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Adobe Photoshop Tips: March 22: Lift the Flap on Hidden Tools
28th o March, 2009
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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!
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
are several ways to navigate these hidden flaps:
way to navigate the hidden tools is to right-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
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.
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.
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