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Learn how to select the content of the layer in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended.
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So I want to close out this section on layers with what I considered to be the greatest trick in the world. This trick right here will save you so much headache and time that you will want to pay me royalties for this. You don't have to though, but I am just letting you know that; that option is there.
So what I can do here is, let's say, I am going to turn off the tomato layer and then the melted cheese there. So I have this lettuce layer and imagine if we wanted to refine the edges of this lettuce or do something else where we wanted to select just this lettuce. Now we can select the layer but if we wanted to select the actual piece of lettuce itself?
Well folks, the best thing about having content separated on to their own respective layers is that we have the ability to very quickly and easily select the content of that layer. Watch this. I am going to put my cursor over the layer thumbnail. Notice it's just a standard pointing finger indicating that I am going to select that layer. However, if I just hold the Ctrl key on the PC or the Command key on the Mac, you will notice that I get this icon which indicates that if I click here that little marquee box that represents a selection.
So what it's essentially telling me here as it if I were to click now while holding the Command key or the Ctrl key, I would select the content of that layer. Click that and look at that. Oh man! That's beautiful. Automatically selected with all of its crazy curves and twist and turns that this crazy piece of lettuce has. Instantly selected by simply Ctrl+Clicking on the Layer thumbnail. And if you want to warp your mind into another dimension, we could also add some other shortcuts as well.
For example, if we go down to the bottom bun, if we hold the Ctrl key down we can select the layer's transparency. If we add the Shift key you will see a little plus (+) pop-up in that area and just before Shift adds, right? So if we were to Shift+Click while holding the Ctrl or Command key, it would add this transparency area from the bottom bun layer to our selection. Man, that is just sweet.
Alt also works to subtract. So if we want to cut a big hole, maybe we can go over to the tomato layer and hold the Command key and the Alt key and we get a minus sign, click there and now we have cut a tomato size hole in the middle of our lettuce and bun selection area. There is just so much flexibility here when using layers. You have to, you are commanded. The will of Chad compels you; you must use layers in your work to be effective.