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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.
Every once in a while I find this next technique I'm going to teach you to be very helpful when you are trying to create a basic set of grid lines or guides to lay out a particular image here. So let's turn on our guides, Command+R, Ctrl+R, and the default measurement system of course is set to inches. I'm going to change the Rulers to be percentage. If I right-click on the Ruler Bar or Ctrl-click, I can change it to Percent. I have also got my Info panel open here on the panel dock on the right and as I move my cursor, you can see the X, Y value here showing you where I am in the document.
So if I wanted to find the center point, all right, when I get to X 50%, that's the middle of the document. So now if I drag out a guide, I want a guide to be exactly in the middle of the document. I'm going to drag from the horizontal ruler down and I want a vertical guide. So if I add the Option or Alt key to that, I switch that to a vertical guide. You will see that it actually wants to snap to the midline anyway, so it goes right to 50% there. And we'll go ahead and let go and I have got a guide right on 50%. I want the horizontal guide at 50% as well. SoI'll click on the ruler and drag down to 50% there and again it's going to want to snap to the middle of the document, very good. Now I want a guide to create a kind of a margin around the outside edges here. So I'm going drag another horizontal guide here until my Info panel tells me I'm at the 10% mark.
So I'm just kind of eyeing it over there. And if you see it's kind of jumping to decimal point numbers. If I want it to snap to whole values here, I'm going to hold down the Shift key and as I drag, it's snapping to whole increments here. So here I drag it down to 10%. I will drag out another guide holding down the mouse here. And I'm going to hold down the Shift key until I get to the bottom, until it snaps to 90% there. So I'm just very quickly and easily getting that kind of a relative grid based on the percentage of the document. Okay, now once I have got my guides set up, I mean, I want to move these things around. I have got my Move tool selected.
It's turned on to Auto-Select Layer, which means I can just click in the type layer right away and drag it. By default, the snapping behavior turned on as well. So it makes it real easy to move things around and align them to my new Grid guides. Here I'll go ahead and grab the smaller text and I've snapped that to those two guides there. So using percentage is a great way to create a relative set of guides based on the dimensions of the document, paying attention to the Info panel to see where I'm dragging those guides and then holding down Shift as you drag the guide to make it snap to whole percent increments.
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