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Customize Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts
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Customize Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop
Tutorial written using Photoshop CS5 (compatible with CS and higher)
Raise your hand if you like keyboard shortcuts! Absolutely, yes!
Many digital scrapbookers use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the tasks they do over and over in Photoshop. For example, Cmd+C (Mac) and Ctrl+C (PC) make a duplicate copy an embellishment or alpha, and Cmd+V (Mac) and Ctrl+V (PC) paste the copy. But did you know you can customize your own keyboard shortcuts?
When I first stumbled upon this a few years back, I looked through the default shortcuts and realized that so many of them I would rarely use, so I decided to create my own customized set of shortcuts. Obviously, there are some default shortcuts that you should leave alone, like Copy, Paste, New, Save, Save As, Create Clipping Mask, etc. Why? Well, they are the most frequently used shortcuts on a day-to-day basis, and these are often referred to in tutorials and videos by designers and instructors. In fact, you are probably pretty adept at using these shortcuts already.
So, let's begin by going up to our "Edit" menu and selecting "Keyboard Shortcuts."
This brings up the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box.
If you have never created shortcuts before, then it will be set to the Photoshop Defaults Set. If it's set to something else, select the "Photoshop Defaults" Set.
There are three different types or categories of shortcuts that we can create or modify. We can create shortcuts for things in the Application Menus, Panel Menus, and Tools. I have selected the Application Menu to create a shortcut in.
Since I use the Trim command all the time, I wanted to create a shortcut for it that would be easy for me to remember. I selected Trim in the list and a little box opened up. I thought Cmd+T (Mac) or Ctrl+T (PC) would be the obvious choice, so I went ahead and typed it into the box.
A warning popped up telling me that Cmd+T was already assigned to Free Transform. Since I don't use Free Transform all that much, I decided to go ahead and reassign it to Trim. If you are happy with your new shortcut, go ahead and hit the "Accept" button on the right. If you have changed your mind, just hit the "Undo" button.
Continue creating and modifying your shortcuts until you are happy with the results. Now it's time to save your new set of shortcuts. Click on the "Save" button to save your new set.
Next, type in a name for your shortcut set and hit the Save button. You did it!
You can print out a copy of your newly customized keyboard shortcuts to keep next to your computer. In the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box on the right hand side, hit the "Summarize" button. This will open up a window and prompt you to save the document, and you can choose which file you want to save it in.
Scrap Girls, Etc. is a weekly column pulling bits and pieces from all over Scrap Girls. Stay tuned each week as Scrap Girls' team members bring you tutorials, musings, recipes, interviews, design/software tips and tricks, layout walk-throughs, and who knows what else!
Join the ScrapSimple Monthly Club and you can enjoy the newest ScrapSimple looks while saving! (A $13.95 value for $6.99 or less!)
The new ScrapSimple Club contents are released on the 15th day of the month (or the closest business day to the 15th).
A commercially licensed version of the ScrapSimple Club is also available here.
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Layout by Elisha Barnett
using January's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Amanda Fraijo-Tobin
using January's ScrapSimple Club
Layout by Elisha Barnett
using January's ScrapSimple Club
Tutorial created using Photoshop Elements 9.0 with Windows Vista
In any kind of design, there are two types of spaces - positive space and negative space. In digital scrapbooking, the positive space is the visual information you are providing to the viewer such as photos, journaling, title, and embellishments. And negative space, often called "white space," is the absence of these items, such as the background paper.
All digital scrapbooking layouts have both negative and positive space. The negative space is just as important as the positive. It helps balance out the page, keeps your layout organized, and helps highlight the focal points. White space also keeps the layout from being too cramped, overwhelming, or chaotic. And it gives your eye a place to rest as it is internalizing all the positive information.
Let's look and answer a few questions about white space.
Does white space have to be white?
No, in fact it can be any color. The term white space comes from the absence of visual information, just as white is the absence of color.
Can you use more than one photo on a page and still have white space?
Of course! You don't always have to have a ton of white space on every layout to make a great layout. There are terrific digital scrapbooking pages that use maximum use of white space and minimal positive visual elements and then there are great pages that use a small amount of white space and large amount of visual information. The key is to find a visual balance between the two.
Here is a layout I have done that uses a number of photos with a non-white background acting as white space. The negative part of this layout is the red background with the chain-link fence, and the positive part is the photos, journaling, and embellishments. Everything seems to flow and balance each other out.
Commercial license versions of ScrapSimple Tools - Actions: Stacked Photos PSE Mini 6501 and ScrapSimple Embellishment Templates: Slice it Up are also available.
One thing to remember about white space is that it needs to flow freely. It shouldn't be trapped or isolated. White space needs to define and emphasize the positive, not distract from it.
Below is an example of a poor use of white space next to the same layout where the white space moves freely. Notice the page on the left. I have circled the areas where the negative space is isolated and locked by the positive space. This can be unsettling to the eye. To fix the problem, I adjusted the photos and rearranged the text for a more even and better flow. The page on the right is much more pleasing to the eye and the white space is allowed to move freely throughout the page.
If you are still unsure about how to use white space to achieve balance, just look at your favorite layouts in the Gallery. Chances are, they're your favorites because they flow smoothly and have an excellent balance between positive and negative space. Go ahead and "scraplift" those pages (borrow the design plan to do your own layout). While you work with designs that already have white space mastered, you will eventually find that you can master the technique on your own.
Article written by Jennifer Wight
Learn to make digital scrapbooking layouts and more! – Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Ready to learn advanced techniques? – MORE Scrapbook Software Secrets Revealed
Commercial license versions of Golden Vanity Heritage Collection are also available.
Today's freebie designed by Elisha Barnett
* There is a "free download" button on the details page for each gift. You don't need to put them in your shopping cart unless you are shopping for other items. Also note that if you are slow reading your newsletter, you may find this freebie has already been retired, as the freebies are only available as gifts for about two newsletter cycles.
Heritage Crop & Chat
Thursday, January 19th - 6:00PM MST
Do you have boxes of old photos that you want to scrap? Is preserving a record of your family's heritage important to you? Come to the Heritage Crop at 6pm MT where we'll give you some basic scanning tips and teach you how you can use Scrapsimple Tools - Styles: Photo Fix 2201 and ScrapSimple Tools - Styles: Photo Fix 2202 to correct an old photo's color cast.
Sketch Challenge Crop
Tuesday, January 24th - 7:00PM MST
It's time for the Sketch Challenge and Crop! Join Cheri (Cheri T) on Tuesday, January 24 at 7pm MT in the Scrap Girls Chat Room! Enjoy getting a little creative boost for your pages? Are you needing help getting started? Then this is the challenge for you! A few hours before the chat begins, Cheri will post a link for you to download the sketch. Use it as the starting point for your page; be inspired by the basic arrangement; flip things around or scraplift the whole thing. All interpretations of the design are welcome and encouraged. Don't worry about any deadlines... post your layout when it works with your schedule. Hope to see you there!
East Coast High Noon Crop
Wednesday, January 25th - 10:00AM MST
Join April (April Showers) each Wednesday at 10am MT for the East Coast High Noon Crop. All coasts and time zones are welcome! These crops are designed to allow you to work on your own photos and themes, simply giving participants a one hour goal and a fun, new challenge each week. On January 25th, we'll be doing a Brush Challenge. Try to use at least two brushes in your layout. Create your layout and upload it to the special High Noon Crop Gallery. You'll be amazed what you can get done in just one hour, but there is no High Noon Sheriff timing you! Hope to see you in the chat room!
January Message Board Game: Jumpstart January!
It's time to kick off the new year with fun and focus on scrapbooking! And a few prizes thrown in never hurt, right? Join us on the message board this month for "Jumpstart January!" This is a message board game and challenge to start your year with fun and focus on taking time to scrapbook regularly despite the little speedbumps of life. When the month is over, you'll have completed several layouts and been challenged and treated to some fun along the way.
A member of the Welcoming Committee will post a mini-challenge/task every Monday through Saturday during January. Some tasks will require message board participation, email responses, or gallery posting. Those who complete all tasks and submit or post required participation by 11:59pm MT on January 31st will be entered in a drawing to win one of three $10 Gift Certificates to the Scrap Girls Boutique! Those who complete just the layouts will be entered in a drawing to win one of two $5 Gift Certificates. Those who complete just the speedbumps will be entered in a drawing for one of two $3 Gift Certificates. (Those who complete all tasks will have their name entered in all three drawings!)
For complete details, visit the Monthly Message Board Games folder on the Scrap Girls Forum.
January Monthly Layout Contest: With the beginning of a new year, many people set aside some time to set goals. It might be an exercise plan or establishing better eating habits. It might be getting your life more organized. Or maybe you set goals for your digital scrapbooking output for the year. Post your layouts in the January Monthly Layout Gallery before Midnight MST on January 31st. Be sure to list your layout's product credits in the description or under the EXIF Properties. Two layouts will be selected to win a $10 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Club Concepts Layout Contest: Post your new layout using the current club selection (either the Scrap Girls Club or the ScrapSimple Club) in our Scrap Girls Club Members Gallery or the ScrapSimple Club Members' Gallery. Be sure to list all of the Scrap Girls products you used. If your layout is chosen, it will be showcased as a Club Concepts layout winner, and you will win a $5 Gift Certificate to the Scrap Girls Boutique!
Check our message board calendar if you have any questions about what is happening at Scrap Girls. All event times are given in Mountain Time Zone unless otherwise noted. Need help converting time zones? Check out the World Clock - Time Zone Converter. (Use 'USA-Utah-Salt Lake City' as the location for the Mountain time zone.)
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