Join Daniel Lieske for an in-depth discussion in this video Zoom and Hand tools, part of Drawing and Painting in Photoshop - The Great Training.
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- So here it is, our freshly created digital canvas. The first thing that we have to learn is how to navigate it and in order to see the effect of our navigation, we need something on the canvas and a very simple illustration like this will just do the job. So if we open up a new canvas in Photoshop, what Photoshop tries to do is to show us the whole extent of our digital canvas. So this is our complete digital file, but please note, that it is scaled down in order to fit into this window.
The factor of scaling is depicted here in the top bar of the window and we see that our image is displayed at 33.3% of it's original size. So if we now want to see our illustration in it's original size we can go to view 100% and 100% means that one pixel in our digital file equals one pixel on our screen.
So we now see that our window is too small to show the complete extent of our digital canvas, we can scale the window itself a little bit but still, our digital canvas is bigger than this window and in order to see our smiley face here we need to use the scroll bars to bring it into the center of our window. Now there's another possibility to navigate the canvas under Window Navigator we can open up this handy Navigator window and the portion of our digital canvas that we are seeing in the window is depicted with this red frame here in the Navigator and we can actually pick this frame, move it around in the Navigator and the view of our digital canvas is changing correspondingly in our canvas window.
We also have Zoom slider here in the Navigator so we can zoom out and zoom in into our digital canvas and we can actually zoom in so much that we can see the individual pixels of our illustration or we can zoom out really far to have a good nice overview over our illustration and check if the composition is right or things like that. So that's what the Navigator can do for us but again, it would be a little bit annoying if we had to use the Navigator all the time when we want to navigate through our illustration and therefore there's some handy keyboard shortcuts to do the job for us.
So one of the most important keyboard shortcuts for navigation is a combination of the ctrl key and the plus and the minus key on the num pad. So if we press ctrl and plus, we zoom in on our digital canvas. If we hit ctrl minus, we zoom out. That way we can, at any time with a quick keyboard shortcut zoom in and zoom out, into our canvas or out of our canvas and this is much quicker than using the zoom slider on the Navigator window.
Then there's another tool at the Toolbar, it's the hand tool and it basically does what the Navigator does. You will notice that if I go over the Navigator, there's also little hand and that's the same functionality. We can use the hand on our canvas and just move the image around as long as it is not fully seen. Of course, if we see the whole canvas in our window, we can't move it around because we already see everything.
But if we are zoomed in, the hand tool is very handy, so to say, in order to get around our digital illustration. In fact, the hand tool is so important in digital painting and digital illustrating, that there's a very prominent keyboard shortcut to use the hand tool. So if you are in any other tool, for example, now I am in the move tool, if you hit the big spacebar on your keyboard, your cursor will instantly change to the hand and you are now using the hand tool.
This is a very, very important shortcut maybe the most important shortcut for the navigation in Photoshop, the spacebar that activates the hand tool because, as I said, it doesn't matter in what tool you are. Now I'm using the paintbrush and with a hit of the spacebar, I can switch to the hand tool and move my illustration around and this should be practiced a lot because it should become second nature, this constant swing between working with a tool, using the hand tool to move around and at release of the spacebar, you will instantly return to the tool you were using and in combination with the ctrl plus and minus keys, we have all the means at our hands to navigate our digital canvas.
- Setting up your digital canvas
- Controlling the screen
- Choosing color
- Working with brushes, textures, and the Paint Bucket and Gradient tools
- Making selections
- Working in Quick Mask mode
- Stroking and filling paths
- Manipulating color
- Organizing the canvas with layers
- Digital drawing and painting projects