>Mode to verify settings. RGB/8-bit images get full Filter menu access.
5 Unable to choose JPEG as an option when using the “Save As” command? Most likely your image is 16-bit, and will need to be converted to 8-bit. (This behaviour has been corrected in CS5, so there is no need to convert prior to saving files)
4 Pressing CMD+H (PC:CTRL+H) will toggle Extras on & off. If Selection Edges is an extra, this will show/hide a selection marquee. Not to be confused with CMD+OPT+H which hides other applications on the Mac.
3 Press “F” cycles through three screen modes in Photoshop. Use the Tab key to hide panels, tool bar & options. Use SHIFT+TAB to hide panels only.
2 Does the new Zoom behaviour get under your skin in CS5? Uncheck “Scrubby Zoom” in the options for the Zoom Tool.
1 Have your layers & merge them too. Press CMD+OPT+SHIFT+E (PC:CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) to merge all layers to a new layer.
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About AJ Wood (26 Articles)
Instructor • Photographer • Life Enthusiast. A former Adobe Community Professional, A.J. currently works as an Adobe employee a testament to his dedication to the creative community. Connect with A.J. on <a href="http://ajwood.com/facebook">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://ajwood.com/youtube">YouTube</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/+AJWood?rel=author">Google+</a> & <a href="http://ajwood.com/twitter">Twitter</a>

3 Comments on Ten Things Beginners Should Know in Photoshop

  1. One thing I have had to show a few people is how to change/move the x/y zero coordinate by dragging the upper left corner in the rulers view.

  2. I saw this from LinkedIn – very cool!

  3. Nice summary of some important keys. Like the Layer Keeper!

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