January 14, 2016
Layer Groups are an excellent way to organize a complex multilayered document. To create an empty Layer Group, click the Create Layer Group (the folder) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The Group will be added above the currently targeted layer. If no layers are targeted, Photoshop adds the group to the top of the layer stack.
To create a new Layer Group while simultaneously placing targeted layers into that group Group select Layer > Group Layers or drag the targeted layers (in the Layers panel) to the New Group icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, or use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + G. The group will be added above the topmost currently targeted layer.
To ungroup layers select Layer > Ungroup Layers or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + G (Mac) | Control + Shift + G (Win).
January 11, 2016
Holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping a layer(s) between two documents will place the “dropped” layer(s) into the center of the destination document.
If there is a selection in the destination document, holding the Shift key while dragging and dropping an image will drop it into the center of the selection.
January 5, 2016
When dragging and dropping a layer into a Layer group, Photoshop positions the layer at the top of the Layer stack (within the group). Holding the Shift key when releasing the mouse will position the layer at the bottom of the stack (within the group).
November 23, 2015
• Option + “[“ or “]” (Mac) | Alt + “[“ or “]” (Win) targets the layer above or below the currently targeted layer.
• Option + Shift + “] “or + “[“ (Mac) | Alt + Shift + “] “or + “[“ (Win) adds the next layer up or down to the targeted layer(s) (note when you get to the top or bottom of the layer stack, Photoshop will “wrap around” to continue adding/subtracting layers).
• Option + “,“ or “.” (Mac) | Alt + “,“ or “.” (Win) targets the bottom/top -most layer.
• Option + Shift + “,“ or “.” (Mac) | Alt + Shift + “,“ or “.” (Win) targets all layers that fall between the currently targeted layer to the top or bottom of the layer stack.
Note: these shortcuts are essential when recording actions as they help to select layers, but do not record the specific “name” of the layer in the action.
November 20, 2015
Command + “[“ or “]” (Mac) | Control + “[“ or “]” (Win) moves selected layers up or down. This is a very useful shortcut when recording actions as the specific name of the layer is not recorded.
November 19, 2015
Control-click (Mac)/ right-click (Win) on the eye icon or the layer thumbnail on the Layers panel to color-code a layer. Note: the Background must be converted to a layer to color-code (click the Lock icon in the Layers panel to convert it to a layer).
October 30, 2015
To view a Layer mask, Option -click (Mac) / Alt -click (Win) on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel. Tapping the “\”(backslash) toggles the display of a layer mask on and off (as a red rubylith overlay). Looking at the Channels panel, you can see that this shortcut toggles the channels visibility.
October 29, 2015
Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “\” (backslash) targets the layer mask in the Layers panel. Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + 2 targets the layer.
October 28, 2015
Drag a layer mask or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.
Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) a layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.
Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt + Shift -drag (Win) to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. (Note: this shortcut does not work with a vector mask – in order to invert a vector mask, select the path with the Direct Selection tool and click the “Subtract From Shapes Area” icon in the Options bar.)
October 27, 2015
To delete a mask, target it on the Properties panel and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel.
If you prefer to use the layers panel, target the mask and click the Trash icon, or drag the mask thumbnail to the Trash icon at the bottom of Layers panel. If you prefer to bypass the option dialog box, add Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) while clicking the trash icon will delete the mask without applying it.
Most of the time, I prefer to Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on the layer mask and choose delete or apply the mask from the context sensitive menu.
October 26, 2015
To add a mask to a layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers panel. Click once to add a layer mask and click again to add a vector mask (or you can Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) the mask icon to add a vector mask).
To add a layer mask that automatically hides the content of the layer (or the selection), as opposed to revealing it as it does by default, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the icon.
Use Command + I (Mac ) | Control + I (Win) to invert a layer mask, or click the Invert button on the Properties panel!
September 24, 2015
• Command + “,” (comma) (Mac) | Control + “,” (comma) (Win) toggles the visibility of the currently selected layer(s).
• Command + Option + “,” (comma) (Mac) | Control + Alt + “,” (comma) (Win) shows all layers (regardless of which layers are selected).
• Option -click (Mac) | Alt-click (Win) on the eye icon in the Layers panel to toggle visibility of all other layers. To make all layers visible (as opposed to only those that were previously visible), Control-click (Mac) / right-click (Win) the eye icon on the Layers panel and select “Show/Hide all other layers”
September 8, 2015
Learn how to swap heads in a family portrait in my free video (Swapping Heads in a Family Portrait in Photoshop) from Lynda.com.
September 4, 2015
See how easy it is to use blend modes to emulate an image transfer effect in Photoshop in my free video (Using Blend Modes to Emulate an Image Transfer Effect in Photoshop) from Lynda.com
September 3, 2015
Discover how to Select Soft Edge Objects using the Refine Edge feature in Photoshop in my free video from Lynda.com.