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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.
Even if you are a seasoned Photoshop user, been using Photoshop for years, when you get a new version, you upgrade. Oftentimes it's hard to tell what's changed about the application. So this tip is something to take advantage of when you've first upgraded to a new version. And that's to take advantage of a new workspace called "What's New in" another current version. So, if I go to the Window menu, I can go to the Workspace sub-menu and I see that there is a What's New in CS4 option. If you have the application bar turned on, you see I have a quicker access to that Workspace Switcher. If you've pulled down to there, you see there's What's New in CS4 there as well.
I am going to go ahead and pull down and release on What's New in CS4 and it gives me a warning if I want to modify this. I'm just going to go ahead and ignore it and then Yes. Now, at first glance it doesn't look like I have actually done anything here by making this choice, but if I start looking at the menu commands, you will see that anything that's new has been highlighted. So the kind of little mantra is if "it's new, it's blue." They've colorized all the menu commands that have been changed, modified or introduced to this particular version of Photoshop. So I can see under the Show options, I have got a new Pixel Grid feature. Okay, I didn't know that. Go to Filter. I can see if there are any new filters.
It doesn't look like there is any, but there is a new way to browse the effects of the filters online, so that's kind of neat. If I go to the Select menu, I can see the Color Range command has been modified. There are some new adjustment layers. Oh, it looks like they have all been touched and changed in certain way. So this is just a really nice way to start discovering some of the new functionality. It is limited to just menu commands, so if there are new tools, they don't become blue in the toolbar and whatnot. Two other things that you might want to consider if you haven't memorized all the modifiers or the shortcuts for these particular tools. That may be one of the reasons why you are watching this video training title. But here is another thing that can help you.
If I go to the Info panel and I have actually turned this on because I have memorized all this already. I dream in keyboard shortcuts. If I go under the Info panel by default, there is an option here called Show Tool Hints that's been turned off. I'm going to go ahead and turn that on. Now as you switch from tool to tool, pay attention to the bottom of the Info panel and it gives you some useful information, reminders about Option keys or modifier keys that you can use and whatnot. That can come handy as you are trying to ramp up on a particular tool. And then lastly, under the Help menu are actually some links to How Tos.
Sometimes, you want to figure out how to do something in Photoshop. You can't find the menu command that corresponds to what you have in mind. So these are written in plain English. So if I want to learn how to optimize an image for the Web, I've got a category there. If I go to that and choose it, what's going to happen is it's going to launch your Internet browser and take you to the Help content that's on that specific topic. So, it's just a quick way to get an answer to a set of questions that are pretty common in Photoshop, to guide you to some instructional content to help you accomplish your goal.
So the What's New in CS4 workspace, the tool hints as part of the Info panel, and the How Tos under the Help menu are three things that can help you get up in running, either as a new user or even as an upgrade user who has been using Photoshop for years.
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