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Photoshop Tips and Tricks to Know

Photoshop Tips and Tricks to Know main article image
Posted on January 1, 2023 by Lyndsey Drooby

Photoshop has been the quintessential photo-editing app for a longtime. It has also become a part of our everyday vocabulary when talking about the general alteration of photos. It is one of the best editing programs out there and it continues to be an industry-standard along with average-user popularity.

Still, there are always some new tricks or tools that can be used to create something absolutely mind-blowing when working on photos. You can be a novice or a well-seasoned editor and still find something new to apply to a photo.

Here are a few tips and tricks you may want to try on your next photo-editing adventure!

Selecting Colors from Anywhere

Need a particular color? Sometimes all it took was a screenshot of an image and importing it into Photoshop. Here’s an easier idea: select the Eye Dropper tool, and left-click the mouse and hold it down inside the image you have open and drag the cursor outside of Photoshop to another window or program.

Installing Custom Brushes

There are many places to find extra brush sets online so you don’t have to feel tied down to using the pre-installed sets. You can install your own by going to the Windows tab and clicking on Brushes. The small lines in the upper right hand corner will open another menu, and you’ll see Import Brushes down the menu.

Changing Brush Size and Hardness

Another brush tip for changing brush sizes quicker than clicking the Brush menu is to press down on the bracket keys – [ ] – to change sizes. To adjust the hardness, you can hold down the Shift key while tapping the bracket keys.

Adjusting the Pressure-Sensitivity for Brushes

Specifically, when you’re working on a tablet, you can change up the pressure sensitivity to work best with your ability with tablet pencils. Head over to Brush Settings, Shape Dynamics and Control to Pen Pressure. Set the Minimum Diameter to 0%.

Keep Brushes Organized

Just like your actual brushes, you tend to keep them organized, right? Well you can sort the ones you use the most or have your favorites handy in Photoshop too! Go to the Brush panel, Right-click > New Brush Group and sort your brushes.

Create a Rain Texture on Photos

You can artistically add falling raindrops over a photo and create totally different look. First, add a fill layer with black, click over to Noise and play around with some settings. Finally, add a Motion Blur and set the layer to Screen. Instant rain!

Motion Blur also comes in when you want to add the look of speed in a photo. You can apply to the entire photo or select an area or object in the photos and applying a blurred effect.

Light Bleed Effect

This one is an easy one where you can add a light bleed effect by adding a new layer  (click Ctrl + Shift + N) and painting some white or blending color at the top of the image. Use a larger, preferably a fluffy brush. When you finish with that, adjust the opacity to finalize this cool look.

Copying Layer Styles Faster Than Ever

When you have a layer style you need to apply to several other layers, you can hold down the Alt key and drag the FX icon from the first original layer to the following target layers. The layer styles will be applied instantly.

How to Quickly Hide Layers

When you want to focus on one layer while you have more than one going on, you can start by holding down the Alt key and click the Eyeball icon on the layer you want to solely work on. Clicking Alt a second time with allow the other layers to open up to your work.

Creating a Multiple-Stroke Effect on Text

This one is super easy when you want to add a little something to text. Double-click the text layer and apply a Stroke layer effect. Done!

Making and Applying a Double Exposure Effect

You can create a double exposure effect by applying a high contrast to one black and white image and clipping a second image into it. The second image needs to be set to Screen and there you have it. What makes it work is the choice of photos or images used and the general composition of them.

Merging Shapes

This can also be done on Illustrator but is also a method that can be done on Photoshop. When you have multiple shapes made on your canvas, you can select the shape layers and then Right-click on Merge Shapes. All those shapes have no become one.

Yes, You Can Create Your Own Instagram Filters

This is when you want to add a great filtered look without going to Instagram. Create a Color Fill layer and set it to multiply. If you use a yellow tone, you have an instant vintage-looking photo. Add a touch of red and set to Screen for the ultimate faded look.

Changing the Flow Rate of a Brush

If you find yourself having issues with blending shadows, look no further than the Brush panel. Look at the top of the Brush toolbar and decrease the brush’s Flow. When you return to your work, you’ll see that the brush will slowly build up color to help your aim at shading and adjusted lighting.

Using the Blur Gallery

You can add more depth to photos by playing around with Blur effects. Start out by duplicating the image, then go to Filter > Blur Gallery > Field Blur. Set the blur and mask out the subject so that will not be shown as blurred. The background will only be blurred, emphasizing your subject in focus.

Add More Undos to Your Work

You can adjust your own limit to undoing your work by heading over to Edit > Preferences > Performance and set History States. You can go as high as 1,000.

Give these tricks a try and see what you can come up with on your own photos or images. Picking up more tips for your work with Photoshop will definitely add a completely different dimension to your work when you apply different features and tools. What will you be creating today?

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