Quickly Change Opacity Settings

Once you learn how to change opacity settings with this tip I think you'll use it all the time. It's one of those time-savers that when used with other little shortcuts will have you working like a pro with Photoshop Elements.

Here's a video that shows exactly how to do it:

At the top of the Layers palette is the Opacity field (see the photo below). It lets you lower the opacity of the currently active layer, which allows the layer below it to show through. It's also used a lot to lessen the effects of an adjustment layer.

You can use it like any adjustable field by double-clicking inside of it and typing the number you want. There's also an arrow next to it that you can tip down and a slider is revealed which you can use to set the opacity. But there's a faster way.

Just hit any number on your keyboard and it will change the opacity setting. For 10% hit 1, for 50% hit 5. So you use 1 thru 9 to change the settings from 10% to 90%. To change it to 100% you hit 0. You can also type a two digit amount like 63% if you press the 6 and 3 fast enough. Give it a try.



There's one caveat to this tip. If you have certain tools selected in the toolbox when you press a number, the setting for that tool will change in its' Option bar instead of the layer opacity. So you can use the tip for changing the opacity of those tools also. But if you want to change the opacity of a layer you have to select a different tool first.

All the forbidden tools are located near the bottom of the toolbox. See the image below.


There's another way to quickly change opacity. Actually this will work for most adjustable-number fields anywhere inside Photoshop Elements. It's called Scrubby Sliders. If you hover your cursor over the name of a field that it works for, your cursor will change to a hand with a two-sided arrow. Now just move the cursor left or right and the numbers in the field change.

Scrubby sliders go into hyper-mode if you hold down the shift key while you move them. Try it with and without the shift key to see what I mean.


I hope you found this tip useful.
Until next time,
Rick


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