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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
I'm working inside The wide road.jpg found inside the 08 selections folder, and I have drawn a graduated selection using a combination of the Rectangular Marquee tool along with a generous application of the Feather Command. In this exercise, we're going to drag and drop this selection into the Moon on sky.psd composition. And here's how we are going to do it. We could of course, go up to the Arrange Documents icon and choose for example, the horizontal two-up display, like so, so that we can see both images at the same time.
Of course being the lucky guy I am, once again I have gone ahead and combined the two images I want to be seeing at the same time into the same window. So I'm going to grab The wide road.jpg and move it to the bottom window, like so. And then, I go ahead and drag and drop my selection into the composition, and it lands exactly wherever I drop it. Notice that. I'll go ahead and zoom out so you can see what I mean, which is by no means centered in this particular case inside of its new home. What if you want to exactly center an image on the drop? Well, I'll show you what to do.
Go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the addition of that layer. Move back into The wide road.jpg, zoom out a little bit so that we can see more of the image at a time. And I'm going to go ahead and drag this image into its new window. And before I release the mouse button, press and hold the Shift key, keep it down, and then release the mouse button in order to center exactly that image into place. Now notice that it's centered both horizontally and vertically, for what it's worth.
Now, if the two images were exactly the same size, it would register the image inside of its new home. That's not what we have here . So it's centered instead. Now what do you do if you're working inside of a Consolidated View? Well, I'll show you. Go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac, to undo the introduction of that layer. I'll press Ctrl+Shift+A, or Command+Shift+A on the Mac, to invoke that keyboard shortcut that I created with DekeKeys for the Consolidated View. And then I'm going to switch over to The wide road by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Tab, or Command+Shift+~(tilde) on the Mac.
Notice the appearance of our Move cursor at this point. Notice that when I move outside of the selection, it appears as an arrowhead with some arrows next to it, tiny little sort of arrow matrix. And what that means is you're going to move the entire layer if you start dragging it around. In our case though, it means Photoshop is going to get mad at us because the Background layer is locked. Click OK. If you just want to move a selected area, you have to move the cursor into the selection, and the way you know that the cursor is inside your selection, because sometimes you'll be working with extremely articulated selection outlines, and it's hard to tell where they start and stop.
You can confirm that you're inside when you see that little pair of scissors in the bottom right corner of the cursor. Alright, so anyway, I'm going to grab this guy. I'm going to drag him onto the Moon on sky tab right there, wait for Photoshop to switch images, move my cursor back into place, like so, and then press and hold the Shift key and drop. And then, I go ahead and release the Shift key in order to complete the transaction here. Now, look at how sloppy I'm being. This is amazing. I haven't bothered to name a single layer.
I better go ahead and rename Layer 1 moon, and I should rename Layer 2 road, so I have a sense of what I'm doing here. Now, what I want to do is I want to move the road into the proper location. I want it to snap into alignment with the bottom of my window. So armed with the Move tool once again, I'm going to drag it down until it snaps into alignment. And you may see a little bit of red sky sliver down at the bottom. Don't let that worry you. That's just a function of being zoomed so far out. If I zoom in, for example, just one click to 33.3%, then that red line is going to go away.
Anyway, I did snap into alignment. You can confirm that snapping is turned on by going to the View menu, choosing Snap To, and seeing if Document Bounds has a checkmark in front of it, which it does indeed for me. Alright, so I'll go ahead and escape out of there. One more thing I want to do. I want to go ahead and move this guy over a little bit. Notice that I'm dragging the layer over to the left. And what I'm trying to accomplish here is I want to make sure that this area of the road is centered on the guideline. And it looks to me like I moved it a little bit too far to the left.
If you want to scoot it over while the Move tool is selected, you can press the right arrow key, in my case, since I need to move it to the right. And I might press the right arrow key a couple of times to get it visually centered right there on that line. I will zoom it even farther to confirm. Everything looks great. In the next exercise, I'll share with you a special technique for accessing the Move tool on the fly. Stay tuned.
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