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I honestly believe that one of the most important features in Photoshop is the ability to undo whatever you've just done, because just knowing that nothing that you do is permanent allows you to really experiment and play in Photoshop. What I am going to do now is I am just going to select a few options. I'll go to Image > Image Rotation, and let's just flip this canvas horizontally. And then I'll do something else, maybe come back, and let's go ahead and flip it 180 degrees. And I just am trying to build up a few different things that I've worked on.
So I've made those three changes. If I wanted to undo the last thing that I've done, I can use the keyboard shortcut Command+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. If I use that again, it will toggle back and forth. Basically, I'm using the keyboard shortcuts to undo and then redo. So Command+Z or Ctrl+Z just toggles back and forth. If I want to step backwards in time, then I'll use the Step Backwards command, which in this case is Command+Option+Z, and then I can use it again to keep going backwards.
I could also use Command+Shift+Z in order to step forwards. If we take a look at our History panel, we can actually see what's going on. Let's go ahead and click and drag out the History panel so that it's no longer docked, and we can make it a little bit larger. These are the three things that I did to my image: we rotated it, we flipped it, and I opened it. So going up the panel goes back in time. If I want to step forward, then I would step down the panel. If I want to return to the open state, there is actually two ways that I can do this.
I can click on the open state here or in this area--this is called my snapshot-- I could always click there. The advantage of either clicking on the snapshot or on the open state, as opposed to going to the File menu and choosing Revert, is when you select Revert, Photoshop actually has to go and read the file from the hard drive again. But often, your image might actually be stored in RAM, so clicking Open here or clicking on the snapshot is going to revert your file much more quickly.
One important little safety tip: right now I have these two other states that are more forward in time--these are the two states that I did after opening-- these are still accessible, but if you go back in time like we did, and we click on the Open state, the next thing that I do will actually get rid of these two states. Let me show you. I am going to go to Image and then we'll go to Image Rotation, and let's flip the canvas vertically. When I do this, the Flip Canvas Horizontal and the rotate canvas states in History will disappear and now I'm left with the Open and the Flip Canvas Vertically.
So by default, you should know that as you go back in time in Photoshop and then as you step forward again, if you step forwards and do something new, that new step is going to replace all of those intermediate states.
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