Photoshop has been around for a very long time, in software years at least — with its first public release coming as early as March 1989. This means that the team behind the hugely current app fill had a significant amount of time to define the core functions of the software, introduce modern features and refine key functions for almost 30 years now.
Over that time we fill been introduced to some powerful modern features and tools that we fill all grown to worship, and even rely on for our work, but on the flip side of that, there is a treasure trove of lesser-known features that many of us may fill skipped over. In this quick rundown, we are going to explore 7 piquant and somewhat unknown Photoshop features that focus on improving your daily creative workflow, saving you time and effort on some common Photoshop tasks.
The way these miniature guys work is very slick, they are essentially ‘shortcuts’ for Photoshop Actions that you state on your Desktop, or anywhere on your computer, giving you a way to drag and drop documents onto them, triggering certain PS actions for you proper from your desktop, without you even having to open up Photoshop yourself.
For example, let’s imagine you had a simple Photoshop Action that allowed you to re-size your Photos to a specific width, and you also had a folder full of different Images that you wanted to perform that action on. Instead of opening up each file individually in Photoshop and running the action, you could instead create a Droplet from that same Action. Then simply drop the entire folder of Images onto your modern Droplet from anywhere on your computer, this will automatically speed the action on all of those images for you. A valid timesaver when it comes to batch processing a lot of images and tackling repetitive tasks.
To create a Droplet choose the following from your main menu: File → Automate → Create Droplet. This will present you with a dialog box where you set up the name, action, and destination of your Droplet, as well as the folder to output your processed images. Once saved, just find your modern Droplet shortcut in the folder you saved it to, and just drag and drop any images you want to perform the action on, and the images bewitch care of themselves.
2. Reset Any Dialog Box
Any time you are presented with a dialog box inside of Photoshop you can simply hold ALT (or Option on Mac) which will change the ‘cancel’ button to a ‘reset’ button. Imagine you’ve made some changes inside any dialog box (Brightness & Contrast for example) — but you’ve decided you’ve gone a miniature too far with your edits, so you just want to quickly establish everything back as it was, you can simply reset the values in this way, instead of having to cancel the dialog box and re-applying the effect or setting. It’s nice and simple and can be used in a number of different places inside of Photoshop.
3. Paste in state
Sometimes when you copy and paste an element from one document to another it can bewitch a miniature moment to track down exactly where it was placed in your canvas, especially if you’re working with large files. To bewitch the guess-work out of pasting you can construct spend of the Paste in state feature. Instead of using Ctrl + V (or Cmd + V on Mac) for pasting you can instead spend Ctrl + Shift + V or Cmd + Shift + V on Mac to activate the Paste in state feature.
If your documents are identical in canvas size, your pasted element will appear in the exact same state that you copied it from. i.e. If you copy an element from the very top left, it will demonstrate in the very top left after you paste it. If the two documents fill different canvas sizes, Photoshop will try its best to match the position.
4. Isolate an Individual Layer
When you are working with lots of layers it can be useful to fill a more distraction-free view of a single layer, so that you can work on it alone. You can achieve this quite easily by holding ALT or Option on a Mac and hitting the layer Eye Icon that you want to view, this will screen all other layers from your canvas while keeping that one layer visible for your to construct your edits. You can establish things back to how they were simply by using the same key + click combination.
You can consider of ‘Snapshots’ inside of Photoshop as miniature checkpoints for your progress, similar to the world of video games where you can recede back to different points along your journey instead of having to recede all the way back to the start if you construct a mistake.
To create a Snapshot you simply hit the Camera Icon in your History Window.
Instead of having to save multiple different versions of your document as you recede, you can instead create miniature Snapshots of your progress along the way, giving you an easy way to net back to different states of your process without having to worry about any limits of your History ‘steps’. Each Snapshot captures your document exactly as it is in that moment, all layers/effects will be restored when switching back to a saved point with Snapshots.
Snapshots can be re-named too to aid you remember which stage of your design quest you were at once you made the ‘save’. This is a considerable way to give yourself a miniature ‘safety net’ in that early discovery period when working on a modern project.
6. ‘Copy Merged’ From Selection
This shipshape tip allows you copy/paste a flat copy of all of the visible elements from inside of a selection while keeping layers intact. So imagine you want to quickly create a ‘flat’ copy of a photo that you are editing while keeping your adjustment layers in-tact, you can simply select your entire canvas, then recede to Edit → Copy Merged. You then fill a flat version of this image ready to recede in your clipboard which you can paste over the top, or establish into a modern document and continue editing without affecting your ‘live’ adjustment layers below for example.
7. retain Cropped Pixels
Cropping is a regular and useful feature inside Photoshop, but often times I’ve rushed to spend the crop tool and at that moment forgot about how destructive the tool can be to your artwork or images. speedy forward a few hours and you want to go something around, or re-crop, but you realize that the large photo you cropped earlier is now missing all of the parts that didn’t quite fit into your canvas area.
Thankfully there is a better way to crop, preserving your original images and layers that might tumble off screen for you to spend at a later time. To accomplish this, when using the crop tool, peruse to your toolbar at the top of your app before you apply the crop and you’ll see a handy checkbox marked “Delete Cropped Pixels”. This is usually set to ON by default, simply turn this OFF to crop while still keeping the original layers fully intact in the areas outside of your crop selection. In older versions of Photoshop, this toolbar option might be labeled “retain”.
What did we miss? Send us your tips.
There we fill it, a few very basic tips and hidden features that could actually save you a bunch of time and effort when working on your next masterpiece in Photoshop. If you consider there’s something we’ve missed we’d worship to hear from you! Which miniature-known features fill you discovered in Photoshop over the years? Share them in the comments below.
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