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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 September 20, 2018

                                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                                  In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                                  Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                                  In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                                  Minimizing Tabs

                                  Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                                  Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                                  Incognito Mode

                                  Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                                  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                                  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                                  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                                  This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                                  Save Webpages as PDF Files

                                  Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                                  Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                                  Open Recently-closed Tabs

                                  Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                                  One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                                  The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                                  Solve Mathematical Problems

                                  Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                                  For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                                  Play Media Files

                                  Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                                  In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                                  Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                                  With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                                  Stay Focus(e)d

                                  Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                                  Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                                  With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                                  This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                                  Grammarly for Editing

                                  Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                                  You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                                  Loom

                                  There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                                  There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                                  With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                                  Chrome Calendar Extension

                                  No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                                  Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                                  Final Thoughts

                                  Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                                  Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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