Feb 7, 2007

21 Photoshop Tips for Command - By Trevor Morris

Keyboard Shortcuts (HotKeys)

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1. Use Ctrl+Alt+Z (Edit » Step Backward) and Ctrl+Shift+Z (Edit » Step Forward) to step backward and forward though the history states (or use the History palette menu (Palette Menu) to access the step commands). Use these commands in conjunction with Undo [Ctrl+Z] (Edit » Undo) to cycle between a specific history state and the current state.

2. The table below provides some very useful hotkeys for performing the Fill command (Edit » Fill) on the current layer / selection:

HotKey Result
Shift+Backspace open Fill dialog box (Edit » Fill)
Alt+Backspace fill with foreground color
Alt+Shift+Backspace fill with foreground color and preserve transparency
Ctrl+Backspace fill with background color
Ctrl+Shift+Backspace fill with background color and preserve transparency
Ctrl+Alt+Backspace fill from current history state
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Backspace fill from current history state and preserve transparency

3. Use the hotkeys provided in the table below to quickly transform the current selection or layer:

HotKey Menu Command Result
Ctrl+T Edit » Free Transform free transform selection / layer
Ctrl+Alt+T Alt + Edit » Free Transform free transform with duplicate
Ctrl+Shift+T Edit » Transform » Again repeat previous transformation
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T Alt + Edit » Transform » Again repeat transformation with duplicate

4. Use Window » Close All [Ctrl+Shift+W] to quickly close all open documents. A save confirmation dialog will appear for any files that have not been saved.

5. Use the Revert command [F12] (File » Revert) to restore the current document to its previously saved state.

6. New! Prior to version 6, Photoshop had a command called Save a Copy, that would save a duplicate, flattened version of the current document. Although the command is gone (in a way), the associated hotkey still works. Press Ctrl+Alt+S to display the familiar Save As dialog box, but note that the Save a Copy flag has been automatically checked.

7. New! Use the following keyboard shortcuts to extend the functionality of the Layer » Merge command:

Command HotKey Result
Merge Ctrl+E merge the current layer with the layer below
Stamp Down Ctrl+Alt+E merge a copy of the current layer with the layer below
Stamp Visible Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E merge a copy of all visible layers into the current layer
Merge Visible Ctrl+Shift+E merge all visible layers into the current layer

For linked layers, the following keys are different:

Command HotKey Result
Merge Linked Ctrl+E merge all linked layers into the current layer
Stamp Linked Ctrl+Alt+E merge a copy of all linked layers into the current layer

Enhanced Functionality

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8. If you have recently copied an image to the Clipboard, Photoshop will automatically insert the dimensions of the Clipboard image when you create a New Document [Ctrl+N] (File » New). To bypass this feature and recall the last settings, hold down the Alt key [Ctrl+Alt+N] (Alt + File » New).

Tip: To insert the dimensions (as well as resolution and color mode) of any open document into the New Document dialog box, choose its name from the bottom of the Window menu.

9. To straighten a crooked image, use the Measure tool [Shift+I ] to draw a line along what should be a horizontal or vertical line (the edge of the image, a doorframe, across the eyes of a person in a portrait, etc.), and then choose Image » Rotate Canvas » Arbitrary: the correct Angle and Direction will appear. Press the OK button to apply the rotation.

Tip: The angle of the Measure tool [Shift+I ] is also used (for the current layer / selection) automatically when you choose Edit » Transform » Rotate.

Note: You can also use the Crop tool [C] to rotate and crop an image in one step. Select the Crop tool [C] and draw a rectangular region. Use the crop handles to scale the marquee, and drag outside the marquee to rotate it: press Enter to crop the image.

10. Use Layer » New » Layer via Copy [Ctrl+J] (or Cut [Ctrl+Shift+J]) command to perform a copy (or cut) and paste in one operation, and have the copied (or cut) elements pasted into the same position from which they were copied.

Tip: Add the Alt key to display the Layer Properties dialog box for the Layer via Copy [Ctrl+Alt+J] (Alt + Layer » New » Layer via Copy) and Cut [Ctrl+Alt+Shift+J] (Alt + Layer » New » Layer via Cut) commands.

11. If you crop your image using Image » Crop, you will lose all pixels outside the crop boundaries. To crop your image without losing any data, use the Crop tool [C] with Cropped Area set to Hide (in the Options palette).

Tip: You may also use Image » Canvas Size to crop the image without losing any data (unless you are in Indexed mode). Photoshop will warn you that some clipping will occur, but for some reason it does not: all "cropped" data will be preserved outside the canvas boundaries!

Tip: Use the Image » Reveal All command to increase the canvas size and reveal the entire image.

12. Stamp Down a copy of the current layer into the layer below by pressing Ctrl+Alt+E (Alt + Layer » Merge Down).

Merge a copy of all visible layers into the current layer (or Stamp Visible) by holding down the Alt key while selecting Merge Visible [Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E] (Alt + Layer » Merge Visible).

13. In the Liquify dialog box [Ctrl+Shift+X] (Image » Liquify), hold the Shift key while clicking the OK button to temporarily save the current mesh (to a file called C:\Temp\Liquify.tmp). To (re)load the mesh file (with your image), hold the Shift key while launching the Liquify command.

Note: The C:\Temp\ folder must already exist on your system to take advantage of this feature.

14. To print the current document using the default print settings (without confirmation), press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+P (Alt + File » Print One).

15. Use the Trim command (Image » Trim) to remove any redundant background pixels from graphics that are destined for the Web.

16. Allowing Photoshop to merge all layers (flatten) when converting between modes (e.g. from RGB to CMYK) will produce better results than without merging.

Tip: For the best results, use the Convert to Profile command (Image » Mode » Convert to Profile) for all mode conversions.

17. To duplicate the current document without being prompted for a name (and have "copy" automatically appended to the filename), hold the Alt key and choose Image » Duplicate.

18. New! Use the Edit » Fade command [Ctrl+Shift+F] to change the opacity of a floating selection or a selection that you have recently filled (with the Edit » Fill command [Shift+Backspace] or Paint Bucket tool [G]).

19. New! To rasterize all vector layers in the current document simultaneously, choose Layer » Rasterize » All Layers from the menus.

20. New! To change the resolution of an image without changing the dimensions, turn off the Resample Image option in the Image Size dialog box (Image » Image Size).

21. New! Use the View » New View command for additional views of the current canvas. Each view may be independently magnified, scrolled, and even soft-proofed. All changes made in one view will automatically appear in the other views.

This command is especially useful for small / detailed work, like icons. You can draw in one view at 1600% magnification while seeing the actual size of the image in a separate view – without having to constantly zoom in and out.

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