Photo courtesy allwomenstalk.com
WHAT IS ADOBE PHOTOSHOP?
Adobe Photoshop is a widely used software/tool used for various applications like image editing, art design, graphics design, poster design, professional editing, etc.
Adobe Photoshop is probably one of the greatest photo manipulation tools of all time. It is possibly one of the greatest artistic revolutions since it has revolutionized photo editing, photo manipulation, and original art in ways that are not possible to put in simple words. There are several versions of Photoshop, including Photoshop CC(Creative Cloud), Photoshop Elements, and Photoshop Lightroom.
Many professionals, as well as beginners, use it. First of all, Giving a final touch to your image is not an easy task and that’s where Adobe Photoshop comes in handy. Secondly, there are various filters, themes, effects in Adobe, which makes your image look stunning.
All photographers want their photos to seem fantastic. And that can only be done through editing. If you know how and when to use which tool, you can make the most out of it.
The more we explore, the more we will find and learn. There are vast features in Adobe. And that makes it useful for individuals, political campaigns, brand campaigns, branding by the desired edited image they want.
It is essential as well to know some basic knowledge and some hacks of Adobe Photoshop, which will save your time and produce more desirable content. So, here we got your back.
We have curated some of the best Adobe Photoshop hacks which will definitely help you out with your editing. So go ahead, try these hacks and show us your creativity 🙂
So, here are the Top 10 Stunning Adobe Photoshop Hacks that everyone must give a try once in a lifetime:-
- DUPLICATING ANYTHING
- UNDO MANY TIMES
- USING MAGNETIC LASSO
- CHANGING MEASUREMENT
- CONVERTING IMAGE TO BLACK & WHITE
- USING DODGE AND BURN TOOL
- DRAWING STRAIGHT LINES AND PERFECT SQUARE
- ROTATING AN IMAGE
- MATTE EFFECT
- USING SPOT HEALING BRUSH
1. DUPLICATING ANYTHING
Trying out a different idea/feature on an image and not sure if it goes, right? Then we should create a duplicate copy of the original image and try experimenting on the duplicate one.
Just press ‘Ctrl’ + J and the new image will be positioned right on top of the original object in the layers panel. Alternatively, hold down the ‘’ALT’’ key and click & drag the selected image to duplicate it.
We can duplicate anything we want like an object, image, style, path, layer, etc. Duplicate documents can be useful for creating variations on something, or for quickly experimenting with new ideas.
Also, the document we create with the Duplicate command doesn’t exist as a file until we have saved it, even though we see a named title bar at the top of the duplicate document.
“How to Duplicate Anything” -photo courtesy designmodo.com
2. UNDO MANY TIMES
For getting the desired result, sometimes we keep trying different effects and tools. However, if we are unable to undo more than one step then this hack is useful.
It can help us to undo as many times as we want(up to 1000 steps back).
For contemplating this hack, follow the below steps:-
i) Go to Edit→Preferences (‘Ctrl’+K)→Performance
ii) In the Preferences dialogue box’s History State’s field, choose the number of steps you want Photoshop to remember or the number of steps you want to go back.
We can enter any number between 1 to 1000 in this field.
Although in the latest versions, we can also use Ctrl+Z to undo multiple times. But for older versions (of before photoshop CS2) this hack is quite useful.
Now keep trying with new ideas until you get the best one. It’s pretty simple
“How to Undo multiple times”- photo courtesy photoshoptip.com
3. USING MAGNETIC LASSO
It is one of the most amazing tools of photoshop that is generally overlooked. Magnetic Lasso tool helps you to separate or cut out a particular object from an image and then edit that particular part. Sounds amazing? Now let’s see how to use it.
To use the Magnetic Lasso, press ‘Shift’ + L OR click and hold your mouse button down on the Lasso tool until a fly-out menu appears in front of you. The Magnetic Lasso tool is the last one having a small magnet on its icon. Select it and then go to your image and place the mouse on the edge of the part you want to change. Click your mouse once, release it, and just go over the edges of the object you want to select.
It detects an image’s edges and select pixels around them automatically. Actually, the software can’t see your image, to it everything is a bunch of pixels. Photoshop just calculates the light, texture, and contrast between the range of the pixels, then decides the edges.
“Magnetic Lasso tool”- photo courtesy udemy.com
4. CHANGING MEASUREMENT
Images have to edit using a particular measurement. The ruler tool helps us to measure angles, length & distances in an image. Also, we can change the info panel of any image and fill it according to our measurements.
If the measurement of the ruler is different from that based on our edited image, then we can simply change the ruler. For changing measurement follow the below steps:-
i) First view the ruler by going to View -> Rulers or by pressing ‘Ctrl’+R
ii) Now we just need to right-click on the ruler bar and choose the desired unit of measure we want from the drop-down/context menu.
The Ruler helps us position images or objects precisely and accurately. While changing the measurable units, rulers do not affect output quality.
“Changing Ruler measurement”- photo courtesy youtube.com/howtechgraphics
5. CONVERTING IMAGE TO BLACK & WHITE
Black and white photography is a contemporary genre. Converting a color image into black & white isn’t an easy task as we think. It’s much more complicated. The main advantage is that we have full control over how our colors are converted. But desaturating colors without adjusting will make the image look dull.
Now there are two methods of converting the image.
The first one is that if we want to convert the image to black & white without color adjustment quickly, then simply press “Ctrl+Shift+U.”
But if we want color adjustment, then there are two methods “Destructive” and “Non-Destructive.”
Destructive methods are those that cannot be re-adjusted afterward. Once we have made the conversion, the only way to change it is to undo the conversion and start again from scratch. Following conversion techniques come under destructive methods:-
1. CONVERT TO GRAYSCALE
The simplest black and white conversion method, converting to grayscale discards all the color information within the photo. Use the steps below for using this technique:
- Select Image > Mode > Grayscale
- Click ‘Discard’
2. LAB COLOR METHOD
This technique converts our photo from RGB color mode to Lab color mode. Lab mode records the brightness and color values separately, meaning in Lab we will be able to discard the color information to leave a black and white image. Use the steps below for using this technique:
- Select Image > Mode > Lab Color
- Go to the Channels window if it’s already open (if not go to Window > Channel) and choose the Lightness channel
- Image > Mode > Grayscale
- Click ‘OK’
While in Non-Destructive methods, we can always come back and make changes later. Following are the techniques which come under this method:-
3. HUE/SATURATION TOOL
This method gives exactly the same result as converting to greyscale and adding a black and white adjustment layer. The main advantage is that it’s available as an adjustment layer, and can be used as part of a non-destructive editing process. Below are the steps to use this method:
- Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation
- Click ‘OK’
- Move the Saturation slider to the left (-100) and press ‘OK’
“Reducing saturation to 0”- photo courtesy tutsplus.com
4. GRADIENT MAP
The Gradient Map tool maps a black and white gradient to the brightness values of our photo. Dark areas become black or dark grey and highlight white or light grey. Follow the below steps for this technique:
- Press ‘D’ to reset the foreground and background colors to black and white.
- Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map
- Click ‘OK’
“Gradient map technique”- photo courtesy tutsplus.com
5. CHANNEL MIXER
Channel Mixer is the digital equivalent of black and white photographers using color filters. Setting the brightness of the red channel to 100% gives the same effect as using a red filter on the lens with a black and white film. Follow the below steps for using channel mixer:
- Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Channel Mixer
- Tick the Monochrome box.
- Move the Red, Green, and Blue sliders to the left and right to lighten and darken different tones within the photo. All three sliders should be 100% at all times.
- Click ‘OK’ when you’re done.
“Channel mixer method”- photo courtesy tutsplus.com
6. TWIN HUE/SATURATION METHOD
This technique uses two Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layers. The top layer is a straight monochrome conversion. The bottom layer changes the colors of the original photo, which successively changes the tones in the black and white conversion. It gives us a fine degree of control. Follow the below steps to use this technique:
- Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and click ‘OK’
- Move the Saturation slider to the left (-100) and click ‘OK’
- Activate the background by clicking on it
- Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and click ‘OK’
- Click ‘OK’
- Change the blending mode of the bottom Hue/Saturation layer to ‘Color’
- Double click the bottom Hue/Saturation layer’s icon
- Move the Hue slider left or right and watch the tones change! We can also try experimenting with the Saturation and Lightness sliders.
- Click ‘OK’ when you’re done.
“Twin hue/saturation method”-photo courtesy tutsplus.com
7. BLACK AND WHITE ADJUSTMENT LAYER METHOD
Available in Photoshop CS3 onward, the Black and White Adjustment Layer gives us all the control of the channel mixer and twin hue/saturation techniques via six color sliders. But the most exciting feature is its Targeted Adjustment Tool. With this tool, we can adjust tones in our photos to make them lighter or darker. It’s an intuitive and precise conversion technique. Follow the below steps for using this conversion:
- Select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black and White
- Click ‘OK’. The Black and White toolbox appears.
- Move the six color sliders right or left to brighten or darken the respective tones in the photo. We can also choose from the presets in the drop-down menu at the top.
- Click ‘OK’ when done.
“Using black and white adjustment layer method”- photo courtesy tutsplus.com
6. USING DODGE AND BURN TOOL
The process of brightening/lighting the pixels of an image is known as dodging & The process of darkening the pixels of an image is known as burning.
Some users may overlook these tools, but these are unique tools. By using them we have control over specific areas of an image. These tools are based on a traditional darkroom technique for regulating exposure on specific areas of a print, in which Photographers hold back light to lighten an area on the print which is known as dodging and increases the exposure to darken areas on the print which is known as burning. The more we paint over an area, the lighter or darker it becomes.
Now let’s see how to use them, it’s quite simple, just follow the below steps:-
- Select the dodge or burn tool by pressing ‘Shift’ + O OR from the tool panel.
“Dodge and Burn tool in Photoshop”-photo courtesy blog.breathingcolor.com
- Choose a brush tip and set brush options within the options bar.
- Click on the airbrush button to use the brush as an airbrush OR select the Airbrush option in the Brush panel.
- Select the Protect Tones option to minimize the clipping in the shadows and highlights. This option also tries to keep colors from shifting hue or saturation.
- Drag over the part of the image you wish to lighten or darken.
“Before and After of an image using Dodge and burn tool”- photo courtesy youtube.com/PSDESIRE
7. DRAWING STRAIGHT LINES AND PERFECT SQUARE
Tried drawing a line using a paintbrush tool? Well, it may be in a bent or twisted form? Here we will give a simple hack for drawing a continuous and straight-line very easily.
What we have to do is hold down the ‘Shift’ key while using the paintbrush tool and here’s our straight line.
“Making a straight line”- photo courtesy solveyourtech.com
Also, making a perfect square isn’t as easy as it seems to be. Well, we will give an easy hack for this too. We just need to press the Shift key after we begin dragging simply. After making a selection, release the mouse button first, then release the Shift key. And we will get a perfect square.
“Making a perfect square”- photo courtesy cgfrog.com
8. ROTATING AN IMAGE
Sometimes to touch a specific area, we need to rotate an image. By rotating at a particular angle, it becomes easier for us to edit the image. It’s also interesting to know that photoshop actually rotates our view of the image but not the image itself.
Rotating the entire image or canvas means to perform significant rotation accurately.
Here let’s see how to do that-
- Select an image from the top bar menu
- Select image rotation
- Select 180 Degrees, 90 Degrees Clockwise or 90 Degrees Counterclockwise for a quick rotation, or select Flip Canvas Horizontal or Flip Canvas Vertical to reverse the picture. Or choose just Arbitrarily and input a specific angle of rotation that you want.
Alternatively, click and hold on the hand tool in the toolbox to reveal the rotate view tool(R) and then drag side-to-side to rotate the image clockwise or anti-clockwise.
When we rotate an image, photoshop redraws its pixels for every time we rotate and the image loses its detail. By simply clicking the Reset View button in the toolbar, the image will return to normal.
“Rotating an object”- photo courtesy helpx.adobe.com
9. MATTE EFFECT
The matte effect is one of the beneficial photo effects that give a beautiful look to our image. These effects are highly versatile and easy to achieve. And best above all, we can apply the matte effect to any photo we choose.
Let’s see how to apply this effect.
- The first thing we will do is add a curves adjustment layer. For this, click on the icon to add an adjustment layer, and then select “curves.”
- Then add a brightness/contrast adjustment layer and set the contrast according to our preference.
- Now apply a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Click on the icon to add a new adjustment layer, and then select Hue/Saturation and set the Saturation according to our preference.
Depending on the effect we want, i.e., Stronger matte effect or Softer matte effect, we can fill the preferences in contrast and saturation.
“Before and After of an image using Matte effect”- photo courtesy printivity
10. USING SPOT HEALING BRUSH
Spot Healing Brush tool is one of the best healing brushes in photoshop. It was Introduced in the photoshop version CS2. This tool is the easiest and quickest way to remove blemishes, crack spots, and other imperfections from the image.
Unlike healing brush it doesn’t require a source to work, Spot Healing Brush makes the decision all on its own.
Now let’s see how to contemplate this hack:
- Press ‘Shift’ + J and select the Spot Healing Brush tool from the toolbox.
‘’Spot healing brush tool’’- photo courtesy breathingcolor.com
- Choose a brush size in the options bar. A brush slightly larger than the area needed to be healed is preferred.
- Choose a blending mode from the Mode menu in the options bar. This Mode allows the user to choose how the artwork will be applied based upon Blending Mode.
Note- Use this only if you are using a duplicate layer.
- Choose a Type option in the options bar:
This option read the pixels data around the edge of the selection to seek an area to use as a patch.
This mode will take a glance at the surrounding pixels and create a texture map of the data it finds. If the texture doesn’t work, try dragging through the area a second time.
Compares nearby image content to seamlessly fill the selection, realistically maintaining key details like shadows and object edges. Choose this if you’re not quite sure which option to use, it lets Photoshop make that decision for you.
- Select Sample All Layers within the options bar to sample data from all visible layers. Deselect Sample All Layers to sample only from the active layer.
- Click the problem areas you want to fix, or click and drag to treat imperfections in a larger area.
“Using the Spot Healing Brush to remove a blemish”- photo courtesy adobe.com
One of the foremost exciting things about Photoshop is that you can never stop learning it. Whether you’re just a beginner or are performing on the tool for many years now, there are still a plethora of professional tools that are yet to unveil. This skill can be a feather in the cap for photographers.
Photoshop is the current market leader in image manipulation software. Learning the art of image editing will surely help you to make some award-winning shots and will further help you to grab many opportunities. They can take you from start to end, and now you know how to go about doing it. Keep working with great enthusiasm. It can put you one step ahead of the competition.
We hope the above hacks & tricks of Adobe photoshop may be helpful to you. You can start putting them in use to improve your editing and speeding up your work.
As everyone works differently with photoshop, there are many ways to reach the same result.
NOTE:- Please note that above shortcuts are for Windows Adobe photoshop format,
For Mac users-> Ctrl(Control) is “Cmd”(Command) and ALT is “OPT”(Option) key.
If you know some of the other cool and time-saving hacks or tricks for photoshop, do let us know.
Author: Sourabh Tyagi
He is an Engineering student and a content writer who loves to write about and on photography. He is a writer by day and a reader by night. His main focus is to write informative articles which stand on SEO needs. Recently he has decided to follow his passion while still following his career path.