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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.
Probably, the most common keyboard shortcut you will use in Photoshop is the Duplicate Layer keyboard shortcut. It's mainly because you usually don't want to work on a Background layer; you want to protect your original so you will dupe and then work on the copy. So Command+J on the Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows is your Duplicate Layer command. And you can see it just as Layer 1. Other copy, if I did Command or Ctrl+J again, it's Layer 1 copy, and so forth. I'm going to undo that and we'll go ahead and delete this extra layer here. Now, the better way to duplicating a layer is actually to name your layers as you create them, and the Layers panel becomes this navigation of your document especially if you hand it off to someone else. The Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 2 copy 1, Layer 2 copy 3, Final layer, Final copy layer. Those naming sequences don't really mean anything and they don't help the other person figure out what you have done to your document. So you want to name your layers as you do them.
The make better key comes in again just add Option or Alt to your keyboard shortcut here. So Command+Option+J or Ctrl+Alt+J lets you name the layers you created. So let's say I was going to sharpen this layer. This also lets you color code the layer here, choose a blend mode and an Opacity for this duplicate if those are things that you want to do. Go ahead and click OK. And now I have got a duplicate that I have custom named.
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