These are some of the tools and features that I find myself using on a regular basis when creating images for the web. These include using the slice tool on images to decrease page load times and using pre-set effects that save time when creating forms or menus for your site.
20 Things About Photoshop You Have to Know (Page 1 of 7 )
Photoshop is, undeniably, one of the greatest software applications around. It has been around in one version or another for the last thirteen years, which is longer than I’ve known what CPU stands for. Currently in its eighth version, it has so many functions and features that I simply couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t explain the 20 most important and useful ones to you.
These are a way of organising or categorising common or linked layers in the layers panel. To create a new layer set, expand the Layer menu and select New -> Layer set. The new layer set dialogue box will appear and prompt you to enter a name for the new set. Once you have OK’d this box, a folder icon will appear in the layers panel; just drag and drop related layers into this folder. This is useful to organise your working environment and to apply styles across ranges of layers. This functionality extends to slices in Imageready.
The Slice Tool
Residing in the toolbox that appears to the far left of your workspace, and denoted by the knife icon, the slice tool is essential for creating clickable rectangular regions of your image. It is powered by Photoshop’s sister product Imageready (which comes bundled with the latest release of Photoshop), and needs to be used in Imageready to make the most of its potential. Nevertheless, Photoshop lets you add actions when the region is rolled over or clicked, and can be extremely useful in the creation of roll-over image-swaps or expanding menus on image-driven web sites. To create a slice, select the slice tool and drag a rectangle across the appropriate part of your image. That’s it. You can right-click the slice and select Edit Slice Options… to add URL, ALT and other information to the slice. Slicing an image also decreases page load times; a couple of slices download quicker than one large image.