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Chapter Seven. Tools > Tools (Specific Tools)

Tools (Specific Tools)

Q1:What can I do with the Add Anchor Point tool?
A1: The Add Anchor Point tool is used when working with paths or shapes to add additional anchor points to the path or shape. Click on a selected path to add an anchor point.

Key settings/issues: Rather than switching to this tool, you can get the same effect by using the Pen tool (P) and clicking on a path where you want to add an extra anchor point.

Keyboard shortcut: None.

Q2:What can I do with the Art History tool?
A2: The Art History Brush uses a previous state of an image (and settings you specify) to simulate textures of painting with different colors and artistic styles.

Key settings/issues: Brush size, blending mode, Opacity, Style, Area, and Tolerance.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-Y

Q3:What can I do with the Audio Annotation tool?
A3: Use this tool to add an audio annotation to a document.

Key settings/issues: The main issue is whether someone else will be able to hear the annotation you have added with this tool—you may run into file format issues. Only PSD and PDF files will preserve the annotation.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-N

Q4:What can I do with the Background Eraser tool?

A4: The Background Eraser erases pixels to transparency, based on settings in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: Typically, you would use asoft-edged brush and set the options to: Limits: Find Edges; Tolerance: 30–50%; and Sampling: Once. You can also check Protect Foreground Color, then hold down Option (PC: Alt) and click on the color you do not want to erase.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-E

Q5:What can I do with the Blur tool?
A5: The Blur tool blurs pixels, and you do this by clicking-and-dragging with this tool.

Key settings/issues: Use a soft-edged brush and experiment with the settings for Strength—the higher the percentage, the more obvious the blurring.

Keyboard shortcut: R

Q6:What can I do with the Brush tool?
A6: This is a painting tool that uses the current Foreground color to apply paint, based on the settings on the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: Pick a brush size and settings for blending mode, Opacity, and Flow. There's also a toggle button to turn Airbrush capabilities on and off.

Keyboard shortcut: B

Q7:What can I do with the Burn tool?
A7: The Burn tool is a retouching tool that darkens existing colors. As you click-and-drag with this tool, pixels are darkened. The intensity is determined by the settings you select in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: Pick a brush size (typically large and soft-edged), choose the range you want to affect (Shadows, Midtones, or Highlights), and use a low percentage for Exposure. Start with a setting of less than 30% and work slowly.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-O

Q8:What can I do with the Clone Stamp tool?

A8: As the name suggests, the Clone Stamp lets you clone pixels from one part of an image to another. Option-click (PC: Alt-click) to establish the reference point from which you will clone, then move your mouse into the area to which you want to clone the pixels.

Key settings/issues: You can choose the brush size, blending mode, Flow, and Opacity, but a key setting is Aligned. With Aligned checked, the distance between the reference point and the painting point will remain constant. This is the most typical use. With Aligned unchecked, the reference point will remain where you first chose it, which can be useful if you are trying to clone the same pixels in various areas.

Keyboard shortcut: S

Q9:What can I do with the Color Replacement tool?
A9: This tool uses the current Foreground color to replace the color you're painting on.

Key settings/issues: Sampling: Continuous, Once, or Background Swatch, and Tolerance.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-B

Q10:What can I do with the Color Sampler tool?
A10: When you move the mouse around an image, the Info palette displays settings for colors in the position of your mouse. Use the Color Sampler tool to “fix” a point that will be measured. You can set up to four samplers.

Key settings/issues: To move a sampler, click-and-drag on it. To remove a sampler, hold down Option (PC: Alt) and click on the sampler. (You can also create samplers with the regular Eyedropper by holding down the Shift key and clicking.)

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-I

Q11:What can I do with the Convert Anchor Point tool?
A11: Used for working with paths and shapes, click-and-drag on an existing anchor point to change from a straight point to a curve, or click once on a curved point to convert it to straight.

Key settings/issues: You can also achieve the same results by using the Pen tool (P) and holding down Option (PC: Alt) with your path selected.

Keyboard shortcut: None.

Q12:What can I do with the Crop tool?

A12: The Crop tool is used to eliminate unnecessary parts of an image. Click-and-drag to select the area you want to keep. If necessary, use the handles on the bounding box to adjust the size. Click inside the box or press Return (PC: Enter) to crop. To get out of the cropping box, press the Escape key. If you are working on a layer other than the Background, you can go to the Options Bar and choose to Delete or Hide the pixels outside the cropping box. (If you want to use Hide, first go to Image>Reveal All to show the hidden areas.)

Key settings/issues: Press-and-hold the Shift key as you click-and-drag a bounding box to crop in proportion; press-and-hold Option (PC: Alt) to drag from the center outward.

Keyboard shortcut: C

Q13:What can I do with the Custom Shape tool?
A13: No surprise here really—use this tool to draw custom shapes. Choose from a selection of existing shapes in the Custom Shape Picker (it's the arrow to the right of the word “Shape” in the Options Bar).

Key settings/issues: Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer (see the group of three icons along the left side of the Options Bar). Load additional shapes through the flyout menu in the Custom Shape Picker.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-U

Q14:What can I do with the Delete Anchor Point tool?
A14: Used to delete anchor points on paths and shapes. Click on an existing anchor point to delete it from the path or shape.

Key settings/issues: You can also achieve the same results by using the Pen tool (P) and simply clicking on existing anchor points on your selected path to delete them.

Keyboard shortcut: None.

Q15:What can I do with the Direct Selection tool?
A15: When working with paths and shapes, the Direct Selection tool lets you click on and work with individual anchor points.

Key settings/issues: Option-click (PC: Alt-click) to select all points on a path, or Command-click (PC: Control-click) to temporarily switch to the Path Selection tool.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-A

Q16:What can I do with the Dodge tool?
A16: The Dodge tool is a retouching tool that lightens existing colors. As you click-and-drag with this tool, pixels are lightened. The intensity is determined by the settings you select in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: Pick a brush size (typically large and soft-edged), choose the range you want to affect (Shadows, Midtones, or Highlights), and use a low percentage for Exposure. Start with a setting of less than 30% and work slowly.

Keyboard shortcut: O

Q17:What can I do with the Ellipse tool?
A17: Use this tool to draw oval and circular shapes.

Key settings/issues: Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer (see the group of three icons on the left side of the Options Bar).

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-U

Q18:What can I do with the Eraser tool?

A18: This tool could easily be called the Paint With The Background Color tool. Click-and-drag with this tool to change the color of the pixels to your current Background color. If you are working on a layer, the pixels will be erased to transparent.

Key settings/issues: Brush size and Opacity.

Keyboard shortcut: E

Q19:What can I do with the Eyedropper tool?
A19: Use the Eyedropper to “sample” a color from an image. Click on an area to make that sampled color your new Foreground color. Hold down Option (PC: Alt) and click to choose a Background color.

Key settings/issues: Typically, use 3 by 3 Average as opposed to Point Sample for the Sample Size. (When using any painting tool, activate the Eyedropper by holding down Option [PC: Alt].)

Keyboard shortcut: I

Q20:What can I do with the Freeform Pen tool?
A20: While paths are created with the Pen tool by clicking each time you want to add an anchor point (and/or change direction), the Freeform Pen tool lets you create a path by clicking-and- dragging—once you let go, anchor points will be created.

Key settings/issues: Check Magnetic in the Options Bar to make the Freeform Pen tool automatically follow the edges of shapes.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-P

Q21:What can I do with the Gradient tool?

A21: The Gradient tool paints a blend of colors or shades, depending on the options you select. Click-and-drag with the Gradient tool to determine the direction and length of the blend.

Key settings/issues: Choose the gradient from the Gradient Picker (which will appear onscreen in the place of your cursor when you press Return [PC: Enter]), select the type of gradient (Linear, Radial, Angle, Reflected, or Diamond) in the Options Bar, and then set the blending mode and Opacity.

Keyboard shortcut: G

Q22:What can I do with the Hand tool?
A22: In addition to using the scroll bars, you can change your view with the Hand tool. Click-and-drag to scroll around the image.

Key settings/issues: Double-click on the Hand tool in the Toolbox to change to Fit on Screen view. When using any tool (other than the Type tools), press the Spacebar to temporarily activate the Hand tool.

Keyboard shortcut: H

Q23:What can I do with the Healing Brush tool?
A23: The Healing Brush tool lets you correct an area of pixels, causing them to disappear in to the surrounding image. Similar to the Clone Stamp tool, you create and use a reference point, but the Healing Brush tries to match the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels.

Key settings/issues: Choose a brush size, blending mode, and whether to use a Sampled Source or a Pattern. Option-click (PC: Alt-click) to establish the reference point, then paint over the problem area.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-J

Q24:What can I do with the History Brush tool?
A24: The History Brush lets you “paint back in” a previous state of the image. In the History palette (Window>History), click to the left of the History State in the palette and begin painting from that point in the image.

Key settings/issues: Choose the brush size, blending mode, Opacity, and Flow. The History Brush may not work in some instances—for example, after you have cropped or changed the image's color mode.

Keyboard shortcut: Y

Q25:What can I do with the Horizontal Type tool?

A25: This is the “main” Type tool. Click once on the image to create point type, or click-and-drag to create a text box with automatic wrap around.

Key settings/issues: Choose font, size, etc., in the Options Bar or in the Character and Paragraph palettes (both found under the Window menu) before or after entering type (to change options after entering your type, you will have to highlight it with the Type tool first). Click the Commit button (it looks like a checkmark in the Options Bar) or press Enter on the numeric keypad to finalize your text.

Keyboard shortcut: T

Q26:What can I do with the Horizontal Type Mask tool?
A26: Use this tool to create a selection based on text. Click, type, and then highlight your text to change font, size, etc., in the Options Bar or in the Character and Paragraph palettes (both found under the Window menu). When you commit the changes (by pressing Enter on your numeric keypad), you'll have a selection based on your text.

Key settings/issues: For more flexibility, use the regular Type tool and then Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the Type layer's thumbnail to load a selection around the text.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-T

Q27:What can I do with the Lasso tool?
A27: The Lasso tool is a selection tool used to make freeform selections by clicking-and-dragging. When you release the mouse button, the selection will automatically “close.”

Key settings/issues: Enter a Feather amount in the Options Bar (or wait until after you have made a selection and add a feather from the Select menu). To avoid the Lasso closing off by mistake, hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you drag the Lasso.

Keyboard shortcut: L

Q28:What can I do with the Line tool?
A28: Use this tool to draw lines, either as a Shape layer, a path, or a filled line (see the group of three icons along the left in the Options Bar).

Key settings/issues: Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer. Also set the Weight, Style, and Color of the line.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-U

Q29:What can I do with the Magic Eraser tool?
A29: Use the Magic Eraser tool to erase areas of a similar color. On a regular layer, the color you choose will be erased to transparent; on the Background layer, it will unlock the layer andconvert it to an editable layer, erasing pixels to transparent.

Key settings/issues: Tolerance controls the range of colors to be erased—the higher the number, the wider the range of colors to be erased. Choose Contiguous to only erase adjacent pixels—deselect this setting to erase all similar pixels.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-E

Q30:What can I do with the Magic Wand tool?

A30: The Magic Wand tool is a selection tool that selects pixels based on their color. Click on the color you want to select and similar colors will be selected, based on the Tolerance you have chosen in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: The higher the Tolerance, the wider the range of colors to be selected. (The range is from 0–255 pixels, with 255 being the same as the Select All command). Check Contiguous to select only adjacent pixels of similar colors.

Keyboard shortcut: W

Q31:What can I do with the Magnetic Lasso tool?
A31: The Magnetic Lasso selects areas by looking for edges of contrast and “snapping” to those edges as you drag the mouse. You can click to add more fastening points or press Delete (PC: Backspace) to remove points that you do not want.

Key settings/issues: Enter a Feather amount in the Options Bar before you begin or add feathering later from the Select menu. Performance of the magnetic function is influenced by Width, Edge Contrast, and Frequency.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-L

Q32:What can I do with the Marquee tools (Rectangular and Elliptical)?

A32: There are two main Marquee tools for making selections: Rectangular and Elliptical. Click-and-drag to create a rectangular or elliptical selection. You can also use options to restrict proportions or select a specific size.

Key settings/issues: Buttons to Add to or Subtract From Selection (see the group of four buttons on the left in the Options Bar), and Feather amount (or add feathering later from the Select menu). The other key setting is Style where you can choose from Normal (click-and-drag to size), Fixed Ratio (any size but in a constrained ratio), or Fixed Size (a specific size).

Keyboard shortcut: M (Rectangular), Shift-M (Elliptical)

Q33:What can I do with the other Marquee tools (Single Column and Single Row)?
A33: Click once to select a column or row of pixels 1-pixel wide, depending on the tool you're using.

Key settings/issues: Buttons to Add to or Subtract From Selection (see the group of four buttons in the left in the Options Bar), and Feather (although you will not see any real result from adding feather to a 1-pixel selection).

Keyboard shortcut: None.

Q34:What can I do with the Measure tool?
A34: Use the Measure tool to determine distance and angles by clicking-and-dragging. Results are shown in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: Press-and-hold the Shift key to drag straight lines. To create two linesat an angle, drawn one line, then press-and- hold Option (PC: Alt), click on the first line's starting point, and then drag a second line to measure angles.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-I

Q35:What can I do with the Move tool?
A35: Use the Move tool when you need to move layers or selected pixels.

Key settings/issues: Auto Select Layer and Show Transform Controls. With most tools activated, press Command (PC: Control) to temporarily activate the Move tool.

Keyboard shortcut: V

Q36:What can I do with the Notes tool?
A36: The Notes tool is an annotation tool, adding the equivalent of a Post-It note to your image. The notes will only be viewable when images are saved in PSD or PDF format.

Key settings/issues: In the Options Bar, choose the author's name, font size, and color. You can use the Clear All button in the Options Bar to delete any annotations in a document.

Keyboard shortcut: N

Q37:What can I do with the Paint Bucket tool?
A37: Use the Paint Bucket to fill an area with either the Foreground color or a pattern. The area that is filled is determined by where you click and the settings in the Options Bar.

Key settings/issues: The key setting is Tolerance because that determines the range of colors you paint. The higher the Tolerance, the wider the range of colors to be affected. Choose Contiguous to affect only adjacent pixels.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-G

Q38:What can I do with the Patch tool?

A38: Use the Patch tool to repair problem areas.

Key settings/issues: If the Patch option is set to Source, click-and-drag to select the problem, then click-and-drag the selection to the area of pixels that you want to use as the patch. If the Patch option is set to Destination, click-and-drag to select the area you will use as the patch, and then click-and-drag it over the problem area.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-J

Q39:What can I do with the Path Selection tool?
A39: Use the Path Selection tool to automatically select all the anchor points on a path or shape, and then move the path or shape.

Key settings/issues: Turn on Show Bounding Box if you want handles to appear to assist you in resizing the path. Hold down Option (PC: Alt) as you drag to copy the path or shape.

Keyboard shortcut: A

Q40:What can I do with the Pattern Stamp tool?
A40: Unlike the Clone Stamp tool that clones as it paints, the Pattern Stamp tool acts as a pattern-painting tool, painting with the chosen pattern.

Key settings/issues: Choose brush size, blending mode, Opacity, Flow, and select a pattern.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-S

Q41:What can I do with the Pen tool?
A41: The Pen tool is used to draw paths, both straight and curved. It can also be used to add or delete anchor points on an existing path. Use single clicks to draw straight paths; click-and-drag to create Beziér curves.

Key settings/issues: Hold down Command (PC: Control) to temporarily activate the Direct Selection tool to edit the path. Use the Paths palette (Window>Paths) to work with paths.

Keyboard shortcut: P

Q42:What can I do with the Pencil tool?
A42: Use the Pencil tool to paint freehand using hard-edged lines (you cannot use soft-edged brushes with the Pencil tool).

Key settings/issues: Choose a Foreground color, brush size, blending mode, and Opacity. Use Auto Erase to change the Foreground color to the Background or vice versa.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-B

Q43:What can I do with the Polygonal Lasso tool?
A43: Use this selection tool to make polygon (straight-edged) selections. Click each time you want the selection to change direction.

Key settings/issues: Choose a Feather amount (or add feathering after making your selection by going to the Select menu). Press-and-hold Shift to constrain to straight, angled lines. To finish the selection, either click the mouse at the original starting point or double-click.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-L

Q44:What can I do with the Polygon tool?
A44: This tool draws multi-sided shapes as a Shape layer, a path, or a filled area (see the group of three icons on the left in the Options Bar).

Key settings/issues: Type the number of sides in the Options Bar. Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-U

Q45:What can I do with the Rectangle tool?

A45: This tool draws rectangular shapes, as a Shape layer, a path, or a filled area on an existing layer.

Key settings/issues: Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer. Press-and-hold Shift to draw a perfect square.

Keyboard shortcut: U

Q46:What can I do with the Red Eye tool?
A46: This tool “removes” red eye by changing the color to black or dark gray when you click or click-and-drag.

Key settings/issues: Pupil size and Darken Amount.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-J

Q47:What can I do with the Rounded Rectangle tool?
A47: This tool draws rectangular shapes with rounded corners as a Shape layer, a path, or a filled area on an existing layer.

Key settings/issues: Choose from creating a shape on a Shape layer, creating a path, or creating a filled area on an existing layer (see the group of three icons on the left in the Options Bar). Press-and-hold Shift to draw a perfect square with rounded corners.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-U

Q48:What can I do with the Sharpen tool?
A48: Use the Sharpen tool to sharpen the focus of the edges in an image.

Key settings/issues: Typically use a soft-edged brush and choose a low setting for Strength.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-R

Q49:What can I do with the Slice tool?
A49: The Slice tool is used for Web design, mainly to cut a large image into smaller pieces that load more quickly. Click-and-drag to create slices.

Key settings/issues: Make sure the slices number logically from left to right (i.e., if you see slices named 1, 2, 4, you have created a tiny slice number 3 that will cause you grief). You can also add guides and then click the Slices From Guides button in the Options Bar.

Keyboard shortcut: K

Q50:What can I do with the Slice Select tool?

A50: Use the Slice Select tool to select and work with slices to alter, rename, add URLs, etc.

Key settings/issues: Click the Slice Options button (near the right on the Options Bar) to rename, add URLs, etc. Click the Divide button to create more slices from one slice.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-K

Q51:What can I do with the Smudge tool?

A51: The Smudge tool looks very much like using your finger to smudge wet paint. The direction you drag the mouse and the settings in the Options Bar will determine how the pixels are affected.

Key settings/issues: Brush size, blending modes, and Strength. Turn on Finger Painting to add in the Foreground color as you start to smudge.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-R

Q52:What can I do with the Sponge tool?
A52: Use the Sponge tool to change the saturation of an image—either by increasing (Saturate) or decreasing (Desaturate).

Key settings/issues: Select a brush size, choose between Desaturate and Saturate for the blending mode, and enter a Flow setting.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-O

Q53:What can I do with the Spot Healing Brush tool?

A53: Use this one-click tool to quickly fix small blemishes.

Key settings/issues: Select a brush size, and Type: Proximity Match or Create Texture.

Keyboard shortcut: J

Q54:What can I do with the Vertical Type tool?
A54: Use this tool to add text that appears vertically rather than horizontally.

Key settings/issues: Use all standard type settings in the Options Bar and Character and Paragraph palettes (both found under the Window menu).

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-T

Q55:What can I do with the Vertical Type Mask tool?
A55: Use this tool to create a selection based on type in a vertical orientation.

Key settings/issues: For more flexibility, use the Vertical Type tool, and then Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the Type layer's thumbnail to load a selection around your text.

Keyboard shortcut: Shift-T

Q56:What can I do with the Zoom tool?

A56: Use the Zoom tool to change the magnification of your image. Click once to zoom in, or click-and-drag with the Zoom tool to indicate the area you want to zoom in on.

Key settings/issues: Settings in the Options Bar include choosing between Zoom In and Zoom Out, resizing windows when zooming, and the ability to ignore palettes when zooming. Press-and-hold Option (PC: Alt) to zoom out with the Zoom tool.

Keyboard shortcut: Z


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