Using the measure tool

The final method for controlling movements in Photoshop is the measure tool. Alt-click the eyedropper tool a couple of times or press Shift+I to select the measure tool. Then drag from one point to another point in the image window. Photoshop itemizes the distance and angle between the two points in the Info palette. The measure tool is even smart enough to automatically display the Info palette if it's hidden.

From that point on, any time you select the measure tool, Photoshop displays the original measurement line. This way, you can measure a distance, edit the image, and press I (or Shift+I) to refer back to the measurement.

To measure the distance and angle between two other points, you can draw a new line with the measure tool. Or drag the endpoints of the existing measurement line.

Photoshop accommodates only one measurement line per document. But you can break the line in two using what Adobe calls the "protractor" feature. Alt-drag on one of the endpoints to draw forth a second segment. The Info palette then measures the angle between the two segments. As demonstrated in Figure 12-29, the D1 item in the Info palette lists the length of the first segment, D2 lists the length of the second segment, and A tells the angle between the segments.

Measure cursor

Measure cursor

Figure 12-29: Here I measured the angle of the key, and then Alt-dragged from the top endpoint to measure the angle between the key and lock.

Tip The measure tool is great for straightening crooked layers. After drawing a line with the measure tool, choose Image Rotate Canvas Arbitrary. The Angle value jF automatically conforms to the A (angle) value listed in the Info palette. If you look closely, the two values may not exactly match. That's because Photoshop intelligently translates the value to between -45 and +45 degrees, which happens to be the simplest way to express any rotation. If you're unclear what I'm talking about, just trust in Photoshop. It does the math so you don't have to.

Photoshop Secrets

Photoshop Secrets

Are You Frustrated Because Your Graphics Are Not Looking Professional? Have You Been Slaving Over Your Projects, But Find Yourself Not Getting What You Want From Your Generic Graphic Software? Well, youre about to learn some of the secrets and tips to enhance your images, photos and other projects that you are trying to create and make look professional.

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