20 Essential Photoshop Shortcuts & Tips

1. Use the Spacebar to Navigate

Let’s start with a simple one! While holding down the Spacebar and clickingand dragging with the left mouse button, you can pan around the canvas. This way, you won’t have to use the red box in the Navigator panel, or the scrollbars around the canvas to move around.

2. Hide Selections and Guides

You can toggle the visibility of all your guides and currently active selections by pressing Ctrl+H (that’s Cmd+H on the Mac). It’s a good way to check your artwork without all the disturbing lines here and there. Press Ctrl+H to toggle them back again.

3. Undo More, Redo More

You must know that Ctrl+Z (or Cmd+Z) undoes the last step, but did you know that hitting Ctrl+Alt+Z will undo more steps? It can definitely save you a lot of time by not having to hit the Step Backward command in the Edit menu. And it works in reverse by hitting Ctrl+Shift+Z, which will Redo one step. These two must be my most used shortcuts!

4. Rotate Canvas

Rotating the canvas can come very handy for designers using graphic tablets. By hitting the R key and then left-clicking-and-dragging, you can rotate your document on the canvas. You’ll see a compass with the red side pointing upwards, when doing so.

5. Paste in Place

Press Ctrl+Shift+V instead of the normal Ctrl+V command to paste your copied selection in place, e.g. to the exact same position where you copied from. You can not only paste in place in the document you copied from, but in new ones as well.

6. Quickly Open Documents

Did you know that when you have no documents on your canvas, and double-click in the empty area, the Open window appears? Kind of saves only a second, but many a little makes a mickle, so they say!

7. Quickly Close Documents

Pressing Ctrl+W will close the currently active document. PressingCtrl+Shift+W will close all open windows. You can also close all documents byShift+clicking the X’s on the right side of the document tabs.

8. Reset Dialog Boxes

When you open up any dialog box, make some changes but want to revert all of them, we would all click Cancel, and reopen the dialog box.

Let me tell you a secret: if you hold down the Alt key (Option on Mac) while a dialog box is open, the Cancel button will automagically transform into a Resetbutton. Now, how cool is that?

9. Pro Tips for the Crop Tool

Check out the Options Bar when you’re on the Crop Tool next time, because there are some pretty cool stuff there!

You can choose a constrain from the list under Unconstrained or you can set a custom ratio. This is really helpful when you want to tailor an image for your screen size, or create a square shaped avatar. The circle-shaped arrow reverses the values, and the selection accordingly (Image taken from Photoshop CS6; Photoshop CC has a couple different values).

And there’s one more thing! Check out the cogwheel icon in the Options Bar, where you can find the absolute sweet stuff! I usually pump up the opacity of the Crop Shield, kind of helps me better see what I’m going to crop.

Also, if you don’t want the excess to be deleted, only hidden, then you should uncheck Delete Cropped Pixels!

10. Hide All Except the Selected Layer

You must know that the little eye icon beside the layers toggles their visibility. Here’s a trick: when you Alt+Click the Eye icons (Option+Click for Mac users), all the other layers will be hidden; so that leaves only that one layer visible. Pretty cool trick to learn when you want to see a layer on its own!

11. Finish Editing Text

There are two hotkeys to use when you want to finish editing a text object: theNumEnter key on the numeric keypad, or if you don’t have a numeric keyboard, you can go with Ctrl+Enter (Cmd+Return on the Mac).

12. Change Guide Orientation

Is the ruler bar too far to reach out? Did you go to the horizontal ruler and realized you need a vertical guide instead?

Not a problem! Hold down the Alt (or Option) key on your keyboard while dragging out a Guide, and it will become perpendicular to the ruler bar.

13. Precise Cursors

The Caps Lock key toggles between normal and “precise” cursors. This works with lots of tools, and sometimes it can come helpful. Most of the time I use it with the Eyedropper tool (I). Can you find all the tools it works with?

14. Scrub Values

Use the Left mouse button on certain Labels to scrub the values next to them. Click on the label, and drag left to decrease, right to increase the value. Works pretty well, for example, on the Opacity and Fill labels in the Layers panel.

15. Quickly Change Opacity

Press the number keys on your keyboard to set the Opacity of any drawing tool (Brush, Eraser, etc.) by increments of 10. You can hit the 4 key for 40% opacity, but you can also quickly type 26 for 26% opacity.

When you’re on the Move tool (V), you can set the current Layer’s opacity when hitting the number keys!

16. Quick Switch Between Dodge and Burn

The Alt key is our friend again. Select the Dodge tool to lighten parts of an image, and just hold down the Alt (or Option) key to temporarily switch over to the Burn tool to darken. And vica versa. Pretty awesome for retouching!

17. Change Brush Size and Hardness

Ever heard about the Alt key? Get the Brush tool (B), hold down Alt (or of course Option on the Mac), and while holding the Right mouse button, move the mouse downwards to add, upwards to reduce hardness. Move it to the left to reduce the size of the brush, move it to the right to increase the size.

18. Merge All Layers into One

When you’re working with a lot of layers, sometimes you need to merge all your layers into one, without flattening the whole document. The shortcut isCtrl+Alt+Shift+E, (which is Cmd+Opt+Shift+E on the Mac).

19. Selection Operations

Use the Shift key to Add to the selection, hold down Alt to Subtract from a selection, and use the Shift+Alt keys together to Intersect the selections. Definitely easier than clicking on the above icons all the time!

20. Generate CSS code from Layer Styles

Now this is something you might want to upgrade to Photoshop CC! There’s a feature wen you right click on a layer with layer styles applied that will generate CSS code from those layer styles.

The option is called Copy CSS, which will copy the CSS code to the clipboard.

Basic operations For linux or Ubuntu

any_command --help |more 
Display a brief help on a command (works with most commands). "--help" works similar to DOS "/h" switch. The "more" pipe is needed if the output is longer than one screen.

man topic 
Display the contents of the system manual pages (help) on the topic. Try man man first. Press "q" to quit the viewer. The command info topic works similar and may contain more up-to-date information. Manual pages can be hard to read. Try any_command --help for short, easy to digest help on a command. If more info needed, have a look to the directory /usr/doc. To display manual page from a specific section, I may use something like in this example:  man 3 exit (this displays an info on the command exit from section 3 of the manual pages).

apropos topic 
Give me the list of the commands that have something to to do with my topic.

help command 
Display brief info on a bash (shell) build-in command.

List the content of the current directory. Under Linux, the command "dir" is an alias to ls. Many users have "ls" to be an alias to "ls --color".

ls -al |more 
List the content of the current directory, all files (also those starting with a dot), and in a long form. Pipe the output through the "more" command, so that the display pauses after each screenful.

cd directory 
Change directory. Using "cd" without the directory name will take you to your home directory. "cd -" will take you to your previous directory and is a convenient way to toggle between two directories. "cd .." will take you one directory up.

cp source destination 
Copy files. E.g., cp /home/stan/existing_file_name .  will copy a file to my current working directory. Use the "-r" option (for recursive) to copy the contents of whole directories, e.g. , cp -r my_existing/dir/ ~  will copy a subdirectory under my current working directory to my home directory.

mcopy source destination 
Copy a file from/to a DOS filesystem (no mounting necessary). E.g., mcopy a:\autoexec.bat ~/junk . See man mtools for related commands: mdir, mcd, mren, mmove, mdel, mmd, mrd, mformat ....

mv source destination 
Move or rename files. The same command is used for moving and renaming files and directories.

ln source destination 
Create a hard link called destination to the file called source. The link appears as a copy of the original files, but in reality only one copy of the file is kept, just two (or more) directory entries point to it. Any changes the file are automatically visible throughout. When one directory entry is removed, the other(s) stay(s) intact. The limitation of the hard links are: the files have to be on the same filesystem, hard links to directories or special files are impossible.

ln -s source destination 
Create a symbolic (soft) link called "destination" to the file called "source". The symbolic link just specifies a path where to look for the file. In contradistinction to hard links, the source and destination don't not have to tbe on the same filesystem. In comparison to hard links, the drawback of symbolic links are: if the original file is removed, the link is "broken", symbolic links can also create circular references (like circular references in spreadsheets or databases, e.g., "a" points to "b" and "b" points back to "a").

rm files 
Remove (delete) files. You must own the file in order to be able to remove it. On many systems, you will be asked or confirmation of deleation, if you don't want this, use the "-f" (=force) option, e.g., rm -f *  will remove all files in my current working directory, no questions asked.

mkdir directory 
Make a new directory.

rmdir directory 
Remove an empty directory.

rm -r files 
(recursive remove) Remove files, directories, and their subdirectories. Careful with this command as root--you can easily remove all files on the system with such a command executed on the top of your directory tree, and there is no undelete in Linux (yet). But if you really wanted to do it (reconsider), here is how (as root): rm -rf /*

cat filename | more 
View the content of a text file called "filename", one page a time. The "|" is the "pipe" symbol (on many American keyboards it shares the key with "\") The pipe makes the output stop after each screenful. For long files, it is sometimes convenient to use the commands head and tail that display just the beginning and the end of the file. If you happened to use "cat" a binary file and your terminal displays funny characters afterwards, you can restore it with the command "reset".

less filename 
Scroll through a content of a text file. Press q when done. "Less" is roughly equivalent to "more" , the command you know from DOS, although very often "less" is more convenient than "more".

pico filename 
Edit a text file using the simple and standard text editor called pico.

pico -w filename 
Edit a text file, while disabling the long line wrap. Handy for editing configuration files, e.g. /etc/fstab.

find / -name "filename" 
Find the file called "filename" on your filesystem starting the search from the root directory "/". The "filename" may contain wildcards (*,?).

locate filename 
Find the file name of which contains the string "filename". Easier and faster than the previous command but depends on a database that normally rebuilds at night.

Run an executable in the current directory, which is not on your PATH.

touch filename 
Change the date/time stamp of the file filename to the current time. Create an empty file if the file does not exist.

Start a barebone X-windows server (without a windows manager).

Start an X-windows server and the default windows manager. Works like typing "win" under DOS with Win3.1

startx -- :1 
Start another X-windows session on the display 1 (the default is opened on display 0). You can have several GUI terminals running concurrently. Switch between them using <Ctrl><Alt><F7>, <Ctrl><Alt><F8>, etc.

(in X terminal) Run a simple X-windows terminal.  Typing exit will close it.  There are other, more advanced "virtual" terminals for X-windows. I like the popular ones: konsole and kvt (both come with kde) and gnome-terminal (comes with gnome).  If you need something really fancy-looking, try Eterm.

(in X terminal). Very nice, old-fashioned game. Many small games/programs are probably installed on your system. I also like xboard (chess).

shutdown -h now 
(as root) Shut down the system to a halt. Mostly used for a remote shutdown. Use <Ctrl><Alt><Del> for a shutdown at the console (which can be done by any user).


(as root, two commands) Halt or reboot the machine. Used for remote shutdown, simpler to type than the previous command. 

Common commands--system info for Linux

Print working directory, i.e., display the name of my current directory on the screen.

Print the name of the local host (the machine on which you are working). Use netconf (as root) to change the name of the machine.

Print my login name.

id username 
Print user id (uid) and his/her group id (gid), effective id (if different than the real id) and the supplementary groups.

Print or change the operating system date and time. E.g., I could change the date and time to 2000-12-31 23:57 using this command: 
date 123123572000 
To set the hardware (BIOS) clock from the system (Linux) clock, use the command (as root) setclock

Determine the amount of time that it takes for a process to complete + other info. Don't confuse it with the date command. E.g. I can find out how long it takes to display a directory content using: 
time ls

Determine the users logged on the machine.

rwho -a 
(=remote who) Determine all users logged on your network. The rwho service must be enabled for this command to run. If it isn't, run setup as root to enable "rwho".

finger user_name 
System info about a user. Try: finger root

Show listing of users last logged-in on your system.

history | more 
Show the last (1000 or so) commands executed from the command line on the current account. The "| more" causes the display to stop after each screenful.

Show the amount of time since the last reboot.

(=print status) List the processes currently run by the current user.

ps axu | more 
List all the processes currently running, even those without the controlling terminal, together with the name of the user that owns each process.

Keep listing the currently running processes, sorted by cpu usage (top users first). In KDE, you can get GUI-based Ktop from "K"menu under "System"-"Task Manager" (or by executing "ktop" in an X-terminal).

uname -a 
(= Unix name with option "all") Info on your (local) server. I can also use guname (in X-window terminal) to display the info more nicely.

Memory info (in kilobytes).

df -h 
(=disk free) Print disk info about all the filesystems (in human-readable form)

du / -bh | more 
(=disk usage) Print detailed disk usage for each subdirectory starting at the "/" (root) directory (in human legible form).

cat /proc/cpuinfo 
Cpu info--it show the content of the file cpuinfo. Note that the files in the /proc directory are not real files--they are hooks to look at information available to the kernel.

cat /proc/interrupts 
List the interrupts in use.

cat /proc/version 
Linux version and other info

cat /proc/filesystems 
Show the types of filesystems currently in use.

cat /etc/printcap 
Show the setup of printers.

(As root. Use /sbin/lsmod to execute this command when you are a non-root user.) Show the kernel modules currently loaded.

Show the current user environment.

echo $PATH 
Show the content of the environment variable "PATH". This command can be used to show other environment variables as well. Use "set" to see the full environment.

dmesg | less 
Print kernel messages (the content of the so-called kernel ring buffer). Press "q" to quit "less". Use less /var/log/dmesg  to see what "dmesg" dumped into this file right after the last system bootup. 

Essential shortcuts and sanity commands for Linux


Switch to the first text terminal. Under Linux you can have several (6 in standard setup) terminals opened at the same time.

<Ctrl><Alt><Fn> (n=1..6) 
Switch to the nth text terminal.

Print the name of the terminal in which you are typing this command.

Switch to the first GUI terminal (if X-windows is running on this terminal).

 <Ctrl><Alt><Fn> (n=7..12) 
Switch to the nth GUI terminal (if a GUI terminal is running on screen n-1). On default, nothing is running on terminals 
8 to 12, but you can run another server there.

How to Enable auto shutdown in Transmission with your own script in Linux

Transmission is a simple yet powerful torrent client. It’s available in some of the Linux distributions by default. However, one very important torrent client must have feature is missing in transmission. Now, we are going to add that feature by ourselves with our own shell script. We will make that shell script execute in Transmission after download completes. Let’s first get started by writing a single line shell script for shutdown. Most of you reading this may have used command to restart and shutdown your system. If you don’t know this, yes you can shutdown and restart Linux system from your terminal.

Go to home directory, fire up your text editor, create a file and write a script. I will use vim. Name the file shutdown.sh and add the following code into that file:

sudo -h shutdown now
Make the file executable:

chmod +x shutdown.sh

That’s all we would include in the script file.
Now, we will need gksu. If it’s not available in your system by default install it. It’s available in the repo of most Linux distributions. For Debian users:

sudo apt-get install gksu
Drag your Transmission icon in Desktop, right click and under basic heading you will find a command field. Add “gksu command” in that field. Gksu command makes transmission executable as a super user.

Or you can start transmission as a root from the terminal.

sudo transmission

Now, go to Edit> Preferences and under Downloading check on “Call Script when torrent is completed”. Give the path of the script file and that’s it.
However, there’s one hassle in this process. If you are downloading more than one torrent at once, your system will shutdown after completing one download. If you have a way to remove this hassle, share with us as a comment.

How to format pen drive, USB drive or external drives in Linux By Using Terminal, GUI, or Something else

It’s very easy to format pendrive or any other external hard drives in Linux. The formatting of the drive will erase all the files and directories in your drive which cannot be recovered. So, be careful while formatting the drive. You can use either command line or the graphical way to format the drive. Once, you plug in external drives in the computer, that will map to /dev/sda or /dev/sdb1 etc. The names can vary. We will identify external drive with the name. Follow these simple steps to quickly format the USB drive or pendrive or external drive in Linux:

Format using Terminal:

1. Identifying drive:

Insert the external drive and type the following command in the terminal:
dmesg | tail

The word “sdb” between the big brackets is the name of your external device that you just inserted. And the sdb1 is the partition name or generally it is the actual name that we are going to use while formatting  the drive.

2. Unmount the drive:

After we identified our drive, another step is to unmount the external drive. Use the following command:

sudo umount /dev/sdb1

The word “sdb” between the big brackets is the name of your external device that you just inserted. And the sdb1 is the partition name or generally it is the actual name that we are going to use while formatting  the drive.

3. Format the drive:

The drive can be formatted into two formats: EXT3 and FAT32. The EXT3 format only works in Linux machines whereas FAT32 format works in Linux, MAC and PCs.

Format in FAT32 file system:
Use the following command:

sudo mkdosfs -n 'New' -I /dev/sdb1

Format in EXT3 file system:
Use the following command:

sudo mkfs.ext3 -n 'New' -I /dev/sdb1

Wheres, -n ‘New’ gives the name ‘New’ to the formatted drive and -I force the format to work properly. However, they both are not mandatory.

Format using GUI:

If command line scares, you there’s a tool called Gnome format that lets you to format external drives easily. Install gnome format using the following command:
In Ubuntu/Mint:

sudo apt-get install gnome-disk-utility
In Fedora/Cent OS/Red Hat:
Most probably, Gnome Disk Utility is already available in Fedora, Cent OS or Red Hat machines.
If it’s not, type the following command to install.

 sudo yum install gnome-disk-utility

Create a HTML Document using shell script in Linux

You can actually create a HTML document using the shell script. If you are tired to see the output of your command in the terminal, you can redirect your output to the HTML document. This will allow you to see the output in the web browser like the website. I will assume, you know the basics of HTML. Even if you don’t, it’s very easy to learn. Find some good tutorials and get started.Now, let’s get started by writing a simple shell script with HTML tags in it.

echo "<htmL>"
echo "<head>"
echo "<title>"
echo "Output in a HTML Document"
echo "</title>"
echo "</head>"
echo "<body>"
cat freshtutorial
echo "</body>"
echo "</html>"

This simple shell script called “test” will display the file called freshtutorial which I have already created in my home directory. Every HTML tags have to be quoted with echo. Redirect the script to HTML document.

sh test >> test.html

Open the test.html and see the output. Instead of creating a output into the terminal itself, it redirects the output to a webpage.

We don’t want to put echo in every HTML tags. This will make our job tedious and dirty. Thus to simplify this we will use “<< “.

display="HELLO WORLD"
cat << noEcho
<TITLE> Cool Bash trick </TITLE>


“noEcho” is called token in the above script named “display”. You can assign any token as you want besides the bash keywords. Redirect the script into a webpage issuing the following command:

sh display >> display.html

This all might seem confusion at the beginning. Once you get used to it, it feels amazing. It is a nice cool shell programming trick as well. If you have any confusion, feel free to ask questions as comment.

Download notepad plus plus 6.3.1

Notepad++ v6.3.1 new features:

  1. Fix replacing ‘\n’ bug in both extended and regex mode.
  2. Remember folding states for each file in session.
  3. Fix a crash bug on uncommenting.
  4. Add “Set Updater proxy…” command for setting the proxy of updater.
  5. Fix the problem of Window position not saved/restored properly.

Download by your need from below :

Notepad Plus Plus

Know me below in comment if anything goes wrong or, link doesn’t work

How To Install Adobe Photoshop on Ubuntu Linux

Installing Adobe Photoshop on Ubuntu Linux is pretty easy. In this tutorial I will show you how to install Photoshop using Wine.Wine is a translation layer capable of running Windows applications on Linux operating system. Windows programs running in Wine act as native programs would, running without the performance or memory usage penalties of an emulator, with a similar look and feel to other applications on your desktop.
Steps To Install Photoshop in Linux
1. First install Wine in Linux.
2. Then right click on Adobe Photoshop Setup.exe and click Open with Wine Windows program loader.
3. The installation Process will start automatically.
4. That’s it you have successfully installed Adobe Photoshop in Linux.
5. Goto Applications –> Wine –> Programs –> Adobe Photoshop
Thanx everybody.

World War I (part 2)

The initial stages of the war

Initial strategies

The Schlieffen Plan

Years before 1914, successive chiefs of the German general staff had been foreseeing Germany's having to fight a war on two fronts at the same time, against Russia in the east and France in the west, whose combined strength was numerically superior to the Central Powers'. The elder Helmuth von Moltke, chief of the German general staff from 1858 to 1888, decided that Germany should stay at first on the defensive in the west and deal a crippling blow to Russia's advanced forces before turning to counterattack the French advance. His immediate successor, Alfred von Waldersee, also believed in staying on the defensive in the west. Alfred, Graf von Schlieffen, who served as chief of the German general staff from 1891 to 1905, took a contrary view, and it was the plan he developed that was to guide Germany's initial wartime strategy. Schlieffen realized that on the outbreak of war Russia would need six full weeks to mobilize and assemble its vast armies, given the immense Russian countryside and population, the sparsity of the rail network, and the inefficiency of the government bureaucracy. Taking advantage of this fact, Schlieffen planned to initially adopt a purely defensive posture on the Eastern Front with a minimal number of troops facing Russia's slowly gathering armies. Germany would instead concentrate almost all of its troops in the west against France and would seek to bypass France's frontier fortifications by an offensive through neutral Belgium to the north. This offensive would sweep westward and then southward through the heart of northern France, capturing the capital and knocking that country out of the war within a few weeks. Having gained security in the west, Germany would then shift its troops to the east and destroy the Russian menace with a similar concentration of forces.
By the time of his retirement in 1905, Schlieffen had elaborated a plan for a great wheeling movement of the right (northern) wing of the German armies not only through central Belgium but also, in order to bypass the Belgian fortresses of Liège and Namur in the Meuse Valley, through the southernmost part of the Netherlands. With their right wing entering France near Lille, the Germans would continue to wheel westward until they were near the English Channel; they would then turn southward so as to sever the French armies' line of retreat from France's eastern frontier to the south; and the outermost arc of the wheel would sweep southward west of Paris, in order to avoid exposing the German right flank to a counterstroke launched from the city's outskirts. If the Schlieffen Plan succeeded, Germany's armies would simultaneously encircle the French Army from the north, overrun all of northeastern France, and capture Paris, thus forcing France into a humiliating surrender. The large wheeling movement that the plan envisaged required correspondingly large forces for its execution, in view of the need to keep up the numerical strength of the long-stretched marching line and the need to leave adequate detachments on guard over the Belgian fortresses that had been bypassed. Accordingly, Schlieffen allocated nearly seven-eighths of Germany's available troop strength to the execution of the wheeling movement by the right and centre wings, leaving only one-eighth to face a possible French offensive on Germany's western frontier. Thus, the maximum of strength was allocated to the wheel's edge—that is, to the right. Schlieffen's plan was observed by the younger Helmuth von Moltke, who became chief of the general staff in 1906. Moltke was still in office when war broke out in 1914.

Eastern Front strategy, 1914

Russian Poland, the westernmost part of the Russian Empire, was a thick tongue of land enclosed to the north by East Prussia, to the west by German Poland (Poznania) and by Silesia, and to the south by Austrian Poland (Galicia). It was thus obviously exposed to a two-pronged invasion by the Central Powers; but the Germans, apart from their grand strategy of crushing France before attempting anything against Russia, took note of the poverty of Russian Poland's transportation network and so were disinclined to overrun that vulnerable area prematurely. Austria-Hungary, however, whose frontier with Russia lay much farther east than Germany's and who was moreover afraid of disaffection among the Slav minorities, urged some immediate action to forestall a Russian offensive. Moltke therefore agreed to the Austrian general staff's suggestion for a northeastward thrust by the Austrian Army into Russian Poland—the more readily because it would occupy the Russians during the crisis in France.
The Russians, for their part, would have preferred to concentrate their immediately available forces against Austria and to leave Germany undisturbed until their mobilization should have been completed. The French were anxious to relieve the German pressure against themselves, however, and so they persuaded the Russians to undertake an offensive involving two armies against the Germans in East Prussia simultaneously with one involving four armies against the Austrians in Galicia. The Russian Army, whose proverbial slowness and unwieldy organization dictated a cautious strategy, thus undertook an extra offensive against East Prussia that only an army of high mobility and tight organization could have hoped to execute successfully.

The strategy of the Western Allies, 1914

For some 30 years after 1870, considering the likelihood of another German war, the French high command had subscribed to the strategy of an initial defensive to be followed by a counterstroke against the expected invasion: a great system of fortresses was created on the frontier, but gaps were left in order to “canalize” the German attack. France's alliance with Russia and its entente with Great Britain, however, encouraged a reversal of plan, and after the turn of the century a new school of military thinkers began to argue for an offensive strategy. The advocates of the offensive à l'outrance (“to the utmost”) gained control of the French military machine, and in 1911 a spokesman of this school, General J.-J.-C. Joffre, was designated chief of the general staff. He sponsored the notorious Plan XVII, with which France went to war in 1914.
Plan XVII gravely underestimated the strength that the Germans would deploy against France. Accepting the possibility that the Germans might employ their reserve troops along with regular troops at the outset, Plan XVII estimated the strength of the German Army in the west at a possible maximum of 68 infantry divisions. The Germans actually deployed the equivalent of 83 1/2 divisions, counting Landwehr (reserve troops) and Ersatz (low-grade substitute troops) divisions. But French military opinion ignored or doubted this possibility; and during the war's crucial opening days, when the rival armies were concentrating and moving forward, the French Intelligence counted only Germany's regular divisions in its estimates of the enemy strength. This was a serious miscalculation. Plan XVII also miscalculated the direction and scope of the coming onslaught: though it foresaw an invasion through Belgium, it assumed that the Germans would take the route through the Ardennes, thereby exposing their communications to attack. Basing itself on the idea of an immediate and general offensive, Plan XVII called for a French thrust toward the Saar into Lorraine by the 1st and 2nd armies, while on the French left (the north) the 3rd and 5th armies, facing Metz and the Ardennes, respectively, stood ready either to launch an offensive between Metz and Thionville or to strike from the north at the flank of any German drive through the Ardennes. When war broke out, it was taken for granted that the small British Expeditionary Force (BEF) under Sir John French should be used as an adjunct to France's forces, more or less as the French might see fit. It is clearly evident that the French were oblivious to the gigantic German offensive that was being aimed at their left (northern) wing.

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