Photoshop Q&A

by | 1 year ago

Q: I find that sometimes it’s easier to work in tiled view and then switch back to tabbed view, so I’m always switching back and forth. Is there a way to make this switch a little easier? 

A: You could assign a keyboard shortcut to each view and then just press the shortcut to switch to the view. To do this, go to Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts, set the Shortcuts For drop-down menu to Application Menus, and then look under Window to find the Arrange commands. Choose the tiling option you want (Tile All Vertically in this example) and assign a keyboard shortcut. 

It may be easiest to use F-key shortcuts for these, recognizing that F-keys can also be applied to actions, which would override these shortcuts. (So the simple solution is to use F-keys for these commands and remember not to apply them to any future actions.) Then assign a shortcut to Consolidate All to Tabs. Now whenever you want to switch to tiled view, press the F-key you assigned, and then to return to tabbed view, press the shortcut for that arrangement. 

Q: I pressed something and now all my menus and panels are gone. What did I do and how do I get everything back? 

A: It’s likely that you pressed the letter F a couple of times (while not in the Type tool), which changed your display to Full Screen Mode. In that mode everything is hidden except for the image. Just press F again to cycle to Standard Screen Mode. 

Q: I have several photos that I want to turn into layers in one document. Is there a simple way to do this? 

A: There are a couple of options to automatically create a new document made up of layers from different photos. In Photoshop go to File>Scripts>Load Files into Stack, and in the dialog that appears, click Browse, and navigate to add the files that you want to add into one document. The only downside to this method is that you have to choose the files based on their names since there’s no built-in preview (although you could use your operating system to preview, albeit in an additional step). 

The other option is to use Bridge, where you can see previews of the images and select the ones you want. Hold down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key to select noncontiguous files. Then go to Tools>Photoshop>Load Files into Photoshop Layers. The result of either method is a new document with layers made up of the files you selected. 

Q: I’d like to rotate the Clone Stamp tool as I’m using it. Is that possible? 

A: Yes, you can rotate the brush shape of the Clone Stamp (S) and the Clone Source. Here’s the difference: If you’ve chosen a brush shape (from the Brush Preset Picker) that’s not round (e.g., an oval), you can rotate the brush by pressing the Arrow keys on your keyboard. When you rotate the brush shape, you’re not affecting the source of the Clone Stamp, only the angle of the brush itself. 

You can also rotate the Clone Source, i.e. the pixels you’re cloning. You can do this in the Clone Source panel (Window>Clone Source) using the Rotate field: Either enter an angle, or position your cursor over the angle symbol and use the scrubby slider to change the angle. If you’ve already Option-clicked (PC: Alt-clicked) to set your sample point, when you use the scrubby slider, you’ll get a preview of the angle in your image. There’s also a keyboard shortcut to rotate the Clone Source angle: Option-Shift-> or < (PC: Alt-Shift-> or <) to change the angle. 

Q: How can I create a shape that’s a circle with many points, like a certificate seal? 

A: Depending on your version of Photoshop, you may see that as a built-in custom shape. If you do, switch to the Custom Shape tool (nested below the Rectangle tool [U] in the Toolbar), select the shape in the Custom Shape Picker in the Options Bar, and click-and-drag with the Shift key held down to create the shape. Just keep in mind that this is a set shape that doesn’t allow editing of factors such as the number of points. 

If you have Photoshop 2020, you probably won’t see this as one of the default shapes, but it can be loaded. Go to the Shapes panel (Window>Shapes) and use the flyout menu at the top right of the panel to choose Legacy Shapes and More. To find the certificate seal shape, expand the Legacy Shapes and More set, followed by the All Legacy Default Shapes, and then Banners and Awards. In that set, you’ll find the certificate seal. 

In order to have full control over the shape (including the number of points and how much they’re indented), use the Polygon tool instead (also nested below the Rectangle tool). In the Options Bar, enter the number of Sides. Then click on the gear icon to open the Path Options, check Star, and enter a value for Indent Sides By (e.g., 5–20%). Note that these values aren’t live, so you’ll have to draw the shape and if you don’t like the results, delete it, change the settings, and draw it again. 

Also note that once you change the settings for the Polygon tool, these will be the default settings until you change them again.