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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.
Just like you can cycle through brushes when you are using the Gradient tool, you can also cycle through the different available gradients, and I'll press G for the Gradient tool. And I've got a colored layer here on the bottom with a Black & White adjustment layer, making it black and white with a layer mask, and we want to do a gradient from black and white to color. So the default gradient is solid black to solid white here, foreground, background colors. Similar to the brushes, if you use your comma and period keys, you can cycle through the gradients in your list there. So you can say I get some random colored ones. If you want to go quickly back to the beginning the first gradient or the last gradient, here is a reminder.
If I pop this open, you'll see there is a lot of different gradients there. You can just double-click them when you want, or you can do Shift+Comma to go to the first one, Shift+ Period to go to the last one. Most of time you are going to cycle between the solid black to white or solid foreground to background or the next one over which is solid foreground to transparent. Those are the two most common gradients used. So now you have a quick way to go back and forth without having to take your hands off the keyboard, just the period and comma keys. You also have a way to cycle through the different types of gradients, the gradient styles here. So Linear, Radial, Prism I think that's called or Angle Gradient, and thank you for the tool tip there, and then two other ones that you probably don't use very often, but just for special effects.
So like you can change your brush size, you use the bracket keys for that, Left Bracket, Right Bracket, the square bracket keys in your keyboard, as a way to toggle back and forth between the various different types of gradients. So if we drag a gradient from here to here, I've got a nice linear gradient going from black to transparent on my layer mask, getting a nice transition there. If I undo that, if I go back to the first gradient here and maybe change the style by using the Right Bracket to a Radial Gradient, and I can click-and-drag and get that kind of gradient instead. You can take a look at the layer mask and see the difference there.
So pretty quick easy way to cycle through the different gradients, D for default Black & White of course, comma and period to go back and forth, add Shift to that to go to the first and last, and then use the right and Left Bracket keys to change the type of gradient you are going to draw.
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