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Drawing a custom shape layer

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Drawing a custom shape layer

I've saved my progress as Gratuitous effects.psd, so-called because I may have gone a little bit overboard where the layer effects are concerned, but I like the way the result looks. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit here, and in this exercise, we're going to talk about that I that we saw a moment ago. I'm going to go ahead and collapse my fx list associated with 365 here inside the Layers panel, scroll down and turn on that info layer right there, and we have what is ultimately a scalable vector-based shape layer here inside of Photoshop, so I'm going to click on that layer to make it active.

Drawing a custom shape layer

I've saved my progress as Gratuitous effects.psd, so-called because I may have gone a little bit overboard where the layer effects are concerned, but I like the way the result looks. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit here, and in this exercise, we're going to talk about that I that we saw a moment ago. I'm going to go ahead and collapse my fx list associated with 365 here inside the Layers panel, scroll down and turn on that info layer right there, and we have what is ultimately a scalable vector-based shape layer here inside of Photoshop, so I'm going to click on that layer to make it active.

And then just so I could show you how very scalable it is, because check this out: if I zoom in on it, at 100%, it looks really great, but if I zoom in past to 100%, this goes for my vector-based shape layers and live editable text inside of Photoshop. Notice at 200% I'm starting to see bigger pixels, and I'll just keep zooming in, let's say to 500% right here, and you can see a bunch of big chunky pixels along the edge of these 'vectors'. Well, that's not the way it works inside of Illustrator.

If you've ever been in Illustrator, or InDesign or one of these other vector-based programs, as you zoom in on your graphic, the information resolves at the resolution of your screen, in other words you're always seeing super-smooth outlines. Whereas inside of Photoshop, regardless of the composition of the layer, you don't see anything but big chunky pixels after 100%. That's just the way Photoshop chooses to show you things. So I'm going to press Ctrl+1, Command+1 on the Mac to zoom back out to the 100% view size. However, were I to go the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command which is your one-stop command for scaling and rotating a layer, you can also press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac.

Then as I scale this layer, and I'll just scale the heck out of it, let's say, notice that I invoked an auto scroll there. Already I have scaled the layer by 488.47%. I'm going to turn on that chain, and let's send it to something ridiculous like 856.93%. I'm just making this up, and then press the Enter key a couple of times in order to apply that modification, even though I applied an odd-scaling value, and this would interpolate and make a mess out of a pixel-based image layer.

We have a beautiful smooth outline. Thanks to the fact that I'm working from a vector-based shape, which is represented by this vector mask that's assigned to the solid color layer here inside the Layers panel. So the same thing applies when you're editing text as well. Whether you decide to scale your text by changing the type size, the way we did in an earlier exercise, or you scale the text using the Free Transform command, the way we did just now, you're going to get super-smooth results.

I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. All right, so how do you create what's known as the custom shape layer here inside Photoshop? The great thing here is Photoshop offers a shape tool that you don't find in the other programs. It's a shape tool that draws any old shape. So you can draw hearts right out of the gate whereas you have to draw them manually inside of Illustrator, for example, and a bunch of other shapes as well, and here's how you do it. You go down here to the first of the shape tools, which, by default, is going to be your Rectangle tool.

So click and hold on whatever occupant of the slot under the Arrow tool you see, and then you'll notice that you have a Rectangle tool, Rounded Rectangle tool etcetera, so the Ellipse tool allows you to draw ovals and circles; the Polygon tool allows you to draw regular polygons like pentagons and octagons and all that jazz; triangles as well, so three-sided shapes, as well as regular stars like your five-pointed stars, your six-pointed stars, and so on. You have a Line tool that allows you to draw either basic straight lines, or you can draw lines with arrowheads at the ends of them, and then you have the Custom Shape tool, which is what I'm going to show you now.

So, go ahead and select the Custom Shape tool, and then I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on my image here so that I can see it up close in personal, and I can see this I. We might draw something just right above it here. Notice that the Custom Shape tool looks like a kind of globy sea star, and what you do after you select that tool, you can decide what shape you're going to draw by selecting a shape from the Shape list right there, and by default it's this arrow, which is a little repetitive if you ask me because you have a lot more control over arrowheads when you're using this Line tool, as I'll show you later.

Click this down-pointing arrowhead to reveal a list of all the custom shapes you can draw. Now you might look at this and say, ooh, big deal, what a big huge list that is. Not, it's just a handful of these rinky-dink shapes. I mean, really, do I want to draw an envelope or a dog paw or one of these things? Well, you have a much longer list to choose from here. I'm going to go ahead and expand this panel, so we can see all the shapes that are about to unfurl in front of us. Click this right-pointing arrowhead, drop down to this option All.

So, don't worry about any of the other ones because they're all included inside of All, just click OK to wipe out the current list and add the All list, which is this big list right here. Now there's a ton of shapes to choose from, including that Information i, which is the one I used in order to create that info layer and this little Campfire, et cetera. I'm going to go ahead and grab the Fleur-De-Lis. That's my favorite. And then in order to hide the list after you've selected your desired shape, press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and then decide what color you want to use.

I'm going to go ahead and click of this Color Swatch, just for the sake of variety here I'll select a shade of green, like 95 degrees for the Hue value. Otherwise, I'll leave the values the same as is. Click OK. And now I drag with this Fleur-De-Lis drawing tool that I've created here, and it can either be very wide, or it can be tall and narrow, or I can press and hold the Shift key as I draw, in order to maintain the original proportions of that shape. And then as soon as I release, notice I get a solid color layer once again, which is identical to the kind of layer you create by dropping down to this black-white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, clicking on it and choosing Solid Color.

That will create a Solid Color layer as well. It won't have a vector-base the way this one does, but it will be filled with color. And then if you change your mind about what that color value is, you just double-click on that Color Swatch thumbnail. That brings up the Color Picker dialog box. You dial in a new color such as 55 for a shade of yellow. I take the Saturation value all the way to 100, the Brightness to 100 as well. Click OK. We're still operating inside of this vector mask outline, which happens to be in the shape of a Fleur-De-Lis.

That was originally drawn with the Pen tool. So somebody out there drew with the Pen tool, then they decide to include that among their list of custom shapes, and now you can draw that shape anytime you like. I'll go ahead and call this layer fleur, let's say, and then press the Enter key, the Return key on the Mac, and we now have a Fleur-De-Lis that I can scale to any size I like. So that's the basics of using a custom shape inside of Photoshop, and then of course you can go ahead and Alt+Drag - that would be an Option+Drag on the Mac - those fx from the 365 layer if you want to, onto the fleur layer, then you're styling that layer as well.

So layer styles are equally applicable to pixel-based layers, editable text layers, vector-base shape layers, and a whole variety of other layers inside of Photoshop. All right, so anyway, that's the way it looks. I could turn off the mask in order to hide that gray outline, which is a nonprinting outline. So it's just there in case you want to edit your points and control handles and so on, and we'll discuss how that works when we examine the Pen tool in the mastery portion of this series. For now, I'm just going to turn off this fleur layer, and I'm going to turn off the info layer as well, zoom out a little bit so we can see our real progress so far.

Just one more thing to be done where 365 is concerned; I need to modify the space between the characters because they're too far apart at this type size, using Kerning and Tracking, stay tuned.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced

247 video lessons · 32937 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 2s
    1. Welcome
      2m 1s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 6s
  2. 1h 5m
    1. What you can do with Photoshop
      1m 46s
    2. The mission-critical eyes
      2m 44s
    3. Copy Merged and Paste in Place
      6m 52s
    4. Sharpening details to match
      4m 34s
    5. Masking eyes
      9m 22s
    6. Working with clipping-mask layers
      9m 5s
    7. Shading with layer effects
      8m 10s
    8. Color and highlight effects
      4m 2s
    9. Refining layer masks
      5m 43s
    10. Fabricating the highlights in the pupils
      7m 33s
    11. Using a merged copy to sharpen
      5m 34s
  3. 2h 14m
    1. Highlights, shadows, and midtones
      1m 16s
    2. Introducing the Auto commands
      7m 23s
    3. Adjusting Cache Level settings
      6m 8s
    4. Reading a channel-by-channel histogram
      6m 21s
    5. How the Auto commands work
      5m 22s
    6. Auto Tone, Auto Contrast, and Auto Color
      7m 7s
    7. Blending the Auto results
      4m 4s
    8. Introducing the Levels command
      6m 15s
    9. Using Levels as an adjustment layer
      3m 12s
    10. Applying custom Levels adjustments
      6m 8s
    11. Understanding the gamma value
      7m 39s
    12. The futility of Output Levels
      2m 56s
    13. Selections and adjustment layers
      5m 48s
    14. Opening up the shadows
      3m 40s
    15. Previewing clipped pixels
      4m 51s
    16. The black, white, and gray eyedroppers
      5m 7s
    17. Gray card tips and tricks
      6m 5s
    18. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      7m 29s
    19. Introducing the Curves command
      7m 44s
    20. Curves dialog box tricks
      7m 16s
    21. Curves adjustment layer tricks
      5m 45s
    22. Correcting an image with Curves
      5m 32s
    23. Filling in the highlights
      5m 42s
    24. Neutralizing casts and smoothing transitions
      5m 37s
  4. 1h 46m
    1. The art of enhancing edges
      1m 26s
    2. How sharpening works
      6m 2s
    3. The single-shot sharpeners
      6m 7s
    4. Introducing Unsharp Mask
      6m 19s
    5. Radius and Threshold
      6m 24s
    6. Sharpening colors vs. luminosity
      5m 56s
    7. Gauging the ideal settings
      8m 59s
    8. Unsharp Mask vs. Smart Sharpen
      7m 1s
    9. Using the Remove settings
      9m 30s
    10. The More Accurate checkbox
      6m 8s
    11. Saving your Smart Filter settings
      5m 31s
    12. The Advanced sharpening settings
      7m 52s
    13. Accounting for camera shake
      6m 18s
    14. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      6m 43s
    15. Sharpening with High Pass
      9m 23s
    16. The new and improved Sharpen tool
      6m 22s
  5. 1h 34m
    1. Edge's evil twin: noise
      1m 12s
    2. Color vs. luminance noise
      7m 21s
    3. Reducing color noise
      7m 45s
    4. Reducing luminance noise
      4m 59s
    5. Relegating an effect to the shadows
      6m 27s
    6. Switching between layer and mask
      6m 59s
    7. The Dust & Scratches filter
      4m 56s
    8. Adjusting shadow saturation
      5m 52s
    9. Combining High Pass with Lens Blur
      6m 57s
    10. Masking a layer of Lens Blur
      7m 34s
    11. Painting away High Pass sharpening
      8m 22s
    12. Building up a noise pattern
      6m 40s
    13. Converting noise to texture
      4m 24s
    14. Bleeding colors into paper
      6m 16s
    15. Matching different noise levels
      8m 31s
  6. 1h 32m
    1. We are the stuff of light
      1m 24s
    2. Applying automatic lens correction
      5m 53s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 44s
    4. Shadows/Highlights in depth
      7m 59s
    5. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      4m 43s
    6. Sharpening on top of blur
      7m 3s
    7. Sharpening the merged composition
      6m 16s
    8. Grouping and masking layers
      5m 40s
    9. Adjusting the density of a mask
      7m 14s
    10. Creating a Shadows/Highlights shortcut
      5m 47s
    11. Restoring detail with Shadows/Highlights
      6m 23s
    12. Changing the Shadows/Highlights defaults
      6m 21s
    13. Smoothing skin details with Gaussian Blur
      3m 56s
    14. Smoothing with High Pass
      5m 44s
    15. Lowering contrast with Gaussian Blur
      7m 4s
    16. Inverting a sharpening effect
      7m 5s
  7. 2h 32m
    1. Color becomes monochrome
      1m 31s
    2. Converting an image to grayscale
      6m 49s
    3. Extracting luminance information
      7m 37s
    4. Introducing the Channel Mixer
      10m 23s
    5. Aggressive channel mixing
      9m 42s
    6. Proofing CMYK colors
      7m 49s
    7. Color settings and intent
      7m 6s
    8. Practical Channel Mixer variations
      4m 30s
    9. Saving variations as layer comps
      7m 57s
    10. The default grayscale recipe
      8m 55s
    11. Creating a custom black-and-white mix
      6m 59s
    12. Shadows/Highlights in black and white
      4m 58s
    13. Introducing the Black & White command
      5m 55s
    14. Adjusting Black & White settings
      9m 39s
    15. Mixing a Black & White portrait
      6m 32s
    16. Black & White vs. Channel Mixer
      9m 21s
    17. Adding tint and color
      8m 0s
    18. Introducing the Gradient Map
      7m 10s
    19. Loading custom gradients
      4m 32s
    20. Editing gradient color stops
      9m 58s
    21. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      7m 13s
  8. 2h 10m
    1. Two great commands working great together
      1m 18s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      5m 13s
    3. Setting key colors and Fuzziness
      5m 38s
    4. Predefined vs. sampled colors
      3m 57s
    5. The Localized Color Clusters option
      5m 41s
    6. Defining a selection with care
      4m 44s
    7. Introducing the Quick Mask mode
      5m 20s
    8. Testing edges with the Magic Wand
      5m 14s
    9. Hand-brushing a selection
      5m 39s
    10. Saving and loading an alpha channel
      4m 35s
    11. Converting a selection to a layer mask
      2m 46s
    12. Switching between an image and a layer mask
      6m 58s
    13. Protecting elements with a layer mask
      8m 5s
    14. Duplicating and editing a layer mask
      7m 34s
    15. Introducing the Refine Edge command
      4m 46s
    16. Accessing the various Refine Edge options
      5m 35s
    17. Refine Edge's preview options
      6m 21s
    18. The Adjust Edge values
      4m 11s
    19. Edge Detection and Smart Radius
      6m 5s
    20. Using the Refine Radius tool
      8m 8s
    21. Using the Decontaminate Colors option
      7m 30s
    22. Old-school masking adjustments
      7m 7s
    23. Four micro mask adjustments
      8m 33s
  9. 3h 13m
    1. Photoshop's vector exceptions
      1m 11s
    2. Making text in Photoshop
      6m 18s
    3. Creating and editing a text layer
      6m 56s
    4. Font and type style
      7m 35s
    5. Type size and color
      7m 52s
    6. Combining layer effects and type
      10m 57s
    7. Drawing a custom shape layer
      8m 34s
    8. Side bearing, kerning, and tracking
      10m 36s
    9. Point text vs. area text
      8m 26s
    10. Selecting and formatting a paragraph
      5m 19s
    11. Copying and pasting unformatted text
      7m 45s
    12. Creating text inside a custom path
      6m 26s
    13. Creating text along a path
      8m 13s
    14. Adjusting baseline shift
      6m 16s
    15. Drawing a fading arrowhead
      7m 29s
    16. Fading a shadow with a layer
      5m 32s
    17. Logo creation and Fill Opacity
      7m 44s
    18. Stretching a background element
      6m 9s
    19. Drawing with shape outlines
      6m 18s
    20. Combining vector-based shapes
      6m 42s
    21. Masking vector-based shape layers
      6m 7s
    22. Correcting spacing problems
      7m 44s
    23. Drawing the ultimate specular sparkle
      8m 45s
    24. Preparing text for commercial output
      5m 9s
    25. Saving a high-resolution PDF file
      7m 11s
    26. Inspecting the final PDF document
      7m 8s
    27. Saving large poster art
      9m 32s
  10. 2h 36m
    1. What filters ought to be
      1m 25s
    2. Layer effects vs. filters
      6m 14s
    3. Carving with an Inner Shadow effect
      7m 45s
    4. Selling an effect with Drop Shadow
      7m 17s
    5. Creating blurry shadow type
      5m 30s
    6. Saving custom default settings
      6m 22s
    7. Creating a custom contour
      7m 3s
    8. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      7m 35s
    9. Adjusting Angle and Altitude
      7m 8s
    10. Exploiting global light
      8m 11s
    11. Gloss and edge contour
      5m 8s
    12. Applying and creating layer styles
      6m 45s
    13. Loading, saving, and merging styles
      6m 17s
    14. Creating a textured bevel effect
      6m 56s
    15. Using shadows as highlights
      7m 39s
    16. Combining filters and effects
      6m 58s
    17. Working with random effects
      6m 55s
    18. Smoothing with Gaussian Blur and Levels
      6m 13s
    19. Masking blacks from whites
      4m 37s
    20. Applying liquid styles
      4m 36s
    21. Simulating liquid reflections
      8m 12s
    22. Finessing and cropping a liquid effect
      7m 25s
    23. Initiating a displacement map
      6m 17s
    24. Applying a displacement map
      7m 37s
  11. 1h 12m
    1. Two words: Free Transform
      34s
    2. Scale, rotate, and constrain
      6m 30s
    3. Using the transformation origin
      7m 42s
    4. Applying a slant (aka skew)
      3m 37s
    5. The four-point "perspective" distortion
      7m 51s
    6. Two ways to make gradient text
      5m 59s
    7. Building complexity from a simple shape
      4m 42s
    8. Duplicating a series of transformations
      6m 3s
    9. Rasterizing a layer with its effects
      6m 41s
    10. Applying a custom warp
      7m 24s
    11. Blending and softening a warped layer
      4m 39s
    12. Creating spherical highlights
      6m 30s
    13. Using a center-source inner glow
      3m 51s
  12. 2h 42m
    1. Distorting reality
      1m 33s
    2. Extracting a foreground element
      6m 45s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      7m 20s
    4. Setting and manipulating pins
      7m 48s
    5. Rotating pins and switching warp modes
      6m 41s
    6. Expanding and contracting the mesh
      6m 11s
    7. Changing the Density setting
      8m 0s
    8. Adjusting the pin depth
      5m 18s
    9. Winding an image into a pretzel
      6m 2s
    10. Applying Puppet Warp to type
      6m 30s
    11. Warping single characters
      6m 25s
    12. Editing puppet-warped text
      8m 24s
    13. Extending an image with Free Transform
      8m 46s
    14. Extracting from a white background
      10m 5s
    15. Tracing a shape with Puppet Warp
      9m 1s
    16. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 4s
    17. Warp, Twirl, Pucker, and Bloat
      8m 53s
    18. Saving and loading a mesh
      5m 59s
    19. Push, Mirror, and Turbulence
      11m 49s
    20. Lifting and slimming details
      8m 22s
    21. Warping fabric, arms, and legs
      7m 1s
    22. Masking and finessing the results
      10m 8s
  13. 3h 3m
    1. Welcome to the digital darkroom
      1m 44s
    2. Introducing Camera Raw
      7m 40s
    3. Adjusting white balance
      7m 0s
    4. Selecting and synchronizing images
      6m 9s
    5. Making automatic adjustments and saving changes
      7m 19s
    6. Creating and managing snapshots
      8m 23s
    7. Adjusting the Exposure value
      6m 24s
    8. Working with clipping warnings
      5m 5s
    9. Adjusting Brightness and Contrast
      7m 35s
    10. Vibrance, Saturation, and Clarity
      9m 25s
    11. Recovery and Fill Light
      6m 57s
    12. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      7m 2s
    13. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      9m 44s
    14. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      7m 49s
    15. Applying manual lens corrections
      7m 19s
    16. Vignette and chromatic aberrations
      6m 21s
    17. Introducing the Tone Curves
      6m 9s
    18. Parametric curves and targeted adjustments
      6m 26s
    19. Correcting a low-noise photograph
      7m 35s
    20. Sharpening and high-noise photos
      8m 25s
    21. Selective Hue/Saturation adjustments
      5m 34s
    22. Selective Luminance adjustments
      5m 39s
    23. Adding grain and vignetting effects
      5m 23s
    24. Mixing a subjective black-and-white image
      7m 53s
    25. Colorizing with the Split Toning options
      4m 29s
    26. Opening a raw image as a Smart Object
      5m 39s
    27. Camera Raw wrap-up
      8m 38s
  14. 55s
    1. Until next time
      55s

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Review and accept our updated terms of service.