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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 layer styles are a very, very useful feature inside of Photoshop, but unfortunately they kind of get a bum rap and I think it's because people's first impression of them is based on the default styles that ship with the product. So here I have the Styles panel open in part of my dock here. And these are arguably some of the ugly styles that ship with the product. But one of the reasons why they look so bad is when you apply them to your images, they may not be the same or appropriate scale based on the content you are applying them to. So for instance, I have got this type layer here, the four seasons. And I'm going to click on one of these styles. To apply a style you just click on the style that you want to apply. It gives you a little graphical thumbnail there.
So I'll go ahead and click on this Chiseled Sky style, and you can see it instantly formats the text with this special effect, put a Bevel and Emboss and a Gradient Overlay. I'm going to zoom in on this and you will see that it doesn't really look all that great, because this file is on much higher resolution than the file that the style was authored at or perhaps it's a lower resolution, either way it's not a match. So you may not end up with the same visual effect as the person who actually created the style in the first place. So before you dismiss the style feature altogether, there is one little trick you should know about, and that is scaling the effects to your content to make it more appropriate. To get there just right-click or Ctrl-click on the word Effects, and at the very bottom of the pop-up menu that shows up is the Scale Effects command.
And this gives you an independent scale control, it's not going to scale the content, it's just going to scale the effect. So if I take this down and make the Bevel a little bit more subtle, just a little bit less white than the application of it. I'll click OK. You see I have got a much better result. So if I Fit to Window here Command+0 or Ctrl+0, here's before and there's after. And it's a much nicer look. So just keep in mind that when you use either the default styles or even if you take the time to actually create and save your own styles, when you apply them to some other content in the future, if it doesn't quite look right after you have clicked on a style, make sure you go back and try scaling that style to make it look more appropriate to your content.
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