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Ten More Things About Photoshop

As my good friend J. Schuh aka The Texas Animator likes to say, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Photoshop certainly is an elephant of a program to wrap your head around. Keeping with my Top Ten series, here are ten more things you can use in Photoshop.

10 Press OPT+Delete (PC: ALT+Backspace) to fill the image area or selection with the Foreground color. Press CMD+Delete (PC: CTRL+Backspace) to fill the image area or selection with the Background color. Press SHIFT+F5 to open the Fill dialogue set to 50% gray.
9 Press “D” for default foreground & background colors. Press “X” to swap the foreground & background colors. (You’ll use this a lot when working with masks)
8 Press OPT (PC: ALT) & the square bracket keys [ or ] to select the active layer in the Layers panel. Press CMD (PC: CTRL) + [ or ] to move the active layer up or down in the Layers panel. Add SHIFT to either command to jump to the top or bottom layer.
7 Clicking the eyeball on the Layers panel toggles layer visibility. OPT (PC: ALT) clicking the eyeball on one layer hides all the other layers. Right-click the eyeball to assign colors to your layers for better organization.
6 Cycle through layer blend modes in the Layers panel by pressing OPT+SHIFT & + or – keys (PC: ALT+SHIFT w/ + or – keys). Try OPT+SHIFT with the first letter of a blend mode to change directly to it, e.g., OPT+SHIFT+O for Overlay. (PC: ALT+SHIFT w/letter)POWER TIP – If any brush tool is active, i.e., Brush, Clone Stamp, Dodge Tool, the keyboard shortcuts for Blend Modes AND Opacity will affect the brush NOT the Layers panel. Make sure to activate another tool, i.e., Move Tool, Marquee, to use shortcut keys with the Layers panel.
5 Dial in layer (or brush) opacity settings with the numeric keypad. Press “0” for 100%, 1-9 for 10% increments, or two digits, e.g., 45 for an exact percentage.
4 Pressing OPT (PC: ALT) in most dialogue controls will turn the Cancel button into a Reset button. This is useful to revert settings in a control without having to cancel and choose again from the Photoshop menu.
3 Press CMD+I (PC: CTRL+I) to invert a layer or layer mask. This is very useful when working with layer masks to quickly toggle the masked areas.
2 OPT+Click (PC: ALT+Click) on a layer mask to toggle the “mask view” on & off. Helpful to see any residual areas in a mask that need attention. SHIFT+Click a mask to temporarily disable it.
1 Press CMD+OPT+G (PC: CTRL+ALT+G) to toggle a layer clipping mask on & off.
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>

2 Comments on Ten More Things About Photoshop

  1. Thanks for the tips..did not know about the brush opacity..seems their is always something to learn in photoshop

  2. Jose galletti // 23/06/2012 at 4:16 am //

    I want to learn photoshop. I see what you do and you are incrediblely great at it. How can i also be good. Ihave cs5 on my mac but in windows cs6. I really want to learn. So any advice you can give me i will put it to use 100 precent. Thank you

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