Photoshop has become an absolute need for most designers nowadays. The learning curve never really stops in this program, partially because of its huge range of capabilities, but also because of software updates. It is important to acknowledge that fact, otherwise you quickly end up using it only for your everyday use and limit yourself. Even worst, you may be wasting time doing things the hard way or not automating what you could. Now let’s take a look at how to change that.

Time savers you should know about

  • Workspaces
    By setting up different workspaces for specific tasks, for example photo retouching, drawing or icon designing, you’ll save time not having to open and close toolsets all the time.
    Customizing Photoshop workspaces
  • Learn how to use color profiles
    Tired of never knowing how your printed document will look like? Ask the print company you are used to work with for his color profiles and set them up on your Photoshop (and other designing softwares). That way you will be more accurate and will relieve some of the anxiety felt when bringing documents to the print company.
    Set up color-managed print workflows
  • Scripts
    This is probably the biggest time saver of all. Automating tasks by recording it once, then just pressing a keyboard combination to do it again. If properly setted up, it can save up to 50% of the time you spend on Photoshop, no kidding! For example, I use it to resize and resample images I put on Designer Daily. Other smart uses can be color conversion, profile conversion, bulk file resizing,…
    Working with Photoshop Scripts

This said, that’s only a tiny part of what you can learn on Photoshop. I can’t extend this article too much, so I just add a list of places where you can learn the do-it-all image software.

How to learn Photoshop

  • Digg in the software’s help
    Believe it or not, that’s how I learned the most about Photoshop. The help section is so full of informations that it’s hard not to find what you are looking for. It’s even better if you are getting in more specific or technical information.
  • Get a good book about Photoshop
    There are countless books about the popular imaging software. The main reason you should get a book about it is that it will help your general understanding of how the software works and how to think when using it, at least it’s what it did for me. You can go on Amazon and pick a book doing a search or go directly to Photoshop CS3 classroom or Photoshop CS3 for digital photographers if you want to get more specific.
  • Subscribe to tutorials sites
    Sites like PSDtuts or PhotoshopStar are a great way to improve. They provide regular articles to learn how to get to a specific result. That way you’ll learn tips that you won’t find in books, simply because the power of Photoshop so big that you can get very creative when mixing techniques.
  • Subscribe to Photoshop podcasts/videocast
    I am not really a big fan of podcasting in general, but I did subscribe to Photoshop User TV. Even though the show are too long to my taste, the information given is great with a mix of full tutorials and quick tips. The other way is to learn Photoshop using Youtube. Of course, while you are on Youtube you can’t miss the legendary “You suck at Photoshop” tutorials, they are just hilarious.