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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
So, I'm guessing all of you know what layer opacity is, all right. Just changing the opacity one layer down to the other. But what the heck is this Fill Opacity? It doesn't even say opacity, just says Fill. Well, let's throw an effect on this text here. We wanted to have a glow around it but our end result is we just want to see the glow but not the actual letters. We want the letters to be transparent. So, let's begin by putting an Outer Glow. We'll go down to the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Outer Glow effect from the fx icon and this gives a glow. We are going to customize this a little bit, increase its size a little bit and we'll make the Technique Precise and maybe spread it just a little bit.
Okay. So our text is looking nice and glowy here. Great. Go ahead and click OK. But now I don't want that text to be visible. I want it to be transparent. So if I get Move tool, which I have right now, press V for move. If I type a number like 5, well that lowers the opacity of the entire layer meaning the pixels on that layer but also its effect. So that's not quite what I wanted. I want the glow to stay 100% full force, so I'm going to type zero to go back to 100% for the Layer Opacity. Fill Opacity lets me lower the opacity of just the actual pixels on the layer.
So right here I have actually clicked and gotten a separate slider for Fill. You'll now see that the glow stays 100% but the pixels that make up Maija, the text there, are actually going away to transparent. So as you might have expected, of course there is a way to do that with the keyboard as well. So just like typing a number changes the layer opacity, holding down Shift and typing a number changes the Fill Opacity. So if I do Shift+1, that takes the text down to 10% Fill Opacity, which you can barely see through and leaving the full Opacity of the effect at 100%. So there you have it, it's Fill Opacity.
If you actually ever double-click on one of these effects, I'm going to click in the Effects here, under Blending Options, you will see there is a separate slider called Fill Opacity and that corresponds to the field here over in the Layers panel as well, so they are one and the same. So there you have it, keyboard shortcuts for one, what the heck is Fill Opacity, and a keyboard shortcut for it now you know what it is.
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