PshopFor years now, I’ve had a free tip e-mail list where I distribute my Photoshop tips. Now I’m going to start answering Photoshop questions as part of this blog. The second installment is below:

David C. Asks: I am using Photoshop 7.0 and want to :
1). Use the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’ with a ‘Fixed Size’
2). Move the selection to a part of the picture, right click the selection and then click ‘Layer via Copy’
3). This gives me the selection on a new layer but I have now lost the selection.
How can I hold this selection so that I have not lost it’s exact position when I made the copy?
Answer: You should be able to get your selection back by choosing Select>Reselect

My Neighbor Jim S. Asks: Is there a way to calculate the area of a layer? I’m interested in figuring out the area of the Triangle layer.
Answer: Try holding Command (Mac), or Ctrl (Win) and click on the name of the layer. That should produce a selection of the contents of the layer. Next, choose Window>Histogram and then choose Expanded view from the side menu of the Histogram palette. The Pixels readout will tell you the total number of pixels in the selection, which should reflect the number of pixels in the layer. Then if you choose Image>Image Size, then you can find out how many of those pixels fit in every inch by looking at the Resolution field.

Daryl W. Asks: I have a job that was sent to me from a client. It has two channels. Black and Pantone 161. How can I flatten the channels so they print as CMYK. When I go to the channels button it will not let me merge channels. It has to print as CMYK because that is how our books print.
Answer: Create three new channels and fill them with white. Next, arrange the channels so that the three empty ones are at the top and the Black channel is below that with the Pantone channel at the bottom. Now, choose Image>Mode>CMYK Color, which will take the top four channels and make them a CMYK image. Finally, click on the Pantone channel and then choose Merge Spot Channel from the side menu of the Channels palette. Done!

Gracita asks: I just got a 5.0 megapixel digital camera and it sure is great. The one thing I cannot do in Photoshop is resize from a 35" down to be able to print for an 8×10 print. I have gone to resize and to delete the resample. I have gone to preview with print and I don’t seem to come up with a suitable size. What am I doing wrong?
Answer: The default resolution setting that comes from a digital camera is usually 72PPI. That means that there are only 72 pixels in each inch of the image. A resolution that would be more appropriate for printing would be between 240 and 320 depending on the output device. The first thing you can do is choose Image>Image Size, turn off the resample checkbox and then enter a different resolution setting (let’s say 300). That will make it so you image is no longer 35" and should bring it down to about 8.5" instead. That will get you to the true size of that image. Now, if you want an exact 8×10 print, then I would instead enter those dimensions into the Crop tool and then drag across the image to define which area you’d like to use. After pressing Enter, your image will be scaled to exactly 8×10 inches.

If you want to submit your own questions to the Photoshop Question Clinic, visit my web page.