As a web designer, anything that can help me save time here and there is essential to my existence. I think any designer can agree with me, even if you work at an agency or if you’re just doing your own thing – time is money. What makes you an asset to any company is how fast you can do your work and the quality that you put out.
So on that note, here are 4 essential Photoshop tricks/tools I could not live without. Call them totally-legit-time-crunchers if you will:
Creating a “Style” & “Swatch” Set
Anytime I work on a new client, I always make sure to save the essential color palette into a swatch set. I also create a style set of any gradients or styles I’ve utilized in the design. Both of these make it way easy on me to add color and styles on the fly to an H1 or a nav bar.
Turning on Smart Guides
This is pretty much the most efficient way of aligning elements, objects, and text in your comp. Once turned on, that pretty little pink line makes sure everything is perfectly in line horizontally, vertically, and so on. Woo!
I know a lot of designers who don’t really like to use layer comps. However, to me, they are a very effective way of not having to replicate your entire design just to show one “hover state” that is required when mocking up your design. It also cuts back on your file size since you don’t have to copy an entire group to show just one simple change.
Layer Select FTW. Let me just say that there is not a day in my life that I do not use layer select. Utilized by pressing (V) the move tool and holding down the (⌘) command key. If you want to go directly to any layer, this is by far the easiest way to get there. Think of it as a teleportation device you can use anytime to travel anywhere in your PSD. Totally essential!
These are only just a few tools I use anytime I fire up le’ Photoshop. But of course there are a million ways to do things in PS, it’s so versatile.
What are some tools, tricks and tips you couldn’t live without that help you save time? Should someone invent a teleportation device similar to Photoshop’s Layer Select tool that you can click on a map and automatically go right there?
Do you worship ⌘ + Z or any other keyboard shortcut?