Monthly Archives: November 2016

How to Crop Images Using Shapes in Photoshop

One of Photoshop’s most handy tools is the Clipping Mask. Buried in the complicated program’s layers, you can use this tool to create a frame for an image, revealing only the part of the image you want to display.

This can be a great way to crop an image in your Photoshop project without cropping the actual image.

The first step is to create the shape of your choice. The easiest way to do this is by using Photoshop’s Shapes tool which is found in the Tools bar on the left. You can choose from a rectangle, ellipse, rounded rectangle, polygon, or create a custom shape.


For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be using an ellipse. After selecting the shape, you can draw the shape one of two ways. You can either drag the cursor across the canvas to create the ellipse.

Holding down shift will allow you to create a perfect circle when using the ellipse, or perfect square when using the rectangle. Alternatively, you could just click anywhere on the canvas and type in the exact dimensions of the shape you want to create.


I’ve chosen to create a black circle so it’s easy to see on the canvas. The color is only important in so far as you can see the shape as it will be completely covered by the image.


Next you’re going to want to insert the image you want framed by that shape. To do so go to File > Place Embedded, and navigate to where the file is saved on your computer.

Doing it this way, rather than copying and pasting, allows you to manipulate the image in Photoshop without making irreversible changes to the original file.


I’m using this image from Pixabay, which I downloaded at 1920×1524. After navigating to it on my computer, it will look like this when you open it in Photoshop. Just hit Enter and it will create a new layer on your canvas.


You’ll notice that it restricted the size of the image to the boundaries of my 500 pixel wide canvas even though it’s a larger image. To ensure that the image will take up all of the circle, right-click it, and select “Free Transform”.


You’ll see the same diagonal lines across the image. Dragging the image from one corner, while holding down the shift key to preserve aspect ratio, enlarge the image until it’s covering the circle.circlecovered

Then going to your Layers panel, right click on the image layer of the dog and click “Create clipping mask”.


At that point you will see the borders of the image are restricted to the circle shape. You can move your shape around, make it bigger or smaller with the Free Transform tool, and show only the precise part of the image you want displayed.


How to Fix a Flickering Screen Error in Windows 10

Let’s face it: Windows 10 isn’t a perfect OS. Like any operating system, it has some problems. Some problems can be easily ignored or worked around, and others are a dealbreaker.

Some users are reporting just such a problem in the form a flashing or flickering screen in Windows 10. This leaves them unable to do anything while it’s happening, and is just a huge annoyance. But fear not, because we’ll show you how to fix the problem for good! No more restarting every time in hopes that it goes away.

First, you’ll need to run msconfig, a useful Windows utility that lets you change your startup functions and disable services running in Windows. To launch it, you can just type msconfig into the Windows search box, or open open a run window and type msconfig there.


Now, head to the Services tab and disable the following two: Problem Reports and Solution Control Panel and Windows Error Reporting Service. To disable them, uncheck the box next to them. Restart your computer, and when it comes back, you shouldn’t have any more issues with your screen flashing!

How to Get Rid of Lock Icons on Encrypted Folders in Windows

Do you share your computer with other people? One of the best ways to keep your files secure when other people are using your PC is to encrypt them. Windows makes it easy to do this, but there is a slight drawback.

By default, when you encrypt a folder Windows displays a little lock icon over it. Generally, you don’t encrypt folders for no reason, so this is basically advertising to others that there’s something in there that you don’t want them to see!

Fear not, because you can actually get rid of this lock icon, it just requires a tiny bit of registry tweaking.

First, type regedit into the Windows 10 search box. Once it opens, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Icons

If the Shell Icons key doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create it. To do so, scroll up to the Explorer key,right-click it, choose New, and select Key. Name the key Shell Icons.

2016-06-16_163815If you already have the key, you’ll need to create a new string value named 178. To do so, right-click Shell Icons, then select New, followed by String Value. Name it 178.

The next bit is a little complicated. You’ll need to make a blank icon file(.ico). TheWindowsClub has created one on this post (download here). Make note of where you saved the icon file, and edit the string for 178. To do so, right-click  it and select Modify. Insert the path of the blank .ico file.

Now, your encrypted files won’t have the big obvious lock telling anyone who uses your PC that you’re trying to hide something!