Photoshop Tricks

Tips to make your Photoshop workflow more productive



Photoshop has many options. It is however a complex program with many moving parts. To bring your ideas to life it takes time and effort. There are also three ways to use each tool. Photoshop is a jungle, and Photoshop users have to learn how to survive it every day.

This post will give you some top tips, shortcuts, and tricks to speed up Photoshop workflow. It will also help you get started quickly.


Smart Objects


You’re likely to have noticed blurriness and jagginess if you ever resized or rotated a layer several times in one go. This is normal because Photoshop moves the pixels every time you transform a Layer. It moves more, which can cause problems in projects that have many “get larger/get smaller” changes.

This is Photoshop’s solution: Smart objects. Photoshop will remember your pixels and protect them from permanent damage. Photoshop now calculates the final result based upon those original pixels every time you rotate, resize, or apply an effect layer to Smart Object layers. This ensures perfect image quality every single time.

Smart Objects, as you can see, are a smarter way of handling compositing. You can make a large version a website icon and then convert it into a Smart Object so that you can use it in a smaller format in your final design. You can easily make the icon larger by clicking on the conversion tool. This will allow you to adjust the size to your liking without blurring or losing quality.



Convert a layer, or group of layers, to a Smart Object.

  • Select the layer from the Layers panel.
  • Right-click to select Create Smart Object

To modify the original content of a Smart Object. 1.

  • Right-click on the Smart Object that you wish to edit in the Layers panel.
  • Click Edit Contents.
  • Photoshop opens the Smart Object contents in a new window. It also creates a temporary file.
  • After you’ve made your changes click File > Save.
  • You should go back to the original file and see an updated Smart Object.

Layer masks


Layer masks are the best way to hide certain layers without having to delete pixels. You’ll be amazed at how easy and convenient they are.


Layer masks are simple in their logic

Everything that is 100% white will show 100% of your layer. All other pixels between the layers will show pixels with different opacities.

It’s worth a shot.


To add a layer layer mask.

  • Choose the section of the layer that you wish to keep or hide.
  • Select Layer > Layer Mask, and choose Show Selection or Hide Selection.
  • You should see a layer masque next to your layer thumbnail.

Tip: You don’t need to select a layer to hide or show an entire layer using a mask. Select a layer and go to Layer > Layer mask. Then select Show All or Hide All.


Edit a layer mask.

  • Click on the thumbnail to see the layer mask.
  • To begin editing (brushes, erasers, effects, etc.), you can use any Photoshop tool. You can find this information here.

To remove a layer masque.

  • Select the layer from the Layers panel.
  • Go to Layer > Layer Mask >






Clipping masks


This technique is similar to the above-mentioned layer masks, but it’s a bit more flexible and adaptable.

Layer clipping masks allow you to use transparency from one layer as a mask on one or more layers below it. It is actually much easier than you might think. So let’s get Photoshop started and see how it works.

  • Layer more than one layer on top of the other. Place the cut mask layer on the bottom.
  • Select the top layer, then go to Layer > Make Clipping Mask. Or click Alt + Ctrl+ G on Win systems or Option + Ctrl+ G on Mac systems.
  • The layer below will mask your layer.


You can quickly hide all layers, except the selected one.


You’ve probably used Photoshop for some time and know that you can hide or show layers by clicking on the Eye icon in the Layers palette.

Did you know that you can hide all layers except the one you select by pressing the Alt (Win), or Option (Mac) key, and clicking the eye icon?

This is very useful if you need to clear the canvas and focus on the details.


You can quickly change the size of your brush.


This one is simple, but essential: Use the left bracket for a smaller brush and the right bracket for a larger brush.


Converting between paragraph and dotted text


Photoshop is a simple, but effective way to convert text into paragraph text.

Right-click the text layer of the Layers panel, and choose Convert To Paragraph Text or Convert To Dotted Text depending on the project. That’s all!


When creating it, move a selection or a form.


You can drag a selection or shape object around on the canvas by holding down the spacebar while you create it. This is particularly useful when you are using a circle selection in order to separate an image from a simple circular object.


Instagram-style actions can be used to enhance photos


Instagram is a firm believer in the retro look. Instagram’s photo filters make it so attractive that very few people post photos of “normal” subjects anymore. In terms of illustration and design, the retro look is in strong demand.

This particular look can be achieved by manipulating curves and vignetting effects. This is a wonderful exercise in colour manipulation but sometimes it’s easier just to use pre-made actions.



These resources will help you get started.

  • 10 Photoshop actions that can be used to create Instagram-style effects
  • Photoshop Actions for Instagram filters
  • Photoshop actions for Instagram Valencia


Photoshop is an amazing app. It is easy to use and quick. You will need to be familiar with some shortcuts and tips for repetitive tasks.

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