On June 24, I and my proud partners will launch the 2008 pilot episode of dekePod, titled “101 Photoshop Tips in 5 Minutes.” Half music video, half shortcut free-for-all, half crazy antics (yes, it has three halves), this very special, slightly explicit episode of dekePod is sure to warm the hearts of young and old alike. Honestly, it’s magical. Witness me below at the site of our first exterior shoot (as captured by O’Reilly editor Colleen Wheeler). That’s not me jumping, that’s me momentarily disregarding Earth’s gravitational forces. See? Magical.
Anyway, it occurred to the staff here at dekeOnline that the tips might fly by a little quickly. So we thought it wise to publish the verses — which contain the actual tips — here at dekeStuff for your amusement. (I thought of including the choruses, but they’re mostly just me bragging.) Here goes:
11 Photoshop Tips in Five Minutes
The actual tips from 1 to 106 and back to 101
by Deke McClelland
#1: Wanna copy a layer? I say jump it: Ctrl+J.
You a Mac user? Awesome.
#2: When I say Ctrl, press Cmd, the one with an apple on it.
#3: For a new layer, press Ctrl+Shift+N (Cmd-Shift-N on the Mac).
#4: To delete a layer, get the move tool and press Delete (or Control-Delete).
#5: Every letter selects a tool.
#6: Except F for full-screen,
#7: Q for quick mask,
#8: and D
#9: and X for default and switch colors.
Who knew X stood for “switch”?
#1: Press a number to change the opacity.
#11: Or two numbers for better control.
#12: Press Shift+plus to advance a blend mode;
#13: Shift+minus to back up.
#14: Press Shift and Alt with a letter for a specific mode.
#15: Mac folks, Alt means Option.
#16: Ctrl+plus zooms in.
#17: Ctrl+minus zooms out.
#18: Spacebar gets the hand so you can drag the image around.
#19: There’s also Ctrl+spacebar in
#2: and Alt+spacebar out.
#21: Ctrl+spacebar-drag to zoom way the hell in.
#22: Ctrl+Z undoes.
#23: Ctrl+Alt+Z backsteps.
#24: Ctrl+Shift+Z steps forward.
#25: Ctrl+Shift+F fades an edit.
#26: F12 reverts,
#27: Itself an undoable operation.
You hear that? You can undo a revert? That’s a hell of a tip!
All that pasteboard stuff works too:
#28: Ctrl+X cuts.
#29: Ctrl+C copies.
#3: Ctrl+V pastes.
Dan Gookin of DOS For Dummies fame joked that V stood for “vomit,” as in vomiting up the Clipboard. His publisher refused to print that. They actually refused to print that!
#31: Photoshop’s most essential command? Image Size: Ctrl+Alt+I.
#32: It’s partner, Canvas Size, Ctrl+Alt+C.
#33: Ctrl+F repeats the last filter.
#34: Ctrl+Alt+F for different settings.
#35: Using a selection tool? Drag to start a new selection
#36: Or move a selection outline.
#37: Shift adds to the selection.
#38: Alt deletes.
#39: Shift and Alt finds the intersection.
#4: Press the spacebar to move the selection on-the-fly.
#41: Ctrl+A selects everything;
#42: Ctrl+D selects nothing.
#43: Ctrl+Shift+I selects what’s not selected and deselects everything else.
#44: Ctrl+Alt+R brings up Refine Edge.
#45: Alt-click with the lasso tool to draw straight-sided selections.
#46: Shift-click with a brush to paint straight lines.
#47: Press Alt with a brush to get the color-lifting eyedropper.
#48: Press Ctrl to get the move tool.
#49: Ctrl+H hides selections and other “extras.”
What’s an extra? Press Ctrl+H and find out?
I gotta quicken the pace. Shit!
#52: 3 to switch channels.
Hell yeah, I’m counting those as three!
Here’s another one:
#53: Ctrl+tilde for full-color composite.
#54: Ctrl+L for Levels,
#55: Ctrl+M for Curves,
#56: Ctrl+B for Color Balance,
#57: Ctrl+U for Hue/Saturation.
#58: Add Alt to bring up the last settings.
#59: Mash your fist on Ctrl, Shift, and Alt and press B for Black & White.
#6: In Levels and Curves, Alt-drag that white slider triangle to preview the clipped highlights
#61: Or that black one for clipped shadows.
Want to duplicate an image? Don’t choose this [Duplicate];
#62: Just click here [Create new document from History state].
#63: Press Ctrl+W to close an image.
#64: Y to save changes,
#65: N to abandon them.
#66: On the Mac, that’s S and D.
#67: Either way, it’s Esc for Cancel.
You know, Esc. C’mon, Esc!
#68: Press Ctrl+T to invoke Free Transform.
#69: Press Enter to apply or Esc to skip it.
#7: Ctrl+Alt+T transforms a copy.
#71: Ctrl+Shift+T repeats the last transformation.
#72: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T plays a transformation sequence.
#73: Press a bracket key to change the size of a brush.
#74: Press Shift+bracket to change its hardness.
#75: Caps Lock for precise cursors.
#76: Alt switches dodge to burn and burn to dodge.
#77: The comma and period keys cycle through gradients.
See this tool [sharpen]? Worthless. Look at this. You want this? Worthless!
Yes, that’s a tip: Don’t use the tool!
#78: Bang, there’s another one!
#79: Ctrl-click a thumbnail in the Layers, Channels, or Paths palette to load a selection.
#8: Press slash to lock a layer’s transparency.
#81: Press tilde to hide the image while viewing a mask.
#82: Press backslash to view the layer mask.
#83: Ctrl+Backspace fills the background color;
#84: Alt+Backspace: foreground color.
#85: Add Shift to fill just the opaque pixels.
#86: Press Shift+Backspace to get the Fill dialog box.
Hey, look at that!
#87: That’s trans lock’s opposite [Behind mode]. It locks opacity.
What the hell is it doing here?
#88: Ctrl+bracket moves layers forward and back.
#89: Add Shift to go all the way.
#9: Alt+bracket selects layers.
#91: Press Shift to select multiple layers.
Press Ctrl+Shift+A to select all layers.
#92: That’s wrong. It’s Ctrl+Alt+A!
I don’t even know what Ctrl+Shift+A does.
It doesn’t, Adobe, it doesn’t do anything! I don’t think it does anything.
#93: But Ctrl+G, that groups layers in a folder.
#94: Ctrl+E merges selected layers.
#95: Ctrl+Shift+E merges visible layers.
#96: Ctrl+Alt+E stamps a layer onto the one below.
#97: Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E merges everything on a new layer.
#98: Ctrl+Shift+C copies a merged version of the layers.
#99: Ctrl+Shift+V pastes an image in a selection.
#1: Alt-click here [Add layer mask]
#11: Or here [Cancel to Reset]
#12: Or here [trash without warning]
#13: Or here [color ramp to switch background color]
#14: Or here [eyeball to hide all others]
#15: Or here [horizontal line to make clipping mask]
#16: Or here [color swatch to delete].
Holy crap, I just went over! 16 tips! No! No, no, no.
[to off-screen director]
You should’ve stopped me, you should’ve let me know. That’s your fault.
That’s his fault. I do not fail. Remember, I do not fail!
Alt-clicks out. I want them all out. Gimme that time back!
Okay. Nicely done, me. For those wondering why I left out your favorite tips,
#1: Like Tab to hide all palettes
#11: Or Shift+Tab to hide just the right-side palettes.
I didn’t! Ha ha! I just mentioned ’em. Works for me!