The whole purpose of How To Cheat In Photoshop is to, well, show you how to cheat in Photoshop. According to the author Steve Caplin, he will do this in two ways. First he will show you how to make images that look like photos, but are really composites that you put together and the end result is something that never existed in reality. Second, it is to show you how to take short cuts and to work more quickly and economically. He feels that there are too many long winded explanations out there and he has quicker solutions.
How To Cheat In Photoshop is broken down into 15 chapters and a DVD. The DVD contains most of the workthroughs, but not all; these tend to be some of the case studies that include photos of politicians and celebrities that he was not able to get clearance to include on the DVD. The DVD also contains two hours of video tutorials to demonstrate techniques. It is assumed that you are comfortable working with Photoshop and have a reasonable working knowledge. There is no chapter on setting up, or how to use section. The book is not geared for the very beginning user.
Chapter 1, "Natural Selection" will show you how to select objects. Since the point of this book is to take objects from one setting and integrate them into another, this chapter is fundamental. Chapter 2, "Transform and Distortion" explains how when creating a photomontage and combining images, you will need to change the size and scale of objects to match the rest of the picture.
Chapter 3, "Hiding and Showing" will explain how instead of deleting a layer; which is permanent, you can, instead use a layer mask to remove the item allowing it to return later if needed. Chapter 4, "Image Adjustment" looks at using the curves adjustment to get the shadows and highlights to match. This is important when you are swapping heads or hands and the skin tones don't look right.
Chapter 5, "Composing the Scene" divines the meaning of the composition of a scene. Here you will learn how to get your characters to interact with their background to make the image more realistic. Chapter 6, "Getting into Perspective" is one of the harder things to get right when working with photomontages, but, according to the author, by learning a few simple skills, you can easily master it.
Chapter 7, "Light and Shade" is all about getting the shadows correct. Without the appropriate light and shading, something will feel wrong about the image. Chapter 8, "Heads and Bodies" continues down the path of getting it right, but this time with heads and bodies. Here you learn to change the direction that your subject is looking in.