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Essential Photoshop tips and tricks – Part 1

March 12, 2018 - fifteen

Here’s a few a quick, simple and easy tips for Photoshop that you can use today.

Use the eyedropper tool to select colours outside of Photoshop

Colour Picker outside of Photoshop

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve saved, downloaded and screenshotted images or videos to only drag them into Photoshop and use the eyedropper tool to sample the colour from the picture.

Photoshop has the ability to quickly pick up the colour value from anything on your screen – image, video, pdf or website. Open Photoshop and use the eyedropper tool as you normally would. While still holding down the eyedropper tool drag your selection out of Photoshop to where you want to sample the colour from.

Change all the text throughout your document

Change the colour and size of all text in Photoshop

Changing the colour, size and font of text can be a time-consuming and tedious chore. Especially if you have to update each text layer manually and individually. Then again, if you need to implement this change across multiple documents.

Thankfully there is a simple alternative that allows you to update the colour, size and font across your whole document and speed up your workflow. At the very top of the layers panel, you will notice five icons for images, adjustment layers, text, shapes and smart objects. Selecting these icons will filter the type of layers that are displayed below in your layers panel.

The first step is select the ‘Text icon’ which will filter the layers panel only to show the text layers. You can then individually select the layers you want to update by holding down ‘cmd’ and clicking on the layers you want to update. Or to select a range between two layers, select your first layer and while holding down ‘shift’ select your second layer.

Once these points are selected, you can edit the text colour, size and font as you usually would on a single text layer using the character panel.

Quickly remove sections of your image with the click of a button

How to use the content aware tool

Removing objects from images usually takes a bit of wizardry with the pen tool, about 100 layers and a shed load of patience. But in some cases eliminating objects from specific image backgrounds can be done quite literally with the click of a button.

The content-aware fill tool is something that can be hit and miss, but for more simple images like the one in the example, it can be a useful tool for quickly removing background objects.

Start by quickly selecting a rough outline of the section you want to remove, either with the pen or marquee tool. Then select ‘Edit – Fill’ (or for the hot-key enthusiasts ‘shift + F5’) to display the pop-up window. Make sure ‘Content-Aware’ is selected from the contents drop down and then click ok. If it all goes to plan the object will be removed from you image seamlessly, or only require a little tidying up with the stamp tool.

Hot Keys to change the size and sharpness of brushes

A simple but very useful hotkey is being able to quickly increase the size and sharpness of brushes by just using your keyboard. Make sure the brush tool is selected from the sidebar – or by just pressing ‘B’ to keep in the hotkey mood. To quickly increase the size of the brush select ‘]’ or to decrease the size select ‘[‘.

It’s then possible to increase or decrease the sharpness on the edge of the brush. To increase the sharpness select ‘shift + ]’ and to decrease it use ‘shift + [‘.

Quickly create a clipping mask in Photoshop

Another quick and simple tip to increase the speed of your workflow is using the hotkey to create clipping masks in the layers panel. This is a staple Photoshop hotkey and once you start using it, you will kick yourself for not using it sooner. Start by hovering your mouse between the two layers you want to mask in the layers panel. By holding down ‘alt’ you will see a downwards pointing arrow appear and then while still holding ‘alt’ click to mask the two layers. And to undo the clipping mask repeat the process.

And, that’s that off the top of my head.  I’ll be throwing some more wizardry as I’m going through projects.

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