More useful stuff in Photoshop!

Finding your center

So you have an item that you’d like to find the center of without measuring and doing the math? Lol, I know – I too have days where “divided by 2” is more difficult than it should be. 😀

Easy. Control-click the layer with the item you want to find the center of so that its edges are selected. Make sure VIEW>RULERS and VIEW>SNAP TO>GUIDES are checked. Now go to EDIT>FREE TRANSFORM (CTRL+T) and the transformation box appears on your item. Don’t touch the box, but click and drag guides from the top and side ruler and they’ll automatically snap to the center of your selection! Then just hit ENTER on your keyboard to get rid of the transformation box. To find the center of your document, chose SELECT>ALL (CTRL+A) on any layer, then CTRL+T and so on.

Finding the center

As you can see in this example, this finds the mathematical center – from the furthest visible pixel from left to right & top to bottom, and not the center of the flower. If I wanted the center of the flower, I’d select the yellow circle, and then do the transform etc.

Stray pixels

Sometimes if I’m selecting something out from a background I end up with some stray pixels outside in the transparent area that I don’t want. If the pixels are a low opacity, they might not be visible or even show up as a selection.

There are a couple of things you can do to make sure that you’re getting them. Make a background layer under the item and fill it with black, and see if anything shows up on the transparent layer that shouldn’t be there. Then fill the background layer with white and look again. Then once more with 50% grey.

But who’s got time for that? The easiest way is to just choose the transparent layer and add a stroke with layer styles. I usually make it thick and red – and any little stray pixel, even if it’s only at 1% opacity and not visible to the naked eye, gets a big red stroke, so it’s easy for me to find and erase the little booger. When I’m done, I just turn off the stroke.

Finding stray pixels using a stroke

Text layers

To do some effects on text, you need to rasterize the text layer first. To make a quick rasterized layer, Control-Click the text layer to select it, EDIT>COPY (CTRL+C) then EDIT>PASTE (CTRL+V) – it copies your text onto a new raster layer right on top of your text layer, and your text layer is still there in case you have to change anything.

Note: Control-clicking will select the text outline so when you paste your new raster text it will be pasted in the exact same place.

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