I have been reading one of my many Photoshop Elements books. This book is by Mark Galer and is called Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 – Maximum Performance. Unlike many books, this one seems to be aimed towards those readers who have been using Elements for awhile and are ready to take their work to the next level. The book comes with a DVD that includes some very useful plug-ins. Well, enough for my endorsement of the book, for whatever use that is.
One of the many things I’ve learned from the book is a very handy Keyboard shortcut that I’ve never seen before. Galer refers to the shortcut as “Stamp Visible”.
Here is how it works. Before learning this shortcut, after I would adjust the brightness, contrast and color of the overall image using Adjustment Layers and felt I was done with these types of corrections, I would flatten the image. I would then move on to other enhancements such as cloning, fixing blemishes etc. I did this so that my layer stack would not get to complex. I also teach my beginning students this basic approach for the same reason.
This is where the Stamp Visible comes in. After and whenever you have applied several adjustment or other layers to an image and you are thinking of flattening it, create a layer that combines all of your layers to that point on a single layer instead. The shortcut to do this is Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E. This composite layer is then created that combines all of the layers onto a single layer. If the this new layer does not appear on the top of the stack (because you did not have the top layer highlighted), just drag it there. You now can begin working on that layer to do additional editing. If you want to delete it later for some reason, your adjustment layers are still available.
Here is a screen shot That shows the Stamp Visible layer on top of the layer stack.
Note, I did rename the layer to Stamp Visible – Composite. When it was created it was named Layer 1.
Try this shortcut out. Getting to all of those keys is a good execise for testing the dexterity of your fingers. 🙂