Photoshop Basics and Quick Tips
Tips for Beginners
1. You don't need to activate the Move Tool to move layers around. Simply hold down the Control key (for Windows users) or the Command key (Mac users) and click and drag on your layer with the mouse.
2. Are the palettes getting in the way? You can hide them temporarily just by hitting the Tab key. To bring them back, press the Tab key again.
3. To open a document in Photoshop, you don't need to reach for the File > Open menu option or even press Control+O - you can just double-click on the grey Photoshop window background!
4. If you're working on a large image such as a photo, you can maximize the available editing area by pressing the F key to toggle between a full screen mode with and without menu bar, and normal editing mode. If you also use tip number 2 above, and the tool shortcut keys, you can do a lot of your work without a menu or palette in sight!
5. You can get precise control over the position of your layers by using the arrow keys on the keyboard to nudge the layer around. Hold down the Control key (Windows) or the Command key (Mac) and use the up, down, left and right arrows to move the layer 1 pixel at a time. To move the layer by 10 pixels at a time, hold down the Shift key as well.
6. Press I to bring up the Eyedropper Tool, then click on a colour in your image to make that colour the foreground colour. Press the ALT key and click to make the colour the background colour instead.
You can also press the D key to reset the foreground and background colours to the default (black and white), and the X key to swap the foreground and background colours.
7. You can often constrain movement of the mouse to the nearest 45-degree or 90-degree angle by holding down the Shift key while you click and drag with the mouse. This works on tools such as the Paintbrush Tool, Line Tool and Move Tool. Great for drawing straight lines!
8. When using the Marquee tools [M], use the Shift key to create perfect circles or squares: use the Alt key to draw them from their centers.
9. You may alternate between Polygonal and Freehand Lasso [L], while you are creating a selection, by holding down the Alt key.
10. Here are some useful shortcuts for use with the Magnetic Selection tool [L] and Magnetic Pen tool
[ / ] decrease / increase the Width
< / > decrease / increase Edge Contrast
Shift+[ / ] minimize / maximize the Width
Shift+< / > minimum (1%) / maximum (100%) Edge Contrast
Alt-drag Freeform tool
Alt-click draw straight lines
Alt+Shift-click draw straight lines at 45° increments
Alt-double-click close selection
Alt-double-click close selection with a straight line
11. When dragging selections or layers from one document to another, hold down the Shift to have them centered on the destination canvas. (Note: If the destination canvas contains a selection, the dragged item will be placed into the center of the selection.)
12. To quickly change the Tolerance setting for the Magic Wand tool [W], press Enter, type the desired tolerance (or use the up and down arrow keys) and then press Enter again.
13. Access the Zoom tool [Z] at any time by holding Ctrl+Space to zoom in, and Alt+Space to zoom out. You can even drag out a region to magnify while holding down Ctrl+Space. Zoom in and out by using Ctrl+Plus ( + ) and Ctrl+Minus ( - ), respectively: have the window resize to fit by also holding down the Alt key (Ctrl+Alt+Plus and Ctrl+Alt+Minus).
14. To restore the default settings for one (or all) of the tools click on its icon on the left side of the Options palette (Window » Show Options) and choose Reset Tool (or Reset All Tools). A dialog box will appear to confirm that you wish to reset the tool(s).
15. To reapply the last filter, use Filter » Last Filter [Ctrl+F]. To reapply a filter with new settings, add the Alt key (Ctrl+Alt+F or Alt + Filter » Last Filter). Fade the effects (and change the blending mode) of the last filter (or adjustment), by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F (Edit » Fade Last Filter).
16. To achieve better results with the Unsharp Mask filter (Filter » Sharpen » Unsharp Mask), try applying it twice using a smaller Amount (%) setting.
Example: Instead of applying Unsharp Mask once at an amount of 150%, use an amount of 60% twice.
17. Hold down the Alt key when choosing Filter » Render » Clouds to increase the contrast of the clouds.
18. If you scale your image using the Image » Image Size command, your styles will not be scaled (i.e. all numerical values will remain constant). To scale the styles in your image, choose Layer » Layer Style » Scale Effects and enter the percentage by which you scaled your image.
19. Change the opacity of the currently active tool or layer by using the number keys (on the keyboard or on the number pad). Press "1" for 10% opacity, "5" for 50%, and so on: use "0" for 100% opacity. Numbers pressed in succession, such as "85", will result in an opacity of 85%.
20. Alt-click on the Trash icon, at the bottom of the Layers palette, to quickly delete layers (without confirmation): this also works with channels and paths.
21. To drag multiple layers between documents, first link them together, then use the Move tool [V] to drag them from one document window into the other.
22. Changing the blending mode and / or opacity of a layer set affects all layers within the set (effectively treating all layers inside as a single layer).
23. By default the Curves dialog box [Ctrl+M] (Image » Adjust » Curves) is only 171 pixels wide: however, you can click on the maximize / minimize button to toggle the grid size between 256 pixels and 171 pixels wide. For greater accuracy, use the larger grid, since you have control over all 256 shades of gray in the image (compared to 171 shades by using the small grid).
24. Press the Space Bar to access the Hand tool [H] at any time.
25. If you crop your image using Image » Crop, you will lose all pixels outside the crop boundaries. To crop your image without losing any data, use the Crop tool [C] with Cropped Area set to Hide (in the Options palette).
I cut n paste this from another site but hopefully it will be usefull for a few here.
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Thanks Very Helpful