5 Tips For New Photoshop Users
If you have started to learn Photoshop and you’re looking for tips and tricks that can increase your productivity and make your life easier just look at this 5 tips for beginners. They will teach you not only how increase your productivity but also how to use Photoshop the right way.
5. Setup Your Working Environment
Most of the designers and regular photoshop users never optimize their workspace when they use photoshop. This is laziness that pops out of people which can’t imagine how much time it would save them, if they had optimized their workspace to create highly efficient workspace. The way you optimize your workspace is depend on what kind of work are planning to do. If you’re a digital painter it would’ve been nice to have color pallets, brushes and layers under your hand every time when you need them rather then opening them every time you need to choose new color or change the brush. If you’re graphic designer, you can decide what is more important to you to have under your hand to be more proficient. For Example, Characters menu can be very useful for typography and text. You can also setup a swatch to be always visible with printer colors if you’re doing a lots of printing design.
As you have decided what kind of layout make you proficient remember to save that workspace by clicking the workspace icon on the right top corner and click New Workspace. You can choose the name of the workspace and set it to particular task like “Painting Workspace”.
Just remember there are no ideal setup for photoshop that would make super proficient in all the tasks. It’s all depends on the type of work that you want to perform.
4. Learn the Hotkeys
Did you know that by using the hotkeys in photoshop you can edit photos in seconds? The professional photoshop users perform their tasks up to 20x faster that the regular user just by using the hotkeys. For example, to duplicate a layer, invert it and select the whole area you can press only ctrl/cmd + j for duplicate, ctrl/cmd + i to invert and ctrl/cmd + a to select the whole layer. The regular user would have, right click on the layer then choose the duplicate layer option. After he needed to go to menu image>Adjustments>Invert to invert the layer colors. And finally choose the selection tool and select the whole area. 3s vs 30 to 45s. I guess that you can’t even compare the time spent.
Just make sure, even if you’re not planning to learn each photoshop hotkey, at least you have learned enough to be proficient.
Here is a good resource to learn photoshop hotkeys : https://helpx.adobe.com/ca/photoshop/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html
3. Use Masks When You Make Cuts
DON’T DESTROY YOUR IMAGES, PLEASE.
How many times when you perform a cut, using photoshop, you used the eraser tool or the delete key. When you do so, you are clearing your roads back to the original image. Just imagine a situation, when you cut an image, perform a lot of staff, and then realize that your cut was not perfect, and you had cut out something that you were not supposed to cut. You can use history to revert back the image, but what about the staff that you had performed on the wrong cut. It’s gone and you need to start over. If you don’t want to face such a problem, you have to use the masks when you cut out something from your image.
Masks are not destroying your image, instead they hide the staff that you don’t want to show. When you want to edit your cut, you edit the mask. You modify the staff that you want to show and the staff that you want to hide. As you learn more about how use masks you would see how cool and efficient your work becomes.
2. Do your Homework or Know the Theory
You need to know what you are doing before doing it. There are designer and regular users who jump directly into photoshop trying to create something amazing and they fail. Why? Because they didn’t know what they were doing. If they have learned the basics of color theory typography, color correction basics and other crucially important information for every designer, they would have less chance of failure.
Imaging if you didn’t know about RGB and CMYK color modes. You would make an image, which is dedicated for printers, in RGB mode, and messed up the colors when you print it. This would happen because you didn’t know the basics.
Just make sure you know what you are doing before doing it.
1. Save your work!
This is not a joke. I’m serious. Just GO AND SAVE YOUR WORK. You can’t imagine how much time designers lost because they let the images open in photoshop and didn’t saved them. What can possibly happen to my workstation? Well I’ll ask you an opposite question. What if your computer crash because of some stupid bug or the power went out? Hours of work would be gone. Start over.
Try also to save the work during the work process in different versions. That would help you to create different versions of the same project and make it more reliable.
Also try to back up your files in different places like Google Drive, Dropbox, USB sticks or hard drives. Make sure you are invincible.