Over the course of several years, I did try to learn Photoshop a few times but I always quickly gave up because I found the interface really confusing and I couldn’t figure out how to do a lot of really common things. Even when I worked at Adobe, I kept using Photo-Paint for any graphics work I did at home because it was just so much easier. But a few years ago I took a job that required me to do graphics as part of it so I had to finally really learn Photoshop.
Since then, I’ve become fairly proficient with it but there are still lots of things that drive me crazy about the product, especially things that I consider to be completely basic tasks. So when I recently learned how to do a few of these things I decided I should share them here to hopefully help others who have felt the same frustration when trying to copy layers from one document to another, drag layers onto the canvas, and align layers to the canvas.
Note: All these tips apply to Windows. I know that there are some features in Photoshop for Macs that aren’t available for Windows, so if you’re a Mac user, these may not be a problem for you.
I will NEVER understand why Adobe refuses to implement standard copy and paste functionality in Photoshop. And while there are a few different ways to copy layers from one document to another, the ones I previously knew were either a hassle (draggin and dropping involves several steps) or sub-optimal (selecting, copying and pasting a layer doesn’t take layer styles along with it and doesn’t work for groups).
There are various times when you’ll have layers in your document that are located outside of the canvas. You may have moved it there temporarily or maybe in the example above you pasted the layer into a document that’s smaller than the original. Now one would think that you could simply select the layer and when the bounding box appears, drag it to the canvas. Uh, no. It just stays locked in place. You can use the arrow keys to nudge the layer, but that is a slow process depending how far it’s off the canvas.
This is definitely something I do a lot and in Photo-Paint this was just another alignment option to go along with aligning layers to each other. Again, why Adobe won’t just add that option is a mystery… My workaround used to be aligning g layer to the background but if you have a lot of layers, scrolling down to the background is not convenient. Plus, some documents don’t have backgrounds at all. So when I learned this little secret just last week, I practically danced with joy, and I’ve used it dozens of times since then.
These may seem like small things, but if you do a lot of work in Photoshop (like I do), every unnecessary step you can cut out makes a big difference.
By the way, if you know any better ways to do any of the above things, please leave a comment below!
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