Believe it or not, if you’re using Photoshop to design website, you’re on the right path to become a successful web designer. This is simply because Photoshop is one of the most advanced tool in the design industry that can make your creative imagination comes true with its plethora of professional tools which boost your productivity at the same time.
We want you to know how to unlock its full potential. Yes, that’s why we created this post, to provide you with 10 extremely useful Photoshop tips to boost your design speed. There can be a shortcut, feature or setting you don’t know about, but not anymore. With this article, you gonna learn them all, and you will design faster, and faster.
1. Transform: Change the size of an image, rotate, flip or distort it!
Click Edit > then click Transform > and select the action you desire.
Or try these shortcuts to make life even easier:
Press Ctrl + T on your keyboard and a bounding box will then appear around the image, indicating transformation. This means you can now resize your image. The best way to do so is by placing the cursor on one of the rectangle corners of the box and then dragging the corner while holding the Shift key. When you’re finished just press Enter and you’re done.
To flip your image vertically or horizontally press Ctrl + T and then right click your mouse. A popup window will appear with a few options for rotating and flipping the image. Select the action you want and when you are done press Enter.
To distort or skew an image press Ctrl + T and then place the cursor on whichever corner you want to distort. Press Ctrl while holding your mouse down on whichever corner of the image you’re looking to morph and drag it down to your desired point, finally press Enter to activate.
2. Rotating patterns –
You can make amazing kaleidoscopic patterns with the help of a keyboard shortcut. Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T lets you duplicate a layer and repeat a transformation in one go. To demonstrate, we’ve made a narrow glowing shape by squeezing a lens flare effect, but you can use any shape, image or effect you like. First, make an initial rotation by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+T and turning slightly, then hit Enter to apply. Next, press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T repeatedly to create a pattern.
3. Always Edit Directly on the Background Layer
Even though most so-called “experts” agree that this is poor form, that’s only because they are utter novices who make mistakes as often as they blindly follow their news media! Once you come to the realization that everything you do to an image will always be an improvement, there will never be any need to go back to its previous imperfect state. NEVER!
So that menu Layer > New > Create New Layer via Copy, with its oh-so-snooty Control-J keyboard shortcut? (Do you realize what that “J” stands for? “JOKE!” That’s what! They are mocking you and me, dear reader!) Forget it exists! Let it disappear from the public consciousness just like JFK’s real killer.
Some will contend that using multiple layers easily creates more flexibility and ultimately a more practical workflow. But have you ever seen how many layers go into some of these projects!? This one here is crazy, it’s got dozens of layers.
4. Stop Using Layer Masks! Use the Eraser!
This is one of those Photoshop myths that gets perpetuated continuously, sort of like the Illuminati membership. Certain folks want you to believe that Layer Masks are a good and beneficial feature.Yet we all know just from our own good and common sense that “masks” are the opposite of truth. Masks are meant to hide faces, identity, and recognition. Can it be any more obvious that they don’t want you to learn the truth!? Why else would they be so adamant about using a Mask?
This belief is so pervasive that newly added Adjustment Layers already come pre-masked! Just try for yourself, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer and pick any adjustment layer to add. Then take a look at the Layers panel, see that little white box next to the adjustment layer? That’s a mask you never asked for!
5. Spring-loaded move
While using any tool, hold Cmd/Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Move tool. Release to go back to your original tool. Note that spring-loaded keyboard shortcuts work for other tool shortcuts, too.
6. Diffuse effects-
The Diffuse Glow filter can give highlights a soft ethereal feel, especially when you combine the effect with desaturation. Hit D to reset colours then go to Filter>Distort> Diffuse Glow. Keep the effect fairly subtle, then go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/ Saturation and drop the saturation down to complete the dreamlike effect.
7. Change the Unit of Measurement
A short and quick way to switch between units of measurements that you’re working with is to place your cursor on one of the rulers on your grid (press Ctrl + R to show or hide the rulers), and right click, then choose a new unit from the context menu. There you’ll find a wide variety of units, from centimeters to pixels, millimeters, points and even percents.
8. Flexible Guide
How do you create a guide? Click on View, New Guide then decide it’s horizontal or vertical guide, input its position and click Enter? Alright, you can save these works by just pressing Ctrl + R to activate the Ruler tool, click on the tool and drag it down to create a horizontal guide, or vice versa.Besides instant guide creation, here’s another useful tip for you. While dragging a guide with Move tool which can be activated using V key, press and hold Alt key to change the horizontal guide to vertical guide, or vice versa. Now you can probably consider yourself as professional on using guide.
9. Element Centering Made Easy
In order to achieve a pixel perfect design, we oftenly have to position element to exactly where it should be. This seems easy as you can just create some guides and snap the element to those guides, but it will be daunting if you want to absolute center an element in certain area, which requires a lot of guides, measurement and focus.
In fact you have a way to make this entire process a lot more easier, click on the element’s layer which you want to absolute center, then press Ctrl + A to select the entire document. After that, fire the Move tool and you will see some icons beside the option, Show Transform Controls. Click on the 2nd icon to vertical center the element, then click on 5th icon to horizontal center the element, there you go, an absolute centered element.
10. Magnetic Lasso Tool
Found in plain sight in your Photoshop tool-panel, the Lasso tool is basically man’s gift to photo editing.
This easy selection tool helps you trace and outline the exact part of an image that you’re looking to edit, and then separate it from the rest of your image in order to perform certain actions. For example, you can select and separate a product from its background. Nearly fool-proof, the magnetic lasso tool detects the edges of an object, so it works best when you have a bold contrast between an object and its background with well-defined edges.
To access the Magnetic Lasso, click and hold your mouse button down on the Lasso tool until a fly-out menu appears . The Magnetic Lasso is the last one with a small magnet on its icon. Select it and then go to your image and place your mouse on the edge of the part you want to alter. Click your mouse once, release and just go over the edges of the object you want to select (just like you do with scissors when you cut something out).