Photoshop is one of the most advanced tool in the design industry that can make your creative imagination comes true with its plethora of professional tools which boost your productivity at the same time. By following these simple tips on Photoshop efficiency, you can alleviate a good chunk of your stress. Not only will this improve your well-being, but managers and directors on both the business and creative side will really appreciate your hard work and commend you for it.
Learn and Practice Keyboard Shortcuts
When you started learning photoshop you normally start perform a particular task by following a set of steps. But once you know how to perform a task step by step you need to move to next level. Yes! You should learn photoshop keyboard shortcut.
If you find yourself using a specific key command regularly, memorize it. You’ll increase your efficiency exponentially if you have all the main keyboard shortcuts down. Some important ones are saving, font size and leading, layer ordering, save for web, and opacity among many more.
Here is a Photoshop’s default keyboard shortcuts list
. If you want to customize the shortcuts or create you own for the tasks which don’t have a shortcut assigned. Just go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and make the needed changes.
Keep Your Files Organized
Organized the files are the most effective and easiest thing you can do. Creating and maintaining a consistent folder structure will make finding your files a breeze.
Reliable file naming conventions are essential when organizing your files. This is where versioning comes in. I personally user dates to save files. Some designers use version numbers, and some use rounds. This will depend on your personal preferences, but it’s a good practice.
Decide and Understand your Framework
Before start your design you should decide which framework are you going to use. Currently top industry players are bootstrap
. Personally i prefer bootstrap for my design.
Bootstrap comes with a built-in responsive grid, along with styling for buttons, fields, typography, navigation, etc. By utilizing Bootstrap’s built-in grid within your PSDs, you’ll make it easier for the web developer to implement your designs in a more pixel-perfect way than if you do your own thing.
Organize your Layers by Section
When you’re dealing with complex web design PSDs with so many folders, layers, smart objects, etc., it’s easy for things to get messy. I recommend organizing your PSD by sections.
Mine generally consist of folders that include Nav, Hero, Intro, Packages, Benefits, Header, Footer, etc. Another way to organize your files using color code these files in rainbow fashion, so they’re easy to navigate.
Sometimes even I get into naming individual layers for very complex design where I have created large number of layers inside a folder, which can also be incredibly beneficial but can get a bit time-consuming. so it’s up to the individual designer how they want to organize their layers.
Utilize CC Libraries
One of the best things that Adobe has added since creating CC is libraries. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to check out this amazing tutorial on how to use them.
I feel like every design team should be utilizing this amazing feature. Libraries allow you to create a brand library with assets like colors, font styles, photos, icons, and symbols (like headers & footers). Thanks to libraries, you can easily collaborate with creatives from multiple organizations using a single brand library.
Libraries make it easy to change colors and update text styles with the click of a button. They also help store brand icons that can easily be updated in one place with updates reflected quickly across PSDs. This is incredibly beneficial for headers and footers for your site, where you’re likely to make small updates throughout the project.
Smart Object For Smart Designer
Just as its name, Smart Object makes your editing smarter by carrying out 2 primary functions: perform nondestructive transforms and perform filtering. This feature comes in very handy especially when you’re producing a site layout with heavy graphics like stock photos, social media icons and UI kits, and all you need to do is right click a layer, then click ‘Convert to Smart Object’ to enjoy its benefits.
The first function says that once a layer is converted into a Smart Object, you can transform it anyway you want without losing its original quality.
Swap Your Computer Mouse with Graphic Tablet
Using a mouse for drawing and painting is not natural. Using a tablet for the first time may feel a little strange, but once you get used to working with it, you’ll wonder how you coped without it.
One hand on your keyboard (remember those keyboard shortcuts) and the other on the pen, your speed will really spike for tasks like masking, retouching, and vector linework.
You don’t need to spend a great deal but if you use Photoshop for painting you might find a tablet with tilt sensitivity useful.
There are also some other handy features, like touch support and shortcut keys, which can add an extra layer of speediness and comfort to your workflow, but are dependent on your budget.