7 Helpful Photoshop Tips and Tricks for Beginners

by Andi Croft 18 days ago in editing

Do amazing things with Photoshop, using these tips and tricks.

7 Helpful Photoshop Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Photo editing is probably one of the essential skills in every industry nowadays. Whether it's for social media, websites, magazines, book covers, and even for your personal use, enhancing images have just been a thing. And the most popular tool to do this is Photoshop.

You might see a picture and think, "Oh, that's done by a professional." But even if you're a beginner, you can do amazing things with Photoshop, especially if you do these tips and tricks:

Memorize keyboard shortcuts

To make things easier, you must first know the basic keyboard shortcuts. Yes, you don't have to memorize them all—just the ones primarily used so that you can have a more efficient workflow.

Here are some of the most basic and popular keyboard shortcuts:

  • Zoom: Press Z
  • Fit to Screen: CTRL + 0
  • Gradient Tool: Press G
  • Crop Tool: Press C
  • Brush: Press B
  • Brush Resize: Right Click + Alt + Drag Left or Right
  • Brush Softness: Right Click + Alt + Drag Up or Down
  • Default Colors: Press D
  • Magic Wand Tool: Press W
  • Lasso Tool: Press L
  • Pen Tool: Press P
  • Healing Brush Tool: Press J
  • Clone Stamp Tool: Press S
  • Free Transform: CTRL + T

And these are only some of them. You can surf the internet if you wish to find more shortcuts you can use. And if you're using MAC, then the shortcuts you'll use would also be different.

Explore the toolbar

In the toolbar, you'll find the different tools you can use in editing photos. The more you familiarize yourself with these tools, the easier it is for you to navigate through them, the faster you'll find what you need, and the smoother your work process will be.

Here are some of the primary tools you'll see from the toolbar:

  • Crop Tool: This allows you to remove the areas you don't need from your final image.
  • Healing Brush: This allows you to remove small specs and scratches from your image.
  • Move Tool: As the name implies, it will allow you to move certain images/objects around.

Seems a lot, right? But there are still more!

You should start exploring the toolbar and discover more tools like the lasso tool, type tool, hand tool, zoom tool, and a couple more others. Find out what they do, too, and how it can help you with the edits, you need to get done.

Learn all about the layers panel

Another essential thing you need to learn is the layers panel. The layers panel is where you can find the different layers you've used to create your artistic Photoshop effects. You can use this panel to show layers, hide layers, create new layers, and more. The more effective you can use these layering panels, the better images you can create.

Know the difference between Saturation and Vibrance

If you're a beginner, you might think that saturation and vibrance are the same. After all, they change the color intensity by brightening the colors or removing them based on your adjustments.

However, you should know that you're basically increasing or decreasing the intensity of colors equally when you saturate an image, regardless of whether the color is muted or saturated enough.

Using vibrance, on the other hand, will allow you to intensify muted colors without even touching the saturated ones already. Vibrance creates an even natural look for your image.

Use presets and templates

Templates provide you inspiration and reusable elements that you can start with to create your image. While presets are collections of edits that you can also apply to your image in just one click. Presets serve as a guide or inspiration for you to know how to do certain effects without even wondering how to do it.

If you're still a beginner, chances are, you may find it hard to create images with your ideas. So, there's nothing wrong with using these two at all. Soon, as you get used to the Photoshop tool, you would be able to create your edits without these.

Arrange your workspace

Next, arrange your Photoshop workspace so you have better workflow and smooth editing. You might want to have a separate workspace for black and white images and also a different one if you're retouching; it's up to you. What's important is that you organize them.

Rearrange your toolbars and various menus if you need to, whichever is more comfortable for you. You can also use floating panels if you're comfortable with it. You can also dock panels to create panel groups.

There's a lot you can do to organize your workspace, and each of us has different preferences. You need to find what works best for you.

Save your work properly

Lastly, save your work properly. After all, you don't want all of your editing effort to go to waste, right? Photoshop offers you several options to save images. It's either in PSD, JPEG or PNG, and Save for Web.

If you save for PSD, you give yourself a chance to re-edit the image you did. If you plan to share your work with others, you can save via JPEG or PNG. Images to be used for the web should be optimized using the "save for web" option.

You have the option to save your work three ways, so whichever way you want it, you're good.

Over to You

The tips above are probably the fundamental things you need to know about Photoshop. But as you know, you can never be an expert without knowing the basics, right?

Photoshop doesn't have to be a tool only used by experts. Beginners can also create amazing images on it, especially if you apply these tips and tricks. And once you're familiar with the tool, your imagination will be the only limitation you have.

Andi Croft
Andi Croft
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Andi Croft
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