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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.
There are some nice keyboard shortcuts for creating new layers as well. So, let's talk about that. Normally, what you do is you would click the New button at the bottom of the Layers panel and that would just create a new layer for you. But let's do the keyboard shortcuts instead. Command+Shift+N or Ctrl+Shift+N on Windows brings up the New Layer dialog box. I like this technique because it gives you a chance to name it as you create the new one. So obviously you always want to name your layer something easy to remember. And we'll go ahead and click OK. And there is my new layer. Okay, and I'm going to undo that. If for some reason you just want a quick layer and we are going to call it Layer 1, you don't care what the default name is.
Then add the Option or Alt key to that. So all three, Command+Option+Shift+N or Ctrl+Alt+Shift +N, just creates a new Layer 1. If you already had Layer 1, it would be Layer 2, Layer 3, and so forth, okay. So I'll undo that, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. You will notice that when no layer was selected, the new layer -I'll go ahead and do that Command+Option+Shift+N- gets created at the top of the layers stack. Okay, if you have a layer selected, then the new layer gets created above the current active layer. So Command+Option+Shift+N, Ctrl+Alt+Shift+N and Layer 1 now is above the layer that I just had selected.
The other technique is if you hold down the Option key or Alt key, when you click the New Layer icon, that gives you a chance to name the layer that way. So I'll hit Cancel. Normally, when you click the New Layer button, you just get a blank layer above the current layer or at the top of the stack if no layer is selected, undo that. Hold down the Option or Alt key, and that gives you a chance to name it as you create it.
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