Just a few moments ago, I was teaching someone how to manage the workspace in Adobe Photoshop. A number of times, I said, “There are about a millions ways to do the same things in this program.” It’s true. You can follow a number of different paths in Photoshop and arrive at the same destination. It’s sort of confusing at first, but after a while, you get used to it.
Since this is top of mind, I figured I’d write a post where I’ll share a few really cool tips regarding the workspace. I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen these before. They’re not going to be anything all too dramatic, but they can be helpful if you’re doing comparative editing on multiple photos. Photoshop makes it so easy to show images side by side and to move them around and manage them efficiently.
In today’s post, I think I’ll open three of the same exact photographs into Adobe Photoshop. There could be any number of reasons I’d do something like this, from adding different adjustment layers to them to selecting and editing various objects in them to coloring them in some way. Really anything. The reason doesn’t matter today because that’s not the point of this post. The point of the post is to share how you can easily manage and arrange the photos once they’re launched into the application. After all, if you can’t view the images easily and efficiently, it’ll take all day to work on them and to finish the task at hand.
The Demo Photo
I could have used any photo on earth for this post because it’s simply a workspace demonstration. I thought I’d go with this one though because there’s a defined object in the image and that object will help later on when I show you something below.
Showing Tabs Side-by-Side
Okay, I’ve gone ahead and opened this same exact image three times in Adobe Photoshop. I now have three tabs, but only one picture is showing. Since my goal is to make changes to each of these three images, I’d surely like it if I could see all three simultaneously for the sake of comparison.
Before I go any further though, let me show you what I’m talking about. Take a look at this screenshot below. You can see that I’ve got multiple tabs with the contents of one tab visible. This is very normal and it’s what pretty much everyone sees.
Okay, since I’d like to arrange these tabs in such a way as to view all three at the same time, I’ll head up to the Window > Arrange > 3-Up Vertical menu item and click.
When I do that, I’ll see the different tabs line up vertically, just as the menu item suggests. Check it out.
If you take a look around the menu item I used, you’ll see that you can arrange tabs all sorts of different ways, depending on how you’d like to view them. I just used the 3-Up option because it fit my needs at the moment. You’ll need to think of the possibilities when you use this type of feature.
Navigating the Images with the Hand Tool
One of the most common tasks you’ll find yourself engaged in when working on multiple images with a view like this is trying to navigate those images. What I mean by this is, trying to move the images around in an attempt to find something specific. As you may have noticed, the view of each photo is now constrained as opposed to having a clear view of each one when viewed individually. The best way I know how to scroll the images is to use the Hand Tool.
When using the Hand Tool, you’ll have the ability to click and drag the image around to see different parts of it.
The problem is, it’s not very helpful when you use the Hand Tool to click and drag just one image. Do you really have to do this for all three, one at a time? That would be quite cumbersome. The answer is no. If you use the Hand Tool and then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and click and drag just one image, all three images will move as well, as if they’re locked together. Since I can’t create a screenshot for this, you’ll have to experiment with it. Give it a try, it’s pretty cool.
Matching Location & More
Let’s say I was doing some very detailed work to the bottle caps in the demo photo. I already used the Hand Tool to navigate the first photo so the bottle caps are in clear view, but I forgot to hold the Shift key so the other caps followed along. In this situation, I have the caps in one photo visible, but the caps in the other photos are still hidden. The question is, can I somehow automatically navigate the other images so they show the same exact location of the first image? Why yes I can, but you already knew that.
To have other tabs match the locations of the images they contain with a leading tab, I’ll head up to the Window > Arrange > Match Location menu item and click. When I do this, the bottle caps in the remaining two images will snap to the same exact viewable location as the first one.
This is certainly a helpful feature to have at our fingertips, I’d say. Also, if you look around in this menu item’s section, you’ll see other options, such as Match Zoom, Match Rotation and Match All. With these tools, you can pretty much match anything in any image you’re working one, which is extremely helpful.
I know these were some random tips about arranging, navigating and matching the locations of files in Adobe Photoshop, but I hope I clearly explained how to take advantage of them and that they help in some way. If you have any questions regarding this post, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!