• Adobe Photoshop Tips: Lift the Flap on Hidden Tools

    The Tool bars in Photoshop and PSE remind me of the Lift-the-Flap books my sons used to love when they were little. Some of the pages in those books had little flaps that lifted to reveal a hidden surprise. The Tool bar does, too!

    Some of the tools have a small arrow to the right of the icon. By lifting that flap, you reveal “hidden” tools that share the slot on the Tool Bar.

    There are several ways to navigate these hidden flaps:

    One way to navigate the hidden tools is to right-click (Mac: Ctrl + Click) on the icon in the toolbar. This launches a fly-out menu listing all of the tools hidden beneath the icon. Move your cursor to highlight the tool you want to use, then click on the tool name to activate it.

    Another way to select a hidden tool is to click and hold any icon that has tools underneath it. Holding will launch the hidden tool fly-out menu from which you can click the tool you want to use.

    The third way to find the hidden tools is to use the keyboard shortcut with the Shift key. Hover your cursor over each tool to determine the tool name and shortcut. To select a tool, simply press the tool shortcut on the keyboard. The Brush tool, for example, can be selected by simply pressing the letter B on your keyboard. Once the Brush tool is activated, pressing Shift + B in Photoshop changes the tool to the Pencil tool, which is the first tool hidden beneath the Brush tool. Pressing Shift + B again activates the Color Replacement Tool and finally, Shift + B a third time scrolls back to the Brush tool. (In Photoshop Elements, Shift + B scrolls through the Impressionist Brush, Color Replacement tool, and the Pencil tool in that order.) This is a quick and easy way to scroll through and change tools on the fly. Note: In some versions of Photoshop Elements, it isn't necessary to hold the shift key as you scroll through the shortcuts. Simply pressing the shortcut key repeatedly scrolls through the hidden tools.