5 Photoshop Tricks to Save You Time

As a graphic designer, Photoshop becomes one of your best friends. Overtime, you learn a few tricks and hidden tools to help cut down steps and time for your project. In this post, I’m not going to get too technical or advanced with Photoshop, rather, just give you a few simple tools you might not have seen or may have overlooked so far.

  1. Cropping Tool

Let’s start with the Cropping Tool. Whether you’ve never used Photoshop before or have just begun, you probably know what a cropping tool is used for. However, there is a little nifty trick when using the cropping tool that actually keeps the areas of the image untouched rather than getting rid of them.

  • Select the area you wish to crop
  • Uncheck the box labeled “Delete Cropped Pixels” found in the Options Menu

If at any time you wish to expand your cropped area or go back to seeing the full image, just select the cropping tool (C) once again and click anywhere on or around the picture.

  1. Hand Tool

One of the key features of the Hand Tool (H) is having the ability to temporarily zoom out of your selected area to see the full image and also the capability to move your selected zoomed in area to a different section of the image.

Here’s the trick:

  • While zoomed in, press and hold (H) on your keyboard.
  • Click and hold the left mouse button

During this time you can drag the square along to any section of the image you like and once you release the left mouse button it will zoom back in to whatever section you left the square box in.

  1. Brush Size & Hardness

One of the most tedious aspects of Photoshop, and something I struggled with as a beginner, was adjusting the brush size or hardness. I would go to the options menu, click on the brush size, and adjust the size of the brush by dragging my mouse. Afterwards, I would have to go back to my image and check to see if it was the correct size then go back to the options menu if it wasn’t. The amount of frustration accumulated was unbearable. Thankfully I looked it up online figuring there had to be a shortcut and there it was.

Brush Size

  • Press the Left Bracket ( [ ) to make the brush smaller
  • Press the Right Bracket ( ] ) To make the brush bigger

Brush Hardness

  • Hold (Shift), Press ( [ ) to soften the brush
  • Hold (Shift), Press ( ] ) to harden the brush

Bonus Trick: After you’ve finished typing and editing a text, instead of dragging the mouse to the check mark in the options menu, you can simply click (Ctrl+Enter) or (Cmd+Return) to finish the editing process quickly.

  1. Transform Again

Another useful tool is to repeat a Transforming process again on the same or a different layout without having to repeat the same steps.

To do this:

  • Click on another layout or stay on the same one if you wish to transform it again
  • Press (Ctrl+Shift+T) or (Cmd+Shift+T)

You can repeat this step as many times as you would like until you are satisfied with the result.

  1. Straight/Dotted Line

This is probably my favorite tool in Photoshop. All you have to do in order to create a straight line in Photoshop is to select whatever brush, size, color, etc. you would like and when ready:

  • Hold down (Shift)
  • Click and hold the left mouse button and drag it along your layout.

The dotted line is very similar:

  • Select your brush and make a dot anywhere you like on the layout
  • Hold (Shift) once again
  • Make a dot anywhere else on the photo

Your two points should now be connected with a dotted line.

<< Back to Blog