Out of all the programs out there, Photoshop is the one I use most often for blogging. I use it to edit photographs of course, but it also helps me create post graphics, photo collages, blog design mockups, color palettes, and so many other things. While most of the tools in Photoshop are extremely useful and important, I want to highlight the top ten tools that make blog-preparation easiest for me. Each tool in Photoshop has a shortcut that makes it really easy to switch back and forth between tools. Yay for time savers!
1. Move Tool (shortcut: V) – I know, I know. This one is a no-brainer. Moving things around in Photoshop can feel tedious at times though, like when you’re having to switch back and forth between tools. Clicking “V” on your keyboard makes the whole process so efficient. When the Move Tool is selected, you can also use the arrow buttons on your keyboard to move objects around.
2. Crop Tool (shortcut: C) – This is another obvious go-to Photoshop tool. When making collages, I always use the crop tool to figure out my ratios, make photos square, etc.
3. Paint Bucket (shortcut: G) – Does the paint bucket icon make anyone else super nostalgic? Brings me back to MS Paint days. In Photoshop, this tool shares a shortcut with the Gradient Tool as well. Both are perfect for blog post graphic backgrounds and mood boards.
4. Type Tools (shortcut: T) – Normally, you’ll probably be using the default Horizontal Type Tool but every now and then it’s fun to experiment with Vertical Type or Type Masks. I talked a little about how Type Masks work on my tutorial on creating gold leaf hand lettering.
5. Shape Tools (shortcut: U) – Rectangles, circles, hexagons, hearts… you can do it all. Remember to hold the Shift Key down if you want to keep an even ratio!
6. Eyedropper (shortcut: I) – When you click part of an image with the eyedropper tool, you can find the hex color code, along with all the RGB/CMYK info. This is how beautiful color palettes are made. :)
7. Magic Wand (shortcut: W) – One of my favorite tools ever! The Magic Wand Tool allows to you quickly select all similar areas of an image or graphic. So if you have a really contrasted image (ie. a dark product on a light background), you can click the background with the Magic Wand, and edit that part of the image only. This is a great tool for erasing backgrounds when you’re making product collages for your blog. I wrote a little more about it in this post.
8. Magic Eraser (shortcut: E) – This tool goes hand in hand with the Magic Wand. It allows you to erase large similar areas of an image or graphic quickly in one click.
9. Background Eraser (shortcut: E) – Another great variation of the eraser tool. I don’t use this one a lot but it can be helpful in erasing tricky backgrounds. It works like the regular eraser tool but is a little slower and staggered. It recognizes the contrast between the object and the background.
10. Spot Healing Brush (shortcut: J) – When I first started using Photoshop, I thought this was the coolest thing. It makes little imperfections just disappear. I’ve used this tool for all sorts of reasons. To remove dust on a photo of my computer. To remove blemishes from photos of my face. To blend textures together to create repeating backgrounds. Love this thing.
Do you have any favorite Photoshop tools for blogging that I didn’t list? Always up for learning new tricks.
Also, would any of you be interested in posts on Illustrator?