How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

The vertical space between lines of type is called leading (rhymes with sledding). For Roman type, leading is measured from the baseline of one line of text to the baseline of the line above it. The baseline is the invisible line on which most letters sit. You can apply more than one leading amount within the same paragraph; however, the largest leading value in a line of type determines the leading value for that line.

When working with horizontal Asian type, you can specify how leading is measured, either from baseline to baseline or from the top of one line to the top of the next.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshopFive-point type with 6‑point leading (left) and with 12‑point leading (right)

Set the leading

Change the default auto leading percentage

Kerning is the process of adding or subtracting space between specific pairs of characters. Tracking is the process of loosening or tightening the spacing between the characters in selected text or an entire block of text.

Values for kerning and tracking affect Japanese text but normally these options are used to adjust the aki between Roman characters.

You can automatically kern type using metrics kerning or optical kerning. Metrics kerning (also called auto kerning) uses kern pairs, which are included with most fonts. Kern pairs contain information about the spacing of specific pairs of letters. Some of these are: LA, P., To, Tr, Ta, Tu, Te, Ty, Wa, WA, We, Wo, Ya, and Yo. Metrics kerning is set as the default so that specific pairs are automatically kerned when you import or type text.

Some fonts include robust kern‑pair specifications. However, when a font includes only minimal built‑in kerning or none at all, or if you use two different typefaces or sizes in one or more words on a line, you may want to use the optical kerning option. Optical kerning adjusts the spacing between adjacent characters based on their shapes.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshopKerning and tracking options

A. Original text B. Text with optical kerning C. Text with manual kerning between W and a D. Text with tracking E. Cumulative kerning and tracking

You can also use manual kerning, which is ideal for adjusting the space between two letters. Tracking and manual kerning are cumulative, so you can first adjust individual pairs of letters, and then tighten or loosen a block of text without affecting the relative kerning of the letter pairs.

When you click to place the insertion point between two letters, kerning values appear in the Character panel. Similarly, if you select a word or a range of text, the tracking values appear in the Character panel.

Tracking and kerning are both measured in 1/1000 em, a unit of measure that is relative to the current type size. In a 6‑point font, 1 em equals 6 points; in a 10‑point font, 1 em equals 10 points. Kerning and tracking are strictly proportional to the current type size.

Values for kerning and tracking affect Japanese text, but normally these options are used to adjust the aki between roman characters.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

Whether you want to cut out a picture of your head and put it on Iron Man’s body, remove an ugly background from an otherwise lovely photo of your storefront or banish your ex’s face from an old picture, cutting out images in Abode Photoshop begins with a simple process. First, you must select areas of the photo with an outline, sort of like tracing. Once you select a part of the image by tracing around its shape, you can move the selected area and drag it to another part of the image or to a new photo entirely, similar to the way you’d move a paper cut-out around.

While the cloud-enabled Adobe Photoshop CC version 19.1.5 hit in June of 2018, the process of cutting out image layers has been fairly consistent since the concept of layers was introduced to the program was back in the 1990s. If you can pull it off in Photoshop CC, you should be comfortable enough to pull it off in the older versions, too.

STEP 1: Prep Your Image

In Photoshop, open the image from which you’d like to cut an element out using the File menu or drag the image into the workspace. In the Layer menu, which is located on the right-hand side of the workspace by default, you’ll see the image listed as Background. Click the lock icon to make the image work as a layer instead.

Hone in on the area of the image you’d like to focus on by scrolling the image to the general area of interest, then holding the ALT key and moving your mouse’s scroll wheel forward to zoom in or backward to zoom out. Alternatively, you can just use the Zoom tool from the toolbox to zoom in or out.

STEP 2: Make the Outline

Select the lasso tool from Photoshop’s toolbox menu. When you click the lasso, you’ll have the option to choose the regular lasso, the polygonal lasso or the magnetic lasso – each one works a little differently, but they all let you outline a shape. Again, this is sort of like tracing around the edges of the part of the image you want to cut out.

The regular lasso works basically like Photoshop’s pencil tool: just hold down your mouse’s select button and drag the cursor around the image to draw your outline. To use the polygonal lasso, you click one point on the image, drag the line to the next point, click again and repeat the process until you’ve created a closed outline. The magnetic lasso works similarly, but this tool automatically detects the edges of objects in the image, which may help you create a more accurate outline.

STEP 3: Cut it Out

Now that you’ve defined the shape you’d like to cut out of your image, you have options. If you want to remove this part of the photo entirely, just hit Delete or backspace on your keyboard to delete the selection – this leaves a blank space where the cut-out portion used to be, revealing the layer underneath the whole image.

If you’d like to cut your selection out of the image and use it elsewhere, select Cut from the Edit menu. Open the image you’d like to put your cut-out into, then select Paste from the Edit menu. Select the Move tool from the toolbox, which is the cross-shaped tool with four arrows, then click on the cut-out image with the Move tool, hold down your mouse’s select button and drag the cursor to move the cut-out around. You can also use this method to move the shape to a different part of the original image.

A layer’s blending mode determines how its pixels blend with underlying pixels in the image. You can create a variety of special effects using blending modes.

A layer’s overall opacity determines to what degree it obscures or reveals the layer beneath it. A layer with 1% opacity appears nearly transparent, whereas one with 100% opacity appears completely opaque.

In addition to overall opacity, which affects layer styles and blending modes applied to a layer, you can specify fill opacity. Fill opacity affects only pixels, shapes, or text on a layer without affecting the opacity of layer effects such as drop shadows.

You cannot change the opacity of a background layer or a locked layer. To convert a background layer into a regular layer that supports transparency, see Convert background and layers.

To view all blending options, choose Blending Options from the Add A Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

By default, the blending mode of a layer group is Pass Through, which means that the group has no blending properties of its own. When you choose a different blending mode for a group, you effectively change the order in which the image components are put together. All of the layers in the group are put together first. The composite group is then treated as a single image and blended with the rest of the image using the selected blending mode. Thus, if you choose a blending mode other than Pass Through for the group, none of the adjustment layers or layer blending modes inside the group will apply to layers outside the group.

There is no Clear blending mode for layers. For Lab images, the Color Dodge, Color Burn, Darken, Lighten, Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide modes are unavailable. For HDR images, see Features that support 32‑bpc HDR images.

From the Layers panel, choose an option from the Blend Mode pop‑up menu.

Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options, and then choose an option from the Blend Mode pop‑up menu.


In the Blend Mode pop-up menu, scroll over different options to see how they look on your image. Photoshop displays a live preview of blend modes on the canvas.

For descriptions and examples of each mode, see Blending modes.

By default, layers in a clipping mask are blended with the underlying layers using the blending mode of the bottommost layer in the group. However, you can choose to have the blending mode of the bottommost layer apply only to that layer, allowing you to preserve the original blending appearance of the clipped layers. (See Reveal layers with clipping masks.)

You can also apply the blending mode of a layer to layer effects that modify opaque pixels, such as Inner Glow or Color Overlay, without changing layer effects that modify only transparent pixels, such as Outer Glow or Drop Shadow.

To view blending options for a text layer, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options, or choose Blending Options from the Add A Layer Style button at the bottom of the Layers panel menu.

Select Blend Interior Effects As Group to apply the blending mode of the layer to layer effects that modify opaque pixels, such as Inner Glow, Satin, Color Overlay, and Gradient Overlay.

Select Blend Clipped Layers As Group to apply the blending mode of the base layer to all layers in the clipping mask. Deselecting this option, which is always selected by default, maintains the original blending mode and appearance of each layer in the group.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshopAdvanced blending options

Select Transparency Shapes Layers to restrict layer effects and knockouts to opaque areas of the layer. Deselecting this option, which is always selected by default, applies these effects throughout the layer.

Select Layer Mask Hides Effects to restrict layer effects to the area defined by the layer mask.

Select Vector Mask Hides Effects to restrict layer effects to the area defined by the vector mask.

You can restrict blending effects to a specified channel when you blend a layer or group. By default, all channels are included. When using an RGB image, for example, you can choose to exclude the red channel from blending; in the composite image, only the information in the green and blue channels is affected.

Double-click a layer thumbnail.

Choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options.

Choose Blending Options from the Add A Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.

To view blending options for a text layer, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options, or choose Blending Options from the Add A Layer Style button at the bottom of the Layers panel menu.

The sliders in the Blending Options dialog box control which pixels from the active layer and the underlying visible layers appear in the final image. For example, you can drop dark pixels out of the active layer or force bright pixels from the underlying layers to show through. You can also define a range of partially blended pixels to produce a smooth transition between blended and unblended areas.

To view blending options for a text layer, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options, or choose Blending Options from the Add A Layer Style button at the bottom of the Layers panel menu.

Choose Gray to specify a blending range for all channels.

Select an individual color channel (for example, red, green, or blue in an RGB image) to specify blending in that channel.

To define a range of partially blended pixels, hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS), and drag one half of a slider triangle. The two values that appear above the divided slider indicate the partial blending range.

Keep the following guidelines in mind when specifying blending ranges:

Use the This Layer sliders to specify the range of pixels on the active layer that will blend, and therefore appear, in the final image. For example, if you drag the white slider to 235, pixels with brightness values higher than 235 will remain unblended and will be excluded from the final image.

Use the Underlying Layer sliders to specify the range of pixels in the underlying visible layers that will blend in the final image. Blended pixels are combined with pixels in the active layer to produce composite pixels, whereas unblended pixels show through overlying areas of the active layer. For example, if you drag the black slider to 19, pixels with brightness values lower than 19 will remain unblended and will show through the active layer in the final image.

You can’t apply certain filters (such as the Lighting Effects filter) to layers with no pixels. Selecting Fill With (Mode)-Neutral Color in the New Layer dialog box resolves this problem by first filling the layer with a preset, neutral color. This invisible, neutral color is assigned according to the layer’s blending mode. If no effect is applied, filling with a neutral color has no effect on the remaining layers. The Fill With Neutral Color option is not available for layers that use the Normal, Dissolve, Hard Mix, Hue, Saturation, Color, or Luminosity modes.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

I’ve got a small project to take care of. I took a few example photos last night for my previous post that I’d like to add some text to. One of the photos (the cranberries in the small saucepan) would look great with some descriptive text in the lower portion of the photo. This is one of those images that you’d see up-close in a recipe book, so I’d like to practice my method. I hope you’ll follow along.

Now, in this post, since it’s just practice, I’m not going to worry about margins, resolution or anything like that. I’m merely concerned with practicing some work with the Shape Tool, adjusting the opacity of any shape I add to the photo and then adding some text as well. But before any of that happens, I need to edit the white balance and add some enhancements to the photo itself.

Editing the Original Photo

I’ve already opened the photo I’ll be working with, along with my gray card image, in Camera Raw. If you’re not familiar how to go about opening multiple images in Camera Raw from Bridge, please see this post. I talk about it there.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

As you can see, I’ve opened the photo with the cranberries in the saucepan as well as the one I took of my gray cards. These photos obviously have an issue with white balance. I’ll go ahead and fix that in Camera Raw. I’ll also adjust anything else I think the photo may need.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

There, I’ve edited the photo. I adjusted the white balance with assistance from the gray card photo, I adjusted the exposure, contrast, clarity, vibrance, noise reduction and I dehazed it. I’d say that looks a bit better. At the very least, it’s more of an accurate representation of what the photo and subject should look like.

Since I’m finished with Camera Raw, I’ll go ahead and launch the image in Photoshop by clicking the Open Image button that’s down in the lower right corner.

Using the Shape Tool in Photoshop

Now that I’ve got my photo open in Photoshop, I’ll go ahead and click on the Shape Tool to activate it.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

I clicked on the tool in the left side toolbar and dragged out. From there, I was presented with various shape tools. I chose the Rounded Rectangle Tool.

After clicking the Rounded Rectangle Tool, I went up to the upper left corner and right-clicked on the small rounded rectangle icon. From there, I reset the tool so I was working with fresh options as opposed to options I’ve previously worked with in other projects.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

As you can see in the upper options bar, the Shape Tool has a lot available to it. Today, all I’ll be adjusting is the fill color. I clicked on the fill color and then clicked on a black square. I did this just to make sure it was really black.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

Once I use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to draw my shape at the base of the photo, I can see that the Shape Properties panel pops out.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

As you can see, I’m adjusting the color again. For some reason, my shape didn’t look black. I made sure it was.

Adjusting Opacity

Now that I’ve drawn my shape, I want to make it somewhat transparent. Since any new shape I draw creates a new layer, I can easily go to the Layers panel and adjust this property from there.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

I made this change by selecting the layer I’d like to edit and then by clicking on the small downward facing arrow to the right of the opacity value. I could have also clicked inside the actual percentage number and typed a new value in. In this case, I slid the slider notch down to 50%. You can see the result in my shape. It’s lighter and I can partially see through it now.

Writing Text

Adding text results in a new layer, much like adding a shape does. I just need to be sure I’ve selected the shape layer in the Layers panel because any new layer that’s created will appear directly above the selected layer. Since I want to read my text and have it visible on top of the shape, I need to be cognizant of my whereabouts.

I’ll head back to the vertical toolbar on the left and choose the Horizontal Type Tool.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

From here, I can click where I’d like to add the text, type it and then open the Character panel that’s in the vertical toolbar on the right. In my case, I edited the font, font size and color. I then added another line of text below the original, which created its own layer as well. I also edited the properties of this new line.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

And now, my project is almost finished. Obviously, this was a quick one that didn’t require all too much work, but I think it exemplified what the possibilities are. Oh, by the way, if you’re wondering what the recipe we’re making is, you can view it right here.

The Final Product

I did a touch more editing and saved the final image. You can see it below. Please let me know what you think.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

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Need to play around with the transparency of your latest image?

Making an image transparent – even partially, can give you endless ways to enhance your material. For instance, you can combine images to create something new for your customers or add a transparent image to a product for branding reasons.

The question for many beginners in the photo editing world, is how do you make an image transparent?

The simple answer is Photoshop.

Photoshop is a popular image manipulation tool that allows you to add transparency to your photos in a range of different ways. Today, we’re going to look at three different ways you can add transparency to your pictures by discussing how to:

  • Make layers transparent
  • Create transparent selections in photos
  • Create a transparent background
  • Make the most of your transparent images

Option 1: Making Layers Transparent

If you’re wondering how to make an image transparent for your portfolio, one easy option is to learn how to make layers transparent. When you make a layer transparent, you can add it to other images, or place it onto products without worrying about background edges and opacity. You can even use layers to touch-up your photos.

  • Select the layer you want to make transparent by clicking on the Layers tab – it looks like a folded page.
  • Select the opacity level in the box that appears at the top of the Layers. The default is 100%, but you can take it as low as 0%.
  • Save your image as a .PNG file to preserve the transparency.

Option 2: Creating Transparent Selections

If you want to merge or combine pictures in your portfolio, then you might need to make parts of your layer transparent. To do this, you’ll need to select your layer again like above, but make sure that the layers underneath that image are transparent. Select the area you want to alter using the selection tool, then:

  • Copy the area by right-clicking and choosing Copy
  • Delete the selection with the Del button
  • Paste your copied selection into a new layer
  • Lower the opacity on that layer

Option 3: Making a Transparent Background

Maybe you want the focus of your image to be clear and opaque, but the background to be transparent so that you can combine pictures or move the subject of your image elsewhere. To do this, you’ll need to create a transparent background.

  • Click on File, then New in Photoshop and a new window will appear.
  • Go to the section that says, “Background Contents” and select Transparent then click OK
  • Go to your Layers section and make sure it looks like a checkered white and gray box – this will confirm that the layer is transparent.
  • Add your image

Once you place your image into the transparent background, you’ll be able to remove any edges or extra elements from the photo that you also want to be transparent. To do this, click on the Eraser tool or Magic Eraser tool on the left-hand side of the image. Drag the eraser over the areas that you want to make transparent.

Getting the Most out of Your Transparent Photos

Once you’ve learned how to make an image transparent in Photoshop, it’s important to make sure that you can use those images without them accidentally taking on a new background when you open the file. The key is to make sure that your layers don’t merge when you’re saving your Photoshop file.

When saving your new transparent photo, click on the Format drop-down menu and select the PNG option. Choose a location where you’ll be able to easily find your image and hit the Save button.

If you can’t see a PNG file option on your Photoshop documents, then you may be editing your image in the CMYK format, which means that you’ll need to convert it into the RGB mode, so you can save as a PNG file. Don’t save as JPG as this will eliminate all of your hard work.

There you have it – learning how to make an image transparent with Photoshop was probably much easier than you thought! Now you can use your transparent photos to create a stunning selection of pictures to add to your growing portfolio!

*Updated August 2021*
Usually, when you change the opacity of a layer in Photoshop using the Opacity slider at the top of the Layers panel, the WHOLE layer changes to that opacity. There may be times though when you want only a small part of one layer to be transparent or semi-transparent.

The trick, my friends, is that you need to firstly select the part of the layer that you want to adjust the transparency of and then make your adjustment. AND for this trick, you don’t use the opacity slider on the layers panel, but rather a Fill command from the Edit menu. Read on to see how quick and easy it is.

Here is a handy way to change the opacity of just a selected part of any layer. If you’re new to Photoshop and making selections, check out my Beginners Guide to Photoshop Selections.

1. Open your image in Photoshop. I’m using this nice quadrant-style picture of The Beatles, make a selection around the area you want to change the Opacity on. I’ve used the rectangular marquee tool to draw a square around Paul McCartney.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

2. Choose Edit > Fill and set the Blending Mode to Clear. Set the Opacity to the percentage you want – I chose 50% here.

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

3. Click OK. The selected part of your layer is now semi-transparent while the remainder of your file stays at 100%.

By the way, I have nothing against Paul McCartney 🙂

How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

I hope you’ve found this Photoshop quick tip useful and I would be really grateful if you would share it. Thank you so much! 🙂

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How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshopHello! I’m Jennifer Farley. I’m an illustrator, designer and Adobe Education Trainer. This website is here to help you learn Photoshop efficiently and effectively. I’ve been teaching and using Photoshop for over 17 years. On this site you’ll find a growing list of Photoshop and Camera Raw tutorials that I have written for my students.

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How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

Changing the opacity of different layers is an easy way to enhance your digital scrapbook pages. Adjusting layer opacity allows you to easily blend papers and photos. You can also use it to lessen the effects of blending modes and actions. In this tutorial, you will learn how to change a layer’s opacity in Photoshop.

Lowering the opacity of a layer allows the layer below it to show through. A layer with 1% opacity appears transparent, while one with 100% opacity is opaque. There are several ways to adjust a layer’s opacity. For each method, the layer you want to modify must be active (highlighted) in the Layers panel.

    1. Opacity Field
      The Opacity Field is located at the top of the Layers panel. Changing the setting will alter the opacity of the active layer. You can adjust it by simply typing a number in the field or you can click on the box to the right of the field to bring up a slider.
    2. Scrubby Slider
      To get a Scrubby Slider, hover your cursor over the Opacity Field and it will change to a hand with a two-sided arrow. As you move the cursor left or right, the numbers in the Opacity Field will change.
    3. Number Keys
      The simplest way to adjust opacity is to use the number keys. Select any tool that doesn’t have its own opacity setting such as the Move or Marquee Tool. Then type a number to set the opacity of your selected layer to 10x the number. Typing “4” will set the opacity to 40%. For finer control, you can quickly type two numbers to get an exact percentage (6+8=68%). Press 0 for 100% opacity and 0+0 to set the layer’s opacity to zero.

    Now that you know how easy it is to adjust the opacity of a layer, here are some ways you can use reduced opacity while creating your scrapbook pages.Blend two coordinating papers by reducing the opacity of the top paper layer.

    • Blend two coordinating papers by reducing the opacity of the top paper layer.
    • Apply an Action and then reduct the overall effect. In the picture below I applied the Smart Glow from SCrapSimple Tools – Actions: Photo Basics 5001. The action sets the opacity of the Smart Glow layer at 75%. I reduced the opacity to 60% to get the look I wanted.
    • Layer a photo over a background paper and reduce the photo’s opacity to give it drama and texture.
    • Apply a Black and White adjustment layer to a photo, then reduce the opacity of the adjustment layer for a soft, romantic look.

    There are numerous ways to use the layer opacity settings while creating your digital scrapbook pages, and I could never list them all. Try a few of these techniques or just have fun playing with the opacity settings while creating your next layout.

    Tutorial written by April Martell

    Welcome to the SG Design Shop Blog – where modern memory keeping meets heritage scrapbooking! Here you’ll find digital products and all the inspiration you need to complete your projects.

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    Hi , we all know we can adjust RGB value by curve method , cause it is more smooth,but how can i adjust alpha value in the same way ?

    In the beneath example, the shadow part i have noted in red dot have opacity 75%,

    and farther part of shadow has a lower alpha value ,in this case , it is 11%

    i now certainly can adjust the darker shadow part by eraser tool manually , but is there any way to finish it by curve tool like adjusting RGB value ?

    Until now , i dont really find a way to adjust alpha value by curve , in normal curve tool, it only influences RGB value , but the alpha value doesn’t change at all!

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    I understand what yuo mean (edit: at least I think so), but in Photoshop that is called »transparency« and not »alpha«.

    The only way I can think of is

    • Layer >Layer Mask > From Transparency

    • select the resulting Layer Mask

    • apply the Adjustment on that

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    Ya, that counts, thanks!

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    I don’t think this is directly possible: Photoshop hides the transparency channel, or at least, it is not possible to affect transparency directly – only through layer masks, for example. Transparency/alpha is not adjustable via the curves without converting it first to a layer mask.

    Another option is Layer>Layer Mask>From Transparency . It will convert the layer’s transparency to a layer mask. Then Alpha becomes available in the Curves. Bit of a work-around, though. And it will not work with multiple layers.

    It’s a known legacy limitation in Photoshop. In other image editors curves do support direct adjustment of the transparency values, though. Would be nice if PS gets this option at some point.

    Once you learn how to change opacity settings with this tip I think you’ll use it all the time. It’s one of those time-savers that when used with other little shortcuts will have you working like a pro with Photoshop Elements.

    Here’s a video that shows exactly how to do it:

    At the top of the Layers palette is the Opacity field (see the photo below). It lets you lower the opacity of the currently active layer, which allows the layer below it to show through. It’s also used a lot to lessen the effects of an adjustment layer.

    You can use it like any adjustable field by double-clicking inside of it and typing the number you want. There’s also an arrow next to it that you can tip down and a slider is revealed which you can use to set the opacity. But there’s a faster way.

    Just hit any number on your keyboard and it will change the opacity setting. For 10% hit 1, for 50% hit 5. So you use 1 thru 9 to change the settings from 10% to 90%. To change it to 100% you hit 0. You can also type a two digit amount like 63% if you press the 6 and 3 fast enough. Give it a try.

    How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop

    There’s one caveat to this tip. If you have certain tools selected in the toolbox when you press a number, the setting for that tool will change in its’ Option bar instead of the layer opacity. So you can use the tip for changing the opacity of those tools also. But if you want to change the opacity of a layer you have to select a different tool first.

    All the forbidden tools are located near the bottom of the toolbox. See the image below.

    There’s another way to quickly change opacity. Actually this will work for most adjustable-number fields anywhere inside Photoshop Elements. It’s called Scrubby Sliders. If you hover your cursor over the name of a field that it works for, your cursor will change to a hand with a two-sided arrow. Now just move the cursor left or right and the numbers in the field change.

    Scrubby sliders go into hyper-mode if you hold down the shift key while you move them. Try it with and without the shift key to see what I mean.
    How to adjust opacity in adobe photoshop