Here are some great tips to enhance your designs, photos or graphic work and make using Photoshop quicker and easier


1. Adjusting colours using Levels

There are a number of methods to adjust the colour, contrast & brightness of images, but this is our most used to tool. Whether you’re in CMYK or RGB you can adjust, enhance or reduce the amount of one particular colour in an image.

Go to [Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels].

Additional tip: Make sure when you apply a Level you use this as a layer mask, which will allow you to turn on and off the adjustment layer and also mask areas that do not need adjusting. You can also tick the box that applies only to one layer rather than the entire set of layers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 14.01.05


2. Sharpen blurryy images using Unsharpen Mask

It’s always a bit annoying when a client only has an image that’s too low resolution and shouldn’t really be used in a document especially print. Often these images look like blurring and will a soft lens you see in dodgy films (so I’ve been told!) Unsharpened Mask is a Filter that can assist in resolving the issue. It allows you to sharpen the lines, contrast, brightness and levels in one neat feature. When adjusting the image you can tick the ‘Preview’ option to see before and after to get the best results.

Go to [Filter – Sharpen – Unsharp Mask].


Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 14.04.10


3. Edit a layers using Masks

So many times, I see designers editing and deleting elements on layers without using Masks, which can cause issues later in design if you wish to bring back parts that have been deleted previously. When editing a layer always add a Mask to the layer by following these instructions. Alt-click on the Layer Mask icon ([o]), it will add a full mask that hides everything on the layer, but don’t panic. To bring it back simply fill the mask white or select the Paint Bush, Gradient etc. and pick the colour white to reveal the elements you want to show.

Photoshop mask


4. Picture editing using the Clone Tool

The Clone Tool is very powerful, you can clone any part of your image into a brush. Alt-click on a section you want to clone and then just paint in the area you wanted to clone too. This tools using the surround area of the brush to clone the area within. It’s perfect for removing unwanted blemishes on faces, logos etc.



5. Quick way to zoom in and out using Bird’s Eye View

Sometimes when zoomed in close you want to jump around to other parts of the design at the same magnification. To do this simply Hold H, click and drag on the image, it instantly zoom out to full screen then move the rectangle on screen to jump back to another area when you release the click.


Other Essential Photoshop shortcuts:
  • F Cycle through workspace backgrounds
  • X Change your foreground and background colours
  • D Reset foreground and background colours to black and white
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – Shift – Alt – E will merge a copy of all Layers
  • ] and [ Change your brush tip size
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – J Duplicate a layer or selection
  • Space Bar Hold Space and drag to navigate around the image
  • TAB ->| Hides or shows all panels and tools
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC)  – T  Transform a layer
  • Cmd (MAC) / Ctrl (PC) – E  Merge selected layer down,