Calling all photoshop guru's...

I’ve been trying to master photoshop 7.0 and I’ve run into a couple of trouble spots I’d appreciate some help with. Firstly, whenever I try to use the line tool to just draw a straight black line, the bloody thing draws a big black arrow. I don’t know how it got configured like this and am completely at a loss as to how to reconfigure the line tool to draw simple straight lines again.

Also, I keep getting this message a lot “Cannot use [blank] tool as the content of the layer is not directly editable”. I don’t know what this means. Does it mean I have to do something to the layer? Or that the layer should be edited indirectly? I’m lost.


I’m using v8, but for the problem with the line do a search in the help file for “geometry options”. In v8 there is a small drop-down box that allows you to set lenght, width and start/finish arrows. Or if you have your Options window open it should be a small down-pointing arrow next to the ‘Custom Shape Tool’

The second issue sounds like either the layer is locked or you’re working with the ‘background’ layer. Sometimes Photoshop won’t let you make changes to ‘background’. Have a go at renaming it in the Layers window.

That’s wonderful Vagus. You’ve completely solved both my problems. Thanks a lot! Unfortunately, I’ve just run across another one. I’m making a fanzine for a friends band and I’ve so far used 11 layers on the front page, seven of which are type layers using various filters and fonts. I want to merge three of these type layers together onto a fourth layer.

It looks like this


The box is layer one, and each line of type sits on its own layer. I’ve used different layers because each line has a slightly different style. I now need to merge these four layers together so that I can drag it all to where I want it and tilt it 45 degrees. Unfortunately, there are seven other layers on the front page and it’s not allowing me to simply merge the layers I want to merge. It seems I have to merge them all or none at all. Is there any way I can just merge those four laters? I know I could simply cut and paste the contents of those four layers onto another canvas, merge them there and then cut 'n paste the whole lot back again but that’s a lot of work and it seems like there should be an easier way to do it.

Any and all help you or any other knowledgeable photoshop users could offer would be gratefully appreciated and I would reciprocate with copious amounts of beer/wine/diet coke/punch 'n pie/crystal meth should we ever meet at a Dopefest or something :slight_smile:

Also, I should mention that, for some reason, the ‘Merge Down’ command isn’t available for this operation.

You shouldn’t need to merge the layers to make the changes you want. Select the layer with the box frame, and then click the square on the layers palette that’s next to the eye symbol for each of the other three type layers, and you should see a chain symbol. This shows you that the layers are linked together. Now you can drag and tilt all four layers together, without having to merge them together. This’ll allow you to keep all the type layers editable for later.

Also, the merge down command probably isn’t available because you can’t merge an editable text layer into another editable text layer, but only into a regular object layer.

Ah, nice one FlyingDragonFan! Thanks especially for the tip about not being able to merge text layers together. I was unaware of that.

It seems that whenever one obstacle is surmounted another one crops up. At the moment I’ve got the three members of my mate’s band on the front page (I copied & pasted them in from another picture) and I need to resize each of them and rearrange them a bit. However, for some reason I’m not able to select them with the ‘Free Transform’ option on the edit menu. Whenever I select a layer containing a bandmember I want to shrink down and click ‘Free Transform’ I get a rectangular selection box near the middle of the screen, and it doesn’t surround the object on the layer like it’s supposed to. Can anyone recommend a solution to this problem?

Maybe I should change the thread title to ‘Make George’s magazine’ :slight_smile:

I can’t imagine what might be causing this problem. If the file isn’t too huge and you want to email it to me, I might be able to figure it out.

Are you saying that the bounding box for the transform does not encompass the object on the layer you want to transform? If so, then the stupid questions must be dismised first:

  1. Is that layer selected when you select “Free Transform?”
  2. Is that layer linked to any other layer?
  3. What (if anything) does transform when you manipulate the bounding box? And is that layer hidden or obscured by a layer above it?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. No

I’ve actually managed to “solve” this problem by just deleting the band members and re-importing them, but I’d still be really keen to know why I couldn’t get ‘Free Transform’ to work earlier.

[channelling Frank Zappa] Are you a real Photoshop guru, or are you a photoshopped guru? No fooling? [/channelling Frank Zappa]