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Command channels to work for you with these 7 hot tips!

Added on Monday 14th of January 2008 06:46 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

If you want to be an image-editing pro, you’ll need to navigate through your channels quickly. We’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you sail through your image editing without getting bogged down when you need to change the channel.

When working with channels, you’ll need to know how to complete a number of tasks, including how to load channels as selections, how to preview individual channels, and how to display channels in a way that suits your preference. So we’ve compiled seven great tips to get you moving quickly with channels!

Channel tip #1: Activate channels quickly

When image editing, it’s often necessary to check out each channel individually so you can see how much detail is present in each channel or simply to examine a channel’s pixel information. You can do this task quickly with keyboard commands. Simply use the keyboard shortcuts shown in Table A to activate one channel at a time.

Table A:
Use these keyboard shortcuts to activate individual channels

Channel tip #2: Load a channel as a selection

Not only might you want to examine an individual channel, but you’ll probably want to load the channel’s pixels as a selection as well. You can use the keyboard commands shown in Table B to get the job done.

Table B:
Use these keyboard shortcuts to load individual channels as selections.

Channel tip #3: Display full color when editing a single channel

Sometimes, when you need to edit an individual channel, you might want to preview your image in full color while you make your edits.
After you select the channel you want to edit, simply press the Tilde key [~]. Now, as shown in Figure A, you can view the image in full color while editing only the selected channel. So when you make your edits, you can see how your edits affect the overall composite image.


Channel Tip #4: Change the channel for a better selection

Rather than struggling to make selections using the Magic Wand tool on a color image, more often than not you can do so in a specific channel. Although the channels represent color information, they’...

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