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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 a great timesaver when you are using adjustment layers is to experiment and play around with the Presets. Now the Adjustments panel ships with a ton of presets already provided for you. Of course, you can create your own and share these with others as well. If you go to Adobe Exchange, that website if you just Google Photoshop Presets, you will find community sites where the people are creating and posting these and you can download them and add them to Photoshop and have then for your use as well. Let's just kind of explore some of these. So if I click in the Adjustment panel, there is a grouping of presets right there at the top for you. We have even created an adjustment layer. So if I turn down the Curves adjustments and scroll down, maybe I want more contrast in this. So I can click the Increase Contrast preset and you will see what that does is it automatically adds the adjustment layer and applies this predefined curve that was captured as part of that preset.
I just want to undo that or Command+Z or Ctrl+Z or I can just click the Trash Can to delete that adjustment layer. So we can scroll through and see some of these others. So if I go to say Hue/ Saturation presets, if I wanted to create a Sepia tone, look at that, there is a Sepia tone preset. And again it just creates that adjustment layer for me and applies the correct settings to get that effect. Again, I'll just undo that. Cyanotype is another preset there which is kind of a nice effect. We'll undo that. Collapse that one down. Black & White, let's say I wanted to create an Infrared conversion, a digital Infrared, so I have a preset for that as well.
Tends to make the skies dark and the greens light. So it's just a different way of doing a Black & White conversion. And then if you want to load your own presets, you can certainly do that as well. I happen to have two Presets on my Desktop here that I'm going to load into the Curves panel. So I'm going to click on the Curves adjustment layer and here is the list of Presets for that specific adjustment. So when you don't have an adjustment layer already chosen, you have all those presets in the Adjustments panel, but once you get into a specific adjustment, all the presets for that specific adjustment are listed here at the top of this pop up menu.
And if I want to add my own from an external source, let's I have downloaded these from the web. I go to the fly-out menu and choose Load Curves Preset. I'm going to go to my Desktop and there is that one. This is a cross process preset where I'm going from a negative to a slide or creating the illusion of that in a digital format. And it just loads all of those settings into the Curves adjustment layer. And now anything I've added, any custom presets get added below this little line there, so I can see which one shipped with Photoshop and which ones I've added. So there you have it. Presets, you can save your own of course, if I were to do something custom, let's go back and delete this guy and do a Black & White conversion, let's say.
And I'm going to riff off the Infrared preset that shipped with the product. And maybe I want to customize it and make it my own. So I'm going to make the dark sky just a little bit darker and the Cyan a little bit darker as well. I'm going to bring down the Yellow or bring that up a little bit, and bring up the Red just to make that a little bit brighter. So I have made up my own. And if I want to create my own preset and save this setting, I go to the fly-out menu for the Adjustment panel and say save Black & White preset. And I'll call it My Infrared. And you can save these anywhere, you can save it at the Desktop, it defaults to the user folder for Black & White presets. But you can save these anywhere. And now, when I look at my list, I've got my own version of that preset that I can access anytime I want to use it again or I can email it to someone or share it with someone.
So presets are your friends, take a look at them. I encourage you to create your own and adapt Photoshop and make it your own.
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