Quick Tips 1: Auto Select

So I thought I'd start a new section on my blog called "Quick tips."  I don't always have the time to do an entire lesson complete with video and everything, and there are several features in Photoshop that some people miss or don't use, and I thought I'd just do some quick tips here and there to bring them to the forefront.

Today's tip is a very, very simple one. It's called Auto-Select. I did a search on my blog and couldn't believe that in all the lessons I've taught, I've never mentioned this handy little tool!

When I first started using Photoshop, I already had a background using Fireworks, which is also a desktop publishing program and works closely with Dreamweaver to create websites. Knowing this program beforehand was very helpful in helping me understand the concepts in Photoshop, like layers. But in Fireworks, you can select any layer just by clicking on it. It drove me CRAZY that you can't do that in Photoshop. In order to select a layer, you have to either right click on the layer and choose from the pull-down menu, or you choose it from your layer toolbar on the right.

Then I found out about a handy little check-box called "Auto-Select."

Just click on the arrow tool in your toolbar.
Then check the auto-select box.
You can now select any layer just by clicking on it!

Example of How I Use it:

Although I do love this feature, it is not my default. I've grown used to the other method, and so if I have it on, I get annoyed when I suddenly move the wrong layer because I accidentally clicked on it. But I do use it a lot for things like Alphas--you've pulled in a bunch of individual letters from a kit and you are trying to spell a word. It is nice to turn on auto-select to line them up quickly. Then I select each letter in the layer toolbar (using the CTRL key as I click on each one) and then link them so I can re-size them all together. I did this recently on this page: 

(Sorry not the best copy of it--I had to get it straight from my Cherishbound page online, since I'm not at home and don't have the original file!)

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