How to work faster in photoshop

How to work faster in photoshop

Hunter Becton

Feb 10, 2017 · 2 min read

Photoshop comes loaded with tools, a lot that you’ll probably never even use. This can cause your Photoshop Toolbar to come unnecessarily cluttered.

However, there’s an easy way to fix that.

How to work faster in photoshop

Head to the Edit menu and select Toolbar to access the Toolbar dialog. You’ll see two columns, the one on the left represents the tools you’ll see in your toolbar, and the one on the right represents tools that are hidden from the main view.

How to work faster in photoshop

Simply drag and drop tools in the right column to hide them on your toolbar.

How to work faster in photoshop

And in th e left column you can group and ungroup tools and even change the default hotkeys, considering they’re not already being used.

How to work faster in photoshop

For tools that are grouped with the same hotkey, you can just hold Shift and tap the hotkey until the tool is selected in your Photoshop Toolbar.

How to work faster in photoshop

And for the tools you hid, don’t worry, you can still access them right here.

Photoshop is just one of those programs that, once learned, is hard to do without, but perhaps a bit harder to get started. Without question there are huge advantages to be had through the structured rigor of some kind of Photoshop curriculum (check CreativeLive), but getting through such syllabus can often be overload, and as it turns out, there are probably a set of key tips that could not only have you using Photoshop more fully, but significantly faster and more accurately. Here are a few:

Just before I get to the actual tips – which are relatively short – it probably warrants being said that as photographers, most of us will live within similar Photoshop environments and do similar things, repeatedly. Likely they aren’t too advanced and take advantage of only about 2% of what Photoshop’s capable of.

How to work faster in photoshop

As such, given the repetitive and similar nature of it all, slight tweaks in behavior and optimizations of the tools at your disposal are enough to create a significant difference in efficiency. One primary way to immediately open up Photoshop in ways you can’t imagine without experience, is to get a pen tablet. If you’re going to do any amount or retouching in Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One or Affinity Photo, just get one. I rarely push anyone to buy anything, but get one. Buy a used one, buy a cheap one, steal one from your neighbor…just get one.

And I mean it that you needn’t buy anything above the base models. I generally advocate getting a small Wacom Intuos with touch capacity, and that’s it. Yes, if you can get it get the Intuos Pro small, but it’s 3 times the price of the non-pro and you don’t NEED it. You can see a review of the Intuos Pen & Touch here, and the Intuos Pro here.

Using The Keyboard And/Or Tablet Keys For Max Efficiency

How to work faster in photoshop

You can find numerous cheat-sheets for Photoshop online that tell you all the different hotkeys that exist for the program, but honestly, using them as anything but a reference when you forget something is a fool’s errand. It’s akin to sitting an open book exam, where frankly, if you don’t know the material you’re still screwed because you don’t have time to look it all up. The important thing is to remember a few essential keys and functions at a time, and that’s what we’ll do here, and present a few more a few days on.

How to work faster in photoshop

Easy Tool Swap While Retouching

If you’re retouching on a broad level or a micro one, there are a few tools you’ll be using with the most frequency (typically):

Eyedropper Tool: i
Spot Healing/Healing Brush: J
Brush Tool: B
Clone Stamp Tool: S
Hand Tool: H

This list isn’t exactly definitive, but suffice to say we won’t qualify each statement. You can add to that list as you like but this tends to be what the list looks like for most people as they’re retouching people at least. But regardless of what your list is made up of, there’s likely a lot of switching back and forth between tools, and while the number of tools may not be exhaustive, the switching can be exhausting and time-consuming.

How to work faster in photoshop

Hotkeys will cut your time here significantly if you remember the few you use most, because you can provisionally switch to the tool of your choice from the one you’re currently using simply by holding the hotkey for the desired tool during its use. So if you’re using the Brush tool (as we tend to for dodging and burning) but need to clone out something you would just press and hold ’S’ and your Brush will turn into the Clone Stamp tool, only to revert immediately back to the brush once you let go of the ’S’. Nice right? This is significantly faster than moving over to the tool panel clicking, using the new tool, then switching back. And if you have a Wacom tablet you can program the keys on the tablet to function as pretty much anything so you can do the same there.

Faster Zooming & Precision

Learning how to Photoshop faster is important if you’re a working photographer, but it’s an art, and needs a little time. Like writing a thesis or working on a painting, it’s typical to be so zoned in while you work that you become too close to the project to see it objectively. It’s why the greats take time, and advocate taking breaks. Hemingway would suggest finishing your writing with something left to say, completely stop thinking about it for the night, and then come back fresh in the morning. In retouching I advocate something similar but more easily done. Yes, it’s good to walk away and come back, but you should continually zoom out to see how your project is looking as a whole so you don’t lose the forest for the trees, so-to-speak.

How to work faster in photoshop

How to work faster in photoshop

Again, constantly zooming in and out can be tiresome and at the end of a project it can have taken away time and focus. The quick way to do it is to simply hold the ‘H’ key when you’re zoomed far in, and then move the pointer. Upon doing so the image will zoom out fully and a box will appear to show you the size of your current space (see image above), and you can then move that around if you like. Sure you could hold down the spacebar to drag the image but this is just so fast and allows for immediate checks of the entire image.

If you’re looking to learn more about Photoshop and how to wield it like you invented it, just a thought you may want to check these classes on CreativeLive which are up to 50% off at the moment.

The Photoshop program is very powerful, but it’s also very slow. In order to make your Photoshop program run faster, you must get to the bottom of the problem. On old computers, the problem is understandable, however, the problem also affects many newer machines. If you are sick of putting up with the sluggish performance of Photoshop, then there are some simple tweaks that can make a big difference.

If you’re trying to make money with your photography, then you understand how important it is not to waste any time. Time is money and every second is valuable. Even if you’re just playing with Photoshop for fun, it’s still a good idea to try and find ways to make the program more reliable and run much quicker.

Step 1: Check Plugins

The first thing that you should concentrate on is the number of plugins that your Photoshop installation uses. Certain plugins are well known for slowing down Photoshop, which is why you should consider searching for reviews of them on the Internet. If these plugins do slow down Photoshop, then look for similar alternatives.

Also, too many plugins on your computer could be another reason why your version of Photoshop is running slower than normal.

Step 2: Increase Memory Usage

Open the preferences panel in the Edit menu, and click on the Performance tab. This will allow you to adjust the memory usage of Photoshop. Allocating memory usage to Photoshop will make it run faster than other applications on your computer, as it will give it priority.

Increasing the memory usage from 40% to 60% will result in a marked improvement of the speed of Photoshop, which should make it much more enjoyable to use.

Step 3: Set up Scratch Disks

If you have a second physical hard drive in your computer, then it is possible to use this as a temporary swap disk to speed up slow Photoshop performance. If you have a hard drive partitioned into different drives, then this will not have any benefit because your computer is constrained by the same hardware restrictions.

These settings can also be found in the Performance section of the Preferences panel.

Step 4: Adjust History and Cache

Reducing the history option will free up the amount of available memory for Photoshop, which should make it run much faster.

Step 5: Learn Shortcuts

Simply having a lot of different pallets open in Photoshop will affect the performance of the software. To speed it up, consider closing some of the pallets and also learning some shortcuts. The shortcuts will mean that you don’t need to worry about opening extra pallets because it’s simply a matter of pressing certain keys on the keyboard.

Step 6: Clipboard

Using the clipboard is a very useful function inside Photoshop, however, it will slow down your computer if you’re not careful. The photos are held temporarily in Photoshop’s allocated RAM, which will make the rest of the software run slower.

Step 7: Upgrade Your Computer

If all of these steps still haven’t managed to make Photoshop run faster, then this could be because your computer needs to be upgraded. If Photoshop has always been unbearably slow on your computer, then it might be time for an upgrade. Sticking some extra RAM inside and allocating this to Photoshop might be enough.

Popular P&S Cameras for High Quality Photos:

by Sebastian Kończak , published on Mar 2015

I can tell you from my experience that there’s no better way than to do this using keyboard shortcuts, also known as “hotkeys”. If you don’t use them already – start.

It will change how you work. With shortcuts you can save about 60 – 70% of time spent in Photoshop.

List compiled below contains the most frequently used and – therefore – useful shortcuts in Photoshop. They work in CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, CC, CC2014, CC2015, CC2016, CC2017 and CC2018 versions.

Shortcut in Windows Shortcut on Mac Action
Ctrl + Cmd + Zooms in the document view. Together with the next two shortcuts this will be your most used trinity in Photoshop. Learning and using them is mandatory.
Ctrl – Cmd – Zooms out the document view.
Space Space Temporary access to Hand tool, which lets you move document view on the screen. This is so amazingly simple yet effective shortcut, I’m almost crying with joy that Photoshop creators coded it in.
Ctrl Alt I Cmd Opt I Launches Image Size dialog box. There you can resize image or resize the document for printing purposes.
Ctrl T Cmd T Launches Free Transform tool for active layer. Useful for resizing, stretching and rotating layers. After you’re done, hit Enter/Return to accept this transformation, or Esc to abort it.
Ctrl D Cmd D Deselects selection. Really saves time when you’re making lots of selections.
D D Resets colors in toolbar to black and white (hitting X switches them between each other). Especially useful when you’re working with colors and suddenly have to paint a layer mask 🙂
Alt Delete Opt Backspace Fills the selection with foreground color. Replacing Alt/Opt with Ctrl/Cmd will fill selection with background color. Great for fast-coloring selections.
V V Switches to Move tool. No further explanation needed. Work extremely good when switching with other tool back and forth.
Ctrl M Cmd M Launches Curves dialog box. Curves is in my opinion the most powerful tone-color adjustment tool besides Camera Raw plugin. Lets you quickly adjust brightness, contrast, shadows and highlights.
Ctrl S Cmd S Saves document (or overwrites it). Be careful with this shortcut, because you may accidentaly overwrite one version of the document with another. For saving versions, use the shortcut below.
Ctrl Shift S Cmd Shift S Saves document as new version (copy).
Ctrl Shift Alt S Cmd Shift Opt S Launches Save For Web dialog box. Useful when preparing files for internet. A must when you want your images to be as lightweight as possible while maintaining quality.
Ctrl E Cmd E Merges active layer with layer below. Useful for cleaning up layers structure.
Ctrl L Cmd L Launches Levels dialog box. Useful for quick and minor tone adjustments.
Ctrl U Cmd U Launches Hue/Saturation dialog box. Useful for changing colors and color saturation.
double click double click Double clicking on Photoshop background triggers the Open dialog box 🙂

Keyboard stickers with shortcuts

By the way, if you think about working in Photoshop profesionally, consider getting keyboard stickers with shortcuts. They contain all shortcuts from the table above plus more. Shortcuts are visually informative, and shortcuts are color coded, which makes using stickers very easy.

Keyboard stickers with shortcuts will give you all the necessary tools under your fingers, and besides that – with time – you’ll learn all that shortcuts by heart. Check out our keyboard stickers with shortcuts for Photoshop and start working smartly 🙂

In this tutorial, you will learn three time-saving tips to work faster in Photoshop.

Let me know in the comments if you have any time-saving tips!

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more free Photoshop video tutorials. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.

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Other Photoshop Tutorials You Might Like:

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About Jesus Ramirez

Jesús Ramirez is a digital graphics expert, speaker, and educator specializing in Adobe Photoshop. Jesús is best known as the founder of the Photoshop Training Channel, one of the most popular Photoshop YouTube channels in the world. More.

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Thank you! Great tips that I will definitely try.

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Photoshop Tip Of The Day:

To activate multiple layers using your keyboard, press Shift Alt [ (Mac: Shift Option [) to activate the layer below the currently selected layer (or the ] key to activate the layer above).

You can keep adding to the selection one layer at a time by tapping on either of the bracket keys while holding down Shift and Alt (Mac: Option).

It’s rare to watch a video that claims to reveal new tricks in Adobe Photoshop that aren’t actually just fairly intermediate techniques. However, this is one that passes the test.

While learning how to use Photoshop, I think it’s fair to say a lot of us just stick with the first method we were taught to do something and repeat it enough times that it starts to feel like the only way. You might pick up a few keyboard shortcuts here and there, but the more complicated tasks may at first seem like they’d be too specific to possibly have shortcuts attached to them. Apparently not so, because this video dives into some some pretty serious tools that surprisingly can be accessed and manipulated faster with the keyboard.

Jesús Ramirez from the Photoshop Training Channel shares 15 lesser known Photoshop shortcuts that will cut down editing time. While I wouldn’t expect anyone to remember all of these, there’s a good chance that a couple of the tools that are shown here are used in your own workflow and perhaps you aren’t taking advantage of the shortcuts to make life easier on yourself.

And if you already knew everything here, hey, at least you have a banana icon in your toolbar now.

Ryan Mense is a bird photographer based in Wisconsin. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

  • You can zoom in Photoshop using the Zoom Tool, which will let you zoom in and out of your canvas freely.
  • To change between zooming in and out, you can use the tool options at the top of the screen, or zoom out by pressing and holding the Alt or Option key while using the tool.
  • You can also use the mouse’s scroll wheel, or edit the zoom percentage reading at the bottom of the Photoshop screen.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you need to zoom in or out of your image in Photoshop to get a better view, or perform detailed editing work, you can use the Zoom tool.

This isn’t the same as using the Crop tool — when you zoom, you’re only changing how the image is magnified on your screen, not how big the final image is.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

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How to zoom in Photoshop

Use the Zoom tool

1. Select the Zoom tool either by clicking it in the Tools Palette on the left side of the screen — its icon looks like a magnifying glass — or by pressing Z on your keyboard.

2. To zoom in, click on the part of the image you want to see in more detail. Each time you click, you’ll zoom in one level closer, until you reach Photoshop’s max zoom.

3. To zoom out, click the Zoom Out option in the Tool Options bar at the top of the screen (or bottom if you’re using Photoshop Elements), which looks like a magnifying glass with a minus in it, and then click the image again. Remember to switch back to the Zoom In option when you’re done.

4. As an alternative way of zooming out, you can press and hold the Alt key (or Option key if you’re on a Mac) on the keyboard when you use the Zoom tool on the image.

Use the mouse scroll wheel

You don’t have to select the Zoom tool to change the image’s magnification — if your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can zoom in and out while using any tool.

1. Place the mouse pointer at the spot in the image where you want to zoom in or out.

2. Press and hold the Alt key on a PC (or Option key if you’re on a Mac) on the keyboard, and then spin the scroll wheel to zoom in or out.

Use the zoom percentage box

This method of zooming is a bit slower, but allows you to get more precise.

1. At the bottom of the Photoshop screen is a small box with a percentage in it. This percentage represents your current zoom level.

2. You can click on the box to edit the percentage by typing in a new zumber. The higher the number, the more zoomed in you are.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

How to rotate an image in Photoshop in 4 simple steps

How to flip a picture on your iPhone using the Photos app in iOS 13, or a third-party app

How to unhide photos on an iPhone in a few simple steps using the Photos app

How to set a timer on your iPhone camera, and take a picture after a brief countdown

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How to work faster in photoshop

Learn Some of Adobe Photoshop Tricks that we think that can help you work faster . This is going to be just a quick and easy guide for everyone.

Video Summary (Photoshop Tricks To Make your Work Faster.)

1. Circle Crop an Image
Or any shape you want. Including fonts and you can easily crop images using text.
• First, Create a shape (ea. circle on the video)
• Then put your desired image to be crop.
• Go to your Layer panel then with the alt being hold, click between the image and the shape.
• And done, you crop an image , Fast, easy and non destructive image.

2. Make outline to any font you want.
• First, Add text (any font you want)
• Go to layer panel and select the text set “Fill” to 0|
• Then Go to Blending option and then add stroke. And set it to center.

3. Select Color Outside Adobe Photoshop.
• Select Eyedropper tool
• With the eyedropper tool click and drag it to any color pixel you want. Including outside the window of photoshop.
• If you hold alt while dragging the color will go to the background pallete color.

4. Cant find Objects in your canvas?
Go to you layer panel then alt click to the layer you want to see on your viewing panel. And it will automatically zoom and focus to the object you clicked.

5. Make your Image Pop!
• Convert first your image to smart object, to preserve the original quality in case something happen.
• Go to Images > Adjustments > Curves
• Then add 3 dots on the middle, highlights and shadow.
• Drag the highlights and shadow and form an “S” Curve.

Staff – April 23, 2019 at 10:17 AM

As a professional photographer, your technology should enhance your process, not get in your way!

Intel and Adobe* engineers are continually working together to optimize Adobe Apps. The goal is to deliver you a brisk and responsive performance. Read further to learn about the technologies (eg. Multicore Parallelism, AVX2) behind recent performance gains to Adobe apps running on Intel-based devices.

But first we like to share professional tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Adobe Photoshop.

Work Faster with These Adobe Photoshop Tips and Tricks

Learn dozens of Photoshop CC* tricks to help you edit images faster.

Stunning Performance Gains to Adobe Lightroom Adobe* and Intel®

Independent third-party reviews** of Adobe Lightroom Classic (7.2) show a two to five times (workload dependent) performance gain compared to the previous version. How it was done? Intel and Adobe engineers worked together to get the best out of Intel’s® Core™ micro architecture, with a focus on performance optimizations in two key areas:

The ‘Processor threading’ optimizations do enable Adobe Lightroom Classic to efficiently take advantage of the multiple Intel® Core™ processor cores to start parallelizing the computationally intensive workloads. This becomes specially interesting with Intel’s X-series CPUs (eg Intel Core i9 9900X).

The Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel® AVX2 technology) optimizations do enable Lightroom to fully utilize the capabilities of vector processing to more efficiently handle image, audio and video data.

If you want to know more about these optimizations efforts with Adobe Lightroom, you can read this newly released technical White Paper.

©2019 Intel Corporation.

* Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.