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- View Offline
- Enabling auto recovery and background saving
- Filtering layers in the Layers panel
- Modifying multiple layers at once
- Applying layer effects to groups
- Working with the Content-Aware tools
- Redeveloping photos in Camera Raw 7
- Creating depth of field with the Blur Gallery
- Correcting wide-angle panoramas
- Filling and stroking shape layers
- Editing videos in the Timeline panel
- Previewing 3D shadows and reflections
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Now this next feature is pretty tiny, but it's powerful, and it's been a long time coming. A lot of folks have been asking for this. The idea is that while you are drawing with the Pen tool, you can press and hold the Spacebar to move an anchor point on the fly. So, as you probably know, when you're working with any of the shape tools or if you're working with one of the geometric marquee tools, whether the Rectangular Marquee, or the Elliptical Marquee, as you're dragging with the tool, if you press and hold the Spacebar, then you can move the marquee on the fly, and thereby better register it with part of an image.
Well, now you can do the same thing with the Pen tool. So, I'm going to trace around this droplet here using the Pen. I'll grab the Pen from the toolbox, or you can press the P key. And then let's say I decide I want to start my shape right about there. And for whatever reason I changed my mind. Well, while my mouse button is still down, I can press and hold the Spacebar in order to move the anchor point to a different location. And then, when I feel like I have it lined up properly, I can go ahead and release the Spacebar, and then it will remain situated.
And now as I drag, I change the length of my control handles, like so. Now, I am going to locate another point at this location. And then, if I think better of it, I can go ahead and press and hold the Spacebar in order to get the anchor point into better alignment and drag the control handles to right about there let's say. Of course, that ends up tracing things pretty badly at this location. So, I'll press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac in order to temporarily get my White Arrow tool. And then I'll just go ahead and move these control handles into better locations.
Now, I'll just more or less finish up the shape here by creating an anchor point there. We're along with a couple of control handles, symmetrical control handles because I'm dragging to create smooth points. Now, press and hold the Ctrl key, or the Command key on the Mac, and drag this right-hand control handle to this location. And now, I'll drag from right about there let's say up to about here maybe. And I'll press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and drag this control handle down in order to better trace that droplet.
Then finally, when I go to close the shape like so, I can also press and hold the Spacebar once again in order to relocate that anchor point on the fly if I so desire. And then when I get it into the proper location like I'd say right about there, then from that point on, as I continue to drag, I'm moving the control handles, and the anchor point remains stationary. All right. Now, at this point, by default, I've created a path outline over here in the Paths panel. And I can go ahead and rename this path by double-clicking on it.
We'll call it droplet, and then click OK. To convert it to a vector mask, which is what I'm looking for, for the active layer, I'll go back to the Layers panel and confirm that the drop layer is selected, which it is. Then I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and click on the Add layer Mask icon, so that I get a vector mask as opposed to a standard pixel-based layer mask. Then if I want to hide this path outline, I just press the M key to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool, and you can see that I've managed to more or less precisely select that droplet using the Pen. So anyway, the short story is this.
Now, if you want to relocate an anchor point on the fly while you're dragging with the Pen tool, just go ahead and press and hold the Spacebar just as you do with the other vector shape tools and the Rectangular and Elliptical Marquee tools as well.