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

Mask Tutorial and a Link for Coding

Hi, everyone!  I have a couple of things I want to share with you today.  They are a mish-mash of topics, but, all should come in handy.  Shall we get started?  M’kay!

First up is a series of posts, “31 Days of Coding Basics”, to help you with some of the simpler codes you can use on your own blog or on others, like in the comments section.  This series is on This Bold Girl.com.  Coding is all of the Greek, or Swahili, I’m not sure which, that allows you to create some cool stuff on your blog or website.  It’s really ‘html’!  LOL  For instance, you can add a bold heading to each sub-section of a post if you are posting on several topics, as I often do (See Below).  You can add a link to a comment you make on someone else’s blog.  You can create lists, breaks, emphasis and italicization.  The last two are useful for me since these attributes don’t exist as options on the ‘visual’ page I post on here at WP.

None of the posts/instructions are very long or tedious.  Rather, you may just learn something quickly and easily.  Gwen, the ‘Bold Girl’, writes a good tutorial!  Give it a shot and see!  I know I was envious of those folks who could place links in their comments on other folks’ blogs.  Now, I can do it!  There may be a trick in there that you can use!

Look at the sub-title just below.  I used code to get it like that.

Key-Stroke Shortcut

Next up, I want to show you something.  It is kind of a keystroke, only different.  LOL  If you use Masks in Photoshop, this is a cool tip!  Say, you are extracting an item from an image.  I almost always apply a Mask to the image I am going to extract from.  This gives me the ability to change things and clean things up more easily.  It keeps your image ‘non-destructive.  Then, I begin selecting the item with the Quick Selection Tool, getting up close to the edges as possible.  When you are satisfied with the selecting, click on the ‘Add Layer Mask’ button at the bottom of the Layers Palette.  This should isolate your item.  If, instead, you’ve masked over the image in error, just switch the masking to the item by clicking on Select>Inverse, then, add the Mask.  (Whichever area you Mask, either the background or the circle, the selected area will remain visible, while the remaining area ‘disappears’, when the Mask button is clicked.)

Here is the tip!  If you would like to check the Mask to be sure there aren’t any places missing or ragged-looking, press ‘Alt(Options-Mac)’ and click on the Mask in the Layers Palette.  The Mask will be completely visible.  This is priceless on difficult images.  You can brush over any areas that you need to, then, simple do the same keystroke to return your image mode.  Or, just click somewhere on the mask’s Layer itself and the image reappears.

Here is a simple image I whipped up to show you how to do this.  I want to isolate the circle to use elsewhere.

Select the circle with the Quick Selection Tool.  Add the Mask.  Then, press ‘Alt'(Options-Mac)’ and click on the Mask in the Layers Palette.  You should see this:

Remember, White Reveals, Black Conceals.  The Layers Palette looks like this:

When you get the Mask cleaned up, and you are satisfied, simply click the same Keystroke or click anywhere on the grey part of the Layer.  This is the result:

(Though it is hard to see, the PS background pattern is showing all around the circle.  I can now save it as a .PNG file.)

When I get the Mask work done, I can right-click on the Mask and select ‘Apply Layer Mask’.

And, here is my newly extracted circle!

Being able to tweek the Mask is a perfect way to see what you may have missed while selecting.  My eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, so, this helps me bunches!  Because Masks are editable, you can make changes by going over any areas with the opposite colors: black-conceals or white-reveals.

I think this will do for today.  I have some more things to share, so, watch for them.  Until then,

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