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5 Hidden Tips and Tricks in Photoshop That Save Time and Speed You Up


Photoshop is such a hugely featured application that much of its feature set can be overlooked by even seasoned veterans. This 25-minute video tutorial from photographer Jake Hicks explores some of the less intuitive features that Photoshop offers.

The video is broken down in the following sections:

#1. Fade Function (0:42)

The ‘Fade’ feature allows you to reduce the opacity of the most recent filter applied to an image. If you’re not working with non-destructive filters, this can be very useful.

#2. Content Aware Filling (3:55)

Hicks runs through his workflow with content-aware fill. This feature allows you to fill sections of your image with dynamically-generated content – Photoshop will do its best to generate a fill that looks natural. This can be useful for filling in areas of gradient, for example.

Hicks shows how he uses content-aware fill to rotate and re-crop an image, filling in empty areas around the borders of an image. He also shows how to use the patch tool and liquify to clean up any areas that aren’t perfectly generated.

#3. Mask Stacking (11:27)

This is a clever trick if you want to apply multiple masks to the same layer. Apply your mask as usual to your layer, and then group it. You can then apply another mask to the group itself, allowing you to stack masks on a single layer.

#4. Multi-Document Layer Dragging (16:47)

If you have a series of images and would like to apply the same adjustments to each of them, you can simply drag the adjustment layers directly from one document and drop them into another. This works for any kind of layer, groups, or masks.

Hicks notes that by holding down shift as you drag-and-drop, you can ensure that the layers are placed on the target image in the same position as the source.

#5. Accessing Legacy Versions of Photoshop (22:48)

Did you know that if you have a Creative Cloud subscription you can access many previous versions of Photoshop, and run them in parallel with the version you have installed? Perhaps you prefer the layout of CS6 or are used to ways that certain tools used to work.

Access to older versions is a little hidden away in the Creative Cloud app, so check the video for instructions on how to find them.