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Frequently Asked Questions
Stupid Mistakes

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Add your Photoshop stupid mistakes here:


[Painting Cursors & Other Cursors]
The painting cursor comes in three different flavors: standard, precise, and brush size. Other cursors come in two flavors: standard and precise. Sometimes you won't be using the flavor that you want... even after triple checking the preferences, trashing the preferences, warm booting, cold booting, and kicking the dog. Chances are that Caps Lock is the culprit. Caps Lock likes to force a certain flavor of cursor no matter what you want.
I repeat: CAPS LOCK.

[Colour Picker dialog]
I'm sure you've seen this. There is a big square of colours on the left and a bunch of numbers in little boxes on the right. There is even a coloured slider down the middle. Now, that square of colours usually looks a certain way, but sometimes it changes to a different "4-corner" mode. This is certainly annoying if you want it a certain way and down know how to change it back. The secret to changing that colour square is in the checkboxes next to the squares on the right with the numbers in them. :whew:

[Painting on seperate layers]
Painting on seperate layers is good. Painting on the wrong layer is bad.

[Eyedropper in background]
Usually the Eyedropper will put the sampled colour into the foreground. Sometimes it changes its mind and starts putting the sampled colour into the background. This can be fixed from the Colour palette. In the upper-left of the Colour palette, there are two squares that represent the foreground and background colours. The one with the outline is the one that receives sampled colours from the Eyedropper. Just click on the one that you want to receive sampled colours.

[Type Tool]
Having the Type tool selected can cause problems with menu items being greyed out - especially if the cursor is blinking for input and you didn't notice.

[Screen Captures]
A screen cap of the Layers palette does not work like the real thing.

[Vector Tools Mode]
When you first grab a vector tool, there are 3 modes available: Shape layers, Paths, and Fill pixels. The buttons for these are in the option bar near the left. Make sure you have the right option before you get nuts. A common mistake is to use the Line tool not in Fill Pixels mode when what you want is Fill Pixels.

A lot of specialty brushes- including the ones usually used for 'shines'- must be loaded into Photoshop, they are not enabled by default. Even after a reformatting- who knew?

If you trash layers and Save/Exit, you will lose them. A hidden unecessary layer is better than recreating the one you thought you erased when *this blank one* is the on that had to go. Fuck, I do that all the time!
Adding on to the layers thing: Always Always ALWAYS keep an unflattened copy of your work! Throw it in a zip file on a cd if you have to! If you need a flattened copy of your PSD, flatten it and undo your flatten. Or create a new layer at the top of the stack, CTRL + SHIFT + ALT + E, and export that layer to a new PSD.

[ctrl + h]
That key-combo hides a selection. The selection is still there, you just can't see it. Sometimes turning off the marching ants is good. They can play tricks on the eyes when doing certain things. Problem is: you *will* forget that you have a hidden selection in there. All of sudden, things won't work, you'll bang your head, and kick the dog. Try ctrl + h again to see if it's an invisible selection that is causing problems.

[Preserve Transparency]
It has it's uses. Sometimes it needs to be turned off when it's turned on, though. Sometimes you won't know it until you've gone through 2 cups of Irish coffee. Then again, the Irish coffee might be why you didn't check Preserve Transparency in the first place. This is another good thing to check when things start acting funny.

[Moving Text]
Text won't move? chances are, it's because of the "crtl+h" problem listed above. Deselect, then move. Everbody's happy.

[crtl+alt+shift+c - copy visible]
Ever tried to copy all visible components in your selection, to paste it into a new image, but it just won't copy? Make sure you have a visible layer selected - it always seems to help.

The various tools have the option to change the Mode. For example, you can set the Gradient tool to Screen. You can set the Smudge tool to Darken. You can set Clone Stamp tool to Dissolve. You can even forget that you changed the Mode and be left wondering. Isn't that great?

[Curves - Set Point]
In the Curves dialog, there are 3 Set Point Eyedroppers: Black, Gray, and White. If you double click one of them, you can pick a colour to be the appropriate point. If you change it, it won't change back by itself - even if you restart your computer.

[Saving Vector Data in an EPS]
Apparently in PS7 if you want to save your file as an EPS file and include vector data then having your vector shape as a work path in the paths palette isn't good enough, you'll need to make sure that your vector shape is on a shape layer in the layers palette. If you've already built your shape as a mere path, fear not, select the work path in the paths palette and go to "Edit / Define Custom Shape" and name your shape and store it in the custom shapes palette. With the custom shape tool selected click the Shape Layers button in the tool's options bar then you'll be able to drag out the vector shape onto it's own new shape layer, and then saving as an EPS, you'll be able to include vector data. Who knew?

Relevant threads:

easy preference question... - over at the GN.

Building "Back Doors" - follow this tutorial and your stupid mistakes will (hopefully) be fixable.


(Added by: Emperor on Fri 06-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: Emperor on Fri 06-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: Raptor on Sat 07-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: warjournal on Sun 08-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: reitsma on Sun 08-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: warjournal on Fri 20-Sep-2002)

(Edited by: warjournal on Sun 19-Jan-2003)

(Edited by: JKMabry on Tue 24-Jun-2003)

(Edited by: JKMabry on Tue 24-Jun-2003)

(Edited by: warjournal on Sat 29-Nov-2003)

(Edited by: warjournal on Sun 28-Dec-2003)

(Edited by: warjournal on Fri 23-Jan-2004)

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