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Photoshop CS5 for Photographers provides comprehensive Photoshop training targeting the needs of photographers. In this course, author Chris Orwig demonstrates the fundamental skills used to enhance digital photos, including managing and correcting color, sharpening, making selections and adjustments, retouching, and printing from Photoshop. In addition to teaching the techniques that enable photographers to refine and publish their photos, the course includes live-action segments that encourage thinking photographically and shooting with Photoshop’s capabilities in mind. Exercise files are included with the course.
Another way to customize Photoshop is to create your own keyboard shortcuts. Now, this can be especially helpful if you ever find yourself doing something time and time again and if you think to yourself, there's got to be a quicker way to do this. Well, typically, you can create a quicker way to do something by creating a custom keyboard shortcut. Let's take a look at a couple of different examples here in order to get you thinking about how you can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts. In one of the previous movies we talked a little bit about Mini Bridge.
And Mini Bridge is really quite a powerful program. We have to open it by clicking on this icon here. We can then browse and filter and open up our images without ever having to leave Photoshop. Well, wouldn't it be nice if we had a keyboard shortcut which would allow us to open up Mini Bridge, so that we didn't have to click on this icon. Well, in order to do that, all that we need to do is to navigate to our Keyboard Shortcut & Menus dialog. We can do so a couple of different ways.
Either navigate to the Edit pulldown menu and then go down to the bottom and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. Or navigate to the Window pulldown menu, Workspace, and then select Keyboard Shortcuts & Menus. Let's go ahead and do that. Now, what we are going to do is create a shortcut first for the Mini Bridge. Well, I happen to know that in the File menu there is an option to browse in Mini Bridge. Now, wouldn't it be nice if I can add a shortcut? All that I need to do is to click in this field.
And then I need to try to find a shortcut key combination that hasn't been used. Well, let's say that I try Command+O. Well, it gives me a warning message. It says this one is already in use. We can see so right here. That's not going to really work for me. So what you have to do is get creative and start to think of options. For example, Browse in Bridge is Option+Command+O on a Mac. That's Alt+Ctrl+O on a PC. What if I did something that was a little bit longer than that? For example, what if I did Ctrl+Option+ Command+O? All right, that one hasn't been taken.
Perfect! I can now use this shortcut to open Mini Bridge. All right. Well, I will go ahead and click off of that and then click OK. Let's go ahead and open Mini Bridge. And we can do so with whatever shortcut we have assigned to that. Now, I am not necessarily recommending that you have to use that shortcut, because it's going to be different whether you are on a Mac or a PC or what other shortcuts you are using. Yet, the whole point here is to get to begin to think creatively how you can assign these custom shortcuts to things that you do all the time. All right.
Well, go ahead and close Mini Bridge for a moment. And there's another task that I do all the time in Photoshop, and here's what it is. Many times I will copy a layer or I will have a new layer. So let's go ahead and copy this layer. We can do so by clicking and dragging it to the New Layer icon. We now have two layers. And on this new layer, I would really like to add a layer mask. Well, typically, you can do so by clicking on this icon here. Now, we will talk more about masking later, but again, this is simply to illustrate perhaps another custom keyboard shortcut you may want to consider, or if nothing else, to begin to get you to think about how you can create these shortcuts for your own workflow.
How then can we do this by way of shortcut? Well, we will navigate to Window > Workspace > Keyboard Shortcuts & Menus. And then what we are going to do here is rather than go to the File menu, we will go down to Layer. And if we scroll down and down and down, we should find that there is an option where we can add a layer Mask, which then reveals all. In other words, it creates a mask that's filled with white. So in this case, I am going to press Ctrl+Option+Command and then M in order to add a shortcut to create or add that layer mask.
And again, the point here isn't what actual keys you enter in here, because you are going to need to make that decision on your own. Yet, I happen to know that this one works. And this is the one that I use on my own system. So I will go ahead and click off and then click OK. So now if I press that shortcut key and if we watch our Layers panel over here, we will see that a layer mask will now be added to this particular layer. Now that you know about custom shortcuts, keep these in mind as you work in Photoshop.
And if ever you find yourself doing something repetitively, ask yourself, wouldn't it be worthwhile to create a custom keyboard shortcut, because many times by creating these different types of keyboard shortcuts, it can really speed up your overall workflow by leaps and bounds.
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