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I use Photoshop for a lot of the design work I do. When I take screenshots for The Macintosh Weblog, I always use a red arrow to point to something in the screenshot that corresponds with the step in the tutorial. The arrow consists of using the line tool and layer styles. That’s it. But the thing is, I use it so often, having to re-do the arrow everytime wastes time. I’ll show you how to save that “valuable” time by using Photoshop Actions:

  1. Open up Photoshop and make a new document (⌘ (Command) + N).
  2. I’m using the default settings: 7 x 5 inches.
  3. Go to Window > Actions and the Actions palette will appear.
  4. Click on the “dog-eared” paper icon in the bottom corner of the palette.
  5. Type a title for your action and choose a keyboard hotkey to activate it.
  6. Click “Record” and start making the action.
  7. When you’re done with recording the action, click on the stop button (square icon) in the Actions palette.
  8. Now you have a simple (or complicated) action that you can easily activate when you use Photoshop.

screenshots: 1-2 3 4 5-6 7

Apple’s Keynote packs quite a punch when it comes to making your presentation’s smooth. Most of Keynote’s hidden features are within the Effects. In this tutorial, I’ll point out how you can tweak each of your slides with one or more of Keynote’s effects.

Add Effects And Actions To Text

  1. Choose a theme for your Keynote presentation.
  2. After you’ve picked a theme, feel free to throw some images (click on Media button) in a slide along with a title and some text.
  3. To add effects to the titles and text, select the text and go to the Inspector.
  4. In the Inspector window, click on the yellow diamond icon.
  5. From one of the three sub-sections (Build In, Build Out, and Action), you can pick any one of the effects from the Effects drop-down menu.
  6. To make an effect follow a path, click on the Action tab. Choose Move and you position the red path where you want the text to go. Choose a type of Acceleration depending on how you want it to appear.
  7. The beauty with Actions is you can add as many as you want and customize them as much as you want with the “Add Actions” and “More Options” buttons on the bottom of the Inspector window.

screenshots: 1 3 4-5 6 7

Add Smooth Transitions To Images

  1. To add serious effects to images, click on the Smart Builds button in the Formatting bar.
  2. Select one of the many options from the drop-down menu.
  3. When the build appears, you need to insert some pictures in there (using the Media button).
  4. If you want, you can add shadows, frames, and reflections to your pictures too (click on the icon right of the “T”).
  5. Now that you’ve got your pictures setup, go to the Action pane in Inspector and tweak the settings to your liking.
  6. To put some sweet intro transitions with the images, click on Build In and pick out something like Flame.
  7. To add an exit transition with the images, just click on the Build Out tab and choose an Effect like Confetti. Make sure you choose which order to make the transition run, by choosing a number from the Order drop-down menu.
  8. To ensure that the presentation runs smoothly, choose “Automatically after transition” in the Smart Build drawer.

screenshots: 1 3 4 5 6-8