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20 Incredible Photoshop Tools To Make Life Easier

20 Incredible Photoshop Tools To Make Life Easier

Photoshop is the standard for image editing. Photographers use it, hobbyists use it, and even we bloggers use it to re-size and create images for articles. Every image in every article I’ve ever written has been made in Photoshop. Designers design things like awesome backgrounds and logos. In short, Photoshop is awesome. Here are 20 Photoshop tools to make an awesome app even more awesome!

1. Blendme.in plugin

BlendMe Photoshop tools

    First up is a fun plugin called Blendme.in. With this plugin you’ll have access to thousands of logos, icons, and other assets. This is great for web designers and people who do work on logos. It’s also fun to have around if you like to add little things to your photos or just want to have a bunch of assets around just in case.

    2. CSS3Ps plugin

    This nifty plugin is amazing for web designers. What it does is convert your Photoshop layers to CSS3 so you can put them onto your website. It installs a single button that you press and make it all happen. It’s a great shortcut and it’s absolutely free.

    3. Cut&Slice Me

    Cut&Slice Me Photoshop tools

      This nifty plugin is a little difficult to work with sometimes but once you get used to it, it can be very powerful. This is predominately for people who design interfaces like you’d see on an iOS or an Android device. It allows you to cut and slide various assets automatically just by changing the name and clicking a button. It’s also totally free!

      4. GuideGuide

      GuideGuide photoshop tools

        This is another plugin that’s aimed at web designers but can still be useful for pretty much anyone. GuideGuide creates guides in Photoshop so you can design your website pages or app pages within specified margins. It’s simple to configure and use. It’s also great if you just need some grids.

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        5. Pixel Dropr

        Pixel Dropr is a unique little tool that lets you save various objects and elements separate from the whole project so that you can create a library of assets. This is great for pretty much anyone from web designers to regular designers and even UI designers. This one does cost money and it’ll set you back $19, $29, or $99 depending on how many features need.

        6. SpecKing

        SpecKing is a tool that will measure your various designs and create annotations so that you can see the measurements of your designs. This is useful for those who need to distance and design things to precise measurements and it’s also pretty nifty to see how far your various resources are from one another. It’s $19 but it can be fairly useful for you professionals out there.

        7. Perspective Mockups

        photoshop tools

          This slightly brash plugin takes your designs and turns them into a presentation that you can show clients. It doesn’t add to the functionality of Photoshop all that much but a well presented idea can get you the sale just as much as the design itself. It costs $19 but it can be totally worth it if your presentations need some spice. The website’s language is a tad strong but they get the point across really well.

          8. Subtle Patterns

          photoshop tools

            Subtle Patterns is a huge collection of patterns that you can use in your designs. The site has a total of nearly 400 patterns that you can buy for a total of $11.99. It may seem a little expensive for patterns but these are professionally made and they actually look pretty good. Anyone who designs regularly knows the need for some good patterns.

            9. Layer Style Jailbreak

            photoshop tools

              This is a very fun trick that requires no additional downloads. If you follow the link you’ll find a video of Luke Holder as he teaches you how to turn layer effects into their own layers. When they become their own layers it allows you to edit and customize them even more than you can when they’re only layers. This is useful for things like drop shadows which you can continue to change using tools like Free Transform.

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              10. Improve Photoshop speed

              photoshop tools

                The best experiences of Photoshop are ones where Photoshop works well and with these two tricks you can do just that. If you follow the links you’ll be sent to a site that’ll walk you through optimizing your cache and image preview settings to make your Photoshop run faster and better. Say goodbye to long wait times and laggy performance!

                11. Photoshoptimizer

                photoshop tools

                  This little website walks you through a few more Photoshop optimizing tricks that include optimizations of font previews and history states. Like we said a moment ago, the best Photoshop experience are ones where Photoshop is running quickly and without issues. With this website you can get that.

                  12. Sprite Generator

                  Sprite Generator photoshop tools

                    Web designers using Photoshop are faced with challenges. While designing website stuff may not be the most difficult work on the planet, it is extremely tedious. An app like AtlasCSS Sprite Generator can help with that. You can use the free script to create buttons and a little bit of website coding to make the buttons work. It’s quick, simple, and free.

                    13. Punchcut

                    Punchout photoshop tools

                      Punchcut is a powerful plugin that helps you design for a myriad of screen sizes and aspect ratios. It has support for popular aspect ratios like 4:3 and 16:9 along with popular resolutions like 1080p, 720p, 960p. Designing for multiple screen sizes, resolutions, and aspect ratios can be a serious pain and tools like Punchcut can make it easier.

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                      14. Photoshop Secret Shortcuts

                      photoshop tools

                        We could easily finish out this list with little-known shortcuts within Photoshop itself but we’d rather tell you about more awesome plugins and let this website do the work for us. Using Photoshop Secret Shortcuts you can find 30 awesome shortcuts to help you increase productivity. A lot of it simple stuff that even the semi pros already know about but for those who are learning, this is a great list to read. Do keep in mind that this is written for Macs so Windows users will have to figure out the keyboard translations.

                        15. ColoRotate

                        photoshop tools

                          ColoRotate is a plugin that helps you deal better with color. It’s managed by a community which is nice. That means there are multiple people working on it. It also has a 3D presentation that lets you customize and create your own color palettes. It’s $9.99 which is less expensive than many of these other ones.

                          16. Layer Vault

                          photoshop tools

                            There is one sentence that sold this plugin for me. You have on-demand access to every edit you make on a project. As we all know, Photoshop can only take a step backwards so many times before it cuts you off and with something like Layer Vault, those limitations are gone. It saves your work and syncs it to places like Dropbox. You can try it before you buy it and that’s always a good thing.

                            17. HSL Picker

                            photoshop tools

                              HSL Picker is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is a Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity picker that also converts the color you create to hex so that you can put it in Photoshop and use it there. It’s incredibly simple to use and it’s free so that already makes it a great website to keep in the bookmarks. The URL also updates with whatever color you create so if you want to share, just copy and paste the URL and your friends will see the color you made.

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                              18. Social Kit

                              social kit

                                If you’re not designing stuff with social media in mind these days, you’re simply doing it wrong. Plugins like Social Kit can help! It includes a number of templates for the four biggest social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube) so you can create awesome buttons and social media graphics for websites. It’s simple but powerful and free to boot! You just need to create an account to download it.

                                19. Layrs

                                photoshop tools

                                  The last plugin on our list is called Layrs. This handy plugin takes a lot of the tedious jobs in Photoshop and allows you to automate them. It removes unused effects, lets you batch rename layers, delete empty layers, rasterize smart objects, and more. It’s free to use and it’s simple but if you’ve ever had to rename all the layers in a project and there are about 85 layers, then you know why a tool like this is useful.

                                  20. The top 15 features all photographers should know

                                  We hope you have a couple of hours on your hands. In the YouTube video embedded above, there is a two hour lecture on 15 of the best Photoshop tools for photographers. It goes over things like cloning, retouching, 3D effects, and a lot more. Again, it is two hours long so make sure you grab the laptop with Photoshop on it and a bag of popcorn.

                                   

                                  There are hundreds of Photoshop plugins but there are few that provide more real world functionality than these plugins and tools. Even though other image editors are gaining steam, we don’t see Photoshop losing its place at the top of the mountain anytime soon.

                                  Featured photo credit: Wallpaper Stock via img.wallpaperstock.net

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                                  Published on November 9, 2018

                                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                  Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                  Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                  So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                  6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                  When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                  Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                  To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                  In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                  • Microsoft Excel
                                  • Microsoft Access
                                  • Statistics
                                  • Data Analytics
                                  • Adobe Campaign
                                  • Quickbooks
                                  • XML Database management system
                                  • Filemaker Pro
                                  • MATLAB
                                  • Hive
                                  • FORTRAN
                                  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                  • SAS

                                  2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                  Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                  Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                  • Content Management System (CMS)
                                  • Google Analytics
                                  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                  • Email Marketing
                                  • Web Page Design
                                  • WordPress
                                  • Digital Media
                                  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                  • Campaign Management Software

                                  3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                  A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                  • Adobe Photoshop
                                  • Adobe InDesign
                                  • Adobe Illustrator
                                  • AutoCAD
                                  • CorelDRAW
                                  • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                  • Maya
                                  • Microsoft Word
                                  • Microsoft Publisher
                                  • Operating Digital Cameras

                                  4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                  The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                  To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                  • HTML
                                  • C/C++
                                  • Java
                                  • Python
                                  • XML
                                  • UI/UX
                                  • LINUX
                                  • CISC and RISC architecture
                                  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                  • Memory Management
                                  • PCB Layout
                                  • SQL

                                  5. IT Troubleshooting

                                  Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                  So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                  • Backup management
                                  • Diagnostics
                                  • End User support
                                  • Client-Server management
                                  • Installation and configuration
                                  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                  • System administration
                                  • Tech support

                                  6. Enterprise Systems

                                  Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                  Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                  The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                  Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                  Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                  Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                  1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                  a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                  Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                  b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                  This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                  c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                  Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                  Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                  2. Rule the Social Media World

                                  a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                  Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                  From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                  b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                  This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                  c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                  Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                  Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                  3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                  a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                  From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                  b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                  Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                  The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                  c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                  The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                  4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                  a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                  It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                  From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                  b. Canva Design School

                                  From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                  c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                  62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                  d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                  The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                  Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                  5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                  a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                  IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                  It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                  b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                  The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                  Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                  The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                  Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                  Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                  It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                  Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                  2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                  Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                  For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                  3. Look for Shortcuts

                                  Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                  4. Apply for an Internship

                                  Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                  By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                  So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                  Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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