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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.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to move a selection from one image to another in a variety of different ways. So I'm going to show you copy and paste, and then I'll show you two varieties of drag-and-drop. You can decide which one works better for you. Here I am looking at the Full moon.jpg image. I have selected the moon and feathered it at this point. Now I'm going to go to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose the Copy command. Or press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Then I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Shift+Tab, or Command+ Shift+Tilde, to switch back to the Sky with guide.jpg image.
I will go to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command, Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac. That goes ahead and pastes the moon right there into the smack-dab center of its new background. Also notice that the moon appears on an independent layer, so that you can modify it with a high degree of security. You're not troubled this time by a floating selection that might drop at any moment. Then one would presume, you'd rename that layer something clever like Moon and be done with it. So that's one way to work. Now, the advantage of Copy and Paste is that it's easy, it's a no-brainer, you use a couple of keyboard shortcuts, you're done.
The disadvantage and it's not that much of a disadvantage, but it does come up every once in while, it displaces the previous contents of the clipboard. So if you have something in the clipboard that you want to keep there, for example, you had previously copied the sun to the clipboard. As soon as you copy the moon, the sun goes away, vaporizes, and you have the moon in the clipboard now. If you don't want to do that, then you should drag-and-drop instead. Most trainers will tell you that dragging and dropping is better. It's a great habit. I don't know, either way is just fine with me, but let me show you how it works.
I'm going to go ahead and delete this layer just by pressing the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac. Then I'll go back to my Full moon.jpg image. I'm going to go up here to the Arrange Documents icon in the Application bar. I'm going to choose 2 Up, so that I can see two images at the same time. Now the Full moon is not where I want it to be; it's sharing a window along with Sky with guide. So let's go ahead and move it over into the right-hand window like so, so that we can see both the sky and the moon at the same time. I'm also going to press Shift and Spacebar and drag the moon, so that both the moon and the sky are moving at once.
Here is what you do. You go ahead and drag the moon like so, using the Move tool incidentally. So I have the Move tool selected. This is very important, because if you have one of the Selection tools active, I'll go ahead and switch back to the Elliptical Marquee, and you do a drag-and-drop; why then you're going to drag-and- drop the selection outline, which can be useful believe it or not. That is a nice technique sometimes. However, it's not what we want right now. So I'll go ahead and undo the introduction of that selection outline, return back here to the moon, go ahead and get my Move tool like so.
Then I'll drag the moon, and I'll drop it into the Sky with guide.jpg image, just like so. It again arrives as an independent layer. You can move it wherever you want. That's another way to work. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the introduction of the moon. You can also work within the confines of a single consolidated image window. Let me show you what that looks like. I'll go up again to Arrange Documents and choose Consolidate All, or I could press my keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+A, Command+Shift+A on the Mac.
Here is what you do. Armed with your Move tool, you drag that moon like so up to the title tab for the image that you want to drop it into. Things got switched around here . So now wide road is on left. That's not what I want. I'll go ahead and move over to Sky with guide .jpg, and you wait for the image to change. This is very important. You wait for the Photoshop to switch to the other image. Then you move your cursor back into the Image window and you release. Now, let me go ahead and show that to you again, because it's so darn important.
It kind of got goofed up a little bit there. Let's go ahead and center this image inside the Image window, switch back to Full moon.jpg, grab it with the Move tool, drag it up to Sky with guide.jpg, wait for Photoshop to switch to that image, move your cursor back into the Image window and drop. Notice you get a new layer just like before. Now you might look at this and say, well, neither of these drag-and-drop techniques ended up centering the moon the way that Copy and Paste did. Well, there is a trick there too. I'll show you what that trick is in an upcoming exercise, but it doesn't really matter too much.
As long as we have the Move tool active, we can start dragging this moon, and notice the center snapped into alignment with that guideline. So Photoshop is smart enough to snap an object into alignment with a guide, when you're using the Move tool. It's very important that the Move tool be selected there. I'll go to the View menu and just show you, in case you're not getting snapping, you need to make sure that the Snap command is turned on that it has a checkmark in front of it. Then when you go to Snap To, that Guides is checked as well. Actually, everything is turned on by default, which is a good thing.
I'm going to go ahead and escape out of the menus. Then I'm going to zoom out a little bit, so that we can take in the entire image. I'm going to drag the moon upward like so. If you want to constrain your movement to exactly vertical, you can press the Shift key if you like. I'm going to go ahead and drag it until it snaps like that to the top of the image. So we're seeing exactly half of the moon exactly centered inside of its new home. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to create a graduated selection that we can use to select the road.
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