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Photoshop: Stupid. Simple. Photoshop - A Noobie's Guide to Using Photoshop TODAY

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Stupid. Simple. Photoshop

A Noobie’s Guide to Using Photoshop TODAY

Copyright 2015 JOSEPH SCOLDEN

Published by Joseph Scolden at Shakespir

Shakespir Edition License Notes

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Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

I use affiliate links in this book which means that products I recommend in this book, if you buy it, I will receive a commission on the sale. You will not have to pay any extra money for the program with my links and you certainly don’t have to buy them if you don’t want. I try to recommend the best possible products that will help the reader.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

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Chapter 1: The Photoshop Workspace

Chapter 2: Working in Photoshop

Chapter 3: Tools in Photoshop

Chapter 4: Alpha Channels and Selections

Chapter 5: The History Palette

Chapter 6: Dealing with Errors in Photoshop

Conclusion

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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[]Introduction

If you’ve picked up this book, you will most definitely have already come across Photoshop at some point in your life. Lots of people have heard of the magic of ‘Photoshop’ but few are able to harness its powerful features to perform the digital tricks on images that graphic designers and photographers through it.

The biggest hurdle most people face with learning Photoshop is the sheer scope of its features. It is a one size fits all kind of software designed to address the needs of various digital graphics editing needs. Due to its large number of features, it looks like a maze to beginners and many lose faith and abandon their quest before they have even started out properly.

This book will help you fix that – it will teach you all you need to get started with Photoshop, and by the time you’re done, you’ll be well acquainted with the ins and outs of the software like a true professional. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to follow advanced techniques to perform professional grade tasks using Photoshop.

We’ll start off with a close look at the Photoshop Workspace in Chapter 1, where you will be introduced to graphic designer language, taught workspace customization and saving the workspace you have customized. Learning the layout of the workspace is very important for proceeding ahead – you won’t be able to understand the basic features and parts of the Photoshop interface without this.

Chapter 2 will be about Working in Photoshop, where you will be taught how to perform common tasks such as creating new documents, opening and saving files on the hard drive and for the web, file formatting, Photoshop layers, Layer related tasks and shortcuts. This chapter will be your first step in using Photoshop for graphics and picture editing.

Next, we’ll take a look at the most important and frequently used ‘Tools’ in Photoshop which are present in its Toolbox. The tools we’ll cover include selection, painting and drawing, text and shape tools among other things.

With the basics learnt, we’ll next address more advanced topics – Alpha Channels and Shortcuts, and The History Palette. You will also be taught basic troubleshooting techniques for when your Photoshop software refused to work as expected.

This guide uses Adobe® Photoshop® CC version 14.2 to demonstrate various examples. Features on the reader’s version of the software may differ slightly. In any case, Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 or later is recommended to be used with this guide.

 

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Chapter 1: The Photoshop Workspace

Photoshop’s default workspace setup has the following components:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Menu bar: You’ll most likely already have seen menu bars in other programs on your computer. The menu bar will run across your Photoshop window’s top, and will contain different options for the software’s tools.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Options bar: This bar will be present under the menu bar and will contain contextualized options for various tools i.e. depending on the tool you have selection, it will hold different options. It will also hold the workspace menu from where you can load and save palette arrangements.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Toolbox: The toolbox will be present on the left side of the Photoshop window, and will be the place from where you select Photoshop’s various tools.

Before we go any further, it will be a good idea to teach you the terms most commonly used in the trade:

Like professionals belonging to most other specialist fields, designers have their own dictionary of terms. A comp (an abbreviation for ‘composite’), for instance, is a rough draft of the final solution planned by the designer ‘Comp’ traditionally refers to page layouts in the print world, but web designers normally use it to refer to an unchanging interface made completely in Photoshop that their clients can assess and then decide whether to proceed with the site development or not. You may even come across the word being used as a verb: ‘comping’ refers to the process of making a mockup site.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Palettes: These are individual panes which hold options or information for working with your file. They float on the right hand side of the window and each of them is labelled with a tab. Palettes can be closed, minimized, grouped with other palettes, or dragged in / out of a panel dock at will.

As an example, here is the ‘Swatches’ palette, that lets you quickly select various colors to use with Photoshop’s many tools.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Document windows: Each document that you open in Photoshop will have its own window, with a status bar along its bottom. The status bar is present to the right side of the zoom percentage shown on the bottom left corner, and displaces information that is specific to the opened document.

Now it’s time to personalize your workspace to suit your needs:

You can change your Photoshop’s workspace to suit the project you’re working on – or even to your particular tastes for every project. Nearly everything inside the workspace can be reconfigured and repositioned. Here are some ways to do this:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Changing the menu bar’s look:

You can modify the menu items that are visible on your menu bar, and can even add colors to these items. If you wish, you can also assign different or totally new keyboard shortcuts to menu comments (not recommended until you’re very much at home with Photoshop or have an urgent reason to do so). Navigate to Edit > Menus and then use the dialog box to change the menu bar / palette menus.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Moving the options bar:

If you wish to move the options bar around, click on the handle on its left side and drag around with your mouse. The options bar can ‘dock’ onto the bottom or top of the screen when you move it close to those areas.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Moving the toolbox:

The Photoshop toolbox is very portable and you can move it to any part of your screen. Simply click on the notched handle on its top and drag it around. You can also switch between various toolbox layouts by clicking on the double arrow along the toolbox’s top.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Rearranging palettes:

There are plenty of ways for rearranging your palettes. You may wish to separate one palette from its palette group or move it to another group entirely. This can be done by dragging the palette’s tab outside of its original group and into the new one. You may also wish to collapse or expand a dock – do this by clicking the double arrows at its top. You can also drag some palettes out of their dock and then close the remaining ones. If you accidentally close a palette and want to open it again go to the Window menu and click on the palette you wish to show.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Changing the information being shown on the document window’s status bar:

The status bar will display the size of the document by default. This file size is shown by two numbers that are separated by a forward slash. The first number estimates the size of the image file with all of the layers (more on these to come) merged together (this is known as flattening the image), while the second number estimates the size of the document with all the layers as they are. Don’t be confused by the technicality of the previous sentence, since layers will be discussed in detail in the next chapter. You can make the status bar display information other than the file size though e.g. the dimensions of the document in pixels, or the version of the file. This can be done by clicking on the arrow present next to the status bar and choosing the information you want to see.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Saving the workspace that you have customized:

As you become more skilled at using Photoshop, you will find yourself using certain palette sets for different kinds of projects quite frequently, and then there may be those palettes that you rarely or never use. Photoshop lets you save and load various workspaces (these are unique arrangements of menus, palettes and even keyboard shortcuts) to make your work more efficient.

Once you have customized your workspace as needed, open the Workspace menu in the options bar, click on Save Workspace and give your workspace a name e.g. My Default Workspace or Creating Thumbnails. You can then load various saved (or already present) workspaces by opening the Workspace menu and selecting the workspace from it.

Chapter 2: Working in Photoshop

It’s time to get our hands dirty, now that you have a basic understanding of Photoshop’s layout.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Creating New Documents:

You can create a new document in Photoshop by opening File > New from the menu, or by using the Ctrl+N keys / Command+N keys from your keyboard, depending on whether you’re using a PC or a Mac. The New dialog box will show up – you can specify the dimensions, as well as many other settings for your documents here.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Opening Files:

You can open an existing file by File > Open from the menu, or by using the Ctrl+O/Command+O keyboard combinations. You can also select multiple files to open by holding down the Ctrl/Command button on your keyboard and clicking on each file you wish to open.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Saving Files:

You can save your work by File > Save, or by pressing Ctrl+S/Command+S from the keyboard. Photoshop saves in the PSD (Photoshop Document) format by default, but you can choose any format you wish from the list in the Save dialog box. Note that if you’re working with layers, it is recommended that you save your document in PSD format to preserve them – saving in a standard format such as JPEG will cause Photoshop to merge all layers together to create a final document, meaning that you won’t be able to change the individual layers anymore.

You can also save a copy of your work using the Ctrl+Shift+S keys or the File > Save As option from the menu. A pro tip is to save your original document as PSD (so you can modify it later), and then save copies as standard formats such as JPEG, BMP etc.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Snappy Presets:

If you’re working on a picture with a size of, say, 1024 × 768 pixels, then you should start with a smaller size of 800 × 600. Notice how the ratio of horizontal pixels to vertical pixels remains the same? This is extremely important if you’re going to be playing with multiple resolutions. Also make sure that you set the correct resolution – expressed in dots-per-inches – so your final image doesn’t look ugly once it gets blown up to actual size. As a newbie in Photoshop, I once accidentally saved a masterfully edited photograph at a resolution smaller than its original one – and although it looked good on my laptop’s screen, the results were far from pretty when I printed it on A5 sized (large) paper.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Saving files for the internet:

Photoshop files (i.e. PSDs) cannot directly be placed on the internet or even in a Word document for that matter. They need to be exported to an internet friendly format such as PNG, JPEG or GIF. These formats also normally take up less space than bitmaps (BMPs).

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p<>{color:#000;}. GIF: Pronounced as ‘giff’ or ‘jiff’ depending on your personal preference, this format supports a maximum of 256 different colors. This format also has support for transparency and animation (ever seen those small moving clips people often share in Facebook comments?), and is ideal for graphics that have the large areas of exactly the same color e.g. company logos, watermarks etc.:

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p<>{color:#000;}. JPEG: Pronounced as ‘jay-peg’, this format is best for photographs or graphics which have greater than 256 colors and gradients (gradual change from one color to another), for instance a landscape picture or a close up portrait. JPEG format will compress the image so it won’t have a result as good as the uncompressed bitmap image (BMP), but the compression will reduce its size, making it easier to store online and elsewhere.

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p<>{color:#000;}. PNG: Portable Network Graphic, pronounced as ‘ping’ is like the GIF format in the sense that it has support for transparency and is great for solid color pictures such as logos and icons. But it is also better than the GIF format thanks to support for true transparency levels for colored portions – this means that you can make a part of the picture partially see-through. PNGs can produce better looking graphics while taking up lesser space than GIFs. Photoshop lets you save your picture as PNG-8 file (works just like a GIF) or a PNG-24 file (lets you save images with millions of colors as well as changing transparency levels).

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p<>{color:#000;}. The power of mouse clicks:

Besides the many keyboard shortcuts at your disposal, you can also use mouse clicks to do various tasks such as fitting the picture to the window, temporarily zoom in on the picture etc. These shortcut combinations are too many to be listed here, but you can always refer to Adobe’s official list here http://bit.ly/default-keyboard-shortcuts if you’re looking for a particular shortcut.

In order to save the file for Web, go to File > Save for Web & Devices or use the Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S keyboard combo (Command instead of Ctrl for Mac). The Save for Web dialog box will show up, where you will be able to see a preview of the image that you’re about to export, with the optimized size in the lower left corner. You can play with the image settings using the many options present to the right. Choose the format from GIF, PNG-8 and PNG-24, or JPEG, and change some of the other settings while observing the optimized file size value. You will need to strike a balance between file size and quality of the image. Once you’re happy with the result, click on Save and give the picture a name.

After having tried out the exercise described above, you’ll be quite happy with yourself about having saved an image of decent quality in a smaller size than the original. You did this by messing around with the settings on the right pane, but now it’s time to learn what exactly they do:

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p<>{color:#000;}. GIF/PNG-8

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p<>{color:#000;}. Colors: Changing this setting lowers the amount of colors present in the image. This will have a large impact on the final result of the picture.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Dither amount and type (Noise, Pattern, Diffusion, No Dither): This setting may seem scary, but there’s really no need to get alarmed. Dither is the name given to a compression method which varies the pattern of dots to make the image seem to have a color gradient. Changing the dither setting will have a more visible impact on pictures which have lots of different colors mixed together.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Transparency: If you wish your image to have transparent areas, keep this box checked. Transparency will be looked at more closely in the next sections.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Matte color: For images which are transparent, matte color aids in blending the image’s edges into the background of the document/page where it will be placed. Non-transparent images use matte color to define the color of their background. The use of matte color with transparent images will be looked at in greater detail later on in the book.

Chapter 3: Tools in Photoshop

Photoshop Toolbox

Learning about the Photoshop toolbox and its functions is probably why you picked up this book. This section will teach you how to use the most commonly used tools in the Photoshop Toolbox. Other tools will be discussed as they are needed in the chapters that follow.

Notice how some of the tools have small white triangles in the lower right corners. Clicking on these triangles will reveal even more tools! The triangles indicate that there are other related tools present, which will be displayed through a ‘flyout’ menu upon your click.

Secret Selections

The selections you make in Photoshop can have variable transparency levels – this is known as the degree of opacity. It is, in fact, possible to create a selection of 100% opacity in one region and in another region, make a selection of 20%. If a selection holds any pixels that have an opacity of over 50%, they will be show with a dotted line border. The software won’t outline areas with an opacity lower than 50% - even though they will be selected. Photoshop’s selection tools select at 100% opacity automatically. You’ll be taught how to make transparent selection through the use of Quick Masks and Alpha Channels later on.

Selection Tools

Selection tools can be used to select particular parts of the document for separate editing i.e. only the area that is selected will be changed as a result of your actions. Selections can be ‘feathered’ (a fuzzy radius for their edges can be specified) through the Feather field present in the options bar. The example below contains two rectangles – the one on the left was created using a selection with zero pixel ‘feathering’, and the one on the right was created by using the same selection with a ‘feathering’ of five pixels.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Marquee tools (M) can be used to make elliptical or rectangular selections, as well as single column selections (one pixel wide selection that stretches through the height of the document) and single row selections (one pixel tall selection that stretches through the width of the document). To make single row / single column selections, select the appropriate tool and click on the part of the image where you want to select the row/column.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Lasso tools (L) can be used to make freeform selections. There are three different forms of this tool:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Lasso Tool (L): Clicking and dragging this tool will draw a selection area. Release the mouse button to close the selection – the start and end point will be joined automatically by a straight line.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Polygonal Lasso Tool (L): Clicking at different points will create the vertices (corners) of a polygon shaped selection. The selection is closed by moving the cursor to the starting vertex and clicking on it once, or by hitting Enter.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Magnetic Lasso Tool (L): If the selection you want to make is complex, you can use the Magnetic Lasso Tool for help. Photoshop will try to make an intelligent selection by following edges of color difference and contrast (difference between light and dark). With the Magnetic Lasso Tool (L) selected, click a single time near the ‘edge’ of the object you wish to select and follow around its edges – a selection path will automatically be created by Photoshop. While you’re following the edges, click on a point to force a selection point to be created on the selection path. The selection is closed by hitting Enter or by clicking at the point where you started.

No Selection Sometimes means All Selected

Once a selection has been made, only the pixels inside are active and modifiable. Many tools can be used without having to make a selection. But you should also know that if you haven’t made specifically selected a part of the layer, Photoshop will assume that you’re working with the whole layer and the changes you make will affect all of the pixels inside this layer.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Magic Want Tool (W) will select parts of the image that have similar color. The tolerance of the Magic Wand selection can be varied; think of the tolerance as the required closeness of the color values, to the color of the region you have clicked on, in order for them to be added to the selection. You can also choose whether you want a contiguous selection (pixels are touching) or not (colors that fall in the specified tolerance range will be selected throughout the document, even if the regions aren’t touching each other).

Selection Tasks and Shortcuts

Hold down the Shift key to add another region to an existing selection. Keep the Alt key (Option key for Mac users) held down to select the intersection (region common to two selections) of your first and second selections. The arrow keys on your keyboard can be used to move the selection one pixel at a time. If this isn’t fast enough for you, use the arrow keys with the Shift key held down to move the selection at a rate of ten pixels. The Ctrl+J (Command+J for Mac) keyboard shortcut can be used to copy your selection into its original layer. In order to cut the selection from its own layer, use Shift+Ctrl+J (or Shift+Comand+J) for Mac. In order to deselect a selected area, click outside of the area while having one of the Marquee tools selected, or use the Ctrl+D (Command+D for Mac) keyboard shortcut. In order to reactivate you most recent selection, use Shift+Ctrl+D (Shift+Command+D for Mac) keyboard shortcut.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Move Tool (V) is used to move a selected area or the whole layer. It can be used in conjunction with most of Photoshop’s other tools by dragging with the mouse while keeping the Ctrl (Command for Mac) key pressed down.

[Move and Copy Shortcut
__]For the majority of tools, keeping the Ctrl+Alt keys (Command+Option keys for Mac users) pressed as you drag a selection will invoke the Move Tool temporarily, which will let you quickly move the selected layer and duplicate it as well.

A whole layer can be duplicated by keeping the Alt key (Option key for Mac users) held down as you use the Move Tool, as you can see below:

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Crop Tool © is used for trimming images. Make a selection using the Crop Tool and double click at the selection’s center, or hit Enter, to crop the image to the selection (i.e. the part of the image which is outside the selection will be deleted).

To cancel the crop selection without cropping, hit the Esc key or select another tool.

Cropping outside the box

The Crop tool can be used for resizing your canvas. Expand the document window until it is larger than the area of your image, and now make a crop selection which includes all of your image as well as some of the grey area outside your image. If you apply this crop selection, you canvas will include the image as well as the extra area you selected (the canvas gets extended).

Painting and Drawing Tools

Besides Photoshop’s amazing photo editing capabilities, it also has painting and drawing tools which let you create your own backgrounds and shapes.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Brush Tool (B) is suited for soft-edged drawing or painting. You can draw strokes by clicking and dragging your mouse cursor over the canvas. The brush size, as well as other settings, can be changed from the option bar.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Pencil Tool (B) is meant for hard-edged painting or drawing and has options similar to the Brush tool for specifying its opacity, size etc. This tool is commonly used for editing individual pixels in zoomed images.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Eraser Tool (E) erases pixels from your canvas. You can choose Block, Pencil or Brush modes from the Mode menu present in the options bar.

Aliased or anti-aliased?

The edges of the Pencil Tool’s drawing are aliased as opposed to anti-aliased edges of the Brush Tool. ‘Aliasing’ refers to the jags that appear on the edges of an object, whereas anti-aliasing refers to the absence (or removal) of these jags i.e. the edges are smooth. In the example present below, the difference in terms of jagging of the edges between the two sets of shapes is quite visible.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Paint Bucket Tool (G) will fill a selection with a plain color, also called a flat color. To use it, click on the area you wish to fill once. If this area isn’t part of a selection, the tool will fill all similar colored pixels within the region of the click.

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p<>{color:#000;}. The Gradient Tool (G) will fill a selection with a mix of multiple colors – called a gradient. It is easy to make your own gradient, or you could use the pre-set gradients present in Photoshop.

C
lick on the small triangle to the right of the currently selected Gradient pattern in the Options bar to reveal the pre-set gradients:

Apply the gradient by setting your required foreground and background colors, choosing a pattern, then click-dragging your cursor over the area you want to be filled. You already know what the background is, think of the foreground as the front portions of the image i.e. the ones which seem closer in the picture when you look at it.

In my experience, the foreground to background and foreground to transparent gradients are the most commonly used (the first two gradients in the drop down menu). The first will mix the foreground color with the background color, whereas the second will mix the foreground color into a transparent background, yielding a ‘fading out’ look.

The Text Tool

The Text Tool (T), as its name implies, is used for creating text layers. It is quite easy to use, simply select the tool, click on the area you want the text to go and begin to type it in. By clicking and dragging with the Text tool you can make a rectangular area which will force the text to wrap around its boundaries. The color, font size and other settings can be changed from the options bar.

With the Text tool active, you’re able to move your cursor out of the text area. The cursor symbol will change from the ‘text insert’ symbol to the ‘move’ symbol, indicating that you can now move your text layer around.

Also keep in mind that when this tool is active, you aren’t able to use keyboard shortcuts for accessing other tools. It may seem quite obvious right now, but it can easily escape your mind when you’re concentrated on your image and strange characters start appearing in your active text box because you were attempting to use keyboard shortcuts.

When you’re done typing, hit Ctrl+Enter (Command+Return for Mac users), after which you will be able use your keyboard shortcuts as before.

Shape Tools

You can make shapes by click-dragging the Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Line and Custom Shape tools (U).

The particular settings for each of these shape tools are present in the options bar, and you can specify other settings by clicking on the arrow to the Custom Shape button’s right side. For instance, the Line Tool can be set to display arrowheads, and you can also specify the sizes and shapes of these arrowheads, as illustrated below:

If you observe the options for these shapes, you’ll see that there are three methods for making a shape:

Your shape will be made as a single colored layer which is covered with a vector shape mask. Confusing right? Imagine the vector mask to be a sheet of dark paper with a hole (in the shape you have drawn) cut through it so that you’re able to see the color which comes out of the hole. To change the color of your shape, select the Shape tool, and in the options bar, pick a color from the Fill menu. Make sure that you have selected ‘Shape’ from the Shape/Path/Pixels drop down box, also present in the options bar.

When you selected ‘Path’ in the Shape/Path/Pixels menu, the shape is created as a path, which you can see in the Paths palette (see the example above, where this shape is called the Work Path).

When you choose ‘Pixels’, the shape is ‘drawn’ on whichever layer you have presently selected. In the example, this shape was drawn on the Layer 0 layer, as you can see from the Layers palette.

Color Selection

You can set foreground and background colors by clicking on their color tiles and picking a color using the Color Picker, which you can see demonstrated below:

Shortcuts for the Color Picker

You can press X on the keyboard to switch between foreground and background colors. Hit the D key to revert to the default black/white foreground/background combination.

You can also use the Eyedropper Tool to sample another color from your picture and make this the foreground color. All you need to do is click inside the document window, move your cursor to the color you want to select and click on it.

You can also set the background color using this tool. Select colors using the eyedropper tool with the Alt key (Option key for Mac users) pressed down, to do so.

The Paint Bucket, Paint Brush, Pencil as well as all other drawing/painting tools can be changed temporarily to the Eyedropper Tool by pressing down the Alt (Option) key.

The Hand Tool

You can move your canvas around using the Hand Tool (H) which is useful when you’ve zoomed into an image or have opened a very large image.

Conveniently, you can also use this tool while you have any other tool selected (excluding the Text Tool) by keep the spacebar pressed. This is great for positioning your image just where you desire without having to switch between tools.

Other Useful Shortcuts and Tasks

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p<>{color:#000;}. Zooming: If you want to make tiny change at the pixel level, you will have to zoom right into your image. Press Ctrl and + together for zooming in, and Ctrl and – for zooming out. You can also specify a zoom value in the text box present at the right side of the status bar

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p<>{color:#000;}. Creating a Selection Using the Layers Palette: If you want to select all the pixels of a specific layer, click on the layer’s thumbnail (present in the Layer’s palette) while keeping the Ctrl key (Command key for Mac users) pressed down. The transparency level of the layers pixels will also be taken into account with this selection, so if you paint inside the selection, Photoshop will imitate the original layer’s transparency settings. The example below shows how I selected the pixels in a text layer using this method:

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p<>{color:#000;}. Selecting through a Quick Mask: Quick Masks are one of graphic designing’s trade secrets which are frequently employed by professionals, but are quite intimidating for beginners. Truth is, they aren’t as complicated as they appear:

Think of a Quick Mask as a different way of creating a selection. Start by entering the Quick Mask Mode (Q) and paint over the things you don’t want to select by using tools such as the Brush Tool. You are now painting the ‘mask’, and the reverse-selection which results will show as a semi-transparent red color, as in the example below:

The painting and drawing tools can be used to edit this layer as you want, without affecting your actual image. The changes you make will reflect in your final selection, which is made when you switch back to Standard Mode (Q).

There are two advantages of using this method of selection instead of the normal selection tools that you were taught previously:

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p<>{color:#000;}. They let you control the transparency level of the selection.

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p<>{color:#000;}. Coloring an object in to select it is easier than having to make a line around it.

At first, it might be hard to grasp that you aren’t in fact painting your actual image while you are in the Quick Make Mode; you are simply painting your selection. Once you understand this however, you will be comfortable with making a selection regardless of the shape of the object, no matter how tricky it appears to be.

Quick Mask Options

If you want the see through red of the Quick Mask Mode to show the selected areas instead of the excluded areas, you can do so through the Quick Mask Options. Double click the Quick Mask Mode icon and change the setting present under the Color Indicates section to ‘Selected Areas’:

Chapter 4: Alpha Channels and Selections

Alpha channels can also be used to make selections which can be saved for later use. After opening the Channels palette, you’ll notice multiple channels, shown in a way similar to how the layers are shown in the Layers palette. You’ll be able to see the color channels by default; these represent the amount of each color present in the document. You can make your own alpha channel by clicking on the Create New Channel icon present at the bottom of the Channels palette.

Any of the drawing or painting tools Photoshop offers can be used for creating a greyscale (shades of grey from black to white) image which will be a representation of your selection – the white parts of the image will be the selected areas whereas the black areas will be deselected. The greys will be partially selected (i.e. grey represents the degree of transparency of the selection).

To change your alpha channel drawing into a selection, keep the Ctrl key held down (Command key for Mac users) and click on your channel’s thumbnail in the Palette. To switch back to the normal view, click the Layers palette tab and select a layer. The selection you created from your alpha channel will still be there.

Photoshop also lets you make an alpha channel from an existing selection, which can be quite handy. For instance, suppose that you have made a selection of an island silhouetted against a sunset as below. You feel that you may have to make this selection many times in the future, and it could get pretty time consuming if you had to do it manually every time. You can save this selection for the future by using Select -> Save Selection. Give your selection a name and click on the OK button.

If you access the Channels palette now, you’ll notice that a new selection is present in the list, with the same name as the one you gave to your selection – in fact, this is your saved selection, preserved as an Alpha Channel. You can reload this selection as needed using Load Selection present under the Select menu.

Chapter 5: The History Palette

Think of the History palette as Photoshop’s very own time machine. It holds a list of your most recent steps, and lets you undo the changes you made with those steps by reverting your image to a previous state. The number of steps which are held in memory can be specified through Edit -> Preferences -> Performance or, for Mac users, Photoshop -> Preferences -> Performance, and modifying the value in the History States box.

The History palette has some handy shortcuts for fast access, just like most of the other tools Photoshop has:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ctrl+Z (Command+Z for Mac users) allows you to undo/redo your most recent step.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ctrl+Alt+Z (Command+Option+Z for Mac users) is used for stepping back through the History palette’s list.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shift+Alt+Z (Shift+Option+Z) goes forward through the History palette’s list.

Since there are a limited number of past states available to you, you might want to create a document ‘snapshot’ at certain stages of design as a manual backup that you can go back to if things go wrong later on. This can be done by clicking on the tiny triangle present on the right corner of the History palette and choosing New Snapshot. A snapshot of the current layer, the entire document or merged layers can be made depending on your choice.

Chapter 6: Dealing with Errors in Photoshop

Because of the amazing tools and powerful features Photoshop offers, it occasionally begins to show errors. You may notice erratic behavior, freezes, and random crashes – which may even occur at or during startup. In such an event, start by resetting your preferences file. You can change it through Edit-> Preferences on PC and Photoshop > Preferences if you’re a Mac user. This file holds all of Photoshop’s settings and can sometimes get corrupted.

Its location and name is dependent on the version of your Operating System as well as the version of Photoshop you’re running. For a Windows 7 or 8 OS running Adobe Photoshop CC this file is present in ‘Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC/Adobe Photoshop CC Settings’ with the name ‘Adobe Photoshop CC Prefs.psp’. For the names and locations of other settings files, you can visit Adobe’s support page here http://bit.ly/preference-filenames .

Backup your preferences file

You should copy and paste your preferences file to a secure location outside of Photoshop’s setting folder regularly. If your preferences file gets corrupted, you can paste this backup copy over the corrupted file to repair it, without losing any of your preferences.

If you want to reset the preferences file, locate and delete it (Photoshop shouldn’t be running) and start Photoshop – the file will be created with the default settings.

If Photoshop still keeps showing problems, restart it with the Shift+Ctrl+Alt (Shift+Command+Option for Mac users) keys held down, and click on OK when you’re asked if you want to delete the settings file. Keep in mind that this will also get rid of your tools, custom actions and other settings, but on the upside, your Photoshop should begin to work normally again.

If problems persist, you can seek aid from the forums, which are quite active and helpful. If you messed up bad, you may have to reinstall the software from scratch.

 

Conclusion

My reason for writing this book was to prove that Photoshop isn’t as difficult as it is made out to be by some in the industry. I started out as a total novice myself, and built my Photoshop skills from scratch.

I have tried my best, with this book, to help those who are starting out in Photoshop, by providing them with a dependable, easy to understand guide for the most important and commonly used Photoshop tools and techniques.

I am very grateful that you have allowed me to share my knowledge and skills with you, and have one last piece of advice:

Keep trying new things with this software if you want your skill to increase. This is how all the pros got there!

p.s. Click Here To Get A FREE Photography EBOOK!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My goal is to help anyone that reads my books to have the ability to capture life’s amazing moments and, more importantly, make their pictures look phenomenal. My books are priced at $2.99 or lower so I can help the most amount of people have great success in photography. I truly care about your success and will do everything I can to help you improve your skills

My books are very different from most photography books on the market. First, My books are “short and to the point”. I talk about the most essential things that I believe will help you the most. Additionally, I make the sometimes-complicated subject, photography, simple.

I want anyone that enjoys photography and desires to improve their skills to download my books because I truly believe that I have something to offer and that the they will benefit a lot from my books.

When I am not writing, I enjoy photography, going to new places, and spending time with family & friends.

Connect with Joseph Scolden

I really appreciate you reading my book! Here are my social media coordinates:

 

Find me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JosephScolden?s=07

Visit my website: https://page583.leadpages.co/photography/

 

As a“Thank You”For Downloading This Book:

You can get access to this [* 100% FREE *] Photography EBOOK

Take Advantage of This Opportunity Right NOW!

>> Click Here To Get Instant Access <<

Or visit

https://page583.leadpages.co/photography/

What will you find in “100 Photography Tips”?

 

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p<>{color:#000;}. Tips on how to take better pictures that look absolutely stunning!

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p<>{color:#000;}. Equipment Tips on how to use different tools

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p<>{color:#000;}. Buying tips that will help you get the right gear

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p<>{color:#000;}. And Much, Much, More!

 

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Photoshop: Stupid. Simple. Photoshop - A Noobie's Guide to Using Photoshop TODAY

Learn the Essentials That Will Get You Started Using Photoshop Is Photoshop confusing you? Are you interested in learning Photoshop but you don’t know where to start? Do you need a guide that will simplify Photoshop and teach you how to use it? If you answered “YES!” to any of these questions, you MUST buy this book. This book will teach you everything you need to know to get started with Adobe Photoshop in a simple, easy to read book. This book IS NOT a boring text book that will just explain Photoshop but it contains pictures that will show you exactly what you need to click on AND pictures that will make concepts easier to understand! Inside You'll Discover: - Everything you need to know about the Photoshop workspace - How to rearrange pallets - How to customize your workspace - How to create new documents - How to save your Photoshop files - The benefits of saving as each file format - The file format to save your image for each scenario - How to use each tool in Photoshop - The use for alpha channels and how to use it - How to use the history pallete - How to deal with errors in Photoshop - AND MUCH, MUCH MORE! If you would like to be able to finally to understand Adobe Photoshop you must DOWNLOAD this book! Scroll back up, smash that DOWNLOAD button and start using Photoshop today!

  • ISBN: 9781310956317
  • Author: Joseph Scolden
  • Published: 2016-01-05 02:40:40
  • Words: 7097
Photoshop: Stupid. Simple. Photoshop - A Noobie's Guide to Using Photoshop TODAY Photoshop: Stupid. Simple. Photoshop - A Noobie's Guide to Using Photoshop TODAY