It does not matter what kind of work you do in Photoshop, maintaining PSD files in a well-organized state is an extremely important task. This is especially important if you are working in a team with designers, developers, or artists who later have to work with your Photoshop files. In this lesson, I’ll share with you ten tips and techniques that can help you create professional and well-organized PSD files. So let’s get started!
1. Use Guides and Grids
There are many options in Photoshop that can help you align objects with each other. Guides (Guides) and Nets (Grids) are very useful tools to help you position and transform objects on your pixel grid.
2. Use smart objects for repeating items.
Use smart objects (Smart Objects) whenever you want to use multiple instances of the same layer or group of layers. This allows you to make changes to all instances at the same time simply by editing what you need in the original instance.
3. Work with groups of layers and their masks.
Layer groups are an important tool that gives us the opportunity to structure and correctly organize our Photoshop files. Place interconnected objects in a group. This will enable you or someone else, who will continue to work on this file, to easily understand where the elements are located. In addition, you can apply a mask to a group of layers at once, thereby allowing you to mask several elements at once.
4. Give names and different colors to your layers.
Naming every layer, one by one, may seem like a rather time consuming exercise, but in fact it is one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your workflow in Photoshop. With the release of the program upgrade to Photoshop CC (14.2), you have the opportunity to use 255 characters when naming your layers, which allows you to give quite a lot of information about each layer. Also do not forget about the possibility of using color labels on the layers, which makes it easy and much faster to find the layers we need. You can always use Filtering layers (Layer Filtering) at the top of the palette Layers (Layers Panel) to search for layers by their name or color labels.
5. Try to keep the text clear.
Whenever you work with text layers in Photoshop, you always need to be sure that you do not distort their appearance when using the tool. Free transform (Free Transform Tool). Instead of scaling the text, change its size in points and try to use whole numbers. In addition, you also need to make sure that your text still has the ability to edit it, so do not merge it with other layers. If you use the same styling on several text layers, then you need to define styles. Character and Paragraph (Character and Paragraph Styles) to save time and be more organized.
6. Use Layer Compositions instead of multiple PSD files.
If you need to use several layout options in Photoshop, then you’d better use the option Layer Compositions (Layer Comps), instead of saving separate PSD files for each of the options. The advantage of storing only one PSD file using Layer Compositions (Layer Comps), is that you can still make changes to your layers and see the resulting changes on your saved Layer Compositions (Layer Comps). This can be a very good option to save time, and by applying Layer Compositions (Layer Comps), you can also save a significant amount of memory for storing your projects.
7. Use adjustment layers
Adjustment layers (Adjustment Layers) is a great tool to help you apply non-destructive editing effects to your Photoshop images. In addition, anyone working with your PSD file can quickly see exactly which settings you used for a particular item.
8. Use Vector shapes whenever possible.
Vector masks (Vector Masks), vector shapes (Shapes) and contours (Paths) provide much more flexibility than raster layers, and they can be easily edited and customized using tools such as Node selection (Direct Selection Tool) and Pen (Pen Tool). The main advantage of working with vector graphics is that it is completely independent of the screen resolution, which in practice means that we can freely resize a vector object without loss of quality.
9. Use swatches for matching colors.
If you chose your color scheme for the project in the early stages, i.e. During the design process, take care of creating patterns for your chosen colors. Saving color swatches in the palette Samples (Swatches Panel) will give you further quick and easy access to your color scheme.
10. Remove unwanted layers.
Unnecessary layers will clutter up your file and increase its size on the disk. To reduce clutter, remove unnecessary layers or merge them together, where and when it is possible. Vector layers, for example, can be merged together, while it is not necessary to rasterize them. To remove empty layers in Photoshop, select the menu Editing – Scripts (Edit> Scripts), next Delete all empty layers (Delete All Empty Layers), or use the filtering options in the palette Layers (Layer Panel).