Helpful tools in Photoshop you’re not using

Working with Photoshop can be a daunting experience so in an effort to shed some light on some lesser-used functions, I’ve come up with a short list of “tips and tricks” that I’ve found particularly useful.

1.      Batch

a. In May, OPP attended a conference and returned with hundreds of photos. As is often the case with indoor lighting, the photos were quite yellow. In comes the Batch function.

b. The first step is to create an action for the photos which is done in the Actions pane.  Name the action, set a hotkey and highlight color if desired, and click on Record. Whatever steps are now taken will be recorded until the recording is stopped.

c. The next step is to go to File >> Automate >> Batch. The action you just created should now be populating the Action field. Set the source, destination, and then choose the naming convention you prefer.

d. The JPEG Options dialog box will appear; set the quality you prefer and click OK.

e. That’s it! Your files should be in the destination folder you chose with the appropriate action(s) performed.

2.      Save for Web

a. One of my favorite time savers is the Save for Web function. Saving for web will strip any “extra data” (metadata you don’t explicitly tell it to save) from the file, set the pixels per inch (PPI) to 72, and convert to RGB, if necessary.

b. With the file open, go to File >> Export >> Save for Web (Legacy).  You’ll be presented with a dialog box where you can select the file type (JPEG, GIF, or PNG), change the image size, and other functions. The presets can be used or you can make the appropriate changes and click Save.

c. The next dialog box allows you to change the file name and location as you see fit. And you’re done.

3.      Color sampling outside Photoshop

a. This one can really make your life easier. Sometimes the perfect color is outside of the document, but the values to recreate it may be unknown. Luckily, using the Eyedropper tool, this is not an issue.

b. First, you want the Photoshop window to be small enough that the color you want is also visible on your screen. With the Eyedropper selected ( click anywhere in the Photoshop document and hold. You should see the standard Eyedropper with color circles.  Now, simply drag the Eyedropper to the color you want to sample and you should see the foreground color change in Photoshop. That’s all, folks!

So there you have it; just a few shortcuts I’ve found helpful along the way. I hope you enjoyed these tips and tricks. Keep an eye on the OPP blog for a variety of interesting topics in the future. Thanks for reading!

Note: I’m using CC 2015 on a Mac. Other versions may vary slightly from the processes described here, but in my experience it’s generally fairly similar.

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