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Print Method

For print, you can save files in more than one way, depending on what you want to accomplish. For this step, you will save as an EPS file. This is a good general solution for postscript printing or for the use of the image imposed in a layout program such as Quark. This works best with image elements that have a hard edge rather than a blend or drop shadow.

Turning the selection into a clipping path consists of three steps, and all can be found in the paths palette drop-down menu: Make Work Path, Save Path, and Clipping Path. Make Work Path converts the selection to a path; Save Path stores the path as a distinct path in the image; Clipping Path calls the Clipping Path dialog box (see Figure 2), which allows you to select the saved path to clip the image.

NOTE

Use the defaults for now[me]defaults will generally work fine. For more information, see Special Edition Using Adobe Photoshop 6, pages 188–189.

Figure 2

The Clipping Path dialog box allows you to pick a single path to define the clipped shape of the image. Everything outside the boundaries formed by the shape of the path is invisible.

With the clipping path created, you are ready to remove the alpha channel. Go to the Channels menu, and drag the channel to the trashcan at the bottom of the palette.

When you save the image as EPS (choose File, Save As), there are actually several choices for type. For now, save it as Photoshop EPS, and use the defaults as they appear in the options.

Note that trying to save with the alpha channel won't work in EPS because channels in EPS are used for additional colors, and the selection (alpha/mask) will not have a color assigned. To use the mask with an EPS, what you need to do is load the mask as a selection (choose Select, Load Selection), and turn the selection into a clipping path.

This image can now be placed over other background images in a layout program. You may notice (depending on the program and version; older versions don't handle this as well) that the clipping may or may not be apparent when the file is added to the layout. You can test the clipping path by printing to a postscript printer.

NOTE

If your intent is to simply put this image over another, it may be best to combine the images themselves in Photoshop (which may be geared more toward imposing images than a layout program).

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