Most Useful Photoshop Tricks of All Time
These super-useful, often-unknown, tricks will make your Photoshop workflow twice as fast. Vote for the best ones.
Zooming around with the magnifying glass is easy enough, but what about restoring the image to its original 100%? If you're way zoomed in, zooming out with the magnifying glass takes too long. Instead, simply double-left-click the zoom tool button. Viola! Instant 100% zoom restored.
Being able to quickly load and save selections is vital to speeding up your Photoshop workflow, but masks and the Load/Save menu are too slow. Luckily there's a better way. To select everything on a particular layer, hold CTRL and left-click on the layer's thumbnail. Viola! Instant selection load. Even gradients and feathery selections load perfectly.
So you're playing around with a brush or pencil and want to draw some straight lines. Good luck doing it by hand. Ordinarily you'd bring up a grid and turn on snapping, but if you're not that committed, try the following approach. With the brush or pencil selected, hold down SHIFT and left-click once at the point where your line should start. Then left-click again at another point. Photoshop will draw a straight line from A to B. Neat! And there's no reason to stop there. You can keep going through to C, D, etc.
You're not a master Photoshopper until you've created files with hundreds of layers, but if you get sloppy and forget to name them all properly, finding an individual element's layer can be a real chore. Fear not! Simply select the Move tool, hold CTRL and left-click the element you're interested in. Viola! That element's layer is automatically selected.
Have you ever tried to crop something with the Selection Marquee only to realize that your initial placement of marquee was off by a few pixels? Arghh!!! That can be frustrating, forcing you to redo the entire selection. But that's not how the pros do it. Instead, while you drag the selection out hold down SPACE with your thumb. Viola! Now you can nudge the marquee around the screen without yet committing to its final dimensions.
Working with selections is one of the most common Photoshop tasks, so you'd better bone up on your selection shortcuts. Holding SHIFT with an existing selection present will add to it. Holding ALT will subtract from it. Holding SHIFT + ALT will leave the intersection of two selections. Holding ALT when starting a fresh selection will center its origin point. Holding SHIFT when starting a fresh selection will constrain its proportions to equal length, producing a perfect square or circle.
All too often you find a perfect graphic for your layout, but it's on a white background. You need a quick way to extract the graphic but it may be complex, and you don't want to waste several minutes on the Magic Wand. Luckily you can knock out most solid-color backgrounds in seconds via a layer's Blending Options. Right-click on a layer and go to Blending Options to bring up the image shown above. Then, holding ALT, drag the left half of the white slider towards the black slider. Viola! White background gone. This is a great rough-and-tumble technique for rapid mock ups.
Layers used a lot in photoshop, being able to quickly add a new layer whenever you need it is important: CTRL + SHIFT + N
You always have several versions of whatever it is that you are working on, I know I do! Being able to save a copy or backup quickly enough can be important.
CTRL + Shift + S
Just remember the shift... or you might end up overwriting your saved file.
Adjustments like Hue/Saturation, Brightness/Contrast, and Levels are typically applied through the Image >> Adjustments menu. But that's not best practice. What happens if you later decide to scale back that contrast change? You can't! Instead, apply adjustments as Adjustment Layers via the button found at the bottom of the Layers Box. Now your Adjustment is fully dynamic. Yay!