Want to learn how to use Photoshop like the pros? Here is the ultimate list of wonderful tips. By the time you’re done you’ll be a master at Photoshop!
1. Edit all your pictures at once with Batch Processing.
2. Reduce the shine on skin.
3. Give your photos a matte look.
4. Make your photos better by mixing color from another photo.
Open a photo with an interesting color palette, like a great work of art. Then open up your photo you wish to edit. Select Image >> Adjustments >> Match Color, and then select the photo of the famous art as the source. You can play with Luminance and Color Intensity if you want. Hit OK and there you go.
5. Make your brush strokes smooth as butter.
6. Easily remove blemishes and unwanted background distractions.
7. Open files quicker. Double click the grey background area in Photoshop and it will bring up the File Open dialog window right away.
8. Change the default Photoshop background color. Right click the background to change the color to something else.
9. Easily whiten teeth in Photoshop by following the steps here.
10. Learn Photoshop shortcuts to work faster. Check out the high resolution version here.
11. Smooth out wrinkly backdrops using Photoshop Elements (works with Photoshop too!). See full tutorial here.
12. Undo over 1,000 times.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance. Change the number of History states up to a max of 1,000. Be careful though, this will affect Photoshop’s overall performances.
13. Close out all of your opened files at once.
Hold down shift and click the close icon on any of your opened file and it will close out all of your currently open files.
14. The magic of the 50% gray filled layer.
Creating a new layer and filling it with 50% gray then setting the blend mode to Overlay, is extremely useful in a lot of situations. For instance, you can dodge and burn on top of it, add lens flare effects, add texture, all in a non-destructive way (meaning your original picture will still be there and changes are not permanent).
15. Hide the Selection Tool’s “marching ants.”
When you select something in Photoshop, you’ll see the dashed lines around your selection, aka marching ants. To hide this hit Cmd/Ctrl +H. Just remember to restore it later if you need it.
16. Draw straight lines.
To draw a straight line, select the Brush tool and hold down shift and click the beginning and ending points.
17. Create your own brush.
Open any image, select a part or all of the image, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Follow this guide for more details.
18. Temporarily rotate your canvas view.
Sometimes when you edit (especially with a tablet), it may be easier to edit with your canvas rotated. To do so, simply hold down the R key then drag your mouse around to rotate it.
19. Quickly change a layer’s opacity.
To quickly change a layer’s opacity, select the Move tool (shortcut key V) and hit a number. 1 = 10% opacity, 7 = 70% opacity, 75 (real fast) = 75%, 0 = 100% etc.
20. Easily see your before and after changes.
Let’s say you have many layers of edits that you’ve done to your picture. Instead of click the eyeball icon to disable visibility to each layer one by one, just select the “before” layer of your picture while holding down the ALT key. This will disable visibility to all layers except that one.
21. Straight your picture in seconds.
Straighten your horizons or vertical lines in your pictures in seconds by selecting the Crop tool (shortcut key C) and clicking the Straighten button. Next, draw a straight line across something that should be straight in your image (like a horizon) and watch it magically crop and straighten your picture.
22. Navigate your picture like a pro with Bird’s Eye View.
When you’re super zoomed into your picture and you want to quickly zoom out and zoom into a different part, hold down the H key and click onto any part of your picture.
23. Combine the best parts of different photos into one perfect picture.
Let’s say you have the perfect expression in one picture and the best pose in another, well you can combine the two seamlessly. Follow this short tutorial here.
24. Enhance eyes using dodge and burn.
Use the dodge tool (shortcut key O) and dodge the red areas. Use the burn tool (shortcut key O) to burn the green areas. Play with the opacity to get the effect you want.
25. Use Adjustment Layers to edit non-destructively.
If you want to preserve your original picture and still be able to make changes and quickly remove them, use adjustment layers. Go to Windows > Adjustment Layers. Then pick the type of adjustments you like to change. To remove the effect, just delete the adjustment layer.
26. Use Photoshop Actions to simply your work or enhance your pictures.
You can record all your edits into steps and replay them with one click to speed up your workflow by using actions. You can also use actions to enhance the way your pictures look. Click here to see how to install and use actions you download.
27. Quickly reset your foreground and background colors to black and white.
Hit “X” and then “D” keys to quickly reset your foreground and background colors to black and white.
28. Learn how to use Smart Objects.
By converting a layer to a Smart Object, you can edit it without affecting its original state. Check out full video tutorial here (3 mins).
29. Use Action Button Mode to quickly apply Actions.
- Double click one of your action (not the name, but the empty space).
- Under Color, give it any color you want. Do this for all of your actions.
- Click the bars in the upper right corner of your Actions window.
- Click Button Mode.
Now every time you want to apply the action, just click on it like a button.
30. Quickly duplicate a layer.
Select the layer you want to duplicate and hit ctrl+j.
31. Set your brushes and tools to Precise for more accuracy.
Go to Edit > Preferences > Cursors… and click on Precise to enable a crosshair in the center of your brushes and tools.