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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.
Every once in a while you may want to preserve or lock the transparency of a given layer. So let's say that I wanted to silhouette this Grass layer here. So I've got the Grass as a separate layer on top here, just painted that with one of the default brushes here in the Brushes panel. There is a Grass Brush here. And so I just created that on an empty layer here. Now if I go back and get my Brush tool and it's set to default black and white now, if I start painting on this layer, you are seeing that I'm painting anywhere on the layer that it lets me, because nothing is protected. I'm going to undo that. Instead, if I just wanted to paint the black paint to turn this grass into a silhouette, let's say without any color, just have it be so it will black.
Then you would lock the transparency of that layer. To do that, you hit the forward slash key. I don't know if you can see this here, but there is a little Lock icon now on the layer and this has been lit up under the Lock row. So the forward slash key toggles the transparency locking on and off. So I have toggled it on. Now when I paint, you'll see as I press and drag, I'm only allowed to paint where there are currently pixels on the layer. Everything that's transparent is protected. So it forces me to not be able to paint outside the lines if you will.
It comes in very handy when you just want to do a quick silhouette or just make sure that you don't introduce any stray pixels on a particular area where you want it to remain protected. So again just the forward slash key will untoggle that off and back and forth to lock transparency.
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