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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.
I am going to give you some shortcuts now for working on selections, transforming selections. So let's begin by just making a real simple selection. We'll do M for the Marquee tool and Shift+M to switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool, let's say. So I'm just going to draw out some random selection here. And you can see that again, if I put my mouse in the middle of the selection, I can reposition it and if I put my mouse outside the selection, I deselect that. So let's make another selection here. If I want to just nudge my selection, you know, in very small increments, the nudge keys, the arrow keys, still work for that. Again just using my arrow keys, I'm nudging this one pixel at a time to the left or to the right or up or down.
It may be tough to see in the video there. But if I want to move it in 10 pixel increments, I do Shift+Arrow keys to move 10 pixels at a time, left or right, up or down. If I want to transform my selection, you instinctively, if you know that the Free Transform command is Command+T, that does put a bounding box around the selection here. But when I go actually act on this, you'll see that I'm not actually transforming the selection itself. I'm transforming the pixels. So I want to escape that. The Escape key will cancel that Free Transform.
So transforming pixels is different than transforming the selection. Two different ways to get to the Transform Select command, you can either right-click or Ctrl-click and choose the Transform Selection from the contextual menu and you can see there is a difference here between those two commands, or under the Select menu itself, there is Transform Selection. And you see it looks almost identical. It does put a bounding box around your selection. But now you'll be just scaling or stretching or rotating the actual marquee, not the actual pixels themselves. Now your modifiers work, so if I wanted to deform my selection, if I hold down the Command key, I can do a perspective scale. If I hold down Option, I can do it from the center and stretch it and do whatever you want, just like you could to actual pixels, but here you are just doing it to the selection boundary itself.
I use the Transform Selection command so often that I personally like to assign a keyboard to it. So to do that, I'm going to go to the Edit > Keyboard Shortcut command and from the Select menu, I'm going to twirl that down and scroll down to the Transform Selection command. Now I know that Transform > Free Transform is Command+T so I'm going to base it off that, Command+Shift+T. And it's going to warn me saying, hey, you know the Transform > Again command is already using Command+Shift+T. I transform selections more than I use the Free Transform > Again command, so I'm perfectly fine with this conflict. I'm going to go ahead and accept it but if you don't want to do that then come up with your own keyboard shortcut for Transform Selection. I'll click OK and now if I just do Command+Shift+T, I have got my bounding box around my selection. I can transform it, do what I want to it, rotate it, scale it, stretch it, pinch it, whatever. And when I'm done I hit the Return key and I have modified my selection.
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