Make keyboard shortcuts for opacity and blend mode available in free transform

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Often when I'm transforming something, I'm shaping it to fit another element in the image.

If I plan ahead, I can enter Difference mode before entering free transform to register two nearly-identical layers, or lower the opacity to see what's underneath.

If I don't plan ahead, of course I can just mouse click in the Layers panel, but it would be faster and more efficient if I didn't have to move my mouse. That's why we have shortcuts in the first place.
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9 Stitches Images

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Posted 1 month ago

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Keith Anderson

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I'm lukewarm about this idea. 

Maybe I'm just a relative beginner who finds shortcuts mysterious.  There is no easy way to hover my finger over a key to ask, "What does this do?"  Further, the shortcuts get very complicated very quickly, with Shift-something, Control-something, Alt-something, and then umpteen combinations of Shift-Control-Alt-something.  It took me about two years to discover the alt-shift-click trick to get the rubylith, and I am yet to discover a more mnemonic way to turn it on, although I've found a few ways to turn it off, often when I don't want to do that.  I also find that it is really dangerous to bump anything on the keyboard, leading to exclamations of, "Oh no.  What has it done now?"  And the allocation of what shortcut does what seems to be almost random.  Who in their right mind would guess that [ would make my brush smaller.  Maybe I should be grateful that ] makes it bigger, but it is a pest that ] is adjacent to \, which seems to mess everything up.  Most annoying, control-C and control-V seem to implement Adobe's own weird definitions of Copy and Paste.  I suppose they do something useful for someone, but they don't do anything useful for me, and I just remember that their real meaning is "Do not touch". 


I think a better idea would be to make shortcuts user definable.  Maybe they are already, but that is another mystery I'm yet to discover. 

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9 Stitches Images

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All shortcuts are documented, all are user definable. Control C copies, control V pastes.

Using the mouse for everything would add hours to my work week. 

Modern consumer software is, if limited, at least designed to be intuitive enough to use without a manual. Photoshop is not that, nor is it meant to be. It can't be simplified much more than it is without hobbling its original core user base.

Photoshop used to come with a 3 inch thick manual, and even if you read it cover to cover, you'd still need to shell out for another book just as big to get the real scoop. There's never been more readily-accessible instructional material than there is today. If you want to know how it works, it's all an internet search away.
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Yves Crausaz

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Un bémol à tout çà, les claviers de modèles d'ordinateurs et propres à chaque langue sont très différents, souvent certaine touches très pratique sur un clavier QWERTY n'existent tout simplement pas du tout sur un clavier QWERTZ utilisé en Suisse par exemple et donc toutes les explications de tous les tutoriels composés par des américain, ne sont pas exploitable pour un suisse ou parfois il faut des heures de recherche pour découvrir que ce raccourci n'existe tout simplement pas !
Même la fa4on dont est proposée la documentation par Adobe sous une forme non indexée, est insupportable pour faire ce type de recherche. Et certains raccourcis claviers sont encore non paramétrables, etc....
C'est encore vraiment un très vaste problème.
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Keith Anderson

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Oh, dear.  This could develop into a squabble that invites the moderators. 

I did a little test on some images to check.  Indeed, Copy copies and presumably the way Photoshop experts expect it to copy, and Paste pastes, also presumably...  But when I did it, I got a weird approximation of what I expected.  I fiddled about to work out what it had done and what I needed to do to fix it.  I'm sure most experts would tell me that the repairs I needed to make were easy and obvious.  They weren't to me.  I just wanted to copy a mask from a layer in one file to a similar layer in another, similar file.  Ah.  I got a whole new layer, with a shrunken copy of the image in the source file.  The repairs were: Drag the mask from where Photoshop put it to where I wanted it; delete the remains of the layer with the unwanted image.  Easy now that I know how, but "Oh no.  Why did it do that?" before I knew how.  I'm sure I'd be much happier if Copy copied and Paste pasted, without embellishing that with unexpected surprises.  I don't advocate changing it now.  That would indeed upset darn near every current user, but yet another mysterious shortcut risks persuading new customers to become ex customers. 

I suspect that some experts are very expert and play the shortcut keys almost the way a pianist plays a piano.  Beginners like me are still wishing we'd bought a pianola. 
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Joel Sigerson

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Sounds like your source document was lower resolution than your destination document? Copying layer masks from one document to another is not a very straightforward procedure. It has to be attached to a layer (there is another way, but I'm not sure it's easier, and anyway you'll run into the same problem if the images aren't the same size).

As long as you make sure the pixel dimensions of both documents are identical, you can just paste the source layer, drag the mask to the destination layer, then delete the unwanted layer. Think of the layer as the container that the mask has to travel in.
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Joel Sigerson

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Yves, I hadn't even thought about other keyboard layouts. I suppose most resources assume QWERTY? It is a nuisance, those few shortcuts that can't be changed. It's also annoying that there are many key combinations that are "illegal" for shortcuts. I've never understood that arbitrary limitation.
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The_Finisher

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I agree with you, it would be nice if we could use the Keyboard shortcuts to change the Blending Mode of the layer while in Free Transform - Adobe?

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Roger Ele

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What I have done is created actions for layer opacity from 20% to 100% in increments of ten and then created a shortcut key for each action, since I change the opacity of the layers so often.  So F20 is 20%, F30 is 30%, all the way to F10 for 100%

Allowing actions or any other function to run while in Free Transform I guess could be cool, but from a programming point of view sounds tricky. 

So right now it is Escape key, Function key to set opacity and ctr/cmd-T for Free Transform.  But in real life I usually set the opacity I want before I enter Free Transform.

For the curious F11 is a retouching action I use on most portraits and F12 is a save to jpeg action I use often.  One of the hardest things is to figure out what actions / shortcuts make the most sense for one's own workflow.

Hope this helps :)
(Edited)