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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.
Another fairly common task is to combine multiple images into one document. So in this particular exercise I have got three separate files here, two image files and a blank canvas that I'm going to move these into. So I'm going to begin by floating all these windows. I'm going to go to the app bar up here at the top and choose Float All in Windows. So each document becomes a floating window. I just find it's easier to move documents around when they are floating. So I want this flower image to end up in this blank canvas image over here. So the easiest way to do that is not to copy and paste. That requires using the clipboard, which uses memory. It's easier just to use the Move tool.
So I'm going to hold down the V key or press the V key on my keyboard and simply just drag and drop from one image window to another. Now if you drag randomly and just kind of drop it wherever you drop it, you see the outline of the image now. That actually shows you where the image is going to go. And that's actually a new enhancement to CS4 that actually gives you the bounding box. It never used to do that; you just had the cursor. If you hold down the Shift key before you let go off the mouse, it doesn't really matter where you put this rectangle. As long as you hold down the Shift key, when you let go off the mouse, that image that you've moved in to this target document gets centered inside that document. And you can see it came in as a layer.
So we can go back to this document over here, the Leaves. And we'll start dragging and again we are going to hold down the Shift key to center it into the target document, okay. Once these layers are inside this other document, we can go ahead and rearrange them by using our Move key, just holding down the Shift key, choosing the other layer and moving that as well. So we have combined these into one document. Now you can combine multiple layers into another document. If I Shift-click to select more than one layer, I can now drag both layers into another document. Whatever is selected, as long as you start clicking and dragging from the Layers panel, over to another document window, I'll add those two layers to that document. So it doesn't just have to be a single layer. You can drag 10 layers at a time if you want. Drag them into another window, as long as you can see it, hold down the Shift key before you let go off the mouse, and they will center themselves into the document that you dragged them into.
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