(Joyce) #1

>^ APRIL 2020

[ 102 ]

Q: I want to save a photo inside a hexagon
(with the remainder transparent). What’s
the best way to do that?
A: Activate the Polygon tool (under the Rectangle tool
[U]) in the Toolbar and, in the Options Bar, change the
first setting to Shape and the Sides to 6 (the Fill color
doesn’t matter). Click-and-drag to draw the hexagon
and create a shape layer. Drag the photo above the
shape layer (you may have to unlock the photo layer
first by clicking on the lock icon). Then, with the photo
layer active, go to the Layer menu and choose Create
Clipping Mask, and the photo will only appear within
the hexagon. To preserve the transparency, save as
either a PSD or PNG, depending on what you’re doing
with the image (PSD works well with other Adobe
applications such as Illustrator or InDesign, while PNG
works best for web-based graphics).

Q: I went to the Preset Manager to organize my
patterns and shapes, but the only categories
there are Contours and Tools. What gives?
A: In Photoshop 2020, new panels were introduced to
display and work with patterns, gradients, and shapes,
and that eliminated the need to have these presets in
the Preset Manager. Now you can manage brushes,
patterns, gradients, and shapes in their own panels.

Q: I need to create 100 documents that will share
some elements but need a different photo and
name in each case. Do I have any option other
than lots of copying-and-pasting?
A: Photoshop has a function called Variables that’s made
for situations like this. You create a “template” that con-
tains all the elements that will change, as well as those
that will remain unchanged. After indicating what the
variables are, you marry it all together using a text file.
The setup takes a few minutes, but for large volumes like
your project, it will save you a ton of time. Here’s how:

Step One: Create a layered Photoshop document that
contains everything you need. It’ll make your life much
easier if you name all your layers. In my example, the
photo, name, and job title will change for each per-
son. Once the document is complete (and saved), you
need to tell Photoshop which layers are the variables
by going to Image>Variables>Define. In the Variables
dialog, go through the list of layers and assign a vari-
able to the layers that will change. For example, my
photo layer will be replaced with each person’s photo.
I clicked on Pixel Replacement and named that variable
“photo.” What you call the variable isn’t important, but
later you’ll have to remember what label you used. In


Photoshop Q&A

©Adobe Stock/
Free download pdf