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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.
To get really efficient with styles, you really want to save them so you can reuse them over and over and over again. You might end up customizing them for each particular job or project. But you will find you will come up with a library of effects that, okay, I want a white border, I want a Drop Shadow, I want Vignette effect. Well, having it recreate that every single time, it is just a waste of time. Unless you are paid by the pixel, you want to be able to just reuse this stuff. s So let's get started. I have got a layer here, Winter, and I have got the effects icon there indicating that I already have a effect built up. And this is just a white border with a Drop Shadow. Let's go ahead and edit this effect.
I'm going to double-click on the word Effects and we are going to customize this just a little bit. I want to zoom in. You can actually zoom in when you have a dialog open, Command+Plus or Ctrl+Plus, and you can pan as well. When you move your mouse outside the dialog box, it turns into a Hand tool, so you can just pan the image around. I want to be able to get a closer view of this image here. So I have got a Drop Shadow turned on and I have got a Stroke turned on, I have already customized the Size, and that Position, and the Color, and whatnot. I also want to add a little bit of Vignette effect. So on the inside of the stroke, I want some darkening around the edges. And to do that I'm going to use the Inner Glow style, and it's default is set to a yellow color. I'm going to actually click on that color chip and choose a dark, either gray or black.
And click OK. And then I'm not seeing the darkening here because my blend mode is set is to Screen, and Screen just happens to ignore dark stuff. So I'm going to change that to a different blend mode, something like Multiply, where it's going to be set to darken the image. And then what we can do is increase our Size and then you can see that darkening happening on the inside from the stroke and towards the image. And the Multiply just does a nice blend. And if I want, I can lower the Opacity so it's not so superior. But you just dial this in to your taste just to kind of give it more of a focused effect there, okay.
So I'm going to click OK and I've got three aspects of this layer style that I want to save and reuse on these other images. So to save a style, it's as easy as going to the Styles panel and at the very bottom there is a little new icon, go ahead and click on that. It says, do you want to name this? I want to call it My Custom Boarder Effect. And you can choose to include all the layer styles like Drop Shadow, Inner Glow stroke, and what not. And also any blending options that you may have done on this particular layer. This one, I don't really have any layer blending but we'll go ahead and turn on anyway, go ahead and click OK. And now that has been added to my Styles list.
By default this is a thumbnail view, so you don't actually see the names. If you hover over the thumbnail and you will get a tool tip telling you the name. If you'd rather see the Style list as a list with tiny thumbnails, you can change it under the fly-out menu of the panel to Small List or Large List. It's up to you. And then you can scroll through and actually see a little tiny thumbnail and the name without having to pause for a tool tip. Okay, so we'll zoom out just a little bit, Command+Minus, Ctrl+Minus. And I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Select these other three layers and I'm just going to click on that layer style to instantly make them look exactly the same. So, a very easy way to save a style and then reuse it.
This isn't document specific. This style will be available on any document from now on via the Styles panel. So you can use it again in your next project.
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