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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, here is another quick tip for the Layers panel. You can see I have thumbnails turned on, representing my layers in the layer stack here, and the default size of those thumbnails is set to small. If I right-click or Ctrl-click anywhere in the Layers panel other than an actual layer, so anywhere in that gray area, I get a pop-up menu where I can choose different size thumbnails. So I can choose Medium, or I can right-click or Ctrl-click again and perhaps choose Large and they're really big and I can also, if I want to choose No Thumbnails. I don't really recommend that. You don't get a graphical representation of what's going on in the layer. That means you definitely have to name your layers.
You can imagine if these were all layer one, layer two, layer or layer copy one, layer two copy three, not very helpful there. So, let's turn these Medium thumbnails back on. You have one additional option there. It's something that I don't personally turn on but I'll just expose it to you. The default is to Clip Thumbnail to Document Bounds, which means show the layer content in relation to where it sits within the document. If you choose the other option, right-click/Ctrl-click in the gray area, and choose Clip Thumbnails to Layer Bounds, that makes the thumbnail of the content as large as possible but I don't like it because you lose that additional context.
You don't see where it is positioned in that particular document. So, I'm going to change that back to Clip Thumbnails to Document Bounds. There you have it. Just right-click anywhere in the gray area to get that little secret menu to customize how your layers look in you Layers panel.
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