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The Photoshop Blog offers the latest Photoshop news and software updates, Photoshop tips and tutorials, and random thoughts from graphic artist and Photoshop expert Jennifer Apple.
Photoshop Tips From Jay Nelson
Here's the latest collection of Photoshop tips by Jay Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Design Tools Monthly.
Save Multiple Clone Sources
Adobe added a mysterious feature to the Clone Source panel in Photoshop CS3 (Window> Clone Source). The icons at the top of the panel let you remember up to five sources in the current image for use with the Clone Stamp tool. To use them, click on one of the icons, then Option-click on your image. You can then recall that location later on by clicking the icon again - that location will become the source for the Clone Stamp tool!
Group Photos into Stacks in Bridge
In Bridge, you can group similar photos into a Stack, to easily work with just those photos all at once. Just select the photos you want to group and then press Command-G to create the Stack. To expand the stack, press Command-Right Arrow. To collapse the stack, press Command-Left Arrow.
Option Key Resets Dialog Boxes
In dialog boxes in Adobe applications, holding down the Option key when pressing the Cancel button will change that button to Reset. This is useful when you're trying out effects, filters, image adjustments, etc., because you can instantly return to the document's state before you opened that dialog, without closing the dialog box.
Faster Digital Camera Transfers
The quickest way to get pictures from your digital camera into your computer is NOT by connecting the camera to the computer but by using a card reader. This is because when the camera is connected, the speed of the transfer is limited by the processor in the camera. When a card reader is connected, your Mac's processor and type of connection controls the speed. The fastest card readers use USB 2.0, FireWire, or the CardBus or ExpressCard slot on your laptop. For the absolute fastest transfers, see the speed tests at www.robgalbraith.com.
Refine Edge of Selections
Photoshop has several ways to adjust the edge of a selection for smoothness, size, feathering, etc. But in CS3, all these controls appear together in a helpful dialog: Select> Refine Edge... There, you can use sliders to adjust the Radius, Contrast, Smoothness, and Feathering of your selection, and also Contract or Expand it. But there are two features in this dialog that put it over the top: a set of icons that let you see your selection in different ways (selection border, quick mask, mask, image on white, or image on black background); and a helpful description, with examples, for every control in the dialog box. All together, this is incredibly helpful.
Big Tips for Photoshop
Here are some can't-live-without-'em tips that can make an enormous difference to your work in Photoshop. These are the ones I use every other minute in Photoshop.
When working with any of the painting or retouching tools, you can use the bracket keys (][) to change the size of your brush. Or, if you'd rather change how soft the edge of the brush is, then add the Shift key and you'll be changing the Hardness setting of your brush in 25% increments. Or, if you'd rather access the brush presets palette, then Ctrl-click on your image while any painting or retouching tool is active.
To change the opacity of the currently active tool, use the number keys on your keyboard. Pressing 1 will give you 10%, 3 gives you 30%, 23 will give you 23%, 0 will give you 100% and so on. And if you happen to be in the Move tool while using the number keys, you'll be changing the opacity of the currently active layer. You can even add the Shift key to change the Flow setting of your brush or the Fill Opacity setting of the active layer if you're in the Move tool.
To reset your foreground and background colors to their default colors (black and white), type D, and to swap them, type X. I use those all the time when I'm painting on a Layer Mask.
When I need to scroll around my images, I hold the Spacebar, which temporarily gives me the Hand tool. You can also add the Command key which will temporarily activate the Zoom tool so you can click and drag across the area you'd like to zoom into. To zoom out, just hold down the Command key and then press the Minus key (-).
I don't like to have to constantly look at the Layers palette to change which layer is active, so I instead type V to get to the Move tool and then Command-click on my image. That will make Photoshop look for the topmost layer that contains information below your cursor and it will make it active. Or, if I need to dig a little deeper and make a lower layer active, I'll Ctrl-click when the Move tool is active and it will present me with a list of all the layers that contain information below my cursor.
I often need to fill an area with a color, especially when working on Layer Masks. You can type Option-Delete to fill with your foreground color, or Command-Delete to fill with your background color. Or, if you'd rather access the Edit> Fill dialog box, then type Shift-Delete.
When working with numbers in Photoshop (type sizes, scaling percentages, adjustment settings, etc.), I often click on the number and then use the up and down arrow keys to increase or decrease the setting. Adding Shift to the arrow keys will change the number in larger increments.
Sometimes I like my image to dominate my screen, so I usually type F once or twice to get to one of the full screen modes where my image can slide behind all the palettes and fill my screen. If you're in the second screen mode, where the menu bar is hidden, try typing Shift-F to toggle the visibility of the menu bar.
I often type Command-H to hide something (selection edges, text highlighting, slices for the web, guides, etc.). And when I'm dragging something that starts to snap to things I don't want it to (like dragging a guide near the edge of an image), I'll hold the Ctrl key after I press the mouse button, which temporarily turns off snapping.
Control the Panels in CS3
There are several tricks to controlling the visibility of panels in Adobe's Creative Suite 3 applications. Make sure your cursor isn't in a text frame, and then:
• Press the Tab key to hide all the panels.
• Press Shift-Tab to hide all the panels except the Tools and Options panels.
• Press Option-Command-Tab to collapse panels to their smaller size.
• When panels are hidden, just mouse over their original location to temporarily get access to them. Mouse away from them to hide them again.
In Adobe applications, you can nudge a selected object or selection by one point by simply pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard. If you hold down the Shift key at the same time, the selection will move by 10 points. To move in one-tenth point increments, hold down Shift and Command.
Buy Photoshop Directly From Adobe
Find upgrade options and Creative Suite deals at the Adobe USA Store. UK customers can see pricing in UK currency at the Adobe United Kingdom Store. Visit the Adobe Special Offers Page to find the latest bundle and upgrade offers. Teachers and students receive special pricing at the Adobe Education Store. Download the Free Photoshop CS4 Trial Download at the Adobe site.
Photoshop CS4 Tutorials and Resources
See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials, the Free Photoshop CS4 Trial Download, Free Photoshop CS4 Training, and Photoshop CS4 News.
Photoshop CS5 & Photoshop CS5 Extended - Best Deals From Adobe
Adobe Photoshop CS5 delivers breakthrough capabilities to help you create images with impact. Refine your images with reengineered photography tools for removing noise, adding grain, and creating high dynamic range (HDR) images. Get precise results when making complex selections. Remove any image element and see the space fill in almost magically. Paint with naturally textured brushstrokes and realistic color blends. Learn more about Photoshop CS5.
Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended software helps you create the ultimate images for print, the web, and video. Enjoy all the state-of-the-art editing, compositing, and painting capabilities in industry-standard Photoshop CS5, and experience fast performance thanks to cross-platform 64-bit support. Also create 3D extrusions for logos, artwork, and motion graphics; edit 3D objects with advanced tools; and create and enhance motion-based content. Learn more about Photoshop CS5 Extended.
Find CS5 upgrade options and Creative Suite 5 deals at the Adobe Store. See CS5 pricing in UK currency at the Adobe UK Store. Visit the Adobe Special Offers page to find the latest deals. Save 80% on Adobe Student Editions. Try before you buy — download a free Photoshop CS5 trial.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium software gives you fresh new creative tools, along with the ability to deliver ideas faster in print and create interactive content without writing code. Plus Design Premium integrates with Adobe CS Live online services to maximize your design time by streamlining critical nondesign tasks.
Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium combines Adobe InDesign CS5, Photoshop CS5 Extended, Illustrator CS5, Flash CS5 Professional, Dreamweaver CS5, Fireworks CS5, and Acrobat Pro with additional tools and services. Download a free CS5 Design Premium 30 day trial.
Photoshop CS5 Tutorials & CS5 Resources
See our Photoshop CS5 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS5 Tutorials, and the Free Photoshop CS5 Trial Download. See our Photoshop CS4 Resource Center for Free Photoshop CS4 Tutorials.
Exclusive onOne Software 15% Instant Discount Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount on any onOne product. This includes Genuine Fractals and their amazing Photoshop Plug-In Suite.
OnOne’s new Plug-In Suite solves six of the most frequent problems photographers will encounter in Photoshop. This suite has been granted American Photos Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for Top Image Editing Software. The Plugin Suite includes:
Genuine Fractals Pro is renowned by both photographers and printers for its finesse at increasing images to more than ten times their original size while maintaining the sharpness and detail you started with. Think of this as the industry standard for image resizing.
Mask Pro is used to remove the tough stuff — such as hair, smoke and glass — while retaining the fine detail. You choose what colors to keep, then paint away what you don’t need.
PhotoTools Pro packs hundreds of high-calibre photographic effects into one user-friendly plug-in. It’s fast and easy to use. Gives your photos that pro quality look.
PhotoFrame Pro lets you enhance your pictures with hundreds of such design effects, or simply drop your image into a pre-fab layout in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
FocalPoint helps to control focus and minimize visual noise. Draw the eye to specific points in your images by using selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects.
PhotoTune lets you can compare images side-by-side and easily color correct and enhance them. PhotoTune optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves.
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Nik Software 15% Instant Discount - Exclusive 15% Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for an instant 15% discount on any Nik Software product. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine.
Color Efex Pro
52 photographic filters with over 250 effects for professional quality images. Completely Original. Completely Indispensable.
Nik Software Color Efex Pro filters are the leading photographic filters for digital photography. The award-winning Color Efex Pro filters are widely used by many of today's professional photographers around the world to save time and get professional level results. Whether you choose the Complete Edition, Select Edition, or Standard Edition, you’ll get traditional and stylizing filters that offer virtually endless possibilities to enhance and transform images quickly and easily.
Patented U Point technology provides the ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections. Control color, light and tonality in your images and create unique enhancements with professional results. With 52 filters and over 250 effects found in Color Efex Pro, you can perform high quality retouching, color correction, and endless creative enhancements to your photographs. Download a free Trial version.
The most powerful tool to selectively control color and light in photographic images without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.
Two of the most important factors in creating great photography are color and light. Mastering the art of selectively correcting or enhancing each of these is now possible for every photographer without the need for complicated masks or selections, or expert-level knowledge of Photoshop. Integrating award-winning U Point technology, Viveza is the most powerful and precise tool available to control light and color in photographic images.
U Point powered Color Control Points, placed directly on colors or objects in an image (such as sky, skin, grass, etc.), reveal easy-to-use controls that photographers can use to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools. With Viveza you’ll spend more time shooting photographs and save hours of image editing. Download a free Trial version.
Silver Efex Pro
Complete power and control to create professional quality black and white images in one convenient tool.
Silver Efex Pro from Nik Software is the most powerful tool for creating professional quality black and white images from your photographs. For the first time, all the advanced power and control required for professional results have been brought together in one convenient tool.
Featuring Nik Software’s patented U Point technology to selectively control the tonality and contrast of the image, Silver Efex Pro includes advanced imaging algorithms to protect against unwanted artifacts, a comprehensive collection of emulated black and white film types, a variable toning selector for adding traditional toning techniques, over 20 one-click preset styles, and a state-of-the-art grain reproduction engine that help produce the highest quality black and white images possible from your color images while providing more freedom to experiment. Download a free Trial version to use Silver Efex Pro.
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Enter our exclusive discount coupon code PHOTOSHOPSUPPORT during the checkout process at Topaz Labs for an instant 15% discount on any Topaz product, including bundles and upgrades.
Topaz Labs Photoshop plug-ins are specifically designed to expand a photographer's creative toolbox by harnessing powerful image technology developments. Photographers everywhere are now taking advantage of the creative exposure effects, artistic simplification, unique edge manipulation, and top-of-the-line noise reduction offered in Topaz products. The Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle is a super powerful Photoshop plugins package that includes the following Topaz products:
Deliver stunning and dynamic images with this uniquely powerful plug-in that features HDR-like abilities and enhances exposure, color and detail.
A three-level detail adjustment plug-in that specializes in micro-contrast enhancements and sharpening with no artifacts.
The fastest and most effective masking and extraction program with one-click mask refining.
Highest-quality noise reduction plug-in that removes the most noise and color noise while preserving the most image detail.
Provides creative simplification, art effects, and line accentuation for easy one-of-a-kind art.
Take control of the detail depth of your images with extensive smoothing, texture control and edge enhancement tools.
Drastically improves the quality of web images and other compressed photos.
Learn more about the Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle. Download a free trial version.
Photoshop Masking Plugin Fluid Mask - Exclusive Instant Discount
The 4 1/2 out of 5 star review of Fluid Mask at MacWorld begins by saying that this "Photoshop plug-in takes the pain out of extracting backgrounds," and goes on to recommend the latest version, stating that "Fluid Mask is a very effective tool for separating objects from their backgrounds. It offers a variety of useful features for tackling almost any difficult image, from wispy hair to complex foliage. Online video tutorials and live training sessions help ease the learning curve."
Our friends at Vertus, the makers of Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin, have set up a special exclusive discount for PhotoshopSupport.com. Go to our Fluid Mask page for a special, exclusive discount link.
Fluid Mask is designed for photographers, image editors, graphic designers and all those who take digital image editing seriously. In a streamlined interface and workflow, Fluid Mask instantly shows key edges in the image and provides comprehensive easy to use tools that work with difficult-to-see edges and tricky areas like trees & lattices. Fluid Mask will also preserve all-important edge information for a professional quality cut out. Go to our Fluid Mask page for more info.
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Did You Know You Could Create An Entire Website In Photoshop?
SiteGrinder Photoshop Plugin - Create Websites Instantly
There often seems to be a strict division of labor within the world of web design and development. Creative professionals tend to stick to the Photoshop domain, while those well-versed in scripting are left to the task of implementing their work. Indeed, the two realms are quite different from each other, to which any of us even vaguely familiar with either can easily attest.
Essentially, Photoshop is a no-holds-barred design studio, offering the artist a seemingly endless array of creative options. On the other hand, HTML, CSS, Java and the like follow strict rules of engagement, requiring the developer to take any number of esoteric concerns into consideration in order to ensure that designs are properly displayed on the web.
Turn Photoshop Into A Complete Web Design Tool
SiteGrinder seeks to bridge this gap between design and development. Basically, SiteGrinder turns Photoshop into an easy-to-use and fully functional web design tool. With SiteGrinder, designers will now have the freedom to totally let their creativity loose and then, without skipping a beat, transfer their designs to the web. Bringing esthetic concerns together with more practical considerations, SiteGrinder is an amazingly powerful tool that would make a fantastic addition to any web designer's bag of tricks. Mac OS X and Windows versions of the SiteGrinder unlockable demo are available now via download.
Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills - By Mark Galer And Philip Andrews
Brimming with beautiful pictures, Photoshop CS4 Essential Skills guides you through a project-based, progressive curriculum so that you can build all the essential skills to enhance photographs creatively and professionally with Photoshop CS4. If you are an aspiring professional or a student learning photography, digital imaging, or design graphics, you'll be amazed at the stunning results you can achieve. A DVD is included free.
The Essential Skills Photography Series from Focal Press uniquely offers a structured learning experience for photographers of all ages, with both the underlying theory and loads of invaluable 'how to' and real-life practice projects - all from the most talented photography practitioners/educators in the world.
Read 2 free sample chapters:
Skin Retouching Tips In Photoshop CS4
Transforming Smart Objects In Photoshop CS4
Find more Photoshop CS4 tutorials on our Photoshop CS4 Tutorials Page.
Read 2 free sample chapters from the Adobe Photoshop CS3 version:
Adjusting Exposure in Adobe Camera Raw CS3
Photoshop CS3 Tutorial High Dynamic Range
Find More Adobe Photoshop Books at Amazon.com
Find all the latest bestselling Photoshop books at discount prices at Amazon.com.