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Scaling QR Codes (and other Pixel Art) in Photoshop

If you’ve seen the preview videos, then you’ll now that in InDesign CC (otherwise known as CS7) we will be able to generate our own QR Codes right in InDesign. And of course there are many QR code generators available on the Internet. But this article will still be relevant for some workflows, so I’ve […]

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Creative Commons Search: find free images and other resources

I often tell students in my classes about this useful tool for finding images and other resources to use in projects. Basically, this is a good way to search for content and be relatively sure that it is free of copyright restrictions, and therefore safe to use. The search tool is available at It allows […]

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*Undocumented* Photoshop Keyboard & Mouse Shortcuts & Tools

Photoshop has some very handy keyboard shortcuts & mouse tricks that, while technically *not* undocumented, they’re not as obvious as most. You can certainly find them listed in many write-ups and lists in books and all over the Net. By “undocumented,” I’m referring to how these particular keyboard shortcuts don’t identify themselves within the Photoshop […]

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Photoshop Save for Web: JPG, GIF, or PNG?

Toward the end of my Photoshop classes we cover saving images for web, and I tell a not-so-amusing anecdote of how someone lost a design gig because they did not know the proper uses of JPGs vs. GIFs and PNGs. In that particular case, the client needed a very small file size web graphic that […]

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Fixing Dull Skies in Photoshop with Gradient & Color Overlays

This post began as a response to a post in the Linked In Adobe Software Users Group. Rich Harrington had posted a tutorial on fixing blown-out skies, in which he selected the sky using select by color range and then replaced the original sky with another image of sky. But what if you want to keep […]

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Create Your Perfect Workspace

Versions CS4 and later of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign all use a standardized user interface that allows users to customize the visibility and arrangement of panels. This panel arrangement is referred to as your workspace. These 3 products also allow you to save multiple workspaces for different purposes. A well organized workspace will help you […]

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Photoshop Layers Exercise

I’ve been teaching introductory Photoshop classes for quite a few years now. I really enjoy seeing the mental lightbulbs start flashing for my students as difficult concepts like non-destructive image editing, alpha channels, layer masks, and smart filters all start to come together and make sense. All this information can be quite daunting for new […]

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Raster Image Size: Of Megapixels, Resolution, & Inches

Another 8-week session of my Photoshop Tools class at PNCA started last week. As I taught the first session it occurred to me that many of my past and present students could benefit from an article on image size and resolution. The concepts of image size and resolution are often misunderstood. In order to even […]

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