In a recent presentation I was asked to share some “lesser” known features from Photoshop CS5. I have noted all of the following in my blog at some point, but here are a dozen of my favorites all together:
1) Changing Brush Size – With a painting tool selected, Control + Option (Mac) – drag left/right in order to decrease/ increase brush size. To decrease/ increase brush hardness, drag up/down. On Windows, Shift + Alt -drag left right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.
2) On Screen Color Picker – To access the new HUD color Picker, with a painting tool selected, Control + Option + Command (Mac) -click and drag to select a color. On Windows, Shift + Alt + right-click and drag to select a color. Or, if that shortcut is too much to remember, to display the color picker using a keyboard shortcut, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools” scroll to the bottom to locate the “Foreground Color Picker ” line item and enter in your own custom keyboard shortcut.
3) The Eyedropper Tool – Clicking in the image area with the Eyedropper tool now displays a sample ring. The “new” color (the one being sampled) is displayed in the upper half of the ring while the current (or foreground color before sampling) is displayed in the bottom half. The ring is surrounded by grey to help neutralize surrounding colors that may influence color choices. The sample ring can be toggled off/on by unchecking/checking Show Sample Ring in the Options bar. Or, if you’re an avid user of Tool presets, make one with the ring turned on, the other with it off. In addition Control (Mac) / Right Mouse (Win) -click to select the Sample Size or Copy the Color as Hex Code or HTML
4) Scrubby Zoom – With the Zoom tool selected, click-drag to the right to zoom in, click-drag to the left to Zoom out. This new feature adds the benefit of being able to quickly zoom in AND zoom out to a specific location, however, if you prefer the legacy behavior (click-drag over the area to zoom into), disable Scrubby Zoom in the Options Bar. In addition, when viewing multiple images simultaneously, Shift -drag with the Hand tool to pan all open documents. Similarly, shift -clicking with the Zoom tool will zoom all images simultaneously. To set this as the default behavior, with the Zoom or Hand tool selected, check the “Zoom all Windows” and/or “Pan all Windows” in the Option bar.
5) Saving 16 Bit Images as JPEG – If you’re working with 16 bit files and want to save them as a JPEG, you can now select the JPEG file format from the list in the Save As dialog box. However, you need to know that saving as a JPEG will convert the file from 16 bit down to 8 bit (as the JPEG file format does not support 16 bit). Note: it is also important to note if you’re saving a layered file as a JPEG, Photoshop will flatten the file as the JPEG file format does not support layers.
6) Saving Files to Their Original Folders – By default, when saving files, Photoshop will automatically navigate to the folder where the last file was saved. To save files to their original folder, select Preferences > File Handling > and check on the “Save As to Original Folder” option.
7) Auto-Select Parameter for Adjustment Layers – In order to automatically put the keyboard focus onto the first field in the Adjustment panel, use the fly out menu in the Adjustments panel, and select Auto-Select Parameter (this behavior was added as it is similar to the legacy way of working with image adjustment dialog boxes – as oppose to the adjustment panel). Return (Mac) / Enter (Win) + Shift is another way to put the keyboard focus onto the first field in the Adjustment panel. You can also use a keyboard shortcut to select the Targeted Adjustment Tool while using a Hue/Saturation, Curves, or Black & White adjustment layer, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools” scroll the towards the bottom of the list to locate the “Targeted Adjustment Tool” line item and enter in your own custom keyboard shortcut.
8)The Crop Tool Overlay – With the Crop tool selected, drag out the crop marquee and then, in the Options bar, choose Between Rule of Thirds, Grid or None for the Crop Guide Overlay. Note, you must first drag out the crop in the image area for this setting to appear in the Options bar.
9) Control Change the Opacity/Fill of Multiple Layers – Simply select multiple layers in the Layers panel and use the Opacity and/or Fill slider to change the Opacity/Fill of all selected layers at once.
10) Layer Styles – In order to customize the default Layer Style settings, select Layer > Layer Style (or click the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel). In the Layer Style dialog, make the desired changes, and click the Make Default button. If you make changes to the style and want to reset the changes to your custom default, click the Reset to Default button.
11) Panorama Stitching – When using the Auto-Align Layers command Photoshop now leverages lens correction profiles (if applied).
12) Non-rotating Brushes with Rotate View – When using the Rotate View tool to rotate the canvas for easier drawing and painting, the brushes will no longer rotate with the canvas rotation; instead they remain at the orientation of the original artwork regardless of the viewing angle.