Photoshop is deep. Really, really deep. It's like those National Geographic movies that talk about the world below the surface of the ocean: on the surface it's smooth and straightforward, but down below you'll find things that'll knock your socks off.
In this chapter, we dive down deep and map out some of the canyons along the sea bed. You can dog-paddle around Photoshop without these tips, but you'll never really swim with the sharks until you've explored these territories.
Don't forget your flippers!
Upgrading to a New Version
There are few things as inevitable as death, taxes, and upgrading your software. Some people upgrade as soon as the box hits the proverbial shelf; others take years, buying a new version only after their service bureau or printer refuses to take their old files anymore. Sooner or later, though, you'll be faced with new features, new challenges, and a new bottle of aspirin.
What's New in Version 7
Those of you familiar with Photoshop 6 will be pleased with most of the interface changes in version 7, though some might throw you off a little at first. Fortunately, Adobe has left Photoshop's color management features alone this time around. If you really understood Photoshop's Color Settings and Proof Setup dialog box in version 6, then you're set with version 7. However, if you still have misgivings about Photoshop's somewhat mysterious color engine, we strongly urge you to take the time to work through Chapter 5, Color Settings. Without a thorough understanding of the Color Settings dialog box, you'll be lost before too long (and you may not even know how lost you are).
Here are a few important changes in version 7 (again, we're not listing every new feature in Photoshop 7 here, just the ones you'd better know about before jumping into the rest of the book).
New tools. There are two new tools in Photoshop 7. The most important one is the Healing Brush tool, which acts like the Clone tool but is much better at preserving the underlying grain of your images. The Patch tool (which is "under" the Healing Brush tool in the Tool palette) is a combination of the Healing Brush tool and the Lasso tool. These tools are lifesavers when it comes to retouching or cleaning up images. We discuss them both in Chapter 14, Essential Image Techniques.
One tool, the Airbrush tool, has disappeared from the Tool palette. Instead, the Airbrush tool has become part of the regular painting tools. When you select any of the painting tools (Brush, History Brush, Eraser, Clone tool, and so on), you can turn on the Airbrush button in the Options bar. When this option is on, that tool acts like an airbrushthat is, when the Flow control (also in the Options bar) is set to something lower than 100 percent, the longer you hold the active brush in one area of the image, the more "paint" is laid down.
OS X native. As we mentioned in the last chapter, the Macintosh version of Photoshop 7 has been carbonized for Mac OS X, which means it can run as a native application and take advantage of protected, dynamic memory, the new Aqua interface, and other Mac OS X features. However, there is one reason why you might not want to run Photoshop 7 in native mode. Old plug-ins won't work (or even show up) until they have been rewritten to run natively under OS X. If you're running Mac OS X and you need to use old plug-ins, you can select the Photoshop application on the desktop, choose Get Info from the File menu, and turn on the "Open in the Classic environment" checkbox to make Photoshop launch in Classic mode. But you'll lose most of the benefits of OS X, and if you try to allocate more than 400 MB of RAM to Photoshop, it will crash, so it's only a stopgap solution.
File Browser. One of the coolest features in Photoshop Elements (Photoshop's younger consumer-grade sibling) is the File Browser, which is like the Open dialog box on steroids. Fortunately, the File Browser has now finally come to Photoshop. This great tool usually lives as a palette in the palette well (in the Options bar), and lets you browse through all the images on your disk, see information about each file (a thumbnail, image resolution data, and so on), and then open. It'll even let you rotate images before opening them. We cover the File Browser in more depth later in this chapter.
Workspaces. For years we've asked for a quick way to hide all the palettes except the info palette. This time, the Photoshop team gave us much more than we asked for. Photoshop 7 lets you save tool presets and palette arrangements ("workspaces") so that you can quickly switch among them. For example, you might save a 30-pixel soft-edged brush for your high-resolution images and a 5-pixel hard-edged brush for your low-resolution images; you can switch between them quickly from the Tool Presets palette or the Tool Presets popup menu in the Options bar. You can save different palette arrangements as workspaces, and recall them quickly from the Workspace submenu in the Window menu. We'll explore these features in more depth later in this chapter.
Scripting. You won't hear much from Adobe's marketing department about one of the most awesome features in Photoshop 7: the ability to script Photoshop. It's not that the marketing folks don't want you to know about it; it's just that most of them don't know why it's so amazing. Scripting lets you automate Photoshop from behind the scenes. For instance, you could set up a database program (like FileMaker Pro) to automate Photoshop using information in your database. You could create a workflow that automates both Photoshop and QuarkXPress (or InDesign, which is also scriptable) to create an entire catalog in minutes.
Brush palette. After removing the Brush palette entirely in Photoshop 6, Adobe has reinstated it in version 7. However, this time, the Brush palette has become three times as big and five times as powerful. We'll cover this new palette later in this chapter.
Photoshop 7 has all kinds of other new features, too, from a funky new look in the Tool palette (including rollover effects when you move the cursor over a tool), to the ability to tile or cascade your document windows, to the ability for the Eyedropper tool to pick up a color from anywhere on the screen, even outside of Photoshop. We cover these features throughout the book.
Screen space is at almost as great a premium as memory these daysevery little bit helps. We like to work in full-screen mode with Photoshop (see Figure 2-1) instead of wasting space on title bars, scroll bars, and the like. You can switch to either of two full-screen modes in the Tool palette, or by pressing F. The first time you press F (or when you click on the middle icon on the palette), the image window takes over the screen (up to the menu bar) and the background becomes 50-percent gray. The second time, the menu bar disappears, too, and the background becomes black. (See "Make the Palettes Go Away," later in this chapter, for an important related tip.)
Figure 2-1 Full-screen mode
Show the Menu Bar. When you're in either of the full-screen modes, you can hide or show the menu bar by pressing Shift-F.
Changing the Matte Color. You can change the neutral gray background color that surrounds your image when you're in full-screen mode or when you expand the document window larger than the image itself. Just pick a foreground color, and then Shift-click on the background with the Paint Bucket tool (it's in the Gradient tool's popout menu). At first glance, this is nothing more than a good trick to play on your colleagues.
However, it's also a good way to preview how an image will look if you're going to place it on a colored background.
Spread Out Those Windows. When you have two or more document windows open at the same time, Photoshop 7 will neatly arrange them on your screen if you choose Tile or Cascade from the Documents submenu (under the Window menu). This is new in Photoshop 7. The difference? Tile resizes and repositions the windows so that you can see all the windows at once. Cascade repositions the windows so that they're stacked on top of each other, with only their title bars showing.
Rotating Through your Windows. We often find ourselves in Photoshop with five or more windows open at a timea frustrating situation when we need to move through them all quickly. You can press Control-Tab to switch from one open document to the next. (In this case, it's the Control key on both Macintosh and Windows.) This way, you can rotate through the windows without taking your hands off the keyboard, even if you're in full-screen mode with no menus.
Use New Window. You often want to see your image at Actual Pixels view (where screen pixels equal image pixels), but work at some other magnification. Instead of jumping back and forth between different magnification views, try opening a second window by selecting New Window from the Documents submenu (under the Window menu). You can leave one window set to Actual Pixels, and change the other window to whatever view you want to work at. Whenever you change something in one window, Photoshop updates the other window almost immediately. You can also use this technique to display an image in RGB and CMYK Preview modes simultaneously.
From Window to Folder. If you want to open an image that you know is in the same folder as one that is currently open in Photoshop, Command-click on the title in the document window's title bar and select the folder from the popdown menu that appears. This tells Photoshop to switch to the desktop and open that folder.
In this section, we first explore some of the fastest ways to move around your image, including zooming in and out. Then we move on to moving pixels around both within your document, and from one document to another. It's funny, but we find that even expert users forget or never learn this basic stuff, so we urge you to read this section even if you think you already know all there is to know about navigating in Photoshop.
Images got pixels. Computer screens got pixels. But how does one type of pixel relate to the other type of pixel? When you display an image on your screen, Photoshop has to match image pixels to screen pixels (see Figure 2-2). The percentage in the title bar of the document window tells you how Photoshop is matching those pixels up.
Figure 2-2 Matching pixels
The key to understanding this percentage stuff is to remember two things. First, at 100-percent view (otherwise known as Actual Pixels), each image pixel is represented by a single screen pixel. This view has nothing to do with how big the image will appear in print (or even on the Web, because different monitors have different resolutions). Second, at any percentage other than 100, you're probably not seeing a fully accurate view of your image.
At 400 percent, the image is magnified four times. At 50 percent, it's reduced by half, so you're only seeing half the pixels in the image because you're zoomed farther out and Photoshop has to downsample the image on the fly. When you're viewing at an integral multiple of 100 (meaning 25, 50, 200, 400 percent, and so on), Photoshop displays image pixels evenly. At 200 percent, four screen pixels (two horizontal, two vertical) equal one image pixel; at 50 percent, four image pixels equal one screen pixel, and so on.
However, when you're at any "odd" percentage, the program has to jimmy the display in order to make things work. Photoshop can't cut a screen pixel or an image pixel in half, so instead it fakes the effect using anti-aliasing. The moral of the story is always return to Actual Size (100 percent) view to peruse your image, particularly if you're trying to evaluate the effects of Unsharp Masking. By the way, while it's tempting to select Print Size from theView menu (in order to see how large the image will be on paper), this setting is only accurate on 72 pixels-per-inch monitorsin other words, on those old 13-inch Apple monitors and hardly anything else. We just ignore it.
Don't Use Image Cache for Histograms. When the "Use Image Cache for Histograms" option is turned on in the Preferences dialog box (Command-K), the histogram you see is a histogram of what you see on screen, not the histogram of your data. The anti-aliasing you get at any view other than 100 percent can produce a very smooth histogram when in fact your data is already severely posterized. We can't really envisage a situation where you need to see a histogram of the screen display instead of a histogram of your data, so leave this option turned off (as it is by default).
Don't Select the Zoom Tool. We never select the Zoom tool from the Tool palette. We can always get the Zoom tool temporarily by holding down Command-spacebar (to zoom in) or Command-Option-spacebar (to zoom out). Each click reduces from actual size to two-thirds (66.7 percent), to one-half (50 percent), to one-third (33.3 percent), and so on when zooming out, and magnifies in 100-percent increments when zooming in. (Actually, it jumps from 800 to 1200 percent, and from 1200 to 1600 percent, which is the maximum magnification available.)
You can also drag around an area with the Zoom tool. The pixels within the marquee are magnified to whatever arbitrary percentage best fills the screen.
Zoom with Keystrokes. If you just want to change the overall magnification of an image, press Command-plus (+) or Command-minus (-) to zoom in or out. We find this especially handy because it resizes the window at the same time if necessary. But if any palettes are open, this keystroke won't increase the document window beyond the edges of the palettes unless you click the Ignore Palettes checkbox in the Options bar while the Zoom tool is selected. The setting persists when you choose a different tool. To change it, select the Zoom tool again, and click to uncheck the Ignore Palettes checkbox. Note that adding the Option key to this mix tells Photoshop to zoom in or out without changing the size of the window.
Get to 100-Percent View Quickly. You can jump to 100-percent view quickly by double-clicking on the Zoom tool in the Tool palette. This is just the same as clicking the Actual Pixels button in the Options bar. or choosing Actual Pixels from the View menu. Faster still, press Command-Option-0 (zero).
Fit Window in Screen. Double-clicking on the Hand tool, on the other hand (no pun left unturned), is the same as pressing Fit on Screen in the Options bar when the Zoom tool or Hand tool is selected, or pressing Command-0 (zero)it makes the image and the document window as large as it can, without going out of the screen's boundaries.
Zoom Factor. At the bottom-left corner of the window, Photoshop displays the current magnification percentage. This isn't only a display: you can change it to whatever percentage you'd like (double-click to select the whole field). Type the zoom percentage you want, then press Return or Enter when you're done. If you're not sure exactly what percentage you want, note that you can press Shift-Return instead of Return and the field remains selected after Photoshop zooms in or out, letting you enter a different value (see Figure 2-3).
Figure 2-3 Zoom factor
If you're like most Photoshop users, you find yourself moving around the image a lot. Do a little here... do a little there... and so on. But when you're doing this kind of navigation, you should rarely use the scroll bars. There are much better ways.
Use the Grabber Hand. The best way to make a small move around your image is with the Grabber Hand. Don't choose it from the Tool palette. Instead, hold down the spacebar to get the Grabber Hand. Then just click and drag to where you want to go.
End Up Down Home. We like the extended keyboardthe kind with function keys and the built-in keypad. Most people ignore the very helpful Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys when working in Photoshop, but we find them invaluable for perusing an image for dust or scratches.
When you press Page Up or Page Down, Photoshop scrolls the image by almost an entire page's worth of pixels up or down. It leaves a small band of overlap, just in case. While there's no Page Left or Page Right button, you can jump a screen to the left or right by pressing Command-Page Up or Command-Page Down. You can scroll in 10-pixel increments by pressing Shift-Page Up or Shift-Page Down (or, again, add the Command key to go left or right).
Also note that pressing the Home button jumps you to the upper-left corner, and the End button jumps you to the lower-right corner of the document. David often uses this technique when using the Cropping tool. He lazily sets the cropping rectangle approximately where he wants it, then zooms in to the upper-left corner to precisely adjust that corner point. Then, with one hit of the End key, he's transported to the lower-right, where he can adjust that corner.
Use the Control Key on the Mac Standard Keyboard. If you have a Macintosh Standard Keyboard, you don't have the Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys, but you can use Control-key equivalents. Press Control-K (not Command-K) instead of Page Up, Control-L for Page Down, Control-A for Home, and Control-D for End. (Add the Command key to Control-K and Control-L to move left and right, and the Shift key to move the display in 10-pixel increments.)
Moving Among the Layers. The Grabber Hand and scroll bars only let you move around your image on a two-dimensional plane. What about moving into the third dimensionthe layer dimension?
You can move among layers (without ever touching the Layers palette) by using keystrokes: Option-[ or Option-] (the square brackets) move to the previous or next visible layer (even if that layer is in a different layer set). If you add the Shift key to that, Photoshop jumps to the bottom or top layer (very helpful if you've got a mess o' layers).
One cool feature here is that if only one layer is visible when you press these keystrokes, Photoshop hides that layer and shows the next layer. This is great for cycling through a number of layers, though it gets confused and doesn't work when you have layer sets.
By the way, if you want to move the layers rather than just select them, you can press Command-Shift-[ and Command-Shift-] to move the selected layer to the bottom and top of the layers stack, respectively.
Faster Layer Selection. Perhaps the fastest way to select a layer is to select the Move tool and then turn on the Auto Select Layer checkbox in the Options bar. This way, you can switch to a layer simply by clicking with the Move tool on a pixel on that layer. If you don't have the Move tool selected when you want to switch layers, simply Command-click (which gives you the Move tool temporarily). On the other hand, we personally find Auto Layer Select somewhat infuriating because it's too easy to select the wrong layer. Instead, we like using the Move tool's context-sensitive menu.
Context-Sensitive Menus. When you Control-click (Macintosh) or click with the right mouse button (Windows), Photoshop displays a context-sensitive menu that changes depending on what tool you have selected in the Tool palette. We find the menu for the various painting tools pretty useless (though if you had to do a lot of painting, it might be helpful). But the menus you get when you Control-click (or right-mouse-button-click) with the Move tool and the selection tools are great.
The context-sensitive menu for the Move tool lets you choose a layer to work on. If you have four layers in an image, and three of them overlap in one particular area, you can Control-click (or right-mouse-button-click) on that area and Photoshop asks you which of the three layers you want to jump to. (Note that you can always get the Move tool's context-sensitive menu by Command-Control-clicking or, on Windows, clicking the right mouse button with the Control key held down.) The context-sensitive menu for the Marquee tool contains a veritable mish-mosh of features, including Delete Layer, Duplicate Layer, Load Selection, Reselect, and Color Range (we have no idea why they picked these and left other features out). Many of these features don't have keyboard shortcuts, so this menu is the fastest way to perform them.
Click on your Layer. Here's another way to select a different layer without clicking on it in the Layers palette: Command-Option-Control-click (with any tool; in Windows, you Control-Alt-click with the right mouse button). If you click on pixels that "belong" to a different layer than the one you're on, Photoshop jumps to that layer. For instance, if you've got a picture of your mom on Layer 3, and you're currently on the Background layer, you can Command-Option-Control-click (or Control-Alt-right-mouse-button-click) on your mom with the Move tool to jump to Layer 3.
This typically only works when you click on a pixel that has an opacity greater than 50 percent. (We say "typically" because it sometimes does work if the total visible opacity is less than 50 percent. See "Info Palette," later in this chapter.) If your mom has a feathered halo around her, you may not be able to get this to work if you click on the feathered part.
The Navigator palette acts as command central for all scrolling and zooming (see Figure 2-4). We rarely use this palette because we find that it's usually either too precise or not precise enough, and it takes too much mousing around. Of course, this is largely a personal bias on our part; if you find it useful, more power to you.
Figure 2-4 Navigator palette
Most of the palette is occupied by a thumbnail of the image, with a red frame indicating the contents of the active window. (If your image has a lot of red in it, you might want to change the frame color by choosing Palette Options from the palette's popout menu). Dragging the outline pans the contents of the active window. Command-dragging lets you define a new outline, thereby changing the zoom percentage.
The percentage field at the lower left of the palette works exactly like the one at the lower left of the image window. Clicking the zoom-in and zoom-out buttons has the same effect as pressing Command-plus and Command-minus. David's favorite feature in this palette is the magnification slider, which lets him change the zoom level dynamically. It's not a particularly useful feature, but it's mighty fun.
If you simply make a selection, then drag it with one of the selection tools, you move the selection boundary but not its contents. If you want the pixels to move as well, you have to use the Move tool. Fortunately, no matter what tool is selected, you can always temporarily get the Move tool simply by holding down the Command key. Note that you can hold down the Option key while you drag to copy the pixels as you move them (moving a duplicate of the pixels).
When you move or copy selected pixels with the Move tool, you get a floating selection (sort of like a temporary layer that disappears when you deselect). While the selection is still floating, you can use the Fade command (in the Filter menu) to change its opacity or blend mode.
With the Move tool, you can move an entire layer around without selecting anything. When you do have something selected, you don't have to worry about positioning the cursor before you click and drag. This is a great speedup, especially when working with heavily feathered selections.
Arrow Keys Move, Too. When moving pixels around, don't forget the arrow keys. With the Move tool selected, each press of the key moves the contents of your selection by one pixel. If you add the Shift key, the selection moves 10 pixels. Modifier keys work, too: hold down the Option key when you first press an arrow key, and the selection is duplicated, floated, and moved one pixel (don't keep holding down the Option key after that, unless you want a lot of duplicates).
Remember that you can always get the Move tool temporarily by adding the Command key to any of the above shortcuts. Pressing the arrow keys with any tool other than the Move tool moves the selection without moving the pixels it contains. This is an essential technique for precision placement of a selection.
If you've got the Move tool selected (press V), and nothing is selected when you press the arrow keys, the entire layer moves by one pixel. Add the Shift key to move 10 pixels instead.
Moving Multiple Layers. One of the problems with layers is that you often can't do the same thing to more than one layer at the same time. But remember: there are always workarounds!
If you want to move more than one layer at a time with the Move tool, you can link the layers by clicking in the second column of the Layers palette (see Figure 2-5). Whichever layer tile you click on (other than the one that's already active) is linked with the current layer. Now when you use the Move tool (with no selections), both layers move.
Figure 2-5 Linking layers for moving
Duplicating Layers. Duplicating a layer is a part of our everyday workflow, so it's a good thing that there are various ways to do it.
You can drag the layer's tile on top of the New Layer icon in the Layers palette.
You can press Command-J (if some pixels are selected, then only those pixels will be duplicated).
You can select Duplicate Layer from the Layer menu.
You can select Duplicate Layer from the context-sensitive menu you get when Control-clicking (Macintosh) or right-mouse-button-clicking (Windows) with the Marquee, Lasso, or Cropping tools.
The method you use at any given time should be determined by where your hands are. (Keyboard? Mouse? Coffee mug?)
Duplicating and Merging Layers. You can merge a copy of all the currently visible layers in a document into the currently selected layer (without deleting the other layers) by holding down the Option key when selecting Merge Visible from the Layer menu (or, better yet, just press Command-Shift-Option-E). Generally, you'll want to create a new layer just before doing this, so the merged layers end up there.
Copying Pixels. Layers are a fact of life, and with Photoshop it's not uncommon to find yourself with more layers than you know what to do with. If you make a selection and select Copy, you only get the pixels on the currently active layer (the one selected on the Layers palette). If you want to copy all the visible layers, select Copy Merged instead (or press Command-Shift-C).
However, we find some people using this technique in order to make a merged copy of the entire image (not just a selection). Sure, you can do it, but it's faster and less memory-intensive to use the Duplicate feature (under the Image menu) and turn on the Merged Layers Only checkbox. (This label makes no sense to us; it really should be called "Merge Visible Layers in Duplicate.")
Pasting Pixels. Pasting pixels into a document automatically creates a new layer (unless your image is in Indexed Color mode). So what about the Paste Into (Command-Shift-V) and Paste Behind (Command-Shift-Option-V) features (which are available when you've made a selection)? When invoked, each of these adds a new layer, but they also add a layer mask to that layer in the form of the selection. This is one of the fastest ways to build a layer and a layer mask in one step: draw a selection the shape of the layer mask you want, then perform a Paste Into or a Paste Behind (depending on the effect you're trying to achieve).
Drag-and-Drop Selections and Layers. Most Photoshop users can't envision a world without Cut and Paste. However, there are times to use the clipboard and times not to. In Photoshop, you often want to avoid the clipboard because you're dealing with large amounts of data. Every time you move something to or from the clipboard, you eat up more RAM, or hard drive space, which can slow you down.
If you want to move a selection of pixels (or a layer) from one document to another, you can do so by dragging it from one window into the other (if you've got a selection, remember to use the Move tool, or else you'll just move the selection boundary itself). Photoshop moves the pixels "behind the scenes," so as to avoid unneeded memory requirements. If you're trying to copy an entire layer, you can also just click on its tile in the Layers palette and drag it to the other document's window.
Placing your Drag-and-Drop Selection. In the last tip we talked about how you can drag and drop a selection or layer from one image into another. When you let go of the mouse button, the selection is placed into the image right where you dropped it. However, if you hold down the Shift key, Photoshop centers the layer or selection in the new image. If the two images have the same pixel dimensions, the Shift key "pin-registers" itthe layer or selection falls in exactly the same place as it was in the original document.
Guides, Grids, and Alignment
Moving pixels is all very well and good, but where are you going to move them to? If you need to place pixels with precision, you should use the ruler, guides, grids, and the alignment features. The ruler is the simplest: you can hide or show it by pressing Command-R. Wherever you move your cursor, faint tick marks appear in the rulers, showing you exactly where you are (you can also follow the coordinates on the Info palette).
Guides. You can add a guide to a page by dragging it out from either the horizontal or vertical ruler. Or, if you care about specific placement, you can either carefully watch the measurements on the Info palette as you drag, or select New Guide from the View menu. (If you don't think in inches, you can change the default measurement system; see "Switch Units," later in this chapter.) You can always move a guide with the Move tool (don't forget you can always get the Move tool temporarily by holding down the Command key). Table 2-1 lists a number of grids and guides keystrokes that can help you use these features effortlessly.
Table 2-1 Grids and guides keystrokes
To do this...
Hide/Show All Extras (grids, guides, etc.)
Snap To Guides
Snap to Ruler Marks. We almost always hold down the Shift key when dragging guides out from a ruler; that way, the guide automatically snaps to the ruler tick marks. If you find that your guides are slightly sticky as you drag them out without the Shift key held down, check to see what layer you're on. When Snap To Guides is turned on, objects snap to the guides and guides snap to the edges and centers of objects on layers.
Switching Guide Direction. Dragged out a horizontal guide when you meant to get a vertical one? No problem: just Option-click on the guide to switch its orientation (or hold down the Option key while dragging out the guide).
Mirroring Guides. If you rotate your image by 90 degrees, or flip it horizontally or vertically, your guides will rotate or flip with it. You can stop this errant behavior by locking the guides down first (press Command-Option-semicolon).
Guides on the Pasteboard. Just because your pixels stop at the edge of the image doesn't mean your guides have to. You can place guides out on the gray area outside the image canvas and they're still functional.
This is just the ticket if you've got a photo that you need to place so that it bleeds off the edge of your image by .25 inch.
Changing Guides and Grids. Guides are, by default, blue. Grid lines are, by default, set one inch apart. If you don't like these settings, change them in the Guides and Grid Preferences dialog box (you can select this from the Preferences submenu), or just double-click on any guide with the Move tool (or Command-double-click with any other tool).
Alignment and distribution. Page-layout programs have offered alignment features for years, but this capability first appeared in Photoshop 5, and it's a godsend for anyone who really cares about precision in their images (we find it particularly useful when building images for the Web). Here's how you can align objects on two layers.
Choose which layer you want "locked"that is, which one stays put while the other layer movesby selecting it in the Layers palette.
Click in the second column of the Layers palette next to the layer you want to move (a link icon should appear next to it). If you want to align more than two layers, link all of them.
Make sure you have no selections by pressing Command-D (or choosing Deselect from the Select menu), and then choose among the options on the Align Linked submenu (under the Layer menu; see Figure 2-6). Or, even faster, click on one of the Align buttons in the Options bar. If you don't deselect first, Photoshop aligns to the selection instead of to the layers.
Figure 2-6 Aligning layers
When you're done aligning objects, don't forget to turn off the link icon in the Layers palette (unless you want these layers to be linked so that they move in tandem from now on).
If you select three or more layers (or, to be more precise, select one layer in the Layers palette, and then link two or more other layers to it), you can also distribute the layers instead of aligning them. For example, if you have four small pictures that you want evenly spread across your Photoshop image, you could put each one on a separate layer, link them all together, and choose Horizontal Centers from the Distribute Linked submenu (under the Layer menu; see Figure 2-7).
Figure 2-7 Distributing layers
Note that Distribute Linked doesn't care which layers are selected and which are linked. When distributing layers vertically, Photoshop "locks" the layers that are closest to the top and the bottom of the image canvas; when distributing horizontally, it locks the left-most and right-most layers. All the layers in between get moved. For example, if you choose Vertical Centers from the Distribute Linked submenu, Photoshop moves the layers so that there is an equal amount of space from the vertical center point of one layer to the next.
We think this interface is pretty clunky (after all, when you link layers together, they aren't supposed to move independently of each other), but once you align or distribute layers once or twice, you'll find that it's not that bad.
Aligning to the Canvas. Aligning two layers together is all well and good, but we often find we want to align something to the image canvas itself. For instance, you might want to center some text horizontally in the picture.
Press Command-A to select the whole image.
Select the layer you want to move.
If you want to align more than one layer, link those layers to the selected layer.
Choose from among the Align buttons in the Options bar or the Align to Selection submenu (under the Layer menu). If you choose the Horizontal Centers button, then Photoshop centers your layer to the selection (which, in this case, is the size of the canvas).
Note that when you have a selection, the Align Linked submenu changes to the Align to Selection submenu (which is why you have to deselect your selections before aligning two or more layers).
Dialog boxes seem like simple things, but since you probably spend a good chunk of your time in Photoshop looking at them, wouldn't it be great to be more efficient while you're there? Here are a bunch of tips that will let you fly through those pesky beasts.
Scroll 'n' Zoom. The most important lesson to learn about dialog boxes in Photoshop is that just because one is open doesn't mean that you can't do anything else. For instance, in many dialog boxessuch as the Levels and Curves dialog boxesyou can still scroll around any open documents (not just the active one) by holding down the spacebar and dragging. You can even zoom in and out of the active window using the Command-spacebar and Command-Option-spacebar techniques. Note that some dialog boxes, most notoriously the Distort filters, don't let you scroll or zoom at all. Pity.
Save your Settings. Many dialog boxes in Photoshop have Save and Load buttons that let you save to disk all the settings that you've made in a dialog box. They're particularly useful when you're going through the iterative process of editing an image.
For instance, let's say you're adjusting the tone of an image with Curves. You increase this and decrease that, and add some points here and there.... Finally, when you're finished, you press OK and findmuch to your dismaythat you need to make one more change. If you jump right back into Curves, you degrade your image a second timenot good (see Chapter 6, Tonal Correction). If you undo, you lose the changes you made the first time. But if you've saved the curve to disk before leaving the dialog box, you can undo, go back to the dialog box, and load in the settings you had saved. Then you can add that one last move to the curve, without introducing a second round of image-degrading corrections.
Instant Replay. There's one other way to undo and still save any tonal-adjustment settings you've made. If you hold down the Option key while selecting any feature from the Adjust submenu (under the Image menu), Photoshop opens the dialog box with the last-used settings. Similarly, you can add the Option key to the adjustment's keyboard shortcut. For instance, Command-Option-L opens the Levels dialog box with the same settings you last used. This is a great way to specify the same Levels or Curves (or Hue/Saturation, or any other adjustment) to several different images. But as soon as you quit Photoshop, it loses its memory.
Opening Palettes from Dialog Boxes. We almost always work with the Info palette open. However, every now and again it gets closed or covered up with some other palette. Unfortunately, while you're in a dialog box (like the Curves or Levels dialog boxes), you cannot click on any palette without leaving the dialog box by pressing OK or Cancel. Fortunately for efficiency, you can select a palette from theWindows menu. To display the Info palette, select Show Info from this menu. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work for palettes that are docked in the palette well.)
We love keystrokes. They make everything go much faster, or at least they make it feel like we're working faster. Here are a few keystrokes that we use all the time while in dialog boxes.
Option. Holding down the Option key while in a dialog box almost always changes the Cancel button into a Reset button, letting you reset the dialog box to its original state (the way it was when you first opened it). If you want to go keystrokes the whole way, type Command-Option-period to do the same thing.
Command-Z. You already know Command-Z (what Seattle's Mac user group calls "Just Undo It"), because it's gotten you out of more jams than you care to think about. Well, Command-Z performs an undo within dialog boxes, too. It undoes the last change you made. We use this all the time when we mistype.
Arrow keys. Many dialog boxes in Photoshop have text fields where you enter or change numbers (see Figure 2-8). You can change those numbers by pressing the Up or Down arrow keys. Press once, and the number increases or decreases by one. If you hold down the Shift key while pressing the arrow key, it changes by 10. (Note that some dialog boxes change by a tenth or even a hundredth; when you hold down Shift, they change by 10 times as much.) A few dialog boxes use the arrow keys in a different way, or don't use them at all. In the Lens Flare filter, for instance, the arrow keys move the position of the effect, and arrow keys just don't do anything in most of the Distort filters.
Figure 2-8 Numerical fields in dialog boxes
Tab key. As in most Macintosh and Windows applications, the Tab key selects the next text field in dialog boxes with multiple text fields. You can use this in conjunction with the previous tip in dialog boxes such as the Unsharp Mask filter, or you can simply tab to the next field and type in a number if you already know the value you want.
Most of Photoshop's tonal- and color-correction features and many of its filters offer a Preview checkbox in their dialog boxes. Plus, all the filters that have a dialog box have a proxy window that shows the effect applied to a small section of the image (some dialog boxes have both). If you're working on a very large file on a relatively slow machine, and the filter you're using has a proxy window, you might want to turn off the Preview checkbox so that Photoshop doesn't slow down redrawing the screen. However, most of the time we just leave the Preview feature on.
Before version 6 of Photoshop, the Preview checkbox in all the Image Adjust dialog boxes (Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, and so on) acted as a switch to turn on and off the Video LUT Animation feature. When the Preview option was off, the video LUT ("look up table") kicked in, altering the entire screen instead of just the image or portion of an image. This was much faster on slow machines, but wasn't always accurate (and didn't work in Windows anyway). In Photoshop 6, Adobe removed Video LUT Animation entirely. Fortunately, they left in our favorite video LUT trick: finding white and black clipping points in the Levels dialog box (see "Levels Command Goodies" in Chapter 6, Tonal Correction).
Today, we primarily use the Preview checkbox to view "before" and "after" versions of our images, toggling it on and off to see the effect of the changes without leaving the dialog box.
Proxies. The proxy in dialog boxes shows only a small part of the image, but it updates almost instantly. Previewing time-consuming filters such as Unsharp Mask or Motion Blur on a large file can take a long time, and some very time-consuming filters such as the Distort filters don't offer a preview at all, so we rely on the proxy a lot.
Before and After in Proxies. You can always see a before-and-after comparison by clicking in the proxy. Hold down the mouse button to see the image before the filter is applied, release it to see the image after the filter is applied.
Changing the Proxy View. To see a different part of the image, click and drag in the proxy (no modifier keys are necessary). Alternatively, you can click in the document itself. The cursor changes to a small rectanglewherever you click shows up in the Preview window.
Similarly, you can zoom the proxy in and out. The slow way is to click on the little (+) and (-) buttons. Much faster is to click the proxy with either the Command or Option keys held downthe former zooms in, the latter zooms out. However, we rarely zoom in and out because you can't see the true effect of a filter unless you're at 100% view.
Note that proxies only show the layer you're working on at any one time. This makes sense, really; only that layer is going to be affected.
New Dialog Box
Before we move on to essential tips about tools, we need to take a quick look at the New dialog box, which has a few very helpful (and in some cases hidden) features.
Editing Preset Sizes. New in version 7 is the Preset Sizes popup menu, which lets you pick from among 24 common document sizes, such as A4, 640 x 480, and 4 x 6 inches. Don't like the default presets that Adobe offers? You can add your own by using a text editor (like Windows Notepad or BBedit) to edit the text file called New Doc Sizes.txt, which is inside the Presets folder (in the Photoshop folder).
You can also remove one or more of the presets that are there by default. For instance, if you never create images in the "1280 x 720 HDTV" format, you can get rid of it by editing the Default New Doc Sizes.txt file. This file is hiding inside the Required folder, which is inside the Photoshop directory in Windows, and inside the Photoshop.app folder on the Macintosh. (If you're running Mac OS X, you'll need to Control-click on the Photoshop application, select Show Package Contents, then open the Contents folder in order to see the Required folder.) It's important to save these files as text-only files, or else they may cause trouble. In fact, it's a good idea to keep a copy of the original files someplace, just in case. When you're done editing, relaunch Photoshop and open the New dialog box to see the change.
Clairvoyant Image Size. The New dialog box tries to read your mind. If you have something copied to the Clipboard when you create a new document, Photoshop automatically plugs the pixel dimensions, resolution, and color model of that copied piece into the proper places of the dialog box for you.
If you'd rather use the values from the last new image you created, hold down the Option key while selecting New from the File menu (or press Command-Option-N).
Copying Sizes from Other Documents. Russell Brown, that king of Photoshop tips and tricks, reminded us to keep our eyes open. Why, for instance, is the Window menu not grayed out when you have the New dialog box open? Because you can select items from it!
If you want your new document to have the same pixel dimensions, resolution, and color mode as a document you already have open, you can select that document from the Documents submenu (in the Window menu). Voilà! The statistics are copied.
This trick also works in the Image Size and Canvas Size dialog boxes.
After you're finished moving around in your image, zooming in and out, and moving pixels hither and yon, it's time to get down to work with Photoshop's tools. Photoshop's tools have all sorts of hidden properties that can make life easier andmore importantmore efficient. Let's look at a number of tips and techniques for getting the most out of these instruments of creation.
Tool Keystrokes. The most important productivity tip we've found in Photoshop to date has been the ability to select each and every tool with a keystroke. Unlike most programs, the keystrokes for Photoshop's tools do not use any modifier keys. You press the key without Command, Control, or Option. Figure 2-9 shows the keystroke for each tool.
Figure 2-9 Keystrokes for tools
Some tools in the Tool palette have multiple modes. For instance, the Dodge tool also "contains" the Burn and the Sponge tools. The slow way to access the different modes is to press the tool icon to bring up the popout palette containing the different modes. A faster method is to press the tool's keystroke once to select it, and then hold down the Shift key while pressing it again to toggle among the choices. Press M once, and you jump to the Marquee tool; then press Shift-M, and it switches to the elliptical Marquee tool; press Shift-M once more, and it switches back to the rectangular Marquee tool. Note that this keystroke doesn't cycle through the single-row marquee or the single-column marquee.
(Photoshop lets you change this behavior: If you turn off the "Use Shift Key for Tool Switch" checkbox in the Preferences dialog boxsee "Preferences," later in this chapterthen you don't have to hold down the Shift key to rotate through the tools; each time you press M, you'll get a different tool.)
Changing Blend Modes. You can also change blend modes (Normal, Screen, Multiply, and so on) by pressing Shift-minus and Shift-plus, or by holding down Shift and Option and pressing the first letter of the mode (such as Shift-Option-S for Screen). If you have a painting tool selected (like the Brush tool), this changes the mode of the selected tool; otherwise, it changes the mode of the layer itself.
Swap Tool Effect. While we rarely use the Blur, Sharpen, Dodge, or Burn tools (the first two are kind of clunky and we prefer to use adjustment layers rather than the last two), it is kind of fun to know that if you hold down the Option key, the Blur tool switches to the Sharpen tool (and vice versa), and the Dodge tool switches to the Burn tool (and vice versa).
Options Bar Keystrokes. The tools on the Tool palette only go so far. You often need to modify the tool's default settings on the Options bar. Try this: select a tool, then press Return. The Options bar, even if hidden, appears at this command. Plus, if there is a number-input field on the Options bar, Photoshop selects it for you. When you press Return with the Lasso or Marquee tools selected, for example, the Feather field becomes highlighted on the Options bar.
If there is more than one number-input field on the Options bar, you can press Tab to jump from one to the next. Finally, when you're finished with your changes, press Return again to exit from the bar and resume work.
Each tool in the Tool palette offers one or more options, such as how large a brush diameter, or whether a selection is feathered, or what mode a tool will paint in (Multiply, Screen, and so on). It's a hassle to remember to set all the tool options, but fortunately Photoshop can remember them for you if you use the Tool Presets feature.
The Tool Presets feature lives in two places: at the far left side of the Options bar, and in the Tool Presets palette (which you can select from the Window menu). We find that the palette is most useful for fine artists who need to switch among various tool presets often within the same image (see Figure 2-10). Production folks like us tend to keep the palette closed and select tools from the Tool Presets popup menu in the Options bar (see Figure 2-11).
Figure 2-10 Tool Presets palette
Figure 2-11 Tool Preset popup menu
To create a new tool preset, select any tool in the Tool palette, change the Options bar to the way you want it, click on the Tool Presets popup menu in the Options bar, then click the New Tool Preset button (it looks like a little page with a dog-eared corner). Or, faster, after setting up the tool, you can Option-click on the Tool Presets icon in the Options bar. When Photoshop asks you for a name, we suggest giving the tool preset a descriptive name, like "ShapeTool Circle 50c20m." Photoshop also comes with several pre-made collections of tool presets, such as Art History and Brushes. The trick to finding these (and doing all sorts of other things with tool presets, like saving your own sets), is to click once on the Tool Presets popup menu in the Options bar, and then click once on the popout menu icon (the little triangle on the side of the menu). Or, if the Tool Presets palette is open, you can find all these same options in the palette's popout menu.
Unfortunately, there's no way to edit a tool preset once you make ityou can only create a new one and delete the old one by choosing Delete Tool Preset from the Tool Preset popout menu.
Renaming Tool Presets. You can't edit a tool preset name in the Options bar's Tool Preset popup menu, but you can in the Tool Presets palette. Just double-click on the preset's name. Similarly, you can edit preset names by double-clicking on them in the Preset Manager dialog box (select Preset Manager from the Edit menu).
Resetting the Tools. Photoshop power users are forever changing the settings for the tools on the Options bar. But every now and again, it's nice to level the playing field. You can reset the tool options for either a single tool or for all the tools by Control-clicking on the Tool Presets popup menu on the far left edge of the Options bar (or right-button-clicking in Windows).
Matching colors by eye can be difficult. Instead, use the tool designed for the job: the Eyedropper.
Eyedropper Keystroke. You can always grab the Eyedropper from the Tool palette (or press I), but if you already have a painting tool selected, it's faster just to use the Option key to toggle between the Eyedropper tool and the painting tool.
How Many Pixels Are You Looking At? Almost every image has noise in itpixels that are just plain wrong. If you're clicking around with the Eyedropper tool, there's a reasonable chance that you'll click right on one of those noise pixels, resulting in a color you don't expect (or want). The key is to change what the Eyedropper is looking at.
David usually changes the Sample Size popup menu in the Options bar to 3 by 3 Average. This way, the Eyedropper looks at nine pixels (the pixel you click on, plus the eight surrounding it) and averages them. If he's working on a very high-resolution image, however, he switches to 5 by 5 Average. Bruce, on the other hand, lives on the edge: he always leaves the Eyedropper set to Point Sample. If he thinks there's a danger of picking up a noise pixel, he just zooms in far enough to see exactly which pixel he's sampling.
Don't Limit your Eyedropping. Don't forget that when you're working with the Eyedropper tool, you can click on any open Photoshop document, or even the Picker, Swatches, or Scratch palettes. This usually even works when a dialog box is open. If you want to select a color from someplace else on screen (outside of Photoshop), first click down inside a Photoshop document, and then drag the mouse (with the button held down) over the color you want. Note that this only captures the RGB color values of whatever is visible on screen (there's no way for Photoshop to find out what the underlying color value is if you sample, say, a CMYK color from a QuarkXPress document).
Lock your Sample Points. The Color Sampler (which is hidden as an alternate to the Eyedropper tool) lets you place a sample point at any location in your image and expands the Info palette to show the readings at this coordinate (see Figure 2-12). This is most helpful when performing color or tonal adjustments, because you can quickly see how your tweaks are affecting various areas of your image while you're making changes. (See Chapter 6, Tonal Corrections, for more on this technique.)
Figure 2-12 Locking sample points
We almost never choose the actual Color Sampler tool from the tool-box. Instead, we just Shift-click with the normal Eyedropper tool (or Option-Shift-click with any of the painting tools), which does the same thing. If you want to move a sample point someplace else, you can just click and drag it with the Color Sampler tool (or Shift-drag with the Eye-dropper tool). To delete a sample point, just Option-click with the Color Sampler tool (or Option-Shift-click on it with either the Eyedropper tool or any painting tool).
One of the complaints Adobe heard most in times gone by was that blends in Photoshop resulted in banding. The answer they always gave was to "add noise" to the blend. It's true; adding noise reduces banding significantly. And fortunately, when Photoshop 3 came out, the program started adding the noise for us. You can stop it by turning off the Dither checkbox in the Options bar, but there's almost no reason to do so. You may want to turn dithering off if you're printing to a continuous-tone device that can actually reproduce the gradient without banding.
Adding More Noise. If you're still getting banding even with Dither turned on, you may want to add even more noise to a blend. However, note that you don't always need to apply the Add Noise filter to the entire gradient; use the filter selectively.
Instead, you might find it better to add noise to only one or two channels. View each channel separately (see Chapter 13, Selections) to see where the banding is more prevalent. Then add some noise just to the blend area in that channel.
Blends in CMYK. Eric Reinfeld pounded it into our heads one day: if you're going to make blends in Photoshop images that will end up in CMYK mode, create them in CMYK mode. Sometimes changing modes from RGB to CMYK can give you significant color shifts in blends.
Gradients on Layers. Some people make hard work of creating a blend that fades away into transparency. They go through endless convolutions of Layer Masks and Channel Options, or they spend hours building custom gradients, and so on. They're making it difficult for themselves by not opening their eyes. When you have the Gradient tool selected, the Options bar offers a popup menu with various gradients in it, and one of the defaults blends from Foreground to Transparent, or from Transparent to Foreground. If that option isn't available, someone may have edited your gradient presets. You can create or edit a gradient by clicking once on the gradient swatch in the Options bar. You can also select a different set of gradient presets from the popout menu to the right of the swatch (see Figure 2-13).
Figure 2-13 Gradient options
We can't tell you how to make great art using Photoshop's painting tools, but we can give you some hints about how to use them more efficiently.
Photoshop 7 dramatically increases the ability to customize your brushes (see Figure 2-14). It's important to remember that these brush styles aren't only for painting with the Brush toolthey also work with the Eraser tool, the Clone Stamp tool, the History Brush tool, and so on. While most of the new brush features are designed for fine art work (simulating charcoal, water colors, and so on), every now and again you may find them helpful in a production environment, tooespecially for detailed retouching.
Figure 2-14 The Brushes palette
Brush Keystrokes. Did you know that the [ and ] keys (the square brackets) increase and decrease the diameter of a brush? Plus, Shift-[ and Shift-] change the brush's hardness. We now keep one hand on the keyboard and one on our mouse (or tablet pen); when we want to change tools, we press the key for that tool. When we want to change brush size, we cycle through the brushes with the [ and ] keys until we find the size we like. Here's one more shortcut, too: the Command and period keys move up and down through the brush presets.
Fastest Brush Selection. Actually, one of the best ways to select a brush is probably via the context-sensitive menu. On the Macintosh, hold down the Control key when you click with any of the painting tools and Photoshop displays the Brushes menu wherever you click. In Windows, right-mouse-button-click to see the menu. After selecting a brush size, press Enter to make the palette disappear.
Hovering Pseudo-Selections. Instead of selecting a brush from the Brushes palette, then painting with it to see how it will really look, hover the cursor over the preset for a moment and Photoshop will display a sample of that brush at the bottom of the palette. If you don't like it, hover over another brush. When you find one you like, click on it to select it.
Opacity by the Numbers. In between changing brush sizes, we're forever changing brush opacity while painting or retouching. If you're still moving the sliders around on the Options bar, stop it. Instead, just type a number from 0 to 9. Zero gives you 100-percent opacity, 1 gives you 10 percent, 2 gives you 20 percent, and so on. For finer control, press two number keys in quick successionfor example, pressing 45 gets you 45-percent opacity. If you have a non-painting tool selected in the Tool palette, then typing a number changes the opacity of the layer you're working on (unless it's the Background layer, of course). Note that if the Airbrush feature in the Options bar is turned on, then typing numbers affects the Flow percentage rather than the Opacity setting.
Touching Up Line Art. We talk about scanning and converting to line art in Chapter 11, Line Art, but since we're on the topic of painting tools, we should discuss the Pencil tool for just a moment. One of the best techniques for retouching line-art (black-and-white) images is the Auto Erase feature on the Options bar. When Auto Erase is turned on, the Pencil tool works like this: if you click on any color other than the foreground color, that pixelalong with all others you touch before lifting the mouse buttonis changed to the foreground color (this is the way it works, even with Auto Erase turned off). If you click on the foreground color, however, that pixelalong with all others you encounteris changed to the background color.
This effectively means you don't have to keep switching the foreground and background colors while you work.
Use All Layers. If you're working on a multilayer image, you may find yourself frustrated with tools like the Smudge, Blur, Magic Wand, or the Clone Stamp tools. That's because sometimes you want these tools to "see" the layers below the one you're working on, and sometimes you do not. Fortunately, Photoshop gives you a choice for each of these tools with the Use All Layers checkbox on the Options bar. (Note that in older versions, this was called Sample Merged.) When Use All Layers is turned off, each tool acts as though the other layers weren't even there. But if you turn it on, look out! Photoshop sees the other visible layers (both above and below it) and acts as though they were merged together (see Figure 2-15).
Figure 2-15 Use All Layers
The benefit of this is great, but people often don't see the downfall. Let's say your background contains a blue box, and Layer 1 has an overlapping yellow box. When you paint or smudge or blur or whatever with Use All Layers turned on, Photoshop "sucks up" the blue and paints it into Layer 1. If you think about it, that's what it should and has to do. But it can really throw you for a loop if you're not prepared.
Painting in High-Bit Files. You may have noticed that the Brush tool doesn't work on high-bit files (files set to 16-bits per channel in the Mode submenu, under the Image menu). But the History brush does. You can paint on any high-bit file by first editing the file to get the color you want (we usually use Curves, and start by pulling the zero point up to level 255 to turn the whole image white, then we use individual channel curves with straight horizontal lines to obtain the color percentages we want). Next, create a New Snapshot of the solid color. Then go to the History palette, step back to the image state before you made the solid color, and set the Snapshot you made in the previous step as the source for the History brush. Presto! You can paint any color into the high-bit image.
We almost always scan a little bigger than we need, just in case. So we end up using the Cropping tool a lot. The nice thing about the Cropping tool (as opposed to the Crop feature on the Image menu) is that you can make fine adjustments before agreeing to go through with the paring. Just drag one of the corner or side handles. Here are a couple more ways you can fine-tune the crop.
See What Gets Cropped. By default, Photoshop darkens the area outside the cropping rectangle so that you can see what's going to get cropped out before you press Enter. However, David likes to change this behavior so that it ghosts the cropped out pixels instead (turns them near white). You can do this by clicking on the Color swatch in the Options bar (when the Cropping tool is selected) and picking white from the Color Picker instead of black. You may want to increase the opacity of the color in the Options bar, too (David usually uses 80 percent).
Rotating and Moving While Cropping. If cropping an image down is the most common postscan step, what is the second most common? Rotating, of course. You can crop and rotate at the same time with the Cropping tool: after dragging out the cropping rectangle with the Cropping tool, just place the cursor outside the cropping rectangle and drag. The rectangle rotates. When you press Return or Enter, Photoshop crops and rotates the image to straighten the rectangle. It can be tricky to get exactly the right angle by eyekeep an eye on the Info palette. Also, if the cropping rectangle isn't in the right place, you can always move itjust place the cursor inside the cropping rectangle and drag.
Adjusting for Keystone. What do you do about lines in your image that are supposed to be vertical or horizontal but aren't? For example, if you take a picture of a tall building from the sidewalk, the vertical lines of the building appear skewed (they look like they get closer together near the top). Fortunately, our faithful Cropping tool offers a cool option: adjusting for perspective. The key is to turn on the Perspective checkbox in the Options bar after drawing the cropping rectangle; this lets you grab the corner points and move them willy-nilly where you will.
However, positioning the corner points of the cropping "rectangle" can be tricky. You must first find something in the image that is supposed to be a rectangle, and set the corner points on the corners of that shape. In the example of a building, you might choose the corners of a window. Then, hold down the Option and Shift keys while dragging one of the corner handles; this expands the crop but retains its shape. When you have the cropping shape the size you want it, drag the center point icon to where the camera was pointing (or where you imagine the center of the focus should be). Then press Enter or Return.
Our favorite use for this technique is photographing framed paintings (or anything hanging on the wall). If you shoot the painting straight-on (especially with a flash), you get a nasty reflection. Instead, try photographing it slightly from one side. The image becomes distorted by this perspective, but this Perspective feature can quickly straighten it out (see Figure 2-16).
By the way, we find that when using this tool Photoshop often alerts us that either the center point or the corner points are in the wrong position. This usually happens when you haven't selected the corner points of something that should be rectangular. In other words, Photoshop acts as a safety net, stopping you when you choose a distortion that isn't likely to happen in a real photograph. Sometimes simply moving the center point to a different location (by trial and error) does the trick.
Figure 2-16 Adjusting perspective with the Crop tool
Save that Layer Data. In early versions of Photoshop, the cropping tool would throw away pixels outside the cropping rectangle. If you changed your mind and wanted to crop the image differently, you would have to select Undo and then try again. But Photoshop now gives you the option (by selecting the Hide button in the Options bar after dragging the cropping rectangle) of saving the cropped-out pixels as big datamaterial that hangs outside the actual visible image rectangle. Then, if you didn't get the crop just right, you can either move the image around with the Move tool or re-crop using a different rectangle (see "Expand the Canvas by Cropping," later in this chapter). Note that this only works on layers other than the Background layer.
Resampling While Cropping. Warning: the Cropping tool may be changing your resolution or even resampling your image data without you knowing it! The Height, Width, and Resolution fields in the Options bar (when you have the Cropping tool selected) let you choose a size and resolution for your cropped picture. Basically, these fields let you save the step of visiting the Image Size dialog box after cropping. But remember that when you use them, they always change your image resolution or resample the image (see Chapter 3, Image Essentials, for more on the pros and cons of resampling).
In ancient versions of Photoshop, if you left the Resolution field blank and you specified a Height and Width without specifying any units (like pixels, inches, and so on), the program would constrain the cropping size to a particular aspect ratio (like four-by-six) but it wouldn't mess with your resolution. Alas, now the Height and Width fields always have units attached to them. If you leave the Resolution field blank, Photoshop adjusts the image resolution to accommodate the change in size. That means your image resolution can go way down without you realizing it. Instead, see the next tip for how to crop to an aspect ratio.
If you type a value into the Resolution field, Photoshop resamples the image to that value. This resampling behavior is handy when you want to resample down, but be careful that you don't ask for more resolution than you really have; resampling up is best avoided. (Note that you can only set the Height, Width, and Resolution values before you start cropping; once you draw a cropping rectangle, the Options bar changes.)
Cropping to an Aspect Ratio. Let's say you want to crop your image to a four-by-six aspect ratio (height-to-width, or vice versa), but you don't want to resample the image (which adds or removes pixels, causing blurring). The Cropping tool can't perform this task anymore, so you need a different technique. First, select the Marquee (rectangular selection) tool and choose Constrained Aspect Ratio from the Style popup menu in the Options bar. The Options bar then lets you type values in the Height and Width fields (here you'd type 4 and 6). Next, marquee the area you want cropped, and then select Crop from the Image menu. See Chapter 13, Selections, for tips and tricks for the Marquee tool.
Expand the Canvas by Cropping. Once you've created a cropping rectangle with the Cropping tool, you can actually expand the crop past the boundaries of the image (assuming you zoom back until you see the gray area around the image in the document window). Then, after you press Enter, the canvas size actually expands to the edge of the cropping rectangle. This is David's favorite way to enlarge the canvas.
Cropping Near the Border. If you're trying to shave just a sliver of pixels off one side of an image, you'll find it incredibly annoying that Photoshop snaps the cropping rectangle to the edge of the image whenever you drag close to it. Fortunately, you can turn this behavior off by selecting Snap in the View menu (or pressing Command-Shift-;). Or, you can hold down the Control key to temporarily disable the snapping behavior.
The Eraser tool has gotten a bad rap. "Never use it," people say. But that's just holdover resentment for the pathetic pre-3.0 Eraser. Now you can erase using any brushsoft or hard, like an airbrush or even with the textured brushes in the Brushes palette. And what's more, you can control the opacity of the Eraser (don't forget you can just type a number on the keyboard to change the tool's opacity). This makes the eraser fully useable, in our opinion.
Erase to History. The Erase to History feature (it's a checkbox on the Options bar when you have the Eraser tool selected) lets you use the Eraser tool to replace pixels from an earlier state of the image (see "When Things Go Worng," later in this chapter, for more on the History feature). Erase to History more or less turns the Eraser into the History Brush tool. For instance, you can open a file, mess with it until it's a mess, then revert parts of it to the original using the Eraser tool with Erase to History turned on.
The important thing to remember is that you can temporarily turn on the Erase to History feature by holding down the Option key while using the Eraser tool.
Watch Preserve Transparency When Erasing. Note that the Eraser tool (or any other tool, for that matter) won't change a layer's transparency when you have the Preserve Transparency checkbox turned on in the Layers palette. That means it won't erase pixels away to transparency; rather it just paints in the background color. Don't forget you can turn Preserve Transparency on and off by pressing / (slash).
Erasing to Transparency. When you use a soft-edged brush to erase pixels from a layer (rather than the Background layer), the pixels that are partially erasedthat is, they're still somewhat visible, but they have some transparency in themcannot be brought back to full opacity. For example, if you set the Eraser to 50-percent opacity and erase a bunch of pixels from a layer, there's no way to get them back to 100-percent again. The reason: You're not changing the pixel's color, you're only changing the layer's transparency mask. This isn't really a it's just a warning. What you erase sometimes doesn't really go away.
After years of hearing "Why don't you have a Measurement tool?" Adobe's engineers finally included one back in Photoshop 5. The funny thing is that, as far as we can tell, people still don't even recognize it's there. That's too bad, because the Measurement tool is extremely useful for measuring distances and angles. Note that in Photoshop 6 and 7, Adobe changed the keyboard shortcut for this tool; it used to be "U" and now it's "I" (or Shift-I if it's hiding under the Eyedropper tool). Here's a rundown of how this tool works.
To measure between two pixels, click and drag from one point to the other with the Measurement tool.
Once you have a measuring line, you can hide it by selecting any other tool from the Tool palette. To show it again, select the Measurement tool.
You can move the measuring line by dragging the line (not the endpoints). If you drag an endpoint, you simply move that one end of the line.
You can't really delete a measuring line, but you can move it outside the boundaries of the image window, which is pretty much the same thing.
You can turn the measuring line into a protractor in order to measure an angle by Option-clicking on one end of the measuring line and dragging (see Figure 2-17).
Figure 2-17 Measuring up
Where do you find the measurement? On the Info palette or the Options bar, of course. The palette displays the angle and the horizontal and vertical distances, along with the total distance in whatever measurement system you've set up in Units Preferences.
Measuring Before Rotating. We know you always make sure your images are placed squarely on the scanner before you scan them, but you may occasionally have to level someone else's crooked scan. Again, the Measurement tool can help immensely. If you select Arbitrary from the Rotate Canvas submenu (under the Image menu) immediately after using the Measurement tool, Photoshop automatically grabs the angle and places it in the dialog box for you.
There are two things to note here. First, the angle in the Rotate Canvas dialog box is usually slightly more accurate, so the number you see there may be slightly different from the one on the Info palette (usually within half a degree). Second, if the angle is above 45 degrees, Photoshop automatically subtracts it from 90 degrees, assuming that you want to rotate it counterclockwise to align with the vertical axis instead of the horizontal axis.
While the majority of images touched by Photoshop are edited by a single person, people are increasingly working on pictures in teams. Perhaps the team is a retoucher and a client, or perhaps it's four Photoshop users, each with specific skillswhatever the case, it's important for these folks to communicate with each other. Enter Photoshop's Notes tools (press N). Photoshop has two Notes tools: one for text annotations and one for audio annotations. We suggest using audio annotations to your images only if you've never learned to type or if you're tired of having so much extra space on your hard driveaudio notes can make your files balloon in size (each 10 seconds of audio you add is about 140 K compared to about 1 K for 100 words of text notes).
To add a text annotation, click once on the image with the Notes tool and type what you will. If you type more than can fit in the little box, Photoshop automatically adds a scroll bar on the side. In addition, you can change the note's color, author, font and size in the Options bar at any time.
Double-clicking on a note opens it (so you can read or listen to it) or closes it (minimizes it to just the Notes icon). Single-clicking on the Notes icon lets you move it or delete it (just press the Delete key). Or, if you want to delete all the notes in an image, press the Clear All button in the Options bar.
Move the Notes Away. By default, Photoshop places your notes windows at the same place in your image as the Notes icon. However, that means the little notes window usually covers up the image so you can't see what the note refers to. We usually drag the Notes icon off to the side slightly (just click and drag the note's title bar to move it), orif there aren't many notes in a filemost of the way off the image, onto the gray area that surrounds the picture.
Show the Notes. If you can't see notes in your Photoshop file but you suspect they're there, make sure the Annotations item is turned on in the Show submenu (under the View menu). When this is off, no Notes icons appear.
Bruce has a second monitor set up on his computer just so he can open all of Photoshop's palettes on it and free up his primary monitor's precious space. There's little doubt that palettes are both incredibly useful and incredibly annoying at times. Fortunately, Photoshop has some built-in but hidden features that make working with palettes a much happier experience. For instance, palettes are "sticky"if you move them near the side of the monitor or near another palette, they'll "snap-to" align to that side or palette. (Even better, hold down the Shift key while you drag a palette to force it to the side of the screen.) This (if nothing else) helps you keep a neat and tidy screen on which to work.
Make the Palettes Go Away. If you only have one monitor on which to store both your image and Photoshop's plethora of palettes, you should remember two keyboard shortcuts. First, pressing Tab makes the palettes disappear (or reappear, if they're already hidden). We find this absolutely invaluable, and use it daily. Second, pressing Shift-Tab makes all palettes except the Tool palette disappear (or reappear). We find this only slightly better than completely useless; we would prefer that the keystroke hid all the palettes except the Info palette.
Making Palettes Smaller. Another way to maximize your screen real estate is by collapsing one or more of your open palettes. If you double-click on the palette's name tab, the palette collapses to just the title bar and name (see Figure 2-18). Or if you click in the zoom box of a palette (the checkbox in the upper-right corner of the palette), the palette reduces in size to only a few key elements. For instance, if you click in the zoom box of the Layers palette, you can still use the Opacity sliders and Mode popup menu (but the Layer tiles and icons get hidden).
Figure 2-18 Collapsing palettes
Mix and Match Palettes. There's one more way to save space on your computer screen: mix and match your palettes. Palettes in Photoshop have a curious attributeyou can drag one on top of another and they become one (see Figure 2-19). Then if you want, you can drag them apart again by clicking and dragging the palette's tab heading. (In fact, these kinds of palettes are called "tabbed palettes.")
Figure 2-19 Mixing and matching palettes
For instance, David always keeps his Layers, Channels, and Paths palettes together on one palette. When he wants to work with one of these, he can click on that palette's tab heading. Or better yet, he uses a keystroke to make it active (see "Actions" in Chapter 14, Essential Image Techniques, for more on how to define your own keyboard shortcuts).
Bruce, on the other hand, always keeps his Layers and Channels palettes separate, even when he's working on a single-monitor system. Neither of us ever mixes the Info palette with another palette, because we want it open all the time.
Photoshop offers one more way to combine palettes: by docking them. Docking a palette means that one palette is attached to the bottom of another one. Docked palettes always move together, and when you hide one they both disappear. To dock one palette to another, drag it over the other palette's bottom edge; don't let go of the mouse button until you see the bottom edge of the palette become highlighted.
In-and-Out Palettes. You can store palettes in the Options bar as well: when your screen resolution is above 800 pixels wide, the Options bar contains a "palette well," onto which you can drag palettes. Then, to use one of these palettes, just click on its tab. When you press Enter or Return, or as soon as you start doing anything else (like use a tool or a menu), the palette minimizes into the well again. This behavior is perfect for the Swatches and Colors palettes, but is inappropriate for palettes you need open a lot, like the Info or Layers palettes.
Reset Palette Positions. Every now and again, your palettes might get really messed upplaced partly or entirely off your screen, and so on. Don't panic; that's what Reset Palette Locations (in the Workspace sub-menu, in the Window menu) is for. In earlier versions, this feature was hidden as a button labeled "Reset Palette Locations to Default" in the Preferences dialog box.
If you have a favorite way you like your palettes to be arranged on your screen, and your co-worker is forever moving them, don't go berserk and throw your carrot sticks at him. Instead, use the Workspace feature to save your palette setup and then recall it whenever necessary. It's easy to save a workspace: just arrange the palettes exactly the way you want them, and then choose Save Workspace from the Workspace submenu (under the Window menu; see Figure 2-20).
Figure 2-20 Workspaces
Later, when you want to recall your carefully customized creation, you can select it from the Workspace submenu. Workspaces are useful even if only one person is using the computer, too. For instance, David has one workspace for when he works on Web graphics (which has the Swatches palette and the Styles palette open) and another for print images (which has those palettes closed).
Save Info Palette Configurations. If you're like us, you probably use different info palette setups for different kinds of work. For example, when Bruce works on RGB files destined for CMYK output, he sets one readout to RGB and the other to CMYK. But if he's working on RGB files for RGB output on an inkjet or film recorder, he sets the Info palette to read RGB and Lab. When you save a workspace, it records not only palette locations, but also the Info palette configuration, so you can use workspaces to switch easily between different Info palette setups.
In every version since 3.0 (the first time that the layers feature was introduced), the Layers palette has become increasingly important to how people use Photoshop. With such a crucial palette, there have to be at least a few good tips around here. No?
Displaying Multiple Layers. Every click takes another moment or two, and many people click in the display column of the Layers palette (the one with the little eyeballs in it) once for each layer they want to see. Cut out the clicker-chatter, and just click and drag through the column for all the layers you want to see.
Click to Turn Off Layers. Another way to make multiple layers appear or disappear is by Option-clicking in the display column of the Layers palette. When you Option-click on an eyeball, Photoshop hides all the layers except the one you clicked on. Then, if you Option-click again, it redisplays them all again. Even though this trick doesn't save you a lot of time, it sure feels like it does (which is often just as cool).
Creating a New Layer. Layers are the best thing since sliced bread, and we're creating new ones all the time. But if you're still making a new layer by clicking on the New Layer button in the Layers palette, you've got some learning to do: Just click Command-Shift-N (or Command-Option-Shift-N, if you don't want to see the New Layer dialog box). If you're trying to duplicate the current layer, just press Command-J (if you have pixels selected when you press this, only those pixels will copy to a new layer).
Rename your Layers. It's a very good idea to rename your layers from Layer 1 or Layer 2 to something a bit more descriptive. However, don't waste time looking for a "rename layer" feature. Instead, just double-click on the layer tile to rename it. Note that this works in the Channels, Paths, and File Browser palettes, too.
Creating Layer Sets. The more layers you have in your document, the more difficult it is to manage them. Fortunately, Photoshop now offers layer "sets" in which you can group contiguous layers (layers that are next to each other). Layer sets are so easy to use that they really don't require a great deal of explanation. Here are the basics, though.
To create a layer set, click on the New Layer Set button in the Layers palette (see Figure 2-21).
Figure 2-21 Layer sets
To add a layer to a set, just drag it on top of the set. Or, to create a new layer inside the set automatically, select the set or any layer within the set (in the Layers palette) and press the New Layer button. You can remove a layer from a set simply by dragging it out.
You can move layer sets in the same way you move layers: just drag them around in the palette. You can also copy a whole set of layers to a different document by dragging the layer set over.
If you have more than one layer set, it's helpful to color code them: just double-click on the layer set's name and pick a color in the Layer Set Properties dialog box. You should probably name the set, too, while you're there (the default "Set 1" doesn't help identify what's in it).Watch out, though: if you drag a color-coded layer out of the set, it still retains its color-coding!
If you want to move all the layers within a layer set at the same time, select the layer set in the Layers palette. This is easier and faster than linking the layers together.
You can add a layer mask to the layer set (see Chapter 13, Selections for more on masks) and it'll apply to every layer in the set. Similarly, locking a set locks every layer within the set.
Layer sets act almost like a single layer, so when you show or hide the set, all the layers in that set appear or disappear.
When you delete a layer set, Photoshop lets you choose to delete the set and the layers inside it or just the set itself (leaving the layers intact).
Unfortunately, you can't apply a layer effect (see Chapter 14, Essential Image Techniques) to a set or use a set as a clipping group (see Chapter 13, Selections).
Layer Sets and Blending Modes. If you had your coffee this morning, you'll notice that you can change the blending mode of a layer set. Normally, the blending mode is set to Pass Through, which means, "let each layer's blending mode speak for itself." In this mode, layers inside the set look the same as they do if they were outside the set. However, if you change the set's blending mode, a curious thing happens: Photoshop first composites the layers in the set together as though they were a single layer (following the blending modes you've specified for each layer), and then it composites that "single layer" together with the rest of your image using the layer set's blending mode. In this case, layers may appear very different whether they're inside or outside that set.
Similarly, when you change the opacity of the set, Photoshop first composites the layers in the set together (using their individual Opacity settings) and then applies this global Opacity setting to the result.
In a battle of the palettes, we don't know which Photoshop palette would win the "most important" prize, but we do know which would win in the "most telling" category: the Info palette. We almost never close this palette. It just provides us with too much critical information.
At its most basic task, as a densitometer, it tells us the gray values and RGB or CMYK values in our image. But there's much more. When you're working in RGB, the Info palette shows you how pixels will translate into CMYK or Grayscale. When working in Levels or Curves, it displays before-and-after values (see Chapter 6, Tonal Correction). New in Photoshop 7 is the Proof Color option, which shows the numbers that would result from the conversion you've specified in Proof Setup, which may be different from the one you've specified in Color Settings (see Chapter 5, Color Settings). The Proof Color numbers appear in italics, to provide a clue that you're looking at a different set of numbers than the ones you'd get from a mode change.
But wait, there's more! When you rotate a selection, the Info palette displays what angle you're at. And when you scale, it shows percentages. If you've selected a color that is out of the CMYK gamut (depending on your setup; see Chapter 5, Color Settings), a gamut alarm appears on the Info palette.
Finding Opacity. When you have transparency showing (e.g., on layers that have transparency when no background is showing), the Info palette can give you an opacity ("Op") reading. However, while Photoshop would display this automatically in earlier versions, now you have to do a little extra work: you must click on one of the little black eyedroppers in the Info palette and select Opacity (see Figure 2-22).
Figure 2-22 The Info palette
Switch Units. While we typically work in pixel measurements, we do on occasion need to see "real world" physical measurements such as inches or centimeters. Instead of traversing the menus to open the Units dialog box (on the Preferences submenu under the File menu), we find it's usually faster to select from the Info palette's popout menus. Just click on the XY cursor icon (see Figure 2-23). Another option: double-clicking in one of the rulers opens the Units Preferences dialog box. Note that you can also do this by Control-clicking (on the Mac) or Right-button-clicking (in Windows) on one of the rulers. (Press Command-R if the rulers aren't visible.)
Figure 2-23 Changing units
The Color Picker and the Color palette both fit into one category, so we almost always group them together into one palette on our screen and switch between them as necessary. Or better yet, we just put them in the Options bar's palette well.
Most novice Photoshop users select a foreground or background color by clicking once on the icons in the Tool palette and choosing from the Color dialog box. Many pros, however, have abandoned this technique, and focus instead on these color palettes. Here are a few tips to make this technique more... ah... palettable.
Switching Color Bars. Instead of clicking on the foreground color swatch in the Tool palette, you might consider typing values into the Color palette. Are the fields labeled "RGB" when you want to type in "CMYK" or something else? Just choose a different mode from the popout menu on the palette. If you like choosing colors visually rather than numerically, you can use the color bar at the bottom of the palette (no, the Color Bar is not just another place to meet people). While the spectrum of colors that appear here usually covers the RGB gamut, you can switch to a different spectrum by Shift-clicking on the area. Click once, and you switch to CMYK; again, and you get a gradient in grayscale; a third time, and you see a gradient from your foreground color to your background color. Shift-clicking again takes you back to RGB.
Editing the Color Swatches. You've probably ignored all those swatches on the Swatches palette because they never seem to include colors that have anything to do with your images. Don't ignore... explore! You can add, delete, and edit those little color swatches on the Swatches palette. Table 2-2 shows you how. If you're looking for Web-safe colors, or other useful colors, check out the popout menu at the top of the palette.
You can't actually edit a color that's already there. Instead, you can click on the swatch (to make it the current foreground color), edit the foreground color, then Shift-click back on the swatch (which replaces it with the current foreground color).
Table 2-2 Editing the Swatches palette
To do this...
Add foreground color
Click any empty swatch
Delete a color
Replace a color with foreground color
The File Browser
If you're like us, you've got way too many images floating around on various disks, and finding the right image at the right time can be a hassle. Fortunately, Photoshop 7 has made this process a giant step easier with the File Browser window, which acts like an Open dialog box on steroids (see Figure 2-24). You can browse through the images on your disk, create folders, move images in and out of folders, rename files, or even delete images from disk.
Figure 2-24 The File Browser
You can also tell the File Browser to rotate images. In this case, the image on disk isn't actually changed. Instead, the File Browser itself remembers to rotate the image as soon as you open it inside Photoshop. You can select more than one image at a time in the File Browser window by Shift-clicking (for contiguous selections) or Command-clicking (for selections that aren't next to each other).
Turn Each Way. To flag one or more selected images for rotation, click on the Rotate button in the lower-right corner of the File Browser window. Each click rotates the image 90 degrees clockwise. If you want to rotate counter-clockwise, Option-click the button. You can also rotate an image by Control-clicking (Mac) or right-button-clicking (Windows) on an it and selecting Rotate from the context-sensitive menu.
Rank and File. You can change a file's name by clicking on it in the File Browser (or select the image and press Enter). This actually changes the file name on disk. You can also change a file's Rank by clicking in the Rank area (which is only visible when you have the File Browser set to "Large with Rank" view). Rank is simply an additional way of ordering images. For instance, if you take five snapshots of a model, you can rank them in the order of preference for easy reference later. Then, to view all the "A" ranked images, you could select Rank from the Sort By popup menu at the bottom of the File Browser window (see Figure 2-25).
Note that you can jump from one file name field to the next by typing Tab (or back to the previous file name field with Shift-Tab). Similarly, if you're editing a Rank field, you can jump the next or previous image's Rank field with Tab or Shift-Tab.
Figure 2-25 View By Rank
Renaming a Folder. Most digital cameras assign names like P0001924.JPG to each image. Is that useful to anyone? If you have a folder full of these kinds of files, the File Browser can rename them all. First, make sure no thumbnails are selected in the File Browser. Then, choose Batch Rename from the File Browser's popup menu. Photoshop displays the Batch Rename dialog box, which gives you a number of options for naming files (see Figure 2-26). Careful with this one; you can't undo it after clicking OK.
Figure 2-26 Batch Rename
Jump to File by Name. If your folder has dozens of images in it, it's a hassle to use the scroll bars in the File Browser. Instead, just click on any image in the File Browser window and then type the first few letters of the name of the image you're looking for. You can also use the arrow keys to move around this window.
Copying Images. You can move files from one folder into another by dragging the file's thumbnail into any other folder in the navigation area of the File Browser. Add the Option key and the file is copied instead of moved.
Extended File Info. Perhaps our favorite File Browser feature is the extended file information in the lower-left corner of the window. Here, the File Browser displays whatever information it can cull from the file. At a minimum, it shows you the file's creation date, file format, and size. However, if the capture device or software application that created the image saved more information in the EXIF (exchangeable image file) format, then Photoshop can display it here, too. This is particularly useful for people who use digital cameras, which typically save a plethora of data, including the date and time the picture was snapped, the exposure setting, and focal length.
Exporting the Cache. The first time you use the File Browser to view a folder of files, you'll notice that it takes some time to gather information and build a thumbnail for each image. The next time you browse that folder, the images show up almost instantaneously. The trick? Photoshop saves the thumbnails in a cachealong with file information, ranking, and rotation setting. The cache is saved in a compressed and proprietary format on your local hard drive.
We thought this was all just fine and dandy until our colleague Deke McClelland pointed out two problems. First, if your images are on a network server, having rank and rotation information saved on your local hard drive doesn't help anyone else who needs to see those images. Second, the cache references a specific folder name, so if you change the name of the folder, all the thumbnails, ranking, and so on, are lost.
Fortunately, Photoshop lets you save a folder's cache file within the folder itself. To do this, select Export Cache from the File Browser's popout menu (see Figure 2-27). When the exported cache files (which are called AdobePS7.tb0 and AdobePS7.md0) are present in a folder, Photoshop uses them instead of creating new cache files.
Figure 2-27 The File Browser popout menu
If you later write the folder full of images to a CD, Photoshop can even read the cache off the CD. However, any subsequent changes you make to the rankings or image rotation are only stored in your local cache (not on the CD, as it is read-only).
Purge the Cache. Photoshop builds a cache for every folder you open in the File Browser. If you're looking at images all day, the cache will grow to take up an enormous amount of hard drive space. That's why it's a good idea to empty the cache folder every month or so by selecting Purge Cache from the File Browser's popout menu. Of course, this will delete all the ranking and rotation settings, too, which could be disastrous, depending on your workflow.
Opening the Composite. Do you have a large .TIF or .PSD file with a lot of layers, but you only want to open a flattened version? No problem: hold down Option and Shift while double-clicking on the image in the File Browser. This works in the Open dialog box, too. Note that for .PSD files, this only works when the file was saved with a composite image. If, when you saved the file, you had turned off the Always Maximize Compatibility for Photoshop (PSD) Files option in the Preferences dialog box, you won't be able to open the composite because there will be no composite to open (see "Preferences," later in this chapter).
Expanded File Browser. To maximize the thumbnail view on the right side of the File Browser and hide the navigation view, click on the Expanded View button at the bottom of the File Browser windowthat's the little button with the double-headed arrow. Or, note that you can also just expand the File Browser window to any size you want and then move the borders between each section of the window by dragging them. For example, if you want more space to display the additional file information, you can just click-and-drag the border area between it and the thumbnail preview.
Close the Browser. You can leave the File Browser open all the time as a free-floating window, but we don't recommend it. When open, the File Browser is constantly working in the background and it will slow you down. Instead, it's best to put it into the Options Bar's palette well and just open it when you need it. To do this, select Dock to Palette Well from the File Browser's popout menu.
There's a scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian where Brian is trying to persuade his followers to think for themselves. He shouts, "Every one of you is different! You're all individuals!" One person raises his hand and replies, "I'm not." This is the situation we often find with Photoshop users. Even though each person uses the program differently, they think they need to use it just like everyone else. Not true. You can customize Photoshop in a number of ways through its Preferences submenu. (In ancient versions of Photoshop, you could find this in the File menu; now, it's in the Edit menu... except that in Mac OS X, it's in the Photoshop menu).
We're not going to discuss every preference. Instead, we'll take a look at some of the key items we think you should be aware of on the Preferences submenu. First we'll cover the General Preferences dialog box (press Command-K); then we'll look at some other preferences. (We explore Photoshop's color preferences more in Chapter 5, Color Settings.)
Return of Preferences. If you make a change in one of the many Preferences dialog boxes and thenafter pressing OKyou decide to change to some other preference, you can return to the same dialog box by pressing Command-Option-K.
Navigating Through Preferences. The Preferences dialog box contains eight different "screens" or "tabs," each of which offers a different set of options (see Figure 2-28). Sure, you can select each screen from the popup menu at the top of the dialog box, or by clicking the Next and Prev buttons. But the fastest way to jump to a particular screen is by pressing Command-1 (for the first screen), Command-2 (for the second screen), and so on up to Command-8.
Propagating your Preferences. Any time you make a change to one of the Preferences dialog boxes, Photoshop remembers your alteration, and when you quit, saves it in the "Adobe Photoshop 7.0 Prefs" file. (In Mac OS 9.x, this is in the System Folder>Preferences>Adobe Photoshop 7 folder. In Mac OS X, it's in User>YourName>Library>Preferences> Adobe Photoshop 7 Settings. On Windows systems, it's in the Windows> Application Data>Adobe>Photoshop>7.0>Adobe Photoshop 7.0 Settings directory.) If anything happens to that file, all your changes are gone. Because of this, we recommend keeping a backup of that file, or even the whole settings directory (people often back up their images without realizing they should back up this sort of data file, too).
Certain kinds of crashes (mostly caused by software other than Photoshop) can corrupt Photoshop's Preferences file. If Photoshop starts acting strange on us, our first step is always to replace the Preferences file with a clean copy (if no copy of the Preferences file is available, then Photoshop will build a new one for you).
Note that if you administer a number of different computers that are running Photoshop, you may want to standardize the preferences on all machines. The answer: copy the Photoshop Prefs file to each computer. Finally, note that Photoshop doesn't save changes to the preferences until you Quit. If Photoshop crashes, the changes don't get saved.
Figure 2-28 General Preferences dialog box
Export Clipboard. When the Export Clipboard checkbox is on, Photoshop converts whatever is on the clipboard into a PICT or WMF format when you leave Photoshop. This is helpfulindeed, necessaryif you want to paste a selection into some other program. But if you've got a megabyte or two or 10 megabytes on the clipboard, that conversion is going to take some time. In situations when you're running low on RAM, it may even crash your machine, though this is now rare. We recommend leaving Export Clipboard off until you really need it.
Dynamic Color Sliders. This one is pretty subtle. When Dynamic Color Sliders in the Picker is turned on, the bars for the sliders on the Picker palette change color as you drag. The target color changes as you drag, whether it's turned on or notit just affects the sliders themselves. We tend to leave this one turned on.
Save Palette Locations. This does what it saysit remembers which palettes were open, which were closed, and where they were located on the screen the last time you quit. But if you change your monitor resolution, the palettes return to their default locations. We leave this turned on.
Use System Shortcut Keys. In Mac OS X, Apple appropriated two keyboard shortcuts that were crucial for Photoshop users: Command-H and Command-M. Photoshop users know these as "Hide Selection" and "Curves dialog box." The Mac OS X folks use these shortcuts for "Hide Application" and "Minimize Application." Fortunately, the folks at Adobe give us an option. By default, the old Photoshop keystrokes win. However, if you turn on the Use System Shortcut Keys option, Photoshop defers to the OS X features.
But wait, there's more: If you hold down the Control key, you get the opposite result. That is, when Use System Shortcut Keys is turned off, you can press Command-Control-H to get Hide Application, and so on.
Image Previews. When you save a document in Photoshop, the program can save little thumbnails of your image as file icons. These thumbnails can be helpful, or they can simply be a drag to your productivity. We always set Image Previews to Ask When Saving, so we get a choice for each file (see "Preview Options" in Chapter 15, Storing Images).
Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files. Most people don't realize that TIFF files can include Photoshop layers. We discuss this in detail in Chapter 15, Storing Images, but we should point out one thing here: When the Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files option is turned on in Preferences (it is by default), Photoshop will always alert you when you try to save a file that was a flat (non-layered) TIFF but now has layers. For example, if you open a TIFF image and add some type, the text shows up on a type layer. Now if you press Command-S to save the file, Photoshop displays the TIFF Options dialog box, in which you can either flatten the layers or keep them.
If you find yourself staring at this dialog box too much, and you keep thinking to yourself, "If I wanted to flatten the image, I would have done it myself," then go ahead and turn this option of in the Preferences dialog box. Then Photoshop won't bother you anymore. Personally, we like this option and we leave it turned on.
Always Maximize Compatibility for Photoshop (PSD) Files. We used to think that the Always Maximize Compatibility for Photoshop (PSD) Files feature (previously known as "Maximize Backwards Compatibility in Photoshop Format," "Include Composited Image with Layered Files," or "2.5 Format Compatibility") was completely brain-dead. Now we think it's only "mostly useless." Basically, when this checkbox is turned on, Photoshop saves a flattened version of your layered image along with the layered version. The result: if you give the file to someone who is using Photoshop 2.5 (we don't know anyone who does), they can open it. Of course, if they do anything to the file and resave it, then all your layers are deleted. Not very helpful.
The main problem is that this feature (which is on by default) makes your image sizes larger on disk (sometimes several times larger) than they would otherwise be.
We've always said: turn this off and leave it off. However, there are two very good exceptions. First, leave it turned on if you're using some other program that claims to open native Photoshop files, like Macromedia FreeHand, but which requires this flattened version to work. A second reason to leave it on is that future versions of Photoshop may interpret blending modes slightly differently than they do today. Adobe won't say what might change (or even if there will be changes), but if they do change something, and that change affects the look of your file, then you would at least be able to recover the flattened version if there is one. That said, we would still rather leave this option turned off, and just keep an archived, flattened version of color-critical images. We discuss this in more detail in Chapter 15, Storing Images.
Diffusion Dither. If, for some bizarre reason, your monitor is set to 8-bit color (we hardly ever work with Photoshop in less than "Thousands" of colors), Photoshop has to do even more work at displaying its plethora of colors on your screen. This is usually done with dithering of some sort. You can choose the method: when Use Diffusion Dither is turned on in the Display & Cursors Preferences dialog box, Photoshop generates colors using a "random" pixel placement. Otherwise, it uses a standard pattern. Neither of these methods is all that attractive, though Diffusion Dither often produces a nicer look when zoomed in closer than 1:1.
Brush Size. When you painted or edited pixels in pre-3.0 versions of Photoshop, the program would display the cursor only as a Brush icon (or Clone Stamp icon, or whatever you were using). Because it was often difficult to tell which pixel the tool would affect, Photoshop implemented the handy crosshairs featurewhen Caps Lock is down, the cursor switches to a crosshair icon displaying precisely which pixel Photoshop is "looking at." But most brushes affect more than one pixel at a time, so now when you set Painting Cursors to Brush Size (in the Display & Cursors Preferences dialog box), Photoshop shows you exactly how large the brush is while you're painting or editing (see Figure 2-29). After working with this for a while, you'll wonder how you could ever go back. You can still get the crosshairs with the Caps Lock key.
Figure 2-29 Brush Size
Using Big Brushes. Photoshop 6 limited brushes to no larger than 999 pixels. In Photoshop 7, the limit has increased to a more respectable 2500-pixel radius. This is very useful when you're working on really large images. However, watch out: if your image is smaller than the brush size, your brush cursor may disappear or behave erratically.
Gamut Warning. Bruce thinks the Gamut Warning is basically uselesshe'd rather just see what's happening to the out-of-gamut colors when they're convertedbut for the record, when you turn on Gamut Warning from the View menu (or press Command-Shift-Y), Photoshop displays all the out-of-gamut pixels in the color you choose here. (For more on Photoshop's out-of-gamut display features, see "Gamut Alarm" in Chapter 7, Color Correction.) If you do want to use this feature (David likes it), we recommend you choose a really ugly color (in the Transparency & Gamut Preferences dialog box) that doesn't appear anywhere in your image, such as a bright lime green. This way, when you switch on Gamut Warning, the out-of-gamut areas are quite obvious.
Transparency. Transparency is not a color, it's a state of mind. Therefore, when you see it on a layer, what should it look like? Typically, Photoshop displays transparency as a grid of white and gray boxes in a checkerboard pattern. The Preferences dialog box lets you change the colors of the checkerboard and set the size of the squares, though we've never found a reason to do so (see Figure 2-30).
Figure 2-30 Transparency Preferences
Legacy Photoshop Serial Number. Photoshop 7 has an all-new serial number schemeold serial numbers won't work. This could create problems if you want to use third-party plug-ins whose copy-protection serializes them to your old Photoshop serial number, so Photoshop lets you enter your old serial number in the Plug-ins & Scratch Disk tab of the Preferences dialog box. Your old plug-ins can then find the serial number they're expecting, and run happily in the new version. (Of course, they still won't work if you're running in Mac OS X and the plug-ins aren't designed for that operating system.)
Image Cache. Adobe has been getting yelled at for years about Photoshop's handling of large images. Finally, in version 4, Photoshop introduced a nominal concession towards large-image handling with the Image Cache feature. It wasn't a great step forward, but it was a step nonetheless (Photoshop 7 hasn't progressed any farther down the road). When Image Cache is on (as it is by default), Photoshop saves several downsampled, low-resolution versions of your image. That way, if you work on your image in a zoomed-out view, Photoshop can update your screen preview more quickly by displaying the cached image instead of downsampling the full-resolution one.
If you're low on RAM, you should probably turn off image caching (set the number of caches to 1 in the Image Cache Preferences dialog box; see Figure 2-31), because these downsampled versions of your image take up extra RAM (or space on your scratch disk, if you don't have enough RAM available). If you've got plenty of RAM and you spend a lot of time working at zoom percentages less than 100 percent, an Image Cache setting of 4 or higher could help speed you up. Each cache level caches one increment of zoom, so a setting of 4 caches the 66.7-, 50-, 33.3- and 25-percent views, while a setting of 6 adds the 16.7-percent and 12.5-percent views. The highest setting, 8 levels, caches all views down to 6.25 percent. This is really only useful on very large images, but the incremental difference in RAM footprint between 6 levels and 8 levels is so small that even if you'd benefit from a setting of 8 only occasionally, you'd probably be best off just setting the Image Cache to 8 and leaving it there.
Figure 2-31 Image Cache Preferences
Note that we strongly urge you to keep the "Use cache for histograms" checkbox in this Preferences dialog box turned off. While turning it on will speed up your histograms at views other than 100 percent, it renders these histograms useless (see "Turn Off Use Image Cache For Histograms" in Chapter 6, Tonal Correction).
When Things Go Worng
It's 11 PM on the night before your big presentation. You've been working on this image for thirteen hours, and you're beginning to experience a bad case of "pixel vision." After making a selection, you run a filter, look carefully, and decide that you don't like the effect. But before you can reach Undo, you accidentally click on the document window, deselect-ing the area.
That's not so bad, is it? Not until you realize that undoing will only undo the deselection, not the filter... and that you haven't saved for half an hour. The mistake remains, and there's no way to get rid of it without losing the last 30 minutes of brain-draining work. Or is there? In this section of the chapter, we take a look at the various ways you can save yourself when something goes terribly wrong.
Undo. The first defense against any offensive mistake is, of course, Undo. You can find this on the Edit menu, but we suggest keeping one hand conveniently on the Command and Z keys, ready and waiting for the blunder that is sure to come sooner or later. Note that Photoshop is smart enough not to consider some things "undoable." Taking a snapshot, for instance, doesn't count; so you can take a snapshot and then undo whatever you did just before the snapshot. Similarly, you can open the Histogram, hide edges, change foreground or background colors, zoom, scroll, or even duplicate the file, and Photoshop still lets you go back and undo the previous action.
Revert to Saved. You'd think this command is pretty easy to interpret. If you've really messed up something in your image, the best option is often simply to revert the entire file to the last saved version by selecting Revert from the File menu. In most applications, it's the same as closing the file without saving changes, then reopening it, but in Photoshop, Revert doesn't go back to the file that's saved on disk unless you actually selected Save from within Photoshop after opening the file. If you open an image in Photoshop, do a bunch of stuff, then choose Revert, what you get is the file as it first appeared in Photoshop. What's the difference?
The big difference is that anything you do using the Missing Profile or Profile Mismatch warnings doesn't get undone when you revert. For example, when you open an Untagged image, and use the Missing Profile warning to assign the Adobe RGB profile, if later you choose Revert you'll get an Adobe RGB image, not an Untagged one. What's worse is that when you make a conversion using the Profile Mismatch warningactually changing the numbers in the filechoosing Revert will give you the image after the conversion, not the image that was saved on disk.
Worse still, when all you've done to the image is to change its profile or make a color conversion using the Profile Mismatch warning, the Revert command is dimmed and unavailable. We think this is a bug, and we hope it gets squashed, but keep an eye out for itit's quite obscure. If you run into this situation, the only way to get back to the original image is to close it without saving, then re-open it (which is what we think Revert should do under all circumstances). If you do choose Revert, any changes you've made since the file was opened are lost, however, so proceed with caution. Note that the Revert feature is undoable.
The History Palette
There is a school of thought that dictates, "Don't give people what they want, give them what they need." The Photoshop engineering team appears to advocate thisthey spend hours listening to and thinking about what people ask for, then they come back with a feature that goes far beyond what anyone had even thought to request. For example, people long asked Adobe for multiple Undos (the ability to sequentially undo steps that you've taken while editing a Photoshop image). The result is the History palette, which goes far beyond a simple Undo mechanism into a whole new paradigm of working in Photoshop.
The History palette, at its most basic, remembers what you've done to your file and lets you either retrace your steps or revert back to any earlier version of the image. Every time you do something to your imagepaint a brush stroke, run a filter, make a selection, and so onPhotoshop saves this change as a state in the History palette (see Figure 2-32). At any time, you can revert the entire image to any previous state, orusing the History Brush tool or the Fill command, which we'll discuss in a momentselectively paint back in time.
Figure 2-32 The History palette
There is, however, an itty-bitty problem with the History palette: it can take up a lot of RAM. Sorry, did we say "a lot"? We meant "vast, awe-inspiring, mind-boggling quantities" of memory, particularly since Photoshop 6's 100-state limit has been increased to 1000 in Photoshop 7. As we pointed out in Chapter 1, Building a Photoshop System, Photoshop can require as much as 10 to 20 times your file size in RAMor moreto perform efficiently when it is saving history states (that's 200 to 400 MB of RAM for a 20 MB image). Performing simple tasks such as opening, rotating, sharpening, and saving may take significantly longer when the History feature is turned on.
Turning Off History. If you're doing straight-laced production work all day (the kind of work for which a single Undo is perfectly adequate), you may want to avoid the History feature's heavy RAM overhead by changing the History States value to 1 in the Preferences dialog box (press Command-K). Similarly, you can turn off "Automatically Create First Snapshot" in the History Options dialog box (which you can find on the History palette's popout menu). You might also want to turn off these functions if you're going to batch-process a number of images using actions or the Automate "wizards" (because in these cases, History isn't necessary).
The History palette has two sections: snapshots and states. Let's take a look at each of these and how you can use them.
Snapshots. Early versions of Photoshop let you save a single snapshot of your document, representing a moment in time for your image. The History palette lets you save any number of snapshots so that at any time you can go back to a specific state. There are two main differences between snapshots and states.
Photoshop records almost everything you do to an image as a state. By default, snapshots are only recorded when you first open an image and when you click the New Snapshot button in the History palette.
When the number of states recorded on the History palette exceeds the Maximum Remembered States value (set in the History Options dialog box), the oldest states start dropping off the list. Snapshots don't disappear until you close the document.
What's in the Snapshot. When you click the New Snapshot button on the History palette (or select New Snapshot from the palette's popout menu), Photoshop saves the whole document (individual layers and all). Depending on how many layers you have and how large your document is, this might require a lot of RAM. If you Option-click the button, Photoshop offers two other less-memory-intensive snapshot choices: a version of the image with merged layers, or just of the currently selected layer. (If you find yourself Option-clicking the button a lot in order to get these options, then turn on the Show New Snapshot Dialog By Default checkbox in History Options. That way, you don't have to press the Option key anymore.)
Stepping through states. As we mentioned above, Photoshop saves every brush stroke, every selection, every anything you do to your image as a state on the History palette (though the state only remains on the palette until you reach the maximum number of states or you close the document). There are three ways to move among states of your image.
To revert your image back to a state, you can click on any state's tile in the History palette.
You can move the active state marker to a state on the History palette.
You can press Command-Z to step back to the last state (just as you've always been able to do). But you can also press Command-Option-Z to move backward one state at a time, and Command-Shift-Z to move forward one state at a time.
In general, when you move to an earlier state, Photoshop grays out every subsequent state on the History palette, indicating that if you do anything now these grayed-out states will be erased. This is like going back to a fork in the road and choosing the opposite path from what you took before. Photoshop offers another option: if you turn on the Allow Non-Linear History checkbox in the History Options dialog box, Photoshop doesn't gray out or remove subsequent states when you move back in time (though it still deletes old states when you hit the maximum number of states limit).
Non-Linear History is like returning to the fork in the road, taking the opposite path, but then having the option to return to any state from the first path. For example, you could run a Gaussian Blur on your image using three different amountsreturning the image to the pre-blurred state in the History palette each timeand then switch among these three states to decide which one you wanted to use.
The primary problem with Non-Linear History is that it may confuse you more than help you, especially when you're dealing with a number of different "forks in the road."
The History Brush. Returning to a previous state returns the entire image to that state. But Photoshop's History feature lets you selectively return portions of your image to a previous state, too, with the History Brush and the Fill command. Before painting with the History Brush, first select the source state in the History palette (click in the column to the left of the state from which you want to paint). For instance, let's say you sharpen a picture of a face with Unsharp Masking (see Chapter 9, Sharpening) and find that the lips have become oversharp. You can select the History Brush, set the source state to the presharpened state, and brush around the lips (though you'd probably want to reduce the opacity of the History Brush to 20 or 30 percent by pressing 2 or 3 first).
The History Brush tool (press Y) is very similar to the Eraser tool when the Erase to History checkbox is turned on in the Options bar, but the History Brush lets you paint with modes, such as Multiply and Screen.
Snap Before Action. If you run an action in the Actions palette that has more steps than your History States preference, you won't be able to "undo" the action. That's why before running the action you should either save a snapshot of your full document or set the source state for the History Brush to the current state. The latter works because Photoshop never "rolls off" the source state in the History palette, so you don't have to worry about its getting deleted after reaching the maximum number of states.
Fill with History. One last nifty technique that can rescue you from a catastrophic "oops" is the Fill command on the Edit menu (press Shift-Delete). This lets you fill any selection (or the entire image, if nothing is selected) with the pixels from the current source state on the History palette. We usually use this in preference to the History Brush or Eraser tools when the area to be reverted is easily selectable. Sometimes when we paint with those tools, we overlook some pixels (it's hard to use a brush to paint every pixel in an area at 100 percent). This is never a problem when you use the Fill command. However, Fill isn't available on high-bit images.
You've always been able to press Option-Delete to fill a selection or layer with the foreground color. In version 4, Photoshop added the ability to automatically preserve transparency on the layer when you add the Shift key (slightly faster than having to turn on the Preserve Transparency checkbox in the Layers palette). Similarly, you can fill with the background color by pressing Command-Delete (add the Shift key to preserve transparency). To fill the layer or selection with the current history source state, press Command-Option-Delete. And, of course, you can add the Shift key to this to fill with Preserve Transparency turned on.
Persistent States. Remember that both snapshots and states are cleared out when you close a document. If you want to save a particular state or snapshot, drag its tile over the Create New Document button on the History palette. Now that state is its own document that you can save to disk. If you want to copy pixels from that document into another image, simply use the Clone Stamp tool (you can set the source point to one document and then paint with it in the other file).
Revert When Revert Doesn't Work. Deke McClelland taught us a trick at a recent Photoshop conference that has already saved David's buttocks several times. Because David has a tendency to type fast and loose, he'll often press Command-S (Save) when he really meant to press Command-A (Select All) or Command-D (Deselect). Of course, this saves over his file on disk, often ruining his original scan. The History palette to the rescue! Remember that the default preference for the History palette is to create a snapshot of the image when you first open it. If you save over your original image, you can drag the snapshot's tile over the Create New Document button in the History palette to recreate the original data in its own file.
Copying States. Although Photoshop lets you copy states from one document to another simply by dragging them from the History palette onto the other document's window, we can't think of many good reasons to do this. The copied state completely replaces the image that you've dragged it over.
When History Stops Working. Note that you cannot use the History Brush or the Fill from History feature when your image's pixel dimensions or color mode has changed. Pixel dimensions usually change when you rotate the whole image, use the Cropping tool, or use the Image Size or Canvas Size dialog boxes.
Purging States. As we said earlier, the History palette takes up a lot of memory. If you find yourself needing more RAM, you might try clearing out the History states by either selecting Clear History from the popout menu on the History palette or choosing History from the Purge submenu (under the Edit menu). The former can be undone in a pinch; the latter cannot. Curiously, neither of these removes your snapshots, so you have to delete those manually if you want to save even more RAM. Remember that closing your document and reopening it will also remove all snapshots and history states.
It's a tradition in Macintosh software to include Easter Eggsthose wacky little undocumented, nonutilitarian features that serve only to amuse the programmer and (they hope) the user. Note that if your friends think you have no sense of humor, you might want to skip this section; it might just annoy you.
There are (at least) three Easter Eggs in Photoshoptwo hidden screens and one quote list.
Liquid Sky. A tradition even more venerable than Easter Eggs is code names. Almost all software has a code name that the developers use before the product is christened with a real shipping name. Photoshop 4 was code-named Big Electric Cat (it's an Adrian Belew reference, if you care). Photoshop 5 was code-named Strange Cargo. Photoshop 6 was called Venus in Furs. Photoshop 7 was called Liquid Sky. To see the original Liquid Sky splash screen, hold down the Command key while selecting About Photoshop from the Apple menu (Mac OS 9) or the Photoshop menu (Mac OS X). In Photoshop for Windows, press Control-Alt and select About Photoshop from the Help menu.
Quotes. If you watch either the standard About Photoshop screen or the Liquid Sky splash screen, you'll notice that the credits at the bottom of the screen start to scroll by, thanking everyone and their dog for participating in the development process. Don't get impatientthe last person on the list is someone special. (Actually, if you are the impatient type, try holding down the Option or Alt key once the credits start rolling; that speeds them up.) At any time before or during the rolling credits, try clicking once just above the first line of credits (like above the name Thomas Knoll or Mark Hamburg). If the screen disappears, you've clicked in the wrong place. If nothing happens, you've done it right. Now just wait until the scrolling credits are finished, and you'll be treated to some very funny quotations.
Merlin lives! Finally (at least, this is the last one we know about), there's a little hidden dialog box nestled away. When you hold down the Option key while selecting Palette Options from the popout menus in either the Paths, Layers, or Channels palettes, Merlin happily jumps out. If you're on a Mac, don't forget to try clicking on Merlin for that extra kick.
The World of Photoshop
If our publisher weren't screaming bloody murder to get this book to the printer, we'd still be writing tips. But instead of waiting until the next edition of the book, try finding them for yourself. The more you play with Photoshop, the more you'll be rewarded with treasures from the deep.