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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.
Every once in a while, you may need to grab some chunks of one document and paste it into another document. So in this example I have got here several layers in this particular version of this file here and then over in this document, Sandstone, I just have a background texture as a single layer here. And I want to be able to bring these elements into that other document. Now in this particular example, I don't really care about retaining the layer structure. I just need the pixel as the content. So I want the composite of whatever I want to bring over. So if I want to bring everything, I could do a select all, Command+A or Ctrl+A, and there is a special copy command called Copy Merged.
It's under the Edit menu. Copy Merged. It's only available when you have a selection. You'll now see that the keyboard shortcut is Command+Shift+C. So I'll use the keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+C or Ctrl+Shift+C and that copies the composite data. Normally, you would just be copying the selected layer, even when you have a selection marquee. It would normally just copy whatever pixels are on the active layer. Command+C, when you add Shift to that, Command+Shift+C or Ctrl+Shift+C, you are actually copying the composite data to the clipboard.
Now when I switch to this other document and do a paste, Command or Ctrl+V, you will see it brings in all that content as a single layer. Okay, now this document is smaller than the other one so I'll go ahead and do a Command+T or Ctrl+T. Note that you can't see the entire bounding box and the Free Transform handle so I'll just do Command+0 or Ctrl+0 to fit in window. Now I can see the entire bounding box. And I'll hold down the Shift key and scale this appropriately. And when I'm done, I can just hit Enter, okay. So that's a way to just rip out content from one layer or from one document into another document when I don't care about retaining the layer structure.
Let's go ahead and delete this layer, hit the Delete key there. I'm going to go back to this document here and again it's totally selection based. So if I hold down the Command key or Ctrl key and click on the left layer, that steals the selection from that layer. I'm going hold down the Shift key as well. So Command+Shift, Ctrl+Shift and we are going to add that layer to this selection and then this layer as well. Command+Shift- click, Ctrl+Shift-click on the right layer. So I have got a very custom selection here, just the content of those three layers. We are going to use our Copy Merged command again, Command+Shift+C, Ctrl+Shift+C, and that copies whatever is visible within the selection in my document. Now when I go back over to this other document and paste again, Command+V, Ctrl+V now you will see that I just have those three images. And again, Command+T, Ctrl+T, hold down the Shift key to scale this proportionately, hit Enter, then I can reposition them where I want.
Okay, so that's the Copy Merged command. Very handy when you want to take parts of one document and work them into another document.
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