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Another 10 Photoshop Tips to Make Your Life Easier
By Shaun Pearce

1. To auto-select a layer. Hold down the Cmd/Ctrl key while clicking on a layer in Photoshop's main image window

2. If you want to remove all the colour from an image, and don't want to go into grayscale mode, press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+U (called 'Desaturate') and make your image grayscale while still in RGB mode. Note: using the channel mixer will produce a better result. Click on the Grayscale option.

3. If you want to move a selection to its own layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy the selection. To cut and move a selection, press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+J

4. To hide the 'marching ants' (selection marquee). Press Ctrl/Cmd+H

5. If you are using the Lasso Tools, and want to set a feather, just press the Return/Enter key and the Feather field in the Options palette will highlight and you can enter or change the value.

6. To fill a layer or selection with the foreground colour, press Alt/Option+Delete. To fill a layer or selection with the background colour, press Cmd/Ctrl+Delete.

7. To change the brush size. Press the [ ] keys. If you hold the shift key down and press the [and ] keys, the brush gets softer and harder, respectively. (You can change the level up to five times).

8. If you want to quickly remove scratches or blemishes from a photo and your version of Photoshop doesn't have the Spot Healing Brush, double click on the Blur Tool, and in the Blur Tool Options palette, lower the opacity to 15%, then change the mode to Lighten. When you paint over the scratches they will disappear!

9. To draw a straight line with any of the brush tools, just click, hold the Shift key, and click again where you want the line to end. Photoshop will draw a straight line between the two points! This trick also works with most tools, including erasers and even the highlight tool in the Extract filter.

10. In the Layers palette, when you choose Duplicate Layer, you can change the document setting to 'New' to create a brand new picture from any layer.

Shaun Pearce is a writer, video maker, and Photoshop expert. Right now, he's giving away a free report about the part of Photoshop that causes the most headaches to users: Layers. You can access it by going to

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Date Posted: 2008-01-23

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