Adobe’s Photoshop has long been the premier software for photographers, digital professionals as well as the everydaywebsite owner. The fact that the software can do so much, and is easy to use, has obviously helped it hold on to its class-leading position. However, the very fact that it can do so much means that a large percentage of users only scratch the surface of the available options.
These days, most people are busy and it is all too easy to stop exploring a program such as Photoshop when we first learn the basics, as we mistakenly feel that further exploration cannot be justified on a time basis.
Understandable as this is, the reality of the situation is that there are a number of Photoshop tricks that many people have never seen and that can save the user a considerable amount of time. These tricks can be applied to editing images for your website for example, and make it more appealing potential readers and/or customers. The following are tricks that should prove very useful:
1. Merging All Visible Layers
How often are you working on a file where multiple layers have been created in order to achieve a finished version? This is a common task with photo editing, but also for artists who are using Photoshop to draw/paint. The problem is the file can become needlessly large and somewhat messy with multiple layers. There is a quick way to solve this problem. Once you have finished editing the individual layers, create a new empty layer and then press: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E which will merge all visible layers (on a Mac replace Alt with the Command key).
2. Duplicating an Image
There are numerous situations when a user needs to duplicate an image. Perhaps as a reference or to compare changes, or even create piece of mind when embarking on editing. Of course, Photoshop comes with a way to do this (via the Image menu and then Duplicate). However, there is a really great way to do this quickly. Just right click the top of your window and click on duplicate. It’s a quick and simple trick, but you’ll be amazed how it speeds up workflow.
3. Web Images Looking Too Dark?
Sometimes when using the Save For Web command, the resulting image can appear a little darker than required. There is a little know trick to ensure that this does not happen: before using the command, go to the edit/color settings and check that “Web Graphics Default” as well as “SRGB” are both selected. This will prevent images being too dark.
4. Super Fast Layer Selection
The tried and tested way to select a layer is to go to the layer palette and click on the required layer. It works well enough, but can sometime take the user out of their concentration zone. A little known trick to help keep the user focused on the task is to hold down CTRL and then right click on the active document. This brings up list of layers that can be selected from to select a layer. For an even quicker trick, try using Alt and right click which bypasses the context menu.
5. Creating a layer below the current one
It’s probably fair to say that the majority of the time users create layers on top of a previous one, but there are occasions when creating a layer beneath a current one is required. In these situations use this trick and employ the following keyboard shortcut: cmd+new layer icon.
6. Working in the Corners
Sometimes the part of an image you want to work on is right in one of the four corners (or for that matter right against the side). It can be awkward, as the curser will change every time it moves beyond the image. Luckily, there is a trick to deal with this problem: simply go to View and Change Screen Mode (or use the Screen Mode button on the task bar) Or simply press F on the keyboard. You can use the hand tool to drag the image so you have loads of room to reach those formally hard to handle spots.
Photoshop is a tool that users should never stop exploring, however experienced they may be. After all no one’s too old, or too experienced, to learn a few new tricks.
Kevin Harris is a freelance writer for Adobe. Adobe software, such as image editing software, and services revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information; anytime, anywhere, and through any medium. They also offer many other services like web application development.