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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.
So it's a general rule of thumb when you are using the Healing Brush tool or the Clone Stamp tool, you typically don't want to use those tools on your original background layer. You want to have the flexibility to be able to undo that stuff independently of the original image. Now, what most people do is duplicate the original layer. Now, in this case, if you take a look at the file size in the document widget down here at the bottom of the window, this file is 17.2 megabytes and that's how much memory it's taking up in file size. So if I duplicate the layer, Command+J, Ctrl+J, I have just doubled my file size. Now, our file size is small, it's probably not the bigger deal. But if you start doing multiple retouches, every time you duplicate your layer or add a full file size to your file, you can have performance issues and your file size is getting larger than it needs to be. So I'm going to undo that.
A different strategy instead is to use a blank layer for the Clone and Healing Brush tool and let's switch to either tool, let's go with the Clone Stamp tool here. And the default is Current Layer, but change it to All Layers. Go ahead and make the Brush Size a little bit higher. When you sample, you are sampling through the layer stack all the way down through this clear layer with nothing in it down to the underlying layer below, and if you take a look at the file size, it hasn't changed yet because there is no data inside that blank layer. So if I Option-click or Alt-click to take a source, I'm sourcing through the layer stack and now when I paint, I can get rid of this little buggy boat here.
I'll Option-click again to take another source and I'll kind of clone this out here. So now when I take a look at my file size, it has gone up just a little bit, but not nearly as much as duplicating the entire layer. So to save file size, always do your cloning and healing on a new blank layer, and go of course give it a custom name and what not, and then make sure you choose the Sample All Layers, so that you get the sample through the stack.
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