• Altering Photo Blocks In Photo Grids Layered Templates

    Katie Pertiet's Photo Grids Layered Templates are wonderfully versatile products that are infinitely customizable. You can use them as they are delivered or tweak the photo boxes to suit your project components. Here's how to change the size or number of boxes to personalize the template:

    • Begin by opening a Photo Grid Layered Template or Photo Blocks Layered Template in Photoshop or Elements.
    • Make a copy of the template so that you don't accidentally overwrite the original. In Photoshop, choose Image > Duplicate from the Menu Bar. In PSE, choose File > Duplicate. This opens the Duplicate Image dialog. The software automatically gives the new image the same name as the original with "Copy" added to the ending. You can save this or give the document a new name and then click OK.
    • Now close the original so that you are only working with the copy.
    • If you'd like to reduce the number of photo blocks, you can combine two or more blocks into one. To do that, click on one of the block layers. Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) on the keyboard to get the transform controls. Now a bounding box will surround the block. Shift and drag the sides or corner handles of the box to drag the block out to encompass the photo grid blocks you want to combine. Take care to make sure that the new block lines up with the boundaries of the original boxes so that the spaces between boxes are uniform. Tick the checkmark to confirm the size change. This will be in the Options Bar in Photoshop or below the bounding box in PSE.
    • Now you'll need to hide the blocks you have covered. Just click the layer visibility icon (looks like an eye) on the left side of the layer in the layers panel for each of the layers you have covered with your newly resized block. You can ignore these hidden layers when you add photos and papers to the template.
    • But what if you need to divide a block to add more photos to the grid template? That's pretty easy, too! Begin by selecting the layer of the block you want to divide.
    • Press Ctrl J (Mac: Cmd J) on the keyboard to duplicate the block. Now press Ctrl U (Mac: Cmd U) to get the Hue/Saturation dialog. Move the Lightness slider to make this copy layer lighter or darker than the original one. This helps you see the difference as you begin the division. Click OK.
    • Next, press Press Ctrl T (Mac: Cmd T) on the keyboard to get the transform controls. When the bounding box surrounds the block, shift and drag the sides or corner handles of the box to reduce the size of the block copy. You'll see the original block show under it as you are dragging. Tick the checkmark to confirm the change. When you have the copy block resized, select the original block and repeat the process to resize it. Zoom in if necessary to make sure that the space between the old and new blocks matches the spaces between the other blocks on the template. Remember that pressing the keys Ctrl + (Mac: Cmd +) zooms in and Ctrl - (Mac: Cmd -) zooms out.

    Layered templates are a great starting point for your scrapbooking projects and knowing how to tweak them means you can use them over and over again with different photos and themes.