Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stop Photoshop from snapping on you (the Control key gives you back control)

I've struggled with this forever, and have never been able to find a solution. The main reason I need it is to align layers when I scan something too big to fit at one go, so I have to scan it in parts and try to align them later. I have a couple of stitching programs made for panoramic photographs that can sometimes do it, and when they work they do a great job if it. But with drawings they can often be unable to match things up, forcing me to tackle it manually in photoshop.

And the problem I always run into is that, using either the Move tool or the Free Transform tool, I can move things around smoothly until the edges of layers get close to each other, and then suddenly it jumps a couple of millimeters to line those edges up. Incredibly frustrating - as usually that's when I'm getting very close to getting a perfect match, then suddenly Photoshop decides to wrench control from me and put things where it wants. Just like when my computer decides to 'autocorrect' whatever I'm writing without informing me.

Well I've finally discovered the solution, and it's super simple. It was actually written wrong in the tutorial I looked at, but I figured it out anyway (hint, whenever a tutorial says to press Command in Mac, try Control if it doesn't work, and vise verse). Possibly Command works in CS, I only have Elements, so it might be different for me.

Here it is - when sliding one layer around on top on another, when Photoshop tries to take over, press the Control key. It's that simple. Photoshop relenquishes its death grip and lets you push things around however you want.

Have the top layer set to Difference to see what's happening, or reduce opacity or whatever method works for you.

Here's a link to the tutorial, which shows several other methods, none of which worked for me:

Prevent Photoshop from snapping to the edges of documents

Little hint - when you get it lined up, release the mouse or stylus before letting off the Control key, or it will snap to the edge anyway, pissing you off to no end. Now if only I knew a solution to the fact that when I release the stylus it always wants to pull a little to one side or the other… Holding it as perpendicular as possible and pulling straight up rapidly seems to work sometimes..

I just tested, and this also prevents lines you're drawing from snapping to the Guide lines. I had turned off Snap To Guides some time ago, but it still kept doing it, making it impossible to draw anywhere near a guide. It's a little annoying to have to press the Control key while drawing, but at least it works.

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