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  • Aaron’s Six Photoshop Tips & Tricks to Increase Productivity

  • by Aaron Nace
    October 7, 2016
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Tutorial Description

Want to work faster and more efficiently in Photoshop? We compiled a list of 6 Tips and Tricks that are sure to boost your Photoshop speed and efficiency!

Add More “Undo” States

Photoshop will allow you to go “back in time” through “Undo – CTRL/CMD +Z” and “Step Backward – ALT/OPTN+CTRL/CMD+Z.” Many people find they run out of “Undo States” and can’t go back any further. You can increase the number of times you can “undo” in Photoshop’s preferences.

Open Photoshop Preferences and navigate to “Performance.” Here you will see “History States,” this is the number of times you can “undo.” Increase the slider until you feel comfortable. Keep in mind that with more History States, Photoshop will use more computer resources to store those states.

Quick Export

After editing your images in Photoshop, it is time to post them online. The easiest way to export images for online viewing is through “Quick Export.” To change the Quick Export Settings, go to “Photoshop – Preferences – Export” and adjust the settings to your desired output. In most cases, you will want Jpeg, for transparency use PNG, and for Animations use GIF.

Increase Performance

The best way to boost Photoshop performance is to add RAM. You can also allow Photoshop to use more of the RAM on your computer by going to “Photoshop – Preferences – Performance.” Here you will see the amount of available RAM and a slider to increase or decrease how much of that RAM Photoshop can use.

Try increasing the slider to 80%-90%. Keep in mind, if Photoshop is using most of the computer’s available RAM, other programs will slow down. For intense editing sessions, close down all other programs and give Photoshop a ton of RAM!

Use Scratch Disks

Once Photoshop has used all the available RAM, it will store temporary information on a “Scratch Disk.” a is a physical drive attached to your computer. You can choose to use the internal hard drive, but it is best to use a secondary drive without an operating system on it. For instance, if you have two internal hard drives, choose the one that doesn’t run the Operating System.

You can also use external drives connected via USB or Thunderbolt. Hard drive speed and connection method will influence Photoshop performance. For best results, use USB 3.0 + or Thunderbolt 2.0 + and a Solid State External Hard Drive or a Raid Array External Hard Drive.

Proper Color Settings

Photoshop offers many options when it comes to Color Space. Some of these Color Spaces are larger than others, allowing you to use more Colors when editing. In most cases, you will want to edit with the most Colors available. Our suggested Color Space is ProPhoto RGB, which is the largest available Color space.

To change Photoshop’s working Color Space, go to “Edit – Color Settings,” and in the “Working Spaces” RGB Dropdown, choose ProPhotoRGB. Be sure to check the boxes in “Color Management Policies” for “Profile Mismatches – Ask When Opening, Ask When Pasting” and “Missing Profiles – Ask when Opening.”

Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

Most of Photoshop’s Tools and features can be accessed via Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts, and learning these shortcuts can dramatically speed up your editing process. A great way to learn Keyboard Shortcuts is to print them from Photoshop! Go to “Edit – Keyboard Shortcuts,” here you can view the existing Keyboard Shortcuts and even customize your own.

To print out a list of existing shortcuts, click on the “Summarize” button to save a .HTM file. Open this file in any Web browser and print it as a quick-reference Guide to keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop!

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