Showing posts from February, 2012

Define Paragraph container size before you start typing in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

In situations when you know in advance what size of paragraph container you need for your design use secret and hidden option to define sizes of paragraph container before even start typing text. Secret is in modifier key Alt, press and hold modifier then click once with Type tool selected anywhere on canvas or image.

Paragraph Text Size dialog will open with default measurement in points but you can type paragraph text or container size and in pixels, millimeters, inches which will be translated to default measurement unit for type defined in Preferences.
If you prefer to work with pixel size for type for example when working on web layout then visit Preferences > Units & Rulers and change in Units section default measurement unit from Type drop-down list.

Photoshop / Default keyboard shortcuts
Photoshop Help / Presets, Preferences, and Plug-ins

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended

How to apply stroke around multiple objects in Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator you can take advantage of strokes to end up with very cool results using this unique feature. It is pretty easy to apply stroke effect to any shape but little bit tricky to add stroke effect to multiple objects, I mean one stroke for all objects with ability to change any of objects or shapes independently. What I am talking about you can see at screenshot below:

Pretty cool ha? You can also end up and with this result where shapes does not have stroke effect applied rather only one stroke around all objects:

Let’s see how to achieve this cool effect. First of all you need at list two shapes, select them and group them. Easiest way to group shapes is keyboard shortcut Ctrl + G but you can take advantage of menus and group objects from Object > Group.

In this example I will use Offset Path command but you do not have to, you can just apply stroke and end up with result from second screenshot from above. So with group selected open APPEARANCE panel (Window > A…

Live Corners and Corner Effects in Adobe InDesign

Beside live corners feature in InDesign CS5 which allows us to set roundness of all corners or for each corner separately there are and some very cool built in corner effects like Fancy, Bevel…

Live Corners in InDesign

Let’s start with live corners. Just to mention that I am using free InDesign template Calipso which you can download from here. When you have rectangle or square shape, path or frame in your document click on it and yellow square will appear near right top corner. In case you do not see yellow square go to View > Extras > Show Live Corners to enable live corners feature. From the same menu you can hide live corners. Note: you can not apply corner effect to the smooth path (shape, frame).

After clicking yellow square you will see 4 diamonds appears on the selected frame or shape (you can convert any shape to frame). To set corner radius click on any diamond and drag. While dragging pop-up will appear and show you amount of corner radius (R=17 mm for example).

To s…

Step and Repeat command in Adobe Photoshop

In this video tutorial I want to introduce you one of hidden features or command which you can not find in any menu, sub-menu or context menu. It seems there isn't such command. The secret is in keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Opt + T to copy object and enter free transform mode. Anything you will do in free transform mode using this shortcut Photoshop will remember - you can distort, rotate, scale, move object. After transformation confirm with Enter/Return or using Commit check-mark in options bar. To repeat last transformation use keyboard shortcut: Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Opt + Shift + T.

In this example I am using shape and clipping mask for my simple creation. The beauty of using vector object is that everything can be changed and rearranged at any time without losing any quality. You can use this powerful command in many different situation with vector or pixel objects to create contact sheets, catalogues and so on.

Photoshop / Default keyboard shortcuts

Product used in…

Adobe kuler – Free Color Themes

Adobe kuler is free online service where you can share, create, and download color themes for Adobe Creative Suite 2,3,4,5 and use them in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks and Flash Professional.

Currently you can explore and download more then 11.000 color themes created and submitted by Adobe users. Note: you must sign in with Adobe ID in order to save, rate, comment on, and download themes. If you do not have Adobe ID, create one, it’s free and takes only a few minutes.

Watch official video how to use this service.

In Creative Suite CS4/5 applications you can access kuler panel from Window > Extensions > Kuler. For previous versions read kuler help.

In case you have received color themes (swatches) as email attachment, there is a way to load them.

Load ASE file in Photoshop
Open Swatches panel and click panel menu icon (1), choose Load Swatches (2), in Load dialog choose Swatch Exchange .ASE (4) from Files of type drop-down list (3), navigate to file, click on…

Create Mask With Soft Edges in Adobe Illustrator

In Adobe Illustrator you can create mask with soft edges which blends perfectly with background or in other words Opacity Mask. To create opacity mask first place your image in Illustrator. draw your shape above or rearange to have shape on top of image and set Fill to be White color and Stroke to None.

Go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and set Feather Radius.

Select both: image and shape then open TRANSPARENCY panel (Window > Transparency). Click TRANSPARENCY panel menu in top right corner and ensure New Opacity Masks Are Clipping option is checked then select Make Opacity Mask.

And you are done, opacity mask with soft edges is created. If you want to change Feather Radius later follow this steps:

Change Feather Radius
Select opacity mask in TRANSPARENCY panelSelect path by clicking eyeball on the right side in LAYERS panelClick Feather in APPEARANCE panel

Would you like to reposition image inside mask? No problem. Click chain icon between image and mask thumbnails in TRANSPAR…

How to Manage and Work with Presets in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

In this tutorial I will explain best practice how to load, save, reset, replace, and rename:

Custom Shapes

in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Some sets (set can contain one or more brush, swatch, custom shape preset) mentioned above are available in both applications (bolded) and other are available only in Photoshop.

Preset Manager Menu
Best practice to work with sets in both application is to open Preset Manager dialog from Edit > Preset Manager. In both application Brushes are displayed by default and only two commands or buttons are active: Load and Done. You can use Done button to confirm any changes and exit Preset Manager dialog or just to close dialog if you haven’t made any changes.

To change which set is displayed choose from Preset Type drop down list at left upper corner.

From Preset Manager menu which is in right upper corner shown as triangle in Photoshop (in Photoshop Elements triangle after More) you can choos…

Free PSD Photo Frames

10 free frames in PSD file format to decorate your digital photos in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Use Replace Contents command to replace bottom most image with your own. Frames are 3x2 inches, 300 px/inch, Adobe RGB (1998). Frames created with the best Photoshop plugin - Filter Forge.

Get Filter Forge – an advanced Photoshop plugin allowing you to build your own filters.

Here is preview of all frames included in PSD file.

Aps image frames from Bojan Živković

Hidden Stroke options in InDesign

InDesign have some really cool and really hidden options when creating custom strokes. I know for three custom Strokes you can create in InDesign and print them as well: Lights, Feet and Rainbow. Here is Lights preview:

To create custom stroke in InDesign first open STROKE panel. Click panel menu and choose Stroke Styles..

In Stroke Styles dialog click New button to open New Stroke Style. Type in Name text field Lights, Feet or Rainbow. For Lights and Feet choose Dash for type and for Rainbow choose Stripe from Type drop-down menu. Click Add button at right side then confirm on OK.

To apply custom stroke click on path,shape or object like image, set Weight in Stroke panel to 20,30 pt or any other number then from Type menu choose desired stroke.

InDesign / Applying line (stroke) settings

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe InDesign CS5

Type inside Path in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements

In this quick tip I want to remind you about feature inside Photoshop and Photoshop Elements to type text inside any closed path. First off course draw path or shape, select Horizontal Type tool and move pointer inside path.

When the type tool is surrounded by dashed parentheses , click to insert text.

Usually you will want greater control over text inside path. Open Character and Paragraph panel in Photoshop (Window > Character or Paragraph) and adjust appearance of text inside path. Photoshop Elements gives some control over text in options bar below menus.

Photoshop Help / Formatting characters

Product used in this tutorial: Adobe Photoshop CS5