50 Really Useful Photoshop Tips and Tools

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If you know Photoshop at all, you'll know that no matter how much you read up on it there will always be many useful tools, tips and tricks that you miss out on and would be far better off knowing.

Well luckily for you, we've put together 50 incredibly useful tips and tricks for you to use at your leisure.

If you know of any more Photoshop tips and tricks, put them in the comments and we'll add them to the list.

1. Bjango Actions

These actions from Bjango are a life-saver, they include actions such as pixel snapping and iOS device templates.

2. TinyPNG

A great tool for compressing PNG and JPEG images directly from photoshop, just install the plugin and you're away.

3. Bjango Skala Preview

Another one from Bjango, Skala Preview lets you preview iOS designs on devices quickly and simply.

4.  HackingUI Export SVG's

Export your vector layers from PS to SVG in a single click.

5.  CSS3PS

Generate CSS from shapes and layer styles.

6. Disable Menus

Photoshop is full of menus you hardly ever use or need. Disable these in Edit>Menu>Application Menus.

7. PNG Express

PNG Express is a Photoshop plug-in that slices and exports your PSD document to individual PNG, JPG, & SVG assets.

8. Save JPEG Previews on Desktop

Download this script to quickly save JPEG previews on the desktop, great for quickly comparing variations of a design or just to get a basic preview.

9. Create a Vertical and Horizontal Guide

Use this script to quickly toggle a vertical and horizontal guide through the centre of your document.

10. PSD Cleaner

Plugin that lets you easily find and fix messy layers in your PSDs.

11. ColorKit

A productivity tool for colour management. You can easily collect colors into projects, and link them with a layer with single click. Forget about Photoshop’s swatches.

12. SocialKit

Fully customizable templates for social media pages. Each template updates when there's a change made to the respective social site.

13. Random User Generator

Easily drag and drop random users into your PSDs

14. Griddify

Lets you compose custom grid systems, vertical rhythm, and do a bunch of other stuff with guides in photoshop.

15. ColorCraft

A colour picker with shadings and palettes.

16. Brutus Symmetry

AD Brutus Symmetry is a Photoshop Panel that provides tools to work with -almost- realtime symmetry.

17. Rotate Patterns

You can make amazing kaleidoscopic patterns with the help of a keyboard shortcut. Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+T lets you duplicate a layer and repeat a transformation in one go.

18. Combine Images With Text

Drop an image layer over a type layer then hold down Alt and click the line between the two layers in the Layers Panel to clip the image to the text.


19. Bird's-Eye View

When zoomed in close, hold down H and drag in the image to instantly dart out to full screen then jump back to another area. 

20. Close All Images

To close all of your documents at the same time, Shift-click any image window's close icon.

21. Website UI Gems

Plugin that helps you to easily construct website layouts in minutes. 

22. Titlemizer

Generates random relevant titles, leads, texts, dates and usernames.

23. Codly

Convert your Photoshop mobile design into native code in seconds.

24. Interactive Zoom

For interactive zooming, hold Cmd/Ctrl+Space then drag right to zoom in, or left to zoom out. The zoom targets where your mouse icon is, so it's one of the quickest ways to navigate around an image.

25. View One Layer

If you're working with multiple layers and you want to view one layer on its own, there's no need to hide all the others manually, simply hold down Alt and click the Eye icon of a layer to make every other layer invisible. Hold down Alt and click again to reveal them.

26. Quick Copy

Hold down Alt and drag a mask, style or layer to
quickly duplicate it.

27. Move Query

When using the Move tool, right-click over a point in the image for a list of all the layers you're hovering over.

28. Easily Change Opacity

When not using a painting tool, you can change layer Opacity
simply by pressing a number key. Hit 1 for 10%, 5 for 50%, and 0 for 100%.

29. Splasholder

A great tool to get Unsplash's images directly to Photoshop CC.

30. Photoshop Power Tool

Build your own custom Photoshop panels in seconds.

31. Speedy Navigation

Being able to quickly and easily move around your image and
zoom in or out will speed up your workflow more than anything else. Use Cmd/Ctrl and + to zoom in, Cmd/Ctrl and to zoom out. Hold the space bar to temporarily access the Hand tool and drag around the image.

32. Crucial Selection Shortcuts

With any selection tool, hold Shift to add to an existing selection and Alt to subtract from it. Shift+Alt together allows you to intersect selections.

33. Paste In Place

Cut and paste a selection to a new layer and Photoshop will place it in the middle of the screen. If you want to paste it to a new layer, but keep the position the same, use Cmd/Ctrl+X to cut and Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+V to paste in place. 

34. Avocode

Avocode lets you turn designs into code easily and effortlessly.

35. Hide Marching Ants

You can hide those annoying marching ants by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+H to hide or reveal a selection's 'marching ants' line. Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+H does the same for a Path line.

36. CMD/CTRL+Click

Use the Cmd/Ctrl+click shortcut on any layer thumbnail, mask thumbnail, Channel or Path to load its shape or contents as a selection.

37. Switch Lasso

When using the Lasso tool, hold Alt then release the mouse button to temporarily switch to the Polygonal Lasso tool.

38. Resonator

The best way to keep all your design elements in one place.

39. Markly

Creating design specs, made easy. After importing your design from Photoshop you can add specification marks by simply clicking and dragging.

40. Transform Selection

You can transform a selection in just the same way as a layer. Just go to Select>Transform Selection. Right-click to choose from familiar transform modes like Skew and Warp.

41. Pen Tool Rubber Band

One of the best tips on this list. As a beginner, using the pen tool is a complete mystery not completely knowing where to plot your anchor point, luckily there's a feature hidden in the options that will give you a preview of your next curve before you add it. Click the 'Geometry options' drop-down (next to Auto Add/Delete) and checkRubber Band.

 42. Seamless Texture Generator

A simple Photoshop action that generates, with just one click, a seamless pattern from your image.

43. Skala Color App

OS X color picker that works with a huge variety of formats covering everything you're likely to need for the web. Definitely recommended.

44. UX Pin

Turn your Photoshop files into interactive prototypes.

45. Fix Your Undo

As you know the 'undo' function is no exactly user friendly. No one wants to press Ctrl/CMD+ALT+Z every time you want to undo more than one thing. Press Ctrl/CMD+Shift+ALT+K to access Keyboard Shortcuts and change the 'undo' combination.

46. Instant Layer Selection

Activate the Move tool using V and hold down Ctrl, then click on the element and you will automatically select the element’s layer. So much easier than navigating to the layers panel every time.

47. FontSniffer

A great tool that detects (or sniffs) all the fonts used in a document. Handy to get an overview of what fonts you'll need in your next project.

48. Tweak Anchor Points

When using the Pen tool, hold down Cmd/Ctrl to temporarily switch to the Direct Selection tool. This lets you move anchor points and control handles.

49. Uber Columns

Very useful extension panel to divide your text layers perfectly into columns. Great if you use Photoshop for a lot of written documents.

50. Wallpaper Maker

A great action that lets you create a wallpaper canvas and export it in sizes appropriate for desktop, laptop and mobile.

Well that's that, if you know of any other tips or tools that you think should be added, let us know in the comments below.