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 third installment is below:

Theo B. asks: Is there another way to delete layers from the layer palette other than drag them to the icon below? Especially when I want to remove more than one layer I have to go through this routine many times.

Answer: First off, there’s no reason to drag layers to the trash icon. You can just click the icon and it will delete the active layer (hold Option or Alt to prevent the warning dialog that usually appears). If you want to trash multiple layers, then link the layers together (by clicking the area to the right of the eyeball icon for each layer) and then hold the Command or Control key and click the trash icon to delete all the linked layers (again, hold Option/Alt to prevent the warning dialog box).

Andrew R. asks: In iPhoto and now iView, and Extensis Portfolio (both of which I have been using the trial versions, 18 days left, have any advice?) if I open the RAW image in PS and make some adjustments, I can never see the results in the management software.  I’ve tried ‘updating’, ‘rebuilding’, etc., yet nothing works. Without being able to see the changes it seems that my workflow is stymied.

Answer: It has more to do with the fact that those other programs do not use the camera raw plug-in and therefor can’t produce the same results (one day they might program to read the preview that the file browser creates but I don’t know of any that currently support it). The only solution I can think of would be to save your images as Digital Negatives (.dng files). I believe the newest version of iView supports that format and should be able to read the preview image that therefor display the results of any camera raw adjustments that you make in Photoshop.

Ellayne L. asks: I have just bought a Canon D20 and have been shooting camera raw images. However, Photoshop rejects my images stating that it doesnt recognise the file format i.e. .cr2. Do I have to do like what you mentioned as in the Nikon camera raw procedures to open up in Photoshop as raw images?

Answer: When Adobe releases a version of Photoshop, it supports the cameras that were on the market at that time. You have to visit Adobe’s web site and download the newest version of the Camera Raw plug-in in order to make it recognize newer camera models (like the 20D).

Bill C. asks: It looks to me as if I were to choose History > History Options > Allow Non-Linear history then I ought to be able to go back to Crop and change that without having to re-do Levels, Unsharp Mask, and Image size. Yet I’ve never been able to make it work. I can re-do Crop all right, but then I’ve lost all subsequent work.

Answer: The History palette isn’t that sophisticated. I think of the History palette as simply taking snapshots of what you document and layers palette looks like (similar to taking photos of yourself while getting a hair cut) and it simply allows you to get back to what your document used to look like in the past (just like showing someone what you looked like before someone messed up on your hair cut, but in this case you’d actually be able to undo those bad cuts. But it would not allow you to undo one cut and keep all the subsiquent ones since you don’t have a shot to go back to that looks that way). That’s it. The Allow Non-Linear History option just makes it so that the palette does not delete steps if you move back a few steps and then make a change to your image. I know what you want to do, but the history palette simple isn’t designed to do that type of stuff.

Nancy asks: I have Photoshop CS, Windows  version and my question is: when I’m finished typing text what is the shortcut that takes you back to the select tool (v) I’ve tried, shift v; alt v; ctrl v and variations of and it just gives me a typed letter v. I know you addressed this long ago but I can’t remember what it is.

Answer: Unfortunately, my only PC doesn’t have a keyboard attached (it’s a tablet). On a Mac, you press Enter (instead of Return) to get out of text entry mode, then press V to make the Move tool active (either that, or manually click on the move tool in the tool palette without pressing Enter first). So, on Windows, it’s got to be something similar. Maybe try the enter key that is on your numeric keyboard or something like that.