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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.
Okay, folks this video is all about breaking you of a very bad habit, if you are guilty of this particular habit. That bad habit is constantly going to the Window menu to open and close your panels. So for instance if I bring up with the Histogram panel, I take a look at my histogram and then I constantly move the panels around and then I close the group and then ten minutes later I come back and I go back to Window and I choose Histogram again. It seems innocent enough, but that actually takes away a lot of your efficiency, constantly going to that menu, hunting and pecking for the panel you are looking for, changing its location on screen so that the next time you want to use it, it may not be in the position you expect it to be on screen.
So again you're doing a lot of cognitive work here that doesn't seem all that big of deal when you first think about it, but it all adds up to less efficiency. So what I want to have you do instead is learn how to hide your panels. Many of you know this but there is a couple of tweaks here that you may not realize. So take advantage of these panel docks. You can see I have got my panels arranged on the right-hand side. They are in this panel dock and rather than opening and closing panels now, just press the Tab key. Panels hide from view. You don't actually need the panels present until you actually need to act on them. You can always hit your tool shortcuts to switch from tool to tool. You don't need to see the Tools panel to do that. So if I want the Brush tool, I just press B and now I'm in the Brush tool and so forth.
V for the Move tool. So if I want to bring my panels back to act on them, just hit the Tab key again. Your panels are instantly back. You're not really closing them when you hit the Tab key. You're just hiding them temporarily. And then the bonus thing for those who already knew about the Tab key. If you move your mouse over to the edge of a screen and just pause for a second, your panels will pop back out temporarily. So you can do whatever you need to do to them, create a new layer or whatever. When your mouse out of the panel area, they shoot back off to the side and hide from view. So same thing on the left- hand side. If I want to go back and bring up my tools, just hesitate for a second. Your Tools panel will instantly show up after a minute or a brief pause there. Mouse back out and the panel will go away.
So now you have this very fluid way to keep the panels away from your view, so you can just focus on your content. When you need them, they're still there. Just mouse over to the edge of the screen, they pop right open for you. You do what you're going to do. Mouse back out, they go away and then if you want to leave them open for a particular period of time, just hit the Tab key. They come right back. So hide your panels. Don't keep closing and opening them using the Window menu.
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