Hi and welcome back.

Today’s post is on the keystroke command: Shift/Alt/Ctrl/ letter E.  (Click on any image to enlarge)

This is a keystroke command I learned so long ago I forgot where I learned it or who taught it to me.  I don’t even know if there is a command in Photoshop anywhere to do this action.

When working on an image in Layers, you will need to make a composite layer to add specific effects.  When you have a saturation layer or levels layer, certain functions in Photoshop are not available to you.   Try this: when on a dedicated layer, select an item from the Filter Menu across the top.  You will find certain things unavailable to you until you do this action.

So, by creating this composite layer of all the lower layers, you get Photoshop to work again.

Here is the tractor photo.  As you can see, I have all the layers I used marked for you.  I had hue/saturation, Levels, and Curves to make the image look the way I want.  But now I want to add a vignette, but I can’t because Photoshop won’t let me on a dedicated layer.  I need to make a composite layer.  So I use the keystroke command of Shift/Alt/Ctrl/E.  This can be tricky to click all the keys at once but try it out.  Now, I have a completed layer above the other layers and Photoshop now works for me again.

After I use Shift/Alt/Ctrl/E, I can drag and drop or use Ctrl/J to make another copy and put my vignette in.

Now that I’m finished, I can flatten or merge my layers together to make the final image.

This is a great shortcut that I learned long ago and use all the time.   Just by learning a few keystrokes, you can make your time in Photoshop less frustrating and improve the speed of your workflow.

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy Photoshopping!