10 Photoshop Tricks You Don't Know

Our Top 10 Photoshop Tricks

If you are a web designer, graphic designer, illustrator, or even a common user of Adobe Photoshop, then you have probably wondered what tricks there are that you could use while working with the software. Surprisingly, there are actually a lot of these, all of which can help you be more efficient in your graphic design work. Here we look at the top ten that you should try.

General Advice

Before we jump into the tricks, there is some general advice that you can make use of while working with Adobe Photoshop:

  • In order to make your work easier, you can use shortcuts for faster and more efficient work. You can check Photoshop's default keyboard shortcuts on their website. Obviously, you don't need to remember them all but if you make using some of these a habit you can really speed up the process.

  • You may often need to design a pattern either as a background or as the main image for certain purposes. Interestingly enough, there are actually numerous pre-made patterns to be found online, some of them paid and some free. You can search for them yourself or check out these free patterns by Brusheezy. Some patterns are available both for personal and commercial use, but others can only be used individually.

  • Similarly to patterns, there are also numerous PSDs available online. For example, Freepik offers over 68 thousand free PSDs for Adobe Photoshop. They have different filters to help you sort them, such as the popular PSDs filter. You can search for other sites to find free PSDs and use them without having to create your own.

1. Resizing, Renaming, & Converting Multiple Files

Photoshop Image Processor
Photoshop Image Processor

If you ever need to complete simple actions for a bunch of images, you can use Photoshop for this. Ever since Photoshop CS2, the software has had a feature called Image Processor. Unlike the Batch command, it lets you work with files without creating an action prior to processing.

For example, you want to generate several low-resolution images from your hard drive. And you are planning to then use them on social media.

To do this, go to File and click on Scripts. After that, select Image Processor. It will ask you to choose a folder with the images you want to resize. Then, you should specify the new dimensions and click Run. The program will swiftly process your files. You can save them either as JPEG, TIFF, or PSD. Alternatively, you can also compress them or change their compatibility settings.

2. Backing Up & Restoring Your Work

This trick is perfect for those times when you need to make a lot of changes with a particular image, but you need an option to go back to what you did because you are not sure about the final result.

Instead of using the History palette, which is quite limited when it comes to such manipulations, use the History Snapshot tool.

In order to access it, go to the History panel and click on the Camera icon. Repeat this action every time you feel like you need to "save" your progress. This will create a history snapshot that you can access at any time. By the way, you can name these snapshots if you feel like you need to mark them in some way.

However, you should keep in mind that the snapshots will disappear if you close the document. In addition to that, you can also use them as a source for the history art brush.

3. Keeping Layer Visibility Unchanged

Keeping Layer Visibility Unchanged

If you have ever made mistakes (and you certainly have), you know that the first instinct in such situations is to check the layers' visibility. But while you are going through the changes, you will probably be using the Ctrl+Z shortcut to return to the previous state. The catch here lies in the fact that your layers' visibility did not go back.

In order to avoid such mishaps, go to the History Options dialog and check the box for the "Make Layer Visibility Changes Undoable". This will include the changes to the visibility of your layers to the Undo actions. Now you can continue using Ctrl+Z (or Cmd+Z) as you used to.

4. Moving & Transforming A Selection

Strangely enough, a lot of people have no idea how to do this even though this trick is quite easy to do. When you make a selection by using either the marquee or the lasso tools, you will probably want to move it because it has to be applied on another canvas area or because the selection is not properly aligned. But you will find that you can't do it just so.

To be able to move the selection around, simply hold down the space bar and then use the selection tool to move the selection. This should work with any selection tool you chose. If you don't want or need to do this, you can transform the selection. To transform it, choose Select and then the Transform Selection menu. Make your changes!

5. Applying The Same Effect To Multiple Files

bulk edit images in photoshop
Use the load files into stack to bulk edit images in photoshop

Just like when working with multiple files to resize them, you can also apply the same effect to multiple images. For this, you need to either upload the files one by one or use a folder. In order to do this, go to File, then select Scripts, and then Load Files Into Stack.

There are different situations when you can use this method. For example, you want to create star trail photos from several images that were shot at one location. For this, upload all the images, select all the layers excluding the background, and choose "Lighten" for the blending mode. Voila!

6. Making An Image Bigger Without Quality Loss

This has been a major problem and still is for many other image-enlarging tools. However, this is not an issue for Photoshop CC which allows you to increase the bitmap size with minimum quality loss.

In order to activate it, go to Image and select Image Size. Click on the Resample drop-out menu at the bottom of the dialogue window. This will show you different options that will help you control the quality of the image when you increase its size. The default is set for Automatic, but depending on what you will be doing, you can choose other options to preserve the quality of your file.

7. Clipping Thumbnails To Layer Bounds

Edit layer thumbnails in Photoshop CC
Edit layer thumbnails in Photoshop CC

This is a very handy trick when working on a large canvas or when editing a file with a lot of layers. Thumbnails that appear in the Layers panel can be customized in terms of size. To alter them, right click on your chosen layer thumbnail. Then select Clip Thumbnails To Layer Bounds if you need to see only the layers' content for each thumbnail. If you want to see the whole canvas, use Clip Thumbnails To Document Bounds.

Another way to do this is to apply the same settings for all the layers. If you choose this variant, simply right click in the blank area inside the Layers panel and select the menu mentioned earlier.

8. Making Masking Effect Affect Layer Styles

You probably noticed that when you do masking that has applied layer styles in it, your masking doesn't affect those layer styles. Sometimes this may be useful, but most of the time it is quite annoying. However, there is a solution to this problem.

If you want the masking to affect layer styles, right click on the layer. Then, select Blending options and check the Layer Mask Hide Effects option. After that, click OK and you're done.

9. Using Multi-Level Masking

multi level layer masking
multi level layer masking

Contrary to common belief, it is actually possible to apply several Layer Masks on the same layer. There are even exact numbers for this: up to 11 pixel masks and up to 11 vector masks at the same time. This can be done using the Layer Groups with masks applied to them. If you combine the numbers, that is 22 masks in total, but you can also add the Smart Objects.

Most of the time, you will not need so many masks on one layer, but it will still be easier to separate different parts of your mask.

10. Changing Measuring Units Fast

Last but not least, Adobe Photoshop lets you set measuring units when you are creating a new document, but at some point in the process, you might realize that you need to switch between the different units. In such situations, perhaps you usually select Photoshop, then Preferences, and then Units & Rulers (or alternatively, Edit instead of Photoshop).

However, there is a much faster and easier way to switch between units. If you don't see the rulers, first use Ctrl+R (or Cmd+R for Mac) to make them visible. Then, right click on a ruler and choose the new measuring unit you need. That's all!


To sum up, if you make it a habit to use these tips and tricks every time you work with Photoshop, you can dramatically increase your productivity, decrease the amount of time you spend on your usual processes, and overall make your job more enjoyable!

10 Photoshop Tricks You Don't Know 10 Photoshop Tricks You Don't Know Reviewed by Opus Web Design on June 05, 2019 Rating: 5

Free Design Stuff Ad