Q: I used the Object Selection tool to select one person from a group photo, and the selection is missing some areas, so how do I add to or subtract from this selection?
A: Although you could use any selection tool to add to or subtract from an existing selection, using the Object Selection tool (W) will often work just as well or better. To add to a selection, hold down the Shift key; to subtract from a selection hold down Option (PC: Alt). Just make sure you have Object Subtract turned on in the Options Bar. If you’re using a tool such as the Quick Selection tool, you’ll have to be sure to drag in the appropriate area to fine-tune the selection, whereas with the Object Selection tool (with the appropriate key pressed), you drag around the area you wish to add or remove, and it will automatically create the selection.
Q: Is it possible to rearrange the order of swatches in the Swatches panel? Can I delete swatches?
A: As of Photoshop 2020, you can manage most of your presets, including Swatches (Window>Swatches), right inside their respective panels. To rearrange the order of the swatches, you’d go to the Swatches panel, click-and-hold on a swatch, and then drag it to its new position. To delete an unwanted swatch, click on the swatch and then click on the Trash icon at the bottom of the Swatches panel. (Hold down Option [PC: Alt] when you click on the Trash icon to avoid the warning dialog about deleting the swatch.)
Q: What are Smart Guides, and is there a reason to use them?
A: Smart Guides (View>Show>Smart Guides) automatically and intelligently appear (and then disappear) to help you align layers. For example, if you duplicate a layer and then move it, guides will appear to indicate if the edges and centers of the two objects are aligned.
And, if you hold down Option (PC: Alt) and drag out another copy, a measurement will appear when the space between all three objects is the same.
Q: I have guides on a document that aren’t needed any more, or are in an incorrect orientation. Can I delete just certain guides and start again?
A: Yes; to delete a guide, use the Move tool (V) and drag the guide from the document window onto the Ruler. You can also change the orientation of an existing guide, for example from horizontal to vertical: Just position the Move tool over the guide, hold down Option (PC: Alt), and click once.
Q: I turned on Gamut Warning (View>Gamut Warning) to see what it did, and large portions of my photo turned gray. What’s happening?
A: Some colors in RGB can’t be printed when the photo is converted to CMYK, and those colors are considered outside the gamut of what CMYK is capable of printing. So, the Gamut Warning places a gray overlay over the areas where the colors will have to shift if you were to convert to CMYK. This typically happens in the most vibrant and saturated colors in blues, greens, etc. To see how this works, go to the Color Picker, choose a very bright blue, and then click on the Gamut Warning from the View menu. You’ll see the gray overlay indicating all the colors that are out of the CMYK gamut; and as you move to other colors along the hue bar in the Color Picker, you’ll see the gray area change.
Note: This isn’t something to worry about unless you’ll be converting to and printing in CMYK. If you are, you might want to try using View>Proof Colors, which will preview what the color shift will look like, and is often much less “dramatic” than the Gamut Warning.
Q: With the Brush tool, what does the Butterfly icon in the Options Bar do?
A: If you click on the Butterfly icon up in the Options Bar when using the Brush tool (B), you can paint in symmetry, i.e., paint strokes are reflected live across the line of symmetry. The menu allows you to choose from Vertical, Horizontal, Dual Axis, Diagonal, Wavy, Circle, Spiral, Parallel Lines, Radial, or Mandala.
For Mandala, you can specify any Segment Count from 3 (minimum) to 10 (maximum). Photoshop first mirrors and then repeats a single brush stroke around the center point or radial axis. In this example, we used a count of 6 segments. At the bottom of the Symmetry menu you can hide (or show) the Symmetry segments.
Q: My friend said that using Adobe Stock saves him time because he doesn’t have to redo his work, going from a preview image to the final automatically. How does this work?
A: There are a couple of big advantages of working with Adobe Stock in Photoshop. The first is that you can download a watermarked preview directly into your Photoshop Library, which you can then use to mock up a design. In this example, a mask was added to two type layers to make it appear as though the text was behind the basketball.
Here’s the other advantage: Once the mockup is finalized, Right-click on the image in your Libraries panel (Window>Libraries) and choose License Image. You’ll be asked to confirm that you want to use one of your licenses and, once you do, the image updates to the high-res version, removing the watermark while preserving the masking etc. that you’ve already done.
ALL IMAGES BY DAVE CROSS, EXCEPT WHERE NOTED