Learning Paths

Time Saving Tricks for Photoshop

Time Saving Tricks for Photoshop: Work Smarter

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful tool for creating and editing photographs and artwork that showcase your skill but could it be working even smarter for you? We have collated some handy time-saving tips to help you work smarter to achieve the same – if not better – results. We offer a range of Photoshop training courses for beginners to experts, and we don’t stop there. Check out these time-saving tips for graphic designers using Photoshop…


Giving uniformity to your designs

Save Time by Dragging and Dropping Adjustment Layers Across DocumentsIf you are designing and editing a series of images as a graphic designer and want to apply the same adjustments across your designs, there is no need to painstakingly repeat them. Adjustment layers can be dragged and dropped directly from one document into another. This time-saving trick can be completed on any kind of layers, groups or masks.


Content-aware fill for improved images

Using Content Aware Fill Allows for Seamless DesignSometimes the pictures you take or choose for your design might need to be rotated or tilted off to better suit your creative ideas. This brings a challenge that many aspiring graphic designers will have dealt with – those pesky white corners that peak around your rotated image.

Luckily, we have a pro tip for you: make use of content-aware fill. In the Fill panel, select Content-Aware from the Use dropdown menu.

This trick allows you to fill in those sections with dynamically generated content, meaning Photoshop will attempt to fill in the gaps as naturally as possible. We find this time saving trick especially useful when filling in areas of gradient.

Bonus trick: For any content-aware fills that aren’t perfectly generated, you can make use of the patch tool and liquify to smooth out the errors.


Check colour values of your designs with this time-saving trick

Greyscale Previews Allow You to Check Colour Values of Designs for Depth and Spatial IllusionVeteran Photoshop artists and creators improve their designs by checking their values. Value refers to the relative lightness or darkness of any given colour in your design, and it is vital to the creation of realistic spatial illusions.
Rather than desaturate your design and risk ignoring the inherent value differences between hues, we suggest a nifty time-saving tip.

You can easily check your design’s colour value with Photoshop’s Proof Colours function, which can be performed by pressing Ctrl + Y.

To ensure this proofing function is in order, we recommend you go to View > Proof Setup > Custom, set Device to Simulate to Working Gray and then click OK. The keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Y will now give you an accurate way to preview the colour value of your design and assist you in creating beautiful visual works.


Quicker zoom capabilities for busy graphic designers

Get Closer to Elements of Your Design with Scrubby Zoom ShortcutWhen working with the paint brush tool to fiddle with a layer and you want to change the level of zoom before you continue painting, you may find yourself bothered by a three-step process.
Most users will type ‘z’ to switch to the magnifying glass, use scrubby zoom to change the zoom level, and then type ‘b’ to go back to the brush tool.

You’re in luck. When you work with us, you are not ‘most users’. We will always suggest the more fluent approach and in this case; hold down ‘z’ and drag the cursor to use scrubby zoom. Releasing the ‘z’ key automatically returns you to the brush tool quickly and without fuss.

Bonus tricks: Any tool can be used temporarily by holding down its shortcut key. These time-saving tricks will get you in and out of a design in no time at all!


Create a filter from a pile of adjustment layers

Create a Composite Filter of Your Many Layers for Time-Saving in PhotoshopAnother time-saving trick for graphic designers is to create a composite layer out of a plethora of adjustment layers. You can take all of your currently visible layers in your layer stack and composite them into one (known as merge stamp visible) by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E or Cmd + Shift + Option + E.

Simplifying your layers into a filter is a great way to save time and make the most of Photoshop.