Avoid “snapping” in Photoshop

Ever notice that when you’re dragging a guide into a Photoshop document that it “snaps” to the edge of an element on the currently active layer? Or when you’re moving a graphical element it “snaps” to the edge of the screen? Or maybe you have the grid feature turned on and you want to temporarily turn the grid snapping off. The easy way to avoid this is to begin dragging your guide or graphical element then press the Control key down. This temporarily disables the “snap” feature of Photoshop.

InDesign text frame options keyboard shortcuts

id_textframeoptionsInDesign’s Text Frame Options dialog box contains a few features/options you may find yourself using often, such as adjusting the column width of your text frame, adding inset spacing, adjusting the frame justification, adjusting your baseline options, and more. A quick way to access them is to hit Command + B with the frame selected. But a quicker way is to Option + Double Click with either of the Selection tools.

Temporarily hide the type baseline in Photoshop

When you are editing type in Photoshop, you most likely are quite annoyed by the visible baseline just under the type you are editing. You can get rid of the ugliness by activating (clicking on) the type with the Type Tool, then go to the View Menu and deselect Extras – this will temporarily hide the baseline under the type.

Copy items from multiple layers at a time in Photoshop

You can copy items from multiple layers at a time in Photoshop by simply adding the Shift key to Command + C or selecting Copy from the Edit menu. Now when you paste, it will give you results as if you had flattened all your layers before making the copy command.

Correcting washed-out color photos in Photoshop

Many times you are stuck with a washed-out photo from digital camera or scanned photo. Most people who try, find that quick adjustments in Photoshop’s Levels or Curves dialogs will certainly boost the colors up, but they also destroy all the details in the photo. Fortunately, Photoshop offers layer modes! Make a duplicate of the photo on another layer, the easiest way is hitting Command + J. Then, set the layer mode of the newly created layer to Overlay. This should really boost the color & contrast, but not mess with your highlights and shadows.

How to merge Photoshop layer sets to a new layer

Layer Sets in Photoshop are a great way to organize your layers but many times you will need to merge a set to work on its component layers as a merged, single layer. To do this, activate a layer set, go to the pop-out arrow in the upper right corner of the Layers palette, and drag down to Merge Layer Set. This will replace the set with a merged composite of the set’s component layers. But sometimes I want to get a merged version of a set to work with and maintain the set with its component layers intact. To do this, follow the same sequence above but hold down the Option key before you release over Merge Layer Set. This will merge the set out into a new layer above the existing layer set rather than replacing it.

How to move sliders 1% at a time in Photoshop

ps_sliders_key_0Did you know that when you’re using a tool that has a Slider, such as the layer settings in the Layers Palette, after clicking the Slider button you can use the left and right arrow keys to increase or decrease the slider by 1%. You can also hold the Shift key down while pressing the arrow keys to increase or decrease the amount by 10% at a time. This is helpful when the area you’re adjusting is subtle and you want to keep your eye on the image, instead of the slider.

Adding a keyboard shortcut for OSX’s Archive feature

I was reading through Mac OSX Hints, as I do every day, and came across this helpful hint for adding a keyboard shortcut to OSX’s Archive feature. It’s quite easy to do, and nothing extra is needed other than a Panther or Tiger install. Go to System Preferences, open the Keyboard & Mouse Preference Pane, and then click over to the Keyborad Shortcuts Tab. Finally, click the plus sign at the bottom and fill in the following information: Application: Finder Menu Title: Create Archive Keyboard Shortcut: Command-Shift-A (or whatever you like) Now just log out and log in, or relaunch the Finder to complete the process. Now you need only select a file and press the keyboard combo you set up to create an archive of that file or folder.

Quickly switch to InDesign text tool

To quickly switch to the text tool in Adobe InDesign when you are working with the Select or Direct Select tools (the arrow tools), simply double click the text box. As an added bonus, the curser will appear wherever you double clicked in the text box.