We probably all use Photoshop in our daily lives and we probably all know how incredibly deep it is. As such, you are never going to know it all. I have here attached some neat tips and tricks which may help you in your daily Photoshop workflow.
- Alt + Click on the eye next to a layer will solo. Alt + Click again will restore the visibility back to the previous state. This is a life safer when you are dealing with 50+ layers.
- Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E (Oh yes, that’s a mouthsfull) will copy and merge all visible layers into a new layer. This is very handy if you want to for instance blur the entire image, or something similar.
- Alt + Doubleclick on a background-layer to quickly unlock it without a dialogue box.
General tips and tricks
- If you’re working with textures where you have to remove as much shadow information as possible, go to Image – Adjustment – Shadow/Highlight. Here you can greatly reduce the shadows. Of course, it depends on the image, but it often gives you a very solid starting point.
- The dodge and burn tools are very destructive in their nature, so I tend not to use them too much. A way to still get some of the functionality they offer while still having a way more non destructive workflow, is to add a new layer, setting it to Overlay and painting on it with black and white. As you probably know, Overlay makes whites brighter and darks darker. This means that if you paint on the layer with a light value, the area underneath will brighten up. This is very handy in some cases, especially to direct focus to certain parts of an image.
- Sometimes you have an image with for instance too much yellow. Reducing only the yellow part can be hard. However, there is a very simple trick to the problem.
- Sharpening the image can make the image pop. There are several ways to do this. Personally I prefer to use Unsharp Mask, found under Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask. There is a problem though: How can you sharpen the entire image? The filter will only target the current layer. To solve this, you use the hotkey described above (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E) to copy all the layers into a new layer on top. From there you can sharpen the entire image. Handy!
- To resize the brush you can hold the Alt key while dragging the RMB to the left or right. This is one of my favorite features in Photoshop today as it really speeds up painting.
- To get access to the color wheel, hold down Shift + Alt + RMB. If you get a color strip instead of a wheel, simply go to Edit – Preferences – General (or use the hotkey Ctrl + Alt + K) and change the HUD Color Picker to Hue Wheel.
- To have multiple undos, use the hotkey Ctrl + Alt + Z instead of only Ctrl + Z. This will allow you to go back several steps, instead of simply one step back and then forward again, which is what Ctrl + Z will do.
- Use layer masks! Using layer masks is an incredibly powerful way to work. It allows you to work a lot more non-destructively and you have generally more freedom.