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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In this movie, we are going to talk about creating custom keyboard shortcuts. Yet, before we actually get to creating the keyboard shortcut, I kind of need to create a case for why you would actually want to create a keyboard shortcut. So here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to go ahead and minimize my panels by double-clicking the word Color, double-clicking the word Adjustments, so I can focus in on the Layers. Now, here you can see I have this photograph of these interesting rocks, and I captured this just about a month ago, down in mainland Mexico when I was hiking along the coastline. I was absolutely in the middle of nowhere and I came upon this so I had to snap a photo of it, right? Now, I have a couple of different treatments. I have a black and white version, I also have this little bit of a sepia tone. Now, what I have done in order to be able to see these different treatments is I have created a few different layers comps. So I'm going to navigate to the Window pulldown menu and choose Layer Comps.
Now, next what I'm going to do here is I want to anchor this particular menu right here or group it with those other panels, and now click to expand it. Here you can see my different Layer Comps. In this way I have the ability to see three different versions of this image. Yet, one of the problems with Layer Comps, at least in my opinion, is you have to open the Layers Comps panel and then you have to click through the navigational buttons to move forward and backwards. Well, wouldn't it be nice if you had a shortcut to go through your different Layer Comps? Well, let's go ahead and create one. Let me go ahead and minimize my Layer Comps. Now, keep in mind that using Layer Comps isn't the only reason why I create a custom shortcut; there are a number of different reasons why these will be really helpful. I need to show you at least one.
All right. Well, now that we have a reason to create a custom shortcut, let's navigate to the Edit pulldown menu and then choose Keyboard Shortcuts. Now that we are in Keyboard Shortcuts, you will notice I'm in the Photoshop Defaults, now I want to save these. I'm going to go ahead and save these as Photoshop Defaults, and then CO for my initials and click Save. Next, I'm going to navigate to my panels menu. Those are the ones I'm looking for. I'll now scroll down to Layer Comps, and then there are the Layer Comps options. Here is the Next Layer Comp. So I'll click to the right of the Next Layer Comp and I'm going to create a new shortcut, and because I'm on a Mac I know one shortcut that hasn't been taken and that's Control+Option+Command+Equals or a Plus sign; Previous Layer Comp, I'll press Control+Option+Command+Minus.
All right, I want to accept those and then click OK. Now, let's get rid of our Layer Comps palette. So I'll go ahead and drag that off and then click on the X icon to close it. Layer Comps are gone, but yet I can scroll through those different versions of the image. I'm doing that by pressing my custom keyboard shortcut. Now, in this case do I really need that keyboard shortcut to go through the three different versions of this image? Not really. Yet there are number of times when I'm working on a project and my Layer Comps are very distinct, are very different, and I have 50 or 60 layers in a document, and in order to turn all those on and off, it's just a waste of time. So I create Layer Comps to show me different versions of images or different versions of layouts. I then can use that little shortcut to scroll through those different options.
All right. Well, my hope with this movie has been that it has shown you a reason why you may want to create custom keyboard shortcuts. Keep in mind, you want to create these custom keyboard shortcuts for things that you find yourself doing over and over again, and you are thinking to yourself, if only there was a quicker way, if only there was an easier way. Well, there is, create a custom keyboard shortcut and voila! You'll be off and running.
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