6 Photoshop Tips and Tricks

6 Photoshop Tips and Tricks

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.


Here are 6 Adobe Photoshop tips and tricks that you may not know about. This post is for Photoshop beginners.

sponsored message

Adobe Creative Cloud Discount

1. Refining a selection

After you make a selection in Photoshop you can easily edit the selection using refine edge in the top toolbar. You must try this out, it is very useful!

Photoshop Tips 4

2. Hidden Options Behind Arrows

I am amazed by how many people do not know about these tiny little arrows that hold so many more options! These tiny arrows are pretty much on every tool bar across the whole Adobe Suite. I assure these arrows will open you up to a whole new world.

Photoshop Tips

3. Blending Options

If you right click on a layer in the layers toolbar, and then click blending options this will bring you to a whole vast array of effects that will keep you busy for hours. Use these options very sparingly.

sponsored message

Photoshop Tips 2

Not so much of a ‘tip’ but more ‘helpful advice’… but yes you heard me, do not use the filter gallery (unless you know how to well or for a effect that you need). Design is not filter effects and it never will be. Also please resist adding lens flare to your work, as well as rainbow gradients, embossed type and drop shadow unless you know how to use it well. You may want to check out 15 Signs Your a Bad Graphic Designer. NB. Rules can be broken.

Photoshop Tips 3

5. Layer Blending Modes

Once you master the blending modes in Photoshop you can pretty much ‘own’ photoshop. Open up the layers palette, select a layer and click the downwards arrow where it says Normal. Try experimenting with different blending modes on different layers, put layers above or below other layers, change the opacity and so fourth and you will be amazed!

Photoshop Tips 5

6. The best tip of all…

sponsored message

Practice. You can do this by doing tutorials or watching videos or experimenting on your own. Practice, practice, practice!

In my own personal experience I have found that if I find a design piece or style that I really like, I search the net and magazines for tutorials on how to recreate that effect and try to adapt it to my own personal project and style… I find this a great way to learn. Also if you ever need help, check out Adobes Help function in the programs and also write questions on forums (or blogs)… people will be more than happy to help you out!

How many of these did you know about?

74 thoughts on “6 Photoshop Tips and Tricks”

  1. I take offence to the ‘Probably’ Jacob! 😉

    I’m far from an expert, but I knew all those. How about a quicker shortcut for Opacity than Ian’s? (Sorry Ian!) Whatever tool you’re in, hit ‘v’ to switch to the Move Tool then just type the percentage of opacity you want using the number keys.

    Two tips that are essential for a file with a large number of layers: name all layers appropriately (e.g. logo, background fade) and use folders to group related layers or different versions within one file. Saves you and anyone else using the file a lot of fiddling!

  2. great tips.

    my 2 favs:
    when working in Pshop, at any time you can hit the letter D and your color palette on the tool bar will return to the black/white default.

    to quickly group a bunch of layers in your layers palette, shift click the ones to group, then hit Alt + G (on a Mac), and a group folder will be created and all those selected layers will be put into it. awesome time saver.

  3. What about “scrubby sliders”

    click where it says the word opacity, say on the layers panel – and drag to the left or right to adjust…

    Works on most elements where a slider can be changed, ie text size, crop sizes, transform measures etc


    Add the shift key to go in increments of 10

  4. Nice article, especially for someone just starting to really dive into photoshop and its’ capabilities. Oh and I really enjoyed the rainbow banner in the 15 signs post.

    Jeremys last blog post..WordPress and Custom Blogging Solutions

  5. I knew all of these =), but they’re good tips for beginners to Photoshop. An easier way to reach your blending options is just to double click the layer.

  6. Some of the most useful little things in Photoshop. I knew these but there are so many tiny arrows and tick boxes I’m yet to discover.

    I have been using Photoshop professionally for 3 years and I only just noticed ‘smart objects’ and the ‘extract’ filter! Tis so very vast.

    Thanks for putting this together.

    Jacks last blog post..Wanted

  7. Best one I ever learnt:

    Use ruler tool to draw along a line in the image you wish to be perfectly straight horizontally/vertically.

    Then Image>Rotate Canvas>Arbitrary – Photoshop automatically works out the exact angle you need to rotate.

    It’s fantastic for aligning things!

  8. When using a mask on a layer that already has a layer style applied (especially one with a bevel of any kind) I found that the style stops at the edges of the mask. If you go to Blending Options and check mark the box for “Layer Mask Hides Effects” this will not happen.

    And yes, I do use filters sometimes. Filter effects can be applied and then tweaked to enhance your work. It’s not so much that people shouldn’t use them, but that they shouldn’t rely on them solely for the effects of their work.

    When I was first learning to use Photoshop I would download a layer style (often Al Ward’s) and dissect it, to see how it was put together. I would experiment with the different effects that person used in making my own layer styles.

  9. just one I didn’t know here too 🙂
    Anyway, the don’t-use-lensflarse thing is one of those things that cannot be sayd often enough!!!
    You might check this one out btw: http://www.psdtuts.com

    hanzos last blog post..Dog Show characters

  10. How about don’t ever apply a stroke to type in Photoshop 😉

    I have yet to try out the Refine Edge, but I remember you pointing it out to me a while ago. It’s new to CS3.

    And you can control the opacity of a layer with the number keys (while in Move Tool) and the number keys will control the opacity of your art brushes (brush, dodge/burn, etc) if you have them selected.

    It’s also great to discover the contextual menus for things. Whenever you have the chance, experiment with right-clicking while in different tools–a very handy menu!

    LaurenMarie – Creative Curios last blog post..Communication Arts Illustration Annual 49

  11. I do agree with you cause u have mentioned this is for the beginners..They really mess up with their work with adding too much filters and flairs..And about the 6 tips and tricks they are really useful..

  12. Thanks for the tips Jacob, but already knew all of these. I’m sure they are helpful to a lot of people starting out though.

  13. i knew all of them.
    It sounds really stuck up when u said; “I bet”
    and believe me I read the other article too (the bad designer one) n I almost made it.thnx a lot for sharing ur talent with us.

  14. Practice, practice and practice until you succeed…hmmm, quite true indeed. I’ve been using more Blending options lately when am trying to come up with something quickly and something good too.

  15. Helpful info. Lucky me I discovered your site accidentally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  16. Thanks for the tips! Though I knew all of them already, it’s still good to know that creative people like you are also doing what I do in Photoshop. 🙂

Comments are closed.