There are 128 Photoshop tips below waiting to be absorbed into your brain. No matter where you are on the Photoshop learning curve, there is something here for you.
So why have I compiled this list?
I know Photoshop is a difficult tool to master. I know Photoshop has so many hidden secrets, shortcuts and tips. I know that there is no location where all these Photoshop tips can be accessed with visual help. So there lies my answer, I have created this post to make the most common Photoshop tips easily accessible and easy to follow.
So what’s all the fuss about?
Well, to be blunt, there are 128 Photoshop tips below waiting to be absorbed into your brain. Your welcome. But in fact, there is more to this post than meets the eye. We all use Photoshop in a unique way, and no unique way is the right way. That’s where these tips are so valuable, they are a combination of great Photoshop minds, with great unique ways. So no matter where you are on the Photoshop learning curve, there is something here for you.
What do I need?
Your eyes! All the content below is text based and can be read with those two squishy balls inserted into your head. We’ve left the in depth mind boggling content for our premium courses.
(Get One Month Premium For Free). So simply scroll through and enjoy some light reading, who knows, you may learn something.
So in no particular order, here they are. Read them, learn them, implement them. There is something in there for you…
1. From: visuallyart
My first Photoshop tip would be to focus on your blending, its the first thing anyone will observe! You don’t need too many images for your edit to look good. Simply be creative and use minimalistic approach to create a masterpiece.
2. From: Inspiration Clan
Add a Gaussian Blur to your layer mask to remove harsh edges. Quite often when you have made a selection on a layer mask, the edges will be jagged and sharp. You can remove this clicking on the Layer Mask > Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur > Apply a subtle Blur. Perfect!
3. From: binoccreations
While cutting out Hair in Refine Edge – Deselect the Contaminate colours option! This can often give better results.
4. From: Ashok kumar
Before adding a gaussian blur, convert your layer to a smart object. Adding the blur this way will allow you to refine the blur at any time.
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5. From: luisgonzalez1703
When compositing, you should choose many stock images with the same light point. If you do this, you’ll get a lot of coherence in the picture. Try to take your own pictures to control the light and your photomontage will be higher quality.
6. From: anaskadeva
It’s all about the masking and how you blend the images by paying attention to every detail, starting from the shadows, how neatly you cut your drawing and unify the colors.
7. From: Inspiration Clan
Press Cmd/Ctrl and click on a layer thumbnail to load its content as a selection. Discovering this for the first time is one of thoses light bulb moments where the stars align.
8. From: staranuj47
When desaturating colors, just open the Hue/Saturation pop-up (or add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer). Then go to the master option and select the particular color you want to desaturate. Reduce the Saturation for that individual color, all other colors will remain.
9. From: 22taroh
Never stop learning. If you think you know it all, it’s time to rethink and get learning a new technique/skill
10. From: jessica.visuals
Always be organized with your work, create group names and organise your panels.
11. From: Inspiration Clan
Working non destructively with Adjustment Layers is one of the best tips we can provide! There are three reasons why you should be doing this! 1. You can make changes to your edit at any time. 2. You can control the strength of the adjustments using the adjustment Layer opacity. 3. You can work selectively on the Adjustment Layer by adding a layer mask.
12. From: jessica.visuals
There’s no limit in Photoshop, never hesitate to create what you want because you have amazing tools that’ll allow you to do that and bring your creations to life.
13. From: Inspiration Clan
Organise your layers with the help of colors. Simply, right click on a layer, then select one of the 8 colors. This is great when you have large documents with a large amount of layers.
14. From: icamposmas
When making a selection with lots of detail, check the amount of colour in the subject you’re selecting, if possible check the select by colour tool in the menu bar and change it’s fuzziness. The same way when you’re selecting something out of focus, and then just make adjustments with select & Mask.
15. From: Inspiration Clan
Making selections can be difficult at the best of times. To speed up the selection workflow you can hold down Shift to add to selection or hold down Alt to subtract from selection. Holding Shift + Alt together will allow you to intersect with the selection.
16. From: pedrosrossi
A nice tip that I can give you guys, is patience, really, anybody can learn Photoshop if you have the will to do it, but only a few people have the patience to endure when you lose a layer, don’t save your work, don’t have the right pencil or have a power cut. I have worked with Photoshop as long as I can remember, and can assure you guys that to manipulate an image, you need patience to get just the right light or contrast. It’s a hard thing to come by, but the more experience you gain, the easier it is to achieve. Cheers.
17. From: Sanjeev sms
In Photoshop it’s much more efficient to use keyboard shortcuts. You can save yourself lots of time by navigation to tools quickly. You can hover over each tool and the corresponding key will be displayed.
18. From: carlesmarsal
Creating a clipping mask to include the upper layer into the layer below. To add a clipping mask, simply hold Alt and click between both Layers, or right click on a Layer, and select “Create Clipping Mask”. This is one of my most useful Photoshop tips… I use clipping masks in my matte painting projects as many things are meant to affect just one layer.
19. From: adarsh.sree
Here is a simple way to make snow in Photoshop 1. reduce the temperature of the picture in camera raw filter 2. paint with white color over the areas of the image where u want to have snow 3. go to blending options and adjust the ‘blending if’ sliders 4. voila and u can see the white brush marks turning to snow.
20. From: abhilash_kar
For Novice Users, You don’t need to make perfect Edits right from the beginning. Its okay if you find your edits don’t match the people you follow in IG or FB. Your main artistic aim should be to sell your story with your edits which you will eventually get by practicing everyday. Try taking your own shots from your smartphone or a slr camera and making your own set of stock images to work on, like skies during morning or evening. At first try to mimic the artist you like, and believe you will eventually get better.
21. From: Inspiration Clan
Edit the number of history states that Photoshop saves. This could get you out of a sticky situation! Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Performance to change the number of History states up to a maximum of 1000. The more history states remembered the bigger the impact on performance. So have a little play and see what works for you.
22. From: Inspiration Clan
Layers can quickly become confusing. This neat little trick allows you to view an individual layer, without the need to turn off all other layers. Simply hold down Alt key and click on the Eye icon of the Layer. This will hide all layers apart from the layer you clicked. To reverse the action, simply click on the Eye again.
23. From: Inspiration Clan
This one’s pretty simple but it can help speed up your workflow. Simply hold down Alt, then drag a mask, style or layer to duplicate it. We love the nerdy efficiency.
24. From: Inspiration Clan
You can use Alt + Backspace to fill a layer or selection with the foreground color. Great when you are making a layer mask selection.
25. From: antoniusbrs
To perform your best edits, use your PC. Apps can be useful but the larger screen and PC power always wins.
26. From: Inspiration Clan
Create it big and then scale down. A good rule of thumb is to work at 150-200% the size of the final piece, and then resample the finished image down. Knowing the intended medium of delivery is crucial. You don’t want to scale your final image up as this will lead to a loss of quality.
27. From: jessica.visuals
Use the pen tool if you want the cleanest cut, yes it takes longer but it’s worth it in the end!
28. From: Inspiration Clan
Create a Vignette! A vingett is a technique that darkens the outer edges of the image to emphasize the central elements. It helps your eyes focus on the most important parts and can give your image that extra edge that it needs.
29. From: Inspiration Clan
Draw straight lines with the Brush Tool by holding down shift and clicking between two individual points.
30. From: Inspiration Clan
Lights and Shadows. When creating a photo composite it’s important to consider the shadows and lighting. If one of your elements has a noticeably different shadow then your finished image will not look realistic. Take time to understand lighting and shadows and how to incorporate these principles in your composites.
31. From: Inspiration Clan
Make a selection from a path. With the Pen tool selected, right click, then select Make Selection. This will convert your selection into a path!
32. From: Inspiration Clan
Use Custom brushes to create effects. It’s often overlooked but there are brushes for pretty much everything. If you want to create scratches, clouds, splatters or dust (to name a few) then you should hunt down some brushes. There are plenty of free brushes online for you to pick from.
Discover Photoshop Brushes
33. From: Inspiration Clan
It always helps to have reference images, they can help you achieve a realistic result. If you create a new group above all other groups and layers, you can add your reference images in there. This will allow you to quickly display or hide multiple references at once.
34. From: Inspiration Clan
Create History Snapshots. History snapshots are like little restore points saved within your document. They allow you to return to a previous versions at any time. This allows you to drastically change your image, then simply return if you don’t like the results. To create a history snapshot, click on the Camera icon at the bottom of the History Panel. Everytime you feel like it’s time to “save” your progress. This creates a history snapshot that you can return to at any point. You can even name it by double-clicking on it. Do remember though, It will all disappear if the document is closed.
35. From: Inspiration Clan
Hide layer effects to save space. If you want to disable the auto-expanded layer effects option then go to your layer panel options, navigate to “Panel Options…” and uncheck the “Expand New Effects” option at the bottom.
36. From: Inspiration Clan
Sometimes you need to expand or contract your selection. This is possible from the Select menu. First make your selection > Select menu > Modify > Expand or Contract. You then have the option to choose how many pixels you would like to expand or contract.
37. From: Inspiration Clan
Are there any pixels on the Layer? Sometimes layers contain so few pixels it’s hard to tell if they are empty or if there serve a purpose. Also, Photoshop selections won’t visibly display marching ants for pixels that are less than 50% transparent. To check if there are pixels on your layer, press Ctrl/Cmd + T. This will open up the transform box and highlight any pixels.
38. From: Inspiration Clan
If you are a busy human and work on many different documents within Photoshop, you can navigate between then quickly by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Tab
39. From: Inspiration Clan
You can quickly expand the canvas with the Crop tool. Many people don’t know about this as the crop tool is normally used to crop (makes sense). To expand your canvas with the crop tool. Simply drag the crop handles and expand rather than contract.
40. From: Inspiration Clan
Once your image is complete, take some time before you truly say it’s complete. Often some time away form the screen can give you fresh eyes to make adjustments.
41. From: Inspiration Clan
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Photoshop is like a toolbox with endless opportunities. It for sure is important to know as many tools as possible. Though it is even more important to know what kind of artwork you want to create and choose the right tools therefor.
42. From: Inspiration Clan
Type tricks don’t get as much attention as other Photoshop tips, but here is a great one for you. Turn lowercase characters to capitals. You can highlight any amount of text and then press Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + K. This will turn any lowercase characters to uppercase.
43. From: Inspiration Clan
You can change layer thumbnail size in Photoshop to make it easier to see what’s on each layer. To do that, right click on the thumbnail of any layer > Select No Thumbnail, Small Thumbnail, Medium Thumbnail or Large Thumbnail.
44. From: Inspiration Clan
Give Photoshop more Memory. In Preferences > Performance > Memory Usage > you can adjust the amount of system memory that Photoshop can utilize. If Photoshop is lagging then you can give it a little boost using this method. Be careful though, you need power for other applications that you have running. Bare that in mind!
45. From: Inspiration Clan
If you need to see your layer mask in more detail, simply hold down Alt, then click on the layer mask. This will show you the mask over the image full size. Great to see those finer details.
46. From: Inspiration Clan
For beginners it’s not clear that you can select multiple layers and edit them simultaneously. To select multiple layers, hold down Ctrl/Cmd and click on each layer. Alternatively, you can hold down Shift and select a group of Layers.
47. From: Inspiration Clan
To protect your file save it as a PDF (File > Save As… and choose Photoshop PDF). In the Save PDF dialog box, Click “Security” and under “Permissions“, you can enter a password to prevent printing and editing.
48. From: Inspiration Clan
Recharge your creative batteries by taking a break. Relaxation boosts energy and productivity so take a walk, grab a bite to eat, sit in the park to refresh the brain and revitalize the vision.
49. From: Inspiration Clan
If you need to process a bunch of photos you can use the batch edit feature. You don’t even need to open an image, you can simply set up the process and then let Photoshop do the work. If you haven’t already, do a little digging on Google, you won’t be disappointed and this feature can save you hours of time.
50. From: wagusf
Checkout the “Nik collection” Photoshop plugin, it’s awesome. I’d definitely recommend.