Thursday, April 21, 2011


Tip #111. Once you have made the perfect selection, you can save it to use later in the same image. Go to Select | Save Selection, and a pop up will appear. You can name your selection, but I never bother. Click OK and your selection is saved. But it’s not a selection any more. It’s more like a mask, and it’s stored on the Channels tab of the Layers panel. The default name is Alpha 1. Don’t fret. You don’t have to learn about Channels yet. To get your selection back, just go to Select |Load Selection. And your marching ants will show up again. You don’t even have to have the Channels tab visible. You can edit those ants, if you wish. To save your edits, you just have to select the channel Alpha 1 in the pop-up box when you click the Save Selection option, instead of creating a new channel (which would be Alpha 2). This is also handy when you have been working on a tricky extraction and you aren’t finished yet, but you want to quit working for a while. The most important thing to remember is you can’t save selections in a .jpg file. You’ll want to save your file as something layered, a .psd or .tiff. Again, don’t fret. Photoshop will automatically save in .psd format. It even politely pops open a window so you could choose .tiff format if you wanted.

Tip #112. To group layers, which keep them organized when you have lots of layers, simply select all the layers you want in a group in the Layers panel and then press Command or Control and the letter ‘g’. Or, with the layers selected, go to Layer | Group Layers. To ungroup layers, option-click, or right-click on the group and select ungroup layers. If layers are grouped, when you change the layer order of one layer in the group, you change them all. This can be quite useful if you have created a cluster of embellishments that you want to keep together. I like to use it for lettering. It’s OK to have more than one group in an image. And it’s also OK to put Groups in Groups. But if your projects are that complicated, you probably don’t need these tips.

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