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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.
All right, let's cover some Free Transform shortcuts. Something you'll do a lot of, working with layers, and resizing them, and rotating them and what not. So I have got this small layer selected here. I have got a big one, which we'll deal with later, but I have got a small layer. I'm going to do Command+T, Ctrl+T. That opens up the Free Transform mode. It puts a bounding box around our image or the layer contents, whatever that happens to be. So if I wanted to scale this, of course, just grab a corner handle and start dragging. This let's me scale freeform here. If I want to do it proportionally of course hold the Shift key down and that will scale it proportionally.
If I let go of the Shift key and I hold down the Option key or the Alt key that will scale from the center. If I want to scale and do it from the center proportionally at the same time hold down Shift and Option, or Shift+Alt, and now I'll scale and center proportionally at the same time. If you have screwed things up, you just want to get out of here and forget that you ever got into Free Transform for the moment just hit the Escape key. And that just cancels everything you've done in that current mode. Command+T/Ctrl+T to bring it back. Let's do Shift+ Option again and drag. And if you put your mouse outside the bounding box, you get a rotate cursor, which means you can freely rotate the image as well. You do get a little rotate indicator up here in the Options bar. In fact, if you know numerically what you want to scale or rotate the image to, or the layer to, you can just go in here and type the numbers in directly.
If you are ready to actually accept these operations then you just hit the Return key or the Enter key to lock those in. So Escape to cancel, Enter to apply and they are some basic shortcuts for the Free Transform mode.
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