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1. Photoshop CS6 Guided Tour - Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual [Book]

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Meet the Application Frame. When you launch Photoshop CS6 for the first time, you're greeted by the Application Frame shown in Figure This frame. Hill was covering the NBA for the Detroit Free Press, Smith for the Globe. At the SC6 staff meeting, everyone had their heads buried in their. Michael Smith is following Jemele Hill out the door at "SC6," TheWrap is of our social media guidelines,” ESPN said in a statement back then.

Next, click the Workspace menu and choose New Workspace. In the resulting dialog box, give your setup a meaningful name and turn on the checkboxes for the customizations you want Photoshop to save. After you click Save, your custom workspace shows up at the top of the Workspace menu. Then, choose Delete Workspace from the Workspace menu and, in the resulting dialog box, pick the offending workspace and then click Delete.

Photoshop starts you off with a one-column Tools panel leftbut you can collapse it into two columns right by clicking the tiny double triangles circled here click them again to switch back to one column. If you want to undock the Tools panel, grab the dotted bar labeled here and drag the panel wherever you want it.

You can dock the Tools panel to the left or right edge of your screen, or leave it as a free-floating panel. These shortcuts are great timesavers because they let you switch between tools without moving your hands off the keyboard. For example, to select the Elliptical Marquee tool, press Shift-M repeatedly until that tool appears in the Tools panel.

Tip If you need to switch tools temporarily—for a quick edit—you can use the spring-loaded tools feature. Foreground and Background Color Chips Photoshop can handle millions of colors, but its tools let you work with only two at a time: To change either color, click its color chip once to open the Color Picker Other Color Scheme—Generating Toolswhich lets you select another color for that particular chip.

To swap your foreground and background colors, click the curved, doubleheaded arrow just above the two chips or press X.

To set both color chips to their factory-fresh setting of black and white, click the tiny chips to their upper left or press D. Common Panels As mentioned earlier, when you first launch Photoshop, the program uses the Essentials workspace, which includes several useful panels.

In the upper-right part of your screen is the Color panel, which includes your current foreground and background color chips. The Swatches panel holds miniature samples of colors, giving you easy access to them for use in painting or colorizing images.

This panel also stores a variety of color libraries like the Pantone Matching System special inks used in professional printing. This panel lets you create Adjustment layers.

Styles are special effects created with a variety of layer styles Layer Styles. This is the single most important panel in Photoshop.

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Layers let you work with images as if they were a stack of transparencies, so you can create one image from many. By using layers, you adjust the size and opacity of—and add layer styles to—each item independently. Channels are where Photoshop stores the color information your images are made from. Channels are extremely powerful, and you can use them to edit the individual colors in an image, which is helpful in sharpening images, creating selections telling Photoshop which part of an image you want to work withand so on.

Paths are the outlines you make with the Pen and shape tools. You can also make them bigger or smaller without losing any quality. The History panel is like your very own time machine: It tracks nearly everything you do to your image the last 20 things, to be exact, though you can change this number using preferences [see Performance ].

It appears docked as a button to the left of the Color panel group. It gives you one-stop access to all the settings in an Adjustment layer and their preset menus.

This panel also lets you create and fine-tune layer masks. The Power of Undo Thankfully, Photoshop is extremely forgiving: Unfortunately, the Undo command lets you undo only the last edit you made.

If you need to go back more than one step, use the Step Backward command instead: Out of the box, this command lets you undo the last 20 things you did, one at a time.

You can enter any number between 1 and 1, in this field. While increasing the number of history states might help you sleep better, doing so means Photoshop has to keep track of that many more versions of your document, which requires memory and processing power. If you increase this setting and notice that the program is running like molasses, try lowering it.

And, as explained in a moment, you can also take snapshots of an image at various points in the editing process to make it easier to jump back to the state you want.

The History panel keeps track of everything you do to your images, beginning with opening them. You can even take snapshots of an image at crucial points during the editing process, like when you convert it to black and white and add a color tint. If you take a snapshot, you can revert to that state later with a single click. To jump back in time, click the step you want to go back to, and Photoshop returns the image to the way it looked at that point.

If you stepped back further than you meant to, just click a more recent step in the list. Clicking one of these saved-state thumbnails is a fast and easy way to jump back to the last saved version of the document. Taking snapshots of an image along the way lets you mark key points in the editing process.

Think of snapshots as milestones in your editing work: When you reach a critical point that you may want to return to, take a snapshot so you can easily get back to that particular version of the document.

Photoshop adds the snapshot to the top of the panel, just below the saved-state thumbnail s. The snapshots you take appear in the list in the order you took them. The History Brush The History Brush takes the power of the History panel and lets you focus it on specific parts of an image. Instead of sending the entire image back in time, you can use this brush to paint edits away selectively, revealing the previous state of your choosing.

Note The Art History Brush works similarly, but it adds bizarre, stylized effects as it returns your image to a previous state, as shown in the box on The Art History Brush. You can also reduce the opacity of the History Brush in the Options bar to make the change more gradual. Open an image—in this example, a photo of a person—and duplicate the image layer.

Activate the Burn tool by pressing Shift-O and then darken part of your image. The Burn tool lives in a toolset, so cycle through those tools by pressing Shift-O a couple of times its icon looks like a hand making an O shape.

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Then mouse over to your image and drag across an area that needs darkening. Straight from the factory, this tool darkens images pretty severely, giving you a lot to undo with the History Brush. Grab the History Brush by pressing Y. Open the History panel and then click a saved state or snapshot. This is where you pick which version of the image you want to go back to. To reduce some of the darkening, but not all of it, choose one of the first few Burn states or choose the Open state to get rid of all the darkening where you painted.

Mouse over to your image and drag to paint the areas that are too dark to reveal the lighter version of the image. This command opens the previously saved version of the image, giving you a quick escape route back to square one. For example, you may change the color of an object only to decide later that it looked better the way it was. Erasing to history is a handy way to leave some changes in place while recovering your original image in other areas.

Next, in the Layers panel, click the layer you want to edit, and then start erasing the areas you want to restore to their former glory.

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How is erasing to history different from using the History Brush? They both do basically the same thing.

Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider

Tip Tooltips work on preference settings, too! When you choose a category on the left side of the dialog box, tons of settings related to that category appear on the right. Most of these options are either self-explanatory Beep When Done, for example or covered elsewhere in this book. A few, however, are worth taking a closer look at.

The General preferences include the History Log settings. If you turn on the History Log checkbox, Photoshop keeps track of everything that happens to your images. When you first install Photoshop, any selection you make has a hard edge, but you can apply feathering to soften it up.

Feathered selections are perfect for blending one image—or a portion of an image—into another, as in the soft oval vignette effect, an oldie but goody shown on Creating a Soft Vignette.

4. Selections: Choosing What to Edit - Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual [Book]

You can also feather a selection when you retouch an image, so the re-touched area fades gently into the surrounding pixels, making it look more realistic.

You can feather a selection in a variety of ways: After you choose a selection tool from the Tools panel—but before you create the selection—hop up to the Options bar and enter a Feather amount in pixels you can enter whole numbers or decimals, like 0.

To use this method, create a selection and then add a layer mask. Photoshop shows you the feathering in your document in real time. If you decide to change the amount of feathering later on, just activate the mask, pop this panel back open, and then tweak the same slider. You can also use the Refine Edge dialog box to add and view feathering in real time, though this dialog box is best in cases where you need to feather the selection and tweak it in other ways such as expanding or contracting it.

For more on using the Refine Edge dialog box, see Modifying Selections. Tip To draw a perfectly square or circular selection, press the Shift key as you drag with the Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee tools, respectively.

If you want to draw the selection from the center outward instead of from corner to cornerpress and hold the Option key Alt on a PC instead. Creating a Soft Vignette The Elliptical Marquee tool works just like the Rectangular Marquee tool except that it draws round or oval selections.

Open two images and combine them into the same document. Reposition the layers so the soon-to-be-vignetted photo is at the top of the Layers panel. Over in the Layers panel, make sure that both layers are editable so you can change their stacking order. Wedding photographers and moms—not to mention armadillo fans—love this kind of thing! By using the Properties panel to do your feather, you gain the ability to change the feather amount later on provided you save the document as a PSD file.

Peek at your Layers panel to make sure the correct image layer is active the armadillo and position your mouse near the center of the image. Press and hold the Option key Alt on a PCmouse over to the image, and drag to draw an oval-shaped selection from the inside out.

Hide the area outside the selection with a layer mask. What if you changed your mind? A less destructive and more flexible approach, which you learned about back on Layer Blendingis to hide the area outside the selection with a layer mask.

Over in the Layers panel, make sure you have the correct layer active in this case, the armadillo and then add a layer mask by clicking the tiny circle-within-a-square icon at the bottom of the panel. Photoshop hides everything outside the selection, letting you see through to the bluebonnet layer below. In the panel, drag the Feather slider to the right and Photoshop softens the selection right there in the document as you watch.

New in CS6, the Feather slider accepts decimal values! Doing so lets you tweak the Feather amount later on by activating the layer mask and then reopening the Properties panel.

Mocking up a web page design. Create a repeating background on a web page.

This trick can really decrease the time it takes to download a web page. Stretching an image to fill a space. Use either tool to select a row of pixels at the bottom or side of the image, grab the Move tool by pressing V, and then tap the arrow keys on your keyboard while holding the Option key Alt on a PC to nudge the selection in the direction you need and duplicate it at the same time. Note Create your own speeding hen by downloading the practice file, Hen.

Good luck catching this hen! To achieve this look, start by using the Single Column Marquee to select a column of pixels.

Last but not least, add a gradient mask page and then experiment with blend modes until you find one that makes the stretched pixels blend into the image for more on blend modes, see Chapter 7, page Perhaps the most useful of this bunch is the Rounded Rectangle tool. Open a photo and double-click the Background layer to make it editable. Activate the Rounded Rectangle tool in the Tools panel.

Near the bottom of the Tools panel lies the Vector Shape toolset. Click the icon and hold down your mouse button until the pop-up menu appears, and then choose the Rounded Rectangle tool.

You can use the same technique with the Ellipse tool to create the vignette effect shown in the previous section. For this technique, you want to use Path mode. A lower number causes less rounding than a higher number. Draw a box around the image. Mouse over to your image and, starting in one corner, drag diagonally to draw a box around the whole image. Hide the area outside the path by adding a layer mask. Why a vector mask? Because the path you drew with the shape tool is vector-based, not pixel-based.

As you learned on Opening an Existing Documentyou can resize a vector anytime without losing quality by activating it and then using Free Transform [ The Transformers ]. For more on vector masks, skip ahead to Using Vector Masks. Who knew that giving your photo rounded corners was so simple? Selecting by Color In addition to tools for selecting areas by shape, Photoshop has tools that let you select areas by color.

The Quick Selection Tool The Quick Selection tool is shockingly easy to use and lets you create complex selections with just a few brushstrokes. You can press the W key to activate the Quick Selection tool. To switch between it and the Magic Wand, press Shift-W. When you activate the Quick Selection tool, the Options bar sports buttons that let you create a new selection as well as add to or subtract from the current selection. When you do that, Photoshop thinks for a second and then creates a selection based on the color of the pixels you clicked or brushed across.

A larger brush creates a larger selection. If the color of the objects you want to select differs greatly from the color of their background, like these chili peppers, use the Quick Selection tool.

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With this tool active, you can either click the area you want to select or drag your cursor circled across the area as if you were painting. Now Photoshop adds any areas you brush over or click to the current selection. The old selection disappears as soon as you start a new one. Skip ahead to The Magic Wand Tool in the next section to learn how.

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Use a larger brush to select big areas and a smaller brush to select small or hard-to-reach areas. Alternatively, you can press the left bracket key [ to decrease brush size or the right bracket key ] to increase it. Because the Quick Selection tool makes selections extremely quickly, their edges can end up looking blocky and imperfect.

Turn on this checkbox to tell Photoshop to take its time and think more carefully about the selections it makes. The box below has tips for using this feature. The Magic Wand is great for selecting solid-colored backgrounds or large bodies of similar color, like a cloudless sky, with just a couple of clicks. The Quick Selection tool is better at selecting objects.

When you click once with the Magic Wand in the area you want to select, Photoshop magically hence the name selects all the pixels on the currently active layer that are both similar in color and touching one another see The Magic Wand Tool to learn how to tweak this behavior.

If the color in the area you want to select varies a bit, Photoshop may not select all of it. When you activate the Magic Wand, the Options bar includes these settings: In CS6, this menu lets you change the way the Magic Wand calculates which pixels to select in previous versions, you had to switch to the Eyedropper tool to see this menu.

If you have an older computer, you may have better luck using the Refine Edge dialog box to create selections with smooth edges. See Modifying Selections for more on the Refine Edge command. That way, you get the benefit of using Auto-Enhance and keep your computer running quickly until the last possible moment. With its tolerance set to 32, the Magic Wand did a good job of selecting the sky behind downtown Dallas. You can add to the selection by pressing the Shift key as you click in that area, increase the Tolerance setting in the Options bar and then click the sky again to create a brand-new selection, or skip to page to learn how to expand the selection with the Grow and Similar commands.