I’ve got two really cool and very simple Photoshop tricks for you today. Both are super helpful, so you’ll want to bookmark this page for later use. If you’re a Photoshop power user and find yourself inside of Photoshop more than any other application, you either already know about these two tips or you need to know about them.
Okay, let’s say I’ve got Photoshop opened up and I’ve already imported three photographs as layers from Adobe Bridge. My goal is to make a sort of arrangement of these images for a magazine layout, so I’d like to situate the images in a scattered fashion. Kind of overlapping. I’ll need to reduce the size of each image and then arrange them the way I want. Here, take a look.
As you can see, I’ve got three different image layers inside of the canvas as well as inside of the Layers panel. To arrange these photos, you can imagine that I might have to do a lot of nudging. And to do that, I’d have to repeatedly click each layer inside of the Layers panel to first select it and then nudge it with either my mouse or the arrow keys on my keyboard. If you’ve ever done anything like this, you know how tedious it can be to first find which layer you’d like to move and then click to select it inside the panel. Here’s a better way. It’s tip number one. To directly select a layer with your mouse, all you need to do is hold down the Ctrl (Mac: Command) key on your keyboard and then simply click on the layer in the canvas (work area). Then you can move it from there. This removes the difficulty of having to closely examine each layer thumbnail or name inside of the Layers panel and then continuously click. Easy, right?
Onto the second tip. As you can imagine, when creating a layout such as the one I displayed above, you’ll likely have some leftover margin around the images you arranged. If you take a peek at the screenshot above once more, you can see the transparent area around the entire canvas. This area should probably be removed, which can be a pain to do with the Crop Tool. With that tool, you may precisely trim the excess canvas from the work area or you may not. That’s up to how steady your hand is and how good your eye is.
A better way to trim the transparent area from around a canvas is to head up to the Image > Trim menu item and then click. When you do that, the Trim dialog box will appear, where you can select the Transparent Pixels option and click OK.
Doing this should shrink down the canvas so it hugs the outer edges of the layers inside of it. Again, that’s super easy.
Any questions, please ask down below. Thanks!