How to set the default program to open a certain type of file in Mac OS X

by Jay Hilgert
on January 5, 2015

You can easily set the default program to open certain file types from any “Get Info” window, from any file in Mac OS X.

It can get annoying when you double click on a jpeg from your desktop and it tries to open in Photoshop. Not only is it annoying, it can be a time waster as you close the default application and drag the file to an application on the dock.

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Build a Custom Photoshop Swatch from an Image

by Jake Rocheleau
on December 29, 2014

Sampling from a photo is an excellent way to pull colors for painting, digital design, or any creative project. However manually sampling each color is time-intensive and only useful when you really need a precise color match. Otherwise it’s a whole lot easier to build new swatches dynamically through Photoshop.

featured image - custom swatch palette in photoshop

I’ll be showing you how to open an image in Photoshop and pull a large sample of colors into a new swatch. The process is relatively automatic and just requires flicking through a couple menus. Once you’ve built a new swatch you can use that as a baseboard for creating a digital interface, icon, logo, or anything else you might need. Color swatches are very useful once you learn how to control them and put together a solid color scheme library.

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Convert Photoshop Layer Effects into Separate Layers

by Jake Rocheleau
on December 22, 2014

Most users of Photoshop should already know about layer effects. These are the extra little tidbits added onto layers via the small “fx” icon in the lower-left corner of the layers palette. Using these effects you can build a number of extra features like shadows, gradients, bevels, and a whole lot more.

layer effects custom layers fx

For this brief tutorial I’d like to explain how to convert a collection of layer effects into their own layers. Most effects are customizable and stack together when adding layer effects(or layer styles) onto a shape. But if you ever need to edit the effects individually you’ll need to create new layers out of each effect. The process is quite simple but also tricky if you’ve never done it before.

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