Easily Install Photoshop Pre-sets – All in One Place

I wrote this tutorial one day after reading another online tutorial for installing brushes via the Adobe files on one’s C-drive.  That way works great, cut and dry!  But, it adds to the program’s size and, eventually, this can really slow down the loading and performance of the PS program.

Did You Know…?

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I want to show you all, once and for all, how easy it is to load presets into Photoshop.  This method works for all presets, is semi-permanent and takes very little space on your hard drive.  It’s called the ‘Preset Manager’.

(Note:  I use CS6.  It’s possible that you don’t see all the presets listed in CS6 in Elements.  It is my understanding you can access some others by clicking on ‘More’ in Layer styles/effects.  This may not be correct, so, the best I can do is tell you to Google installing these.  Sorry!)

We already know that a ‘pre-set’ is a brush, style, pattern, color palette, shape, etc.  What better way to deal with these than through the Preset Manager(PM).  You can access the PM by going to Edit>Presets>Preset Manager.

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Or, you can access it by going to any of the preset tools and clicking on the tiny icon at the top on the right.

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The Preset Manager

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This is where all the action takes place.   I have my ‘brush’ manager open.  It’s getting full!  LOL

Now, obviously, as with the tutorial that inspired me to write this one, you can drop the individual presets into their perspective folders in Adobe’s files on your hard drive.  They are inside the program and will be until you manually remove them from that folder.  Follow this path, or one similar, on your pc:  C:Program Files (x86)AdobeAdobe Photoshop CS6Presets.  But, this adds them to the program ‘permanently’, in a way that makes it load slower.  (If you have too many loaded this way, when you try to change or ‘Re-set’ a preset, often, the entire list/menu isn’t viewable.)  I would only recommend doing this for special presets that you use all the time – as in every day.  By adding them to the PM, they stay in the program until you remove them, but, they don’t count near as much, if anything, against the program as far as taking up space and taking longer to load.

Check out the options you have with the PM:

If you want to load a new preset:

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A window will open, then, navigate to the preset you want on your hard drive.

If you want to save an assortment of presets you frequently use, click on the ‘Save Set’ button.  (I save the ‘best of’ certain brushes, like ‘clouds’, for example, into one set for frequent use – making sure the designer’s name is on the individual preset for crediting, then, I label the set accordingly and save):

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First, click on the preset you want to save.  If there are multiple presets, like if you just created a set of 24 gorgeous rose brushes, you need to click on the first preset, then, hold down the Shift key and click on the last preset you want.  All of the presets in between should be highlighted, too.  Or, you can hold Ctrl/Command and click on each preset, one at a time.  Either way, when you have selected all the presets you wish to save, click on the ‘Save Set’ button. (Some buttons will appear ‘grayed-out’ until you select at least one of the presets.)  Navigate to the place on your hard drive where you want to save and name it something catchy. Be sure to include your name or initials in the title!   Click Save.

Similarly, to Rename or Delete a preset, or presets, highlight the specific preset(s) and click on the appropriate button:

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WHEN YOU DELETE A PRESET FROM THE PRESET MANAGER IT DOES NOT GO AWAY FOREVER!  It is just no longer in your manager.  If you need it again, go through the steps to ‘Load’ it again.

When you are done with all your presetting, click ‘Done’.

I use the term ‘preset’ throughout this tutorial.  Replace it with whatever you like – Brush, Style, Custom Shape, etc.  The same PM can be used for any and all presets, except Actions.  Here’s how!  At the top of the PM is a drop down menu.

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You can go to any of the other presets via the same manager.  (Exception:  Actions – no PM.)

So!  Any time you want to know how to load a brush or a pattern, maybe, the only thing you need to remember is the Preset Manager.  You don’t even have to reboot PS when you add a preset via the PM!  Jus’ keep on goin’!  LOL

Any time I can find a way to expedite the actions I perform with Photoshop, it is good.  Keystroke shortcuts are real helpful in performing many tasks quickly.  We haven’t learned any new one’s lately, so, how about this one?

Key-Stroke Shortcut

Ctrl/Cmd>’E’

This keystroke shortcut is one you can use to merge selected layers together.  Say, you are working on a layout and you have created the textured background.  With all the blending modes and adjustments, like Levels and Color Balance, often, when done, you may want to merge those layers together.  This can save space in the Layers Palette for the rest of the layout.  There are other ways to Merge – right-click and select Merge Layers, Flatten, Merge Down, Convert to Smart Object, etc.  This shortcut allows you to select multiple layers (hold Ctrl/Cmd and click on each layer you want to include in merge), then, hold Ctrl/Cmd and hit ‘E’.  Takes care of that!  LOL

I hope these things help you!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will respond ASAP.

Thank you so much for your visit!

Su

Musings, a Link and a New Freebie Parts

Good Monday, folks!  How’s the weather where you are?  Here, in sunny Florida, we have been having RAIN!  Lots of dark, heavy clouds, the low rumbling of far off, then, nearby thunder, with intermittent thundershowers – the kind of day where you still need the lights on.  Great napping weather!  I know!  I have been test-driving it!  LOL

Today is the first day of school for the children.  I surprised myself with tears as I watched our youngest, my granddaughter, go out the door for her very first day of ‘big’ school.  With her big brother, a fifth-grader, encouraging her, her steps to the truck to go became less and less sure as she started out.  For days now she has been so excited!  Her new outfit sat on the ready for a week now.  Her cousins even did her hair yesterday in preparation for her big debut.  This morning, with her over-sized backpack and her new look, all the excitement culminated into a definate hesitation about mid-driveway.  Suddenly, she wasn’t as sure.  Big brother urged her on enough to get her in the truck and off they went.  Mom reported to me after dropping them off that she didn’t quite want Mommy to leave her.  She has been used to a day care, where both children have gone since birth.  In that closed, little world, she fit right in.  Now, she has a bigger world to fit into.  She has her brother to guide her, though, he has just this year to guard over her, as he goes on to a Middle School next year.  I’m not really worried about her.  This was just first-day nerves.  She is a pistol!  So, I wiped my tear and went and crawled back between the sheets and listened to the rain fall until I napped.

Key-Stroke Shortcut

I’d say, let’s learn another keystroke shortcut.  This one is uber-easy!  When you want to reset the foreground colours to black and white, which are default, click on “D”.  This will put black as foreground and white as background.  Need those colours reversed?  Click “X”.  That’s all there is to it!  There are no modifier keys for these.

Did You Know…? 

Now, you might wonder when you will ever need to use just black and white.  Masks require black and white.  When you place a mask on a layer, it does nothing since it is white.  All of the image it is attached to will be visible.  Once you apply a brushstroke of black to any spot on the mask, that part of the image will become transparent.  Poof!  Invisible!  It’s hidden!  If you erroneously ‘hide’ any part, all you have to do is hit “X”, to switch white back to foreground, and brush over the spot.  Your image will become visible again!  This is where black and white, and the “X” key, come in.  I do most of my ‘erasing’ with a mask in this manner.  I do this when ‘isolating’ an element from an image.  Once I have everything ‘erased’ that I want, then, I can apply the mask.

Here is an image I whipped up that shows the layer with the mask and a brushed circle on the mask.  Note how the space under the black is invisible?  That is what masks do!

I’ve been putting together a list of places you might find enjoyable, but, will post that later this week.  I do want to tell you about one, though.  A Vegas Girl at Heart is a blog where the author relates stories of her family and her life with pictures and amusing anecdotes.  Melissa puts her spin on nice, little goodies, as well.  I like her style!  I found some cute ‘Washi Tape’ pieces recently.  She had been hinting of something really big.  BIG, BIG!   In her most recent ‘Friday Freebie’ she revealed the big surprise – an entire collection of retro elements for Project Life.  While Project Life is not her baby, so to speak, she answered the need for a set of usable elements for keeping up your own project.  Melissa has put together cards of several types, an alpha and even brushes for anyone to document their lives.  Seeing all of her goodies makes me want to participate in PL!  Maybe, one day.  Her offerings are labeled ‘Retro Project Life Kit’ and can find it here.  She has arranged everything by category for downloading – NINE, in all, I believe.  Then, she has other fine components you may purchase from her Etsy shop.  Go check it out.  What I like about this kit is the ‘retro’ look.  The style reminds me of my youth when ‘modern’ was creepy-looking.  LOL  I didn’t ever care much for those clean lines and minimal styles.  To me, it looked cold and un-home-y.  In retro-spect, I love it.  I just didn’t like it when it was new!  So, go!  See what I write about!

Finally, today Miss Edna and I have two more parts for you from our August freebie, “Vintage Garden”.  Last week we gave out the QP’s.  This week and next we give you the papers and elements for you to design your own layouts.  I gots to tell ya, this was fun!  I went way above and beyond our usual target size.  Though the downloads are around 40-50mbs each, they unpack to right at 100mbs each!  I don’t think you will mind.  But, if anyone has any problems with downloading these sizes, let me know and I will accommodate you.

Below are my previews.  The first one, the ‘elements’, will link you to Part 3 and the ‘papers’ preview will link you to Part 4.  I still separate everything by papers and elements in the preview, but, each part has an assortment of each.  Then, below that, you’ll see Miss Edna’s preview.  Click on it, if you haven’t been to her blog yet, and go collect her parts.

Part 3

Part 4

Miss Edna

There ya go!  Until next week,

Smile!

Hugs,

Su

New Blog – Finally! Freebies and Links

Hiya!  I made it!  Welcome to my new blog!  This one is mine!  LOL  I am using the WP plug-in, but, the hosting is done right here.  No more going to Minus or Box!  I am new to this concept, so, be patient with me, as you have already done.  I appreciate it!  Be sure to check out Hosting Bonanza if you would like to have your own site!  My friend, J, did all the set up for me and I couldn’t be more pleased!  I still need to transfer over my ‘resource’ pages, but, I will.  Every one of my posts from both, Blogger and WordPress, have been added to this blog, so, this one is complete!

I have lots for you today.  First off, I have been promising you some new links for good things.  I have some for you!  If you love pretty and colourful patterns, check out InkBite.  Here is quite the selection!  Here is just one of these gorgeous designs:

See what I mean?  It’s a nice site, so, do give it a click!

Next up is Animus.  There, you will find some of everything – design-wise, anyway.  At first look, it seemed that there was not that much content.  Then, when I clicked on the menu items, patterns, then, floral, in particular, it took me to a page like this:

Each of the circle previews can be clicked to see a larger preview and to download.  You can see the list of patterns offered.  It is about the same for brushes, fonts, even clip-art.  Go give it a whirl!  I think you’ll like!

This next site is one on DeviantArt, The Strawberry Tree.  This site is aimed at providing stock images for manipulations.  It has some great images!  If you do any kind of art or image-manipulating, this one is a jewel!  I’ll let you check it out.  Do follow any TOU’s, of course.

This one, e-Scape and Scrap, is for scrapping.  I had never seen it before!  There is a great selection of designers here!  I don’t know what it is about this site, but, I loved everything!  LOL  That doesn’t happen often, either.  I picked just one of the offered freebies to show you, but, there is a lot more!

See?  Check it out!

The last link today is SDWHaven.  This site is a design-oriented website which leans towards illustration.  It has been around a while.  There are some wonderful brushes, patterns, styles, etc, here.  Here is just one brush preview:

The offerings are good quality!  Give it a try, too!

Alrighty, then!  Those should keep ya busy for a little while.  Onward!

Did You Know…?

that in some versions of Photoshop, you can change the brush size and the opacity by holding down the ‘Alt’ key, then, clicking and dragging the mouse?  Click and drag right and left to change the size, up and down to change the opacity.  I know this feature is available in CS5 and CS6. I am not sure about PS Elements.  It won’t hurt to try if you have another version!  I like it as it keep my hands on the keyboard around the area where I do the most key-strokes – the lower left-hand corner of the keyboard.  To me, that is nice!  LOL   I hope someone can find this useful!

Keystroke Shortcut

For our keystroke shortcut of the week, let’s use all of our fingers!  LOL  By depressing all three modifier keys, ‘Alt’, ‘Shift’ and ‘Ctrl’, then, ‘E’, while on the top-most layer of your layers panel, it will create and place a composite image of every layer on top of them all.  This is best explained with an image.  Say you have several layers created.  You don’t want to merge them or flatten them as you may have to make some changes.  However, you really want to add an effect to the finished design.  This is where this shortcut comes in handy.  I threw together an image to illustrate this:

Looking at the Layers Palette, we see the layers we have:

Now, I want to clip a texture to the entire image, but, I don’t want to merge.  So, I hold down all three modifiers and click ‘E’.  You must be on the top-most layer to do this and get the entire image.  If you only have one layer, for some reason, you can just add a new layer, select it, then apply this feature.  There just has to be more than one layer and you have to be on the the top layer.  If there is a layer you don’t want included, just turn it off!  Easy-peasy!  Here is the Layers Palette after applying this step:

Now, I can go ahead and do whatever I want to the image and the layers aren’t affected.  It is a bit of a trick clicking on all three keys plus the ‘E’, but, it is worth it.  I use this almost every time I am on Photoshop.  I find lots of reasons I want various layers combined, yet still separate.

So, that is a gonna do it for this post!  I have a surprise for you!  Call it a ‘Welcome Gift’ if you like, but, I have some element sheets I forgot to give you from ‘Summer Fun’.  Oops! Click on each image for larger sizes, then, right-click and save!

Citrus Slices

Summer Signs

Tropical Fruits

Whew!  LOL  I hope you have found something useful here today!  I am so excited to have all of my blog together in one place!  Woo-hoo!  LOL

I am out of here!  There is another afternoon thunderstorm brewing.  I have to turn off everything.  I’m not replacing all that stuff again!  Cha-ching!(Sound of cash register)  So, until next time,

Smile Pretty!

Hugs,

Su

Introducing New FreeSpirit Blog Features

With everything that has been going on, it has been a while since I wrote on the Photoshop aspect of design and creativity.  As my new domain comes into fruition, I will introduce more Photoshop-related content, especially as it applies to digi-scrapping and other digi-art.  As it is, now, I spend about half of my time with digital scrapbooking and the rest on digital art.  I like to try photo-manipulation tutorials, with an emphasis on learning techniques.  In this manner, I feel, I have learned more about this program than any other means.  At Digital Whisper I focused the challenges on a tutorial that showed how to use some PS feature or technique that, once learned, can be used for any application – not just the final image of the tutorial.  Jumping in, following the instructions(tuts), getting a first-hand knowledge of the technique, is the best way to learn anything.  With Photoshop, it is almost a requirement.

There are several key elements I want to focus on with the PS-related content.  One is just to get across to the readers more PS content for other design purposes, other than digital scrapbooking, like digi-art, web/blog design, etc.  The other thing I want is to share tips that can make any design work/play run smoother.  One can easily create an action, for instance, that automates any repetitive task we use frequently, such as image resizing or preparing a preview for the web.  You know.  Those mundane, yet, necessary tasks we spend a great deal of time doing.  There are key shortcuts one can pick up to cut down on steps to accomplish most anything!  There are issues that come up that, with awareness, can be diverted or downplayed.  For example, how many times have you tried to click on a certain menu item, only to discover it ‘greyed-out’, with no idea why.  This one is common when learning PS!

I want to introduce a feature, here, that I hope to make a regular thing – “Did you know…?”  Sometimes, I run across some neat little tid-bit of info that has the potential to help with design.  There are some I want to share and, hopefully, readers will share some of the jewels they find.  Eventually, there may be a wealth of valuable tips and ideas that will inspire anyone.  So, here is the first in what will hopefully become many.

Did You Know…?

You can open and use ‘vectors’ in Photoshop.  The ‘.ai’ and ‘.eps’ file extensions are vector images, as opposed to ‘pixel’ images.  Any time you zoom in real close to an image in PS, you can clearly see the image is made up of tine little squares – pixels.  The process is called ‘rasterization’, thus, pixel-based images are referred to as ‘rasters’.  Vectors are points, lines, curves and polygons on an algebraic grid.  Vectors exist in a mathematical space, as opposed to the more literal space that pixels exist in.  As a result, there aren’t any pixel edges or other quirks to restrict in the size of the image.  You can enlarge a pixel image and it will look horrendous.  With vectors, size is not an issue.

Having bored you with all that, when you open a vector image in PS, you will see something like this:

As the box is titled, PS has to ‘rasterize’ the vector in order for the program to be able to use it.  All you have to do is hit ‘OK’ and the image will open in raster form that you can work with.  I use this opportunity to open the image as more of what I want.  I usually work in RGB color mode, so, I go ahead and change that in the little box.

I also prefer 300ppi resolution, so, I change that here, too.

This will obviously change the image size, so, pay heed to the new size.  If it is a single image, realize how it will appear at the new size.  Is it entirely too large?  Reduce the numbers until you end up with a size that you can work with.

If, on the other hand, the image is compiled of smaller images, you may want to keep the large size.  When you have the size at an acceptable level, click ‘OK’.  Here is the outcome, the rasterized version of the vector I used.

And, here is the image all prettied up for you.  Feel free to use for PU.  Click on the image, then, right-click to save.  Thank you to CraftsmanSpace.com for this image!  If you’ve never visited them, you really should.  Check out their resources, like this free pattern I used for this post.

So, whatcha think?  Adding the ability to incorporate vectors into one’s design opens all kinds of possibilities, eh?

I’m not through with you, yet!  LOL  There’s more!  In addition to adding this new feature to my blog, I also want to implement another little pet project in here – ‘key-stroke shortcuts’.  Wait!  Before you decide they are just not for you and that you just don’t have the time, etc., read on, please.  I have a lousy memory!  My short-term memory is useless!  LOL  And, if you folks are like me, you tend to go with what you know, rather than trying to learn a whole new way of doing things.  You don’t have to!  By learning ‘key-stroke shortcuts’ my way, it is a breeze!  All I do is learn one at a time!  That’s it!

Key-Stroke Shortcut – Copy Layer

As I learn PS, there are certain things I find that I do all the time!  Ever copy a layer?  You know, create an exact duplicate of a layer just above the existing layer for whatever reason.  I do it every day.  As with many other things in PS, there are several ways of accomplishing this.  I used to go to the top menu bar, click on ‘Layer’, go to ‘Duplicate Layer’, then, when the box pops up, click ‘OK’.  Bah!  ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’.  Done!  Two keys!  In the new CS6, you can duplicate entire groups with one click of these two keys!  If you only want to copy one part of another layer, select that part with any of he ‘selection’ tools in the ‘Tools Palette’.  Then, when you hit ‘Ctrl/Cmd(Mac)’+’J’, only that part of the layer will copy.   It is so easy!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, I intend to post one ‘key-stroke shortcut’ a week or so.  By adding a new one every so often, getting accustomed to using each, soon, you’ll see a marked increase in productivity.  Try out each new key-stroke.  See how easy it is.  Open an image and play.  Familiarize yourself with typing the required keys so that it becomes automatic for you.  You know.  Take it for a spin.  Kick the tires!   By performing some action whilst learning something new, it stays in your memory far better!  Your time spent on a project will lessen with each new stroke you add to your arsenal of knowledge.  C’mon!  Give it a whirl with me!  I already have a nice little list of strokes I have learned and use all the time.  I can’t imagine going back to my old ways!  LOL  I will give you those, then, we’ll go on to learn others.

So, there it is.  This is where I plan on taking things with the new blog.  I still plan on offering the monthly freebie kit that Miss Edna and I do together each month.  Scrapbooking is a big part of my digital design life.  However, by learning to use Photoshop in new and better ways, it is adding to my experience, thus, my expertise, when it comes to creating any kind of new designs – hopefully.  I hope you like and can benefit from the new added features.  If you ever have any questions or something to add, just leave me a comment.  I will act on it asap!

An article I found online gives some of the best-known shortcuts, with images!  We’ll learn them all!

http://webdesignerwall.com/tutorials/photoshop-secret-shortcuts

Sign up for my RSS Feed, in the right side bar.  Every time I post, you’ll get an e-mail of that post!  Easy-peasy and you don’t miss a word!  LOL

Until next time…

Hugs,

Su

Some content absorbed and interpretted from: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32597/whats-the-difference-between-pixels-and-vectors/