Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS4 in 24 Hours


Sams Teach Yourself Adobe® Photoshop® CS4

Kate Binder

In just 24 lessons of one hour or less, you’ll learn all the fundamental Photoshop CS4 skills you need to get great results–in digital photography, graphic design, painting, or anything else! Using this book’s easy, step-by-step approach, you’ll master Photoshop CS4’s revamped interface and powerful new shortcuts. You can also learn professional techniques ...

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Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS4 in 24 Hours

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Sams Teach Yourself Adobe® Photoshop® CS4

Kate Binder

In just 24 lessons of one hour or less, you’ll learn all the fundamental Photoshop CS4 skills you need to get great results–in digital photography, graphic design, painting, or anything else! Using this book’s easy, step-by-step approach, you’ll master Photoshop CS4’s revamped interface and powerful new shortcuts. You can also learn professional techniques for repairing damaged photos, creating great composites, black-and-white images, and web graphics, and a whole lot more!

Full-color figures and clear step-by-step instructions visually show you how to use Photoshop.

Notes, Tips, and Cautions provide related information, advice, and warnings.

Q&A sections, quizzes, and exercises help you build and test your knowledge.

Learn how to…

  • Master Photoshop CS4’s new tabbed interface, Application Frame, and Application Bar
  • Personalize your workspace to work more efficiently
  • Repair and retouch black-and-white and color images, no matter what condition they’re in
  • Make “spot fixes” with Photoshop CS4’s improved toning tools
  • Achieve powerful artistry with Photoshop’s filters and effects
  • Master digital painting with Photoshop’s paintbrushes and other tools
  • Get your colors right, in both print and web applications
  • Transform your images using tools ranging from Flip and Warp to Liquify
  • Master professional-level features including layers, channels, and masks
  • Create outstanding typographic special effects
  • Prepare great web images for everything from online photo galleries to cellphones
  • Save time and get better results with Photoshop CS4’s latest enhancements

Kate Binder is a design and graphics expert who works from her home in New Hampshire. She has written articles on graphics, publishing, and photography for magazines including Shutterbug, Publish, eDigitalPhoto, PEI, and Desktop Publishers Journal. Kate is also the author of several books, including iMac Portable Genius, Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 in 24 Hours, Easy Mac OS X Leopard, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mac OS X, and Easy Adobe Photoshop 7.

Category: Graphics

Covers: Adobe® Photoshop® CS4

User Level: Beginning—Intermediate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780672330421
  • Publisher: Sams
  • Publication date: 11/24/2008
  • Series: Sams Teach Yourself Series
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 545
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Binder is a graphics expert who works from her home in New Hampshire, doing design and production for books, magazines, e-books, and websites. She is the author of several books, including iMac Portable Genius (Wiley, 2008), Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 in 24 Hours (Sams, 2008), Easy Mac OS X Leopard (Que, 2007), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Mac OS X (Alpha, 2001). She is the coauthor of several more books, including Microsoft Office: Mac v.X Inside Out (Microsoft Press, 2002), SVG for Designers (McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media, 2002), and Get Creative: The Digital Photo Idea Book (McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media, 2003). To those interested in a successful career as a designer, photographer, or computer book writer, Kate recommends acquiring several retired racing greyhounds (find out more at; she finds her own pack of greyhounds extraordinarily inspirational. Kate can be reached via her website at

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Table of Contents


Downloading the Book’s Source Images

Conventions Used in This Book

PART I: Getting Started

HOUR 1: Exploring Photoshop Basics

Finding Your Way Around

What’s on the Menus?

Setting Preferences

HOUR 2: Opening and Saving Files

Working with Files

Saving Your Work

Undoing and Redoing

Using Version Cue

HOUR 3: Making Selections

The Selection Tools

The Select Menu

Selecting Large Areas

Advanced Selection Techniques

Cutting and Copying


HOUR 4: Specifying Color Modes andColor Models

Color Models

From Models to Modes

Color Bit Depth and Why It Matters

HOUR 5: Adjusting Brightness and Color

Evaluating Your Color Adjustment Needs

Adjusting by Eye with Variations

Making Other Adjustments

Preserving the Original with Adjustment Layers

Understanding Color Channels

Making Spot Fixes

Converting Color to Black and White

HOUR 6: Choosing and Blending Colors

Foreground and Background Colors

Specifying Colors

Blending Modes

PART II: Painting with Pixels

HOUR 7: Drawing and Combining Shapes

Drawing and Editing Shapes

Combining and Editing Shapes

Creating Your Own Shapes

HOUR 8: Different Ways to Paint

Making the Most of Brushes

Using Other Painting Tools

Using the Focus Tools

HOUR 9: Advanced Painting Techniques

Simulating Different Media

Painting from Your History

Using a Pressure-Sensitive Tablet

PART III: Photoshop Power Tools

HOUR 10: Using Transformations




Skewing, Distorting, and Changing Perspective

Using Free Transform

Warping and Liquifying

HOUR 11: Creating Layered Images

Using the Layers Panel

Working with Multiple Layers

HOUR 12: Using Masks

Applying Masks

Using Quick Mask

Working with Layer Masks

HOUR 13: Using Paths

Creating Paths

Editing Paths

Using Paths

PART IV: Fantastic Filters

HOUR 14: Getting Started with Filters

Using the Filter Gallery

Applying and Editing Smart Filters

Combining and Fading Filters

HOUR 15: Applying Filters to Improve Your Picture

Sharpen Filters

Blur Filters

Noise Filters

HOUR 16: Applying Filters to Turn Your Picture into Art

Artistic Filters

Brush Strokes Filters

Sketch Filters

HOUR 17: Applying Funky Filters

Distort Filters

Pixelate Filters

Stylize Filters

PART V: Using Text and Special Effects

HOUR 18: Adding Type to Pictures

Using the Type Tools

Setting Type

Creating Special Effects with Type

Checking Your Spelling

HOUR 19: Taking Advantage of a Few Useful Tricks

Creating Special Effects

Making Notes

Printing Contact Sheets

PART VI: Repairing and Enhancing Your Photos

HOUR 20: Creating Composite Images

Making One Picture from Two (or More)

Tricks to Make Compositing Easier

Putting the Pieces Together with Photomerge

HOUR 21: Repairing Black-and-White Photos

Easy Fixes

Cleaning Up a Picture, Step by Step

Applying Tints


HOUR 22: Repairing Color Photos

Color Retouching

Editing a Picture’s Content

PART VII: Publishing Your Pictures

HOUR 23: Printing and Publishing Your Images

Choosing a Printer

Preparing the Image

Printing the Page

Picking the Paper

Placing Photoshop Images in Other Programs

HOUR 24: Going Online with Photoshop

File Formats and File Size

Web Tricks

Sharing Your Photos Online

Creating Images for Phones and More

APPENDIX A: Photoshop CS4 Panel Quick Reference

3D Panel

Actions Panel

Adjustments Panel

Animation Panel

Brushes Panel

Channels Panel

Character Panel

Clone Source Panel

Color Panel

Histogram Panel

History Panel

Info Panel

Layer Comps Panel

Layers Panel

Masks Panel

Measurement Log Panel

Navigator Panel

Notes Panel

Paragraph Panel

Paths Panel

Styles Panel

Swatches Panel

Tool Presets Panel

APPENDIX B: A Quick Walk on the Extended Side

Working in 3D and Video

Taking Measurements, Counting Objects, and Analyzing Data

Exploring New Frontiers


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Photoshop CS4 is the latest and greatest version of a program that has set the standard for image manipulation since 1987. Photoshop CS4 comes in two versions: Standard and Extended. Photoshop CS4 Standard is the image-editing powerhouse photographers and artists have always loved, with new features such as previews that show how your images will look to people who are color-blind, auto-alignment and auto-blending of image content on separate layers, a new Masks panel that puts sophisticated controls for both pixel and vector masks in a single location, an Adjustments panel for applying and managing editable image corrections, and more. Meanwhile, for users in specialized industries such as research science, Photoshop CS4 Extended has complex features that most people don't need, including 3D image creation, video layers, tools for image analysis, measurement and counting abilities, rotoscoping (painting on film or video), 32-bit painting, and database connectivity. If you're interested in learning more about the powerful capabilities in Photoshop CS4 Extended, turn to Appendix B, "A Quick Walk on the Extended Side," for a rundown on its features.

In this book, we look primarily at what Photoshop CS4 Standard has to offer. If you've used an earlier version of Photoshop, you'll be amazed by the new features you'll find in this version. On the other hand, if this is your first experience with Photoshop, you'll be amazed to find that it's really not as difficult to work with as it looks. The Photoshop interface will be immediately familiar if you've used other Adobe software.

This book was written using beta versions of the software, so some of the figures might be slightly different from what you see on your screen when you're using the final release version of Photoshop CS4. We've done our best to keep the book as accurate as possible, and my editors and I hope that any differences you do run across will be minor.

If this is your first foray into working with digital images, I recommend that you work on the hours of this book one at a time, without skipping the activities or exercises. There's really no way to become an overnight expert, in Photoshop or in anything else, but Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop CS4 in 24 Hours will definitely get you up and running in 24 hours or less. The book is divided into 24 one-hour lessons, rather than chapters, and each lesson should take you about an hour to complete. Some lessons might take more time, some less. Just don't try to work through all 24 lessons in one 24-hour day, even if you can manage to stay awake that long. The best way to retain what you've learned is to take a little time between the lesson sessions to try things out. Be sure to spend time simply messing around in Photoshop, learning what's on the menus and what happens when you click here and there.

Here's one for you to start with: At the far right end of Photoshop CS4's new Application bar, you'll see a pop-up menu of workspaces—different combinations of visible panels, keyboard shortcuts, and selected menu commands designed for working in particular ways. From the pop-up menu, choose What's New in CS4, and then click Yes in the resulting dialog. Now each menu command that's new or modified in Photoshop CS4 appears highlighted in blue so you can pick it out. Take some time to check out what's new before you switch back to the Essentials workspace, where you started. Now you're ready to get started—let's go!

Downloading the Book's Source Images

I've provided a few of the source images for the book's exercises on the publisher's website. To download the images, go to

Please be aware that all images are protected by copyright and cannot be used for any purpose other than to work on the exercises.

Conventions Used in This Book

This book uses the following conventions:

  • Menu choices are shown with the name of the menu followed by a comma and then the name of the submenu: File, New.
  • Shortcut key combinations are shown like this:
  • For Mac OS, hold down the Command key and press the indicated letter: Command-X.
  • For Windows, hold down the Control key and press the indicated letter: Ctrl+X.
  • Text that you should type is shown in bold monospaced type: myfilename.
  • Filenames and URLS are shown in monospaced type: mypicture.jpg.

This book also presents information in the following sidebars:

Note - Notes offer interesting information related to the current topic.

Tip - Tips offer advice or show you an easier way to perform a task.

Caution - Cautions alert you to a possible problem and suggest ways to avoid it.

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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