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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.
The Layers panel inside Photoshop has a pop-up menu here called the Blend Modes. So the default blend mode for every layer is Normal. Blend modes, without getting too much into them right now, what they are, but they change how one layer blends with the layer underneath it or the layers underneath it. If you are like most Photoshop users you haven't memorized what these things do and what they are. You are probably just doing, was it that one? No. Was it that one? No, was it that one? No. And you are going through the list trying each blend mode until you get visually the effect that you are looking for, all right.
So if that's you, if you are constantly going up there and playing around with that pop-up menu here is a better way to cycle through the blend modes. I mean you are just experimenting and just want to see what the effect is of each blend mode. With the Move tool selected, so press V on your keyboard if it's not already the selected tool. Then hold down the Shift key and then plus and Minus. So Shift+Plus will go to the next blend mode in the list, so Dissolve here. Shift+Plus Darken, Shift+Plus Multiply and so on. So I just keep hitting Shift+Plus, pausing a little bit between each press of the key to see which blend mode I like, okay. So Shift+Plus. To go backwards, you do Shift+Minus to go in the opposite direction on the Blend Mode list.
Now this is because you have the Move tool selected, okay. Changing the blend mode of the layer when you have the Move tool selected. If you've a Brush tool selected, so if I press B for the Paint Brush, you'll note that it has a Blend Mode pop-up list as well, because you can paint with these blending mode options. Now you are not going to see any pixels change when I do this, but take a look at the Mode menu up here on the Options bar. When I do Shift+Plus here, Shift+Plus, Shift+Plus, Shift+Plus, Shift+Minus, Shift+Minus, that's also a way to change the blend mode of the given tool, if it actually supports blend modes.
So when you don't know which blend mode you want, you just want to cycle through them, Shift+Plus and Shift+Minus. Shift+Plus for going to the next blend mode in the list. Shift+Minus will go the previous blend mode in the list.
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