Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Alpha Sheets: Mystery Revealed

Hello! I hope you are having a terribly terrific Tuesday! Today I would like to unravel the mystery of using an alpha on a single digital sheet. This is something I wish I had known much earlier in my scrapbooking adventure.  If you have shopped around the Sweet Caroline Studio's store, you may have noticed that Celeste's alphabets come all together in one .png file.  This may be new territory for some readers, but do not let that discourage you. There is a quick and easy way to use these wonderful alphas!

For this tutorial I will be using the newest Featured Fave Sunshine Kit and Alpha, as well as Photoshop CS6. This technique should however work in any Photoshop version you may have and is similar in Photoshop Elements.

The first step is to create your wonderful layout.

Next, open the alpha of your choice in your layout. I simply drag the file from the open folder into my canvas, this will create a Smart Object on a new layer.

To select the individual letters, select your Rectangle Marquee Tool. Please see the image below if you are unsure of which tool to use.

With your Marquee tool, left click and drag a box around the letter you would like to use. Be careful not to get a bit of another letter, you may find it useful to zoom in to clearly see where you are selecting. Right click inside of the box you have created and select Layer via Copy, or press Ctrl and J at the same time.

By doing this, you have created a new layer with only the letter you have selected. I have hidden the Alpha Sheet layer so you can see the new layer by itself. In your layout the Alpha layer will still be visible.

Repeat this process for all of the letters you would like to use.

Remember: When you create a new layer and return to your Alpha Sheet to select the next one, Photoshop will automatically switch to the new layer, and will not allow you to select the next letter. Simply reselect the Alpha layer and continue.

With all of your letters copied from the original, you can now select them individually and move them freely.   Group them any way you like, there are absolutely no rules on how your alpha should be arranged.

Here is the end result:

I hope this helps you use Celeste's beautiful Alphas a little more easily.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below!


Wendy said...

Thank you for the tutorial. I actually got disgusted with alpa sheets and never used them. Now I know how I might just use them.

Lorry said...

I knew this already but I still hate them and very rarely use them. This just isn't as easy as having individual pngs. :(

Tiffany Wheeler said...

Wonderful Wendy! I hope you have fun playing with them now!
Lorry, you are not at all alone in your preference, I think some prefer all together and some separate.

Liz said...

WOW! This is one of the most useful tutorials I've read in a LONG time! I never really liked alpha sheets because they were so time-consuming. Thank you so much!