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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hey there. Welcome back to another episode of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week I'm going to be talking about springloaded tool short cuts inside of Adobe Photoshop. Now what exactly is a springloaded tool shortcut? Well, let's take a look. Let's say that I'm working on this flower, and I'll zoom in here. And I'm going to be using, let's say the Dodge or the Burn tool. So I'll just go over here and grab the Burn tool. And you already know that you can instantly switch tools in Photoshop by pressing a letter on your keyboard. So if I wanted to switch from the Burn tool to the Text tool, I could press the letter t, and then if I wanted to move to the Move tool.
Hit the letter v, et cetera. But did you also know that you can temporarily hold down the keyboard shortcut key for any given tool while you're working in Photoshop and invoke that tool for the duration of the time that you hold down the key? And then as soon as you let go, you can go right back to using the tool that you were using before? It's a really interesting way to work, and if you can commit to it, it makes life so much easier. Now you don't even have to worry about pressing multiple keys. You just hold one down and then release it any time you don't need it. So let's say for instance, that I'm burning some areas in here.
And I'll just do some random burns around the outside of this flower. I'm not really worried about if it looks good or not, I'm just making some. Adjustments for demonstration purposes and once I do this, let's say that I get down here to the bottom and I realize all of a sudden, you know what, the Spot Healing brush would work really well right here. Instead of invoking the Spot Healing brush completely or instead of going over and clicking on it. What I'm going to do is just temporarily hold down the letter J. When I do that, you see the brush size changes? That's because I'm temporarily invoking the Spot Healing brush, I can now make adjustments with the Spot Healing brush just like this to get rid of these little spots down here.
And then I can go right back to dodging and burning just by releasing the letter j on my keyboard. Let's say that I needed to create a layer mask on this, so let's go here, I'll just duplicate this layer. Let's go ahead an add a layer mask to it. An then what we're going to do here is I'm just going to, remove the color value from that. Shift+Cmd+U to do that. So now I've got this layer mask, and let's say that I'm still dodging an burning, on the layer itself. But I really want to make this sort of a selective color, composition. But I don't want to have to take my mouse away and all that kind of stuff.
Okay? So I'll just select this. I'm still dodging and burning. And then all of a sudden I'll just switch over to my Brush tool. And then I can start bringing back in the color. Like this, just by holding down the letter B on my keyboard to brush back in some of the color information on this. If I want to go back to dodging and burning, that's really easy to do. Just release the B key on my keyboard. I'm right back to dodging and burning on this layer. So again, these spring-loaded tool shortcuts make it really easy to go from tool to tool without actually having to switch over to that tool completely.
Now, it should be noted that you need to have the tool that you want to use. Already lined up in the tool bar. So for instance, you can't access subtools this way. So if I needed to access say, the Healing brush for instance, I need to make sure that's the top level tool. I also need to make sure that the presets for the tool are the way I want them to be. So what I'm going to do before I even start, I'm going to define my project scope, see exactly what tools I think I might need, and then I'm just going to keep those in a reference in my head, or even write them down. That way you can quickly just switch between them on the keyboard. It really makes you work a lot faster and a lot more efficient.
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