9 Photoshop Tips and Tricks That Every Beginner Must Know

For graphic designers, Photoshop reigns supreme. But to the average layman, the complicated interface is nothing if not intimidating.

Get over your Photoshop fears by learning cool techniques to enhance your personal photos and artwork. Here are 9 Photoshop tips and tricks you need to know.

1. Undo

First things first. When creating any document or touching up art in Photoshop, you need to know how to undo.

This is the holy grail of correcting your mistakes so they don’t autosave. To undo your last task, use the keyboard shortcut Command + Z on a Mac.

On a PC, you’ll use CTRL + Z instead. If you add, Command or CTRL + Alt + Z you can undo more than one piece of history at a time. 

This is essential to keeping your draft versions in check. Once the item saves, you risk losing the option to undo.

For example, if the program quits unexpectedly, your mistakes save but you miss out on the chance to undo because the program closed.

2. Transform

You can’t just highlight an area in Photoshop and start to make changes. You’ll need to open the bounding box in order to start the editing process.

Press Control + T and the bounding box magically appears. You can resize the images on the screen or move them around. 

Do this by placing the corner on the bold squares creating the bounding box. If you place the cursor over each corner, an arrow appears allowing you to make the object larger or smaller. 

3. Resizing

It’s important to have accurate units of measurement when you’re editing things for print. Photoshop is helpful because it allows you to design according to size using the ruler tool.

Switch between different units of measurement. Press Control + R and a ruler appears. Right-click this ruler and you can update the unit of measurement to your choosing. 

There are units ranging from pixels to millimeters. This comes in handy for document printing from other countries. For example, crowdsourcing sites for graphic designers includes documents in units of measurement from all over the world.

Being able to convert them easily makes the process simpler when it’s time to set the document up for print. 

4. Magnetic Lasso

Need to outline a specific part of an image so you can edit it? The magnetic lasso tool will soon be your best friend. 

This selection tool is located on the main toolbar of Adobe Photoshop. Highlight the section you need to edit and it’ll separate from the  rest of the image.

Move it away if your goal is to use the image alone. One common way to use this method is when taking a product away from a background.

You might want the product in color while the background is black and white. The best part about the magnetic lasso tool is that it can detect the edges of the object within the image.

This is a high tech way of helping you be more precise in your editing. If you’ve ever tried to use the trace tool, you’ll know that’s a near impossibility for novices. 

Of course, this tool isn’t magic. There needs to be a hard edge between the object and the background in order for it to work well.

Save this tool for when you have a bold enough contrast between the object’s edges and the background. Otherwise, you’re still stuck with tracing. 

5. Magic Wand

Wave your Magic Wand tool and swap out the background color of an image in one click. You can also use it to change up large color clocks.

It’s located on the main tool panel. When you’re ready to use it, you’ll need to toggle the ‘add to selection’ option. This button is located on the top bar. 

The tool brightens big open spaces in a photo light a blue sky.

6. Eyedropper

One of the best Photoshop tips and tricks you’ll use is the Eyedropper tool. It’s the best color matching solution you’ll find. 

It’s great for helping you find the exact color match when you’re creating new artwork from a reference. You can use the Eyedropper tool to learn which colors were used in the reference image so your color palette remains consistent. 

To use it, click the Eyedropper icon in the main toolbar and click the color you want to copy. Next, click the object you want swapped to the new color.

7. Interactive Zoom

Need to navigate around the microscopic details of an image quickly? Use the interactive zoom feature in Photoshop.

Hold down Command + Space Bar and then drag right or left. If you want to zoom in, drag right. If you’re looking to zoom out, drag right. 

The zoom focuses on where ever your mouse icon is located making it the easier to focus on specific points without swapping tools. 

8. Close All Images

You can close everything in Photoshop without closing the program. Simply click and hold Shift on the window’s close icon. All open images will dissappear. 

This is handy when you’ve opened a batch of images at once. Make sure you delete old copies you no longer need or you’ll have to clear scratch disk on mac.

9. Bird’s Eye View

Ever need to quickly view everything on your artboard? Well, here’s one of the most handy Photoshop tips and tricks to know for a quick change.

The bird’s eye view tool allows you to hold down H while dragging the image so you can quickly switch to a far away zoom. It’s a one click solution to making sure your edits are coming out as expected. 

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

The top Photoshop tips and tricks are the ones that keep you moving while in the midst of lots of edits. One click commands speed up your workflow and mean fewer mistakes.

For more information and tips, visit our blog for updates. 

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