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How to Work Faster in Adobe Photoshop

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Check How to Work Faster in Adobe Photoshop

At almost every stage of the Photoshop workflow, graphic designers and photographers can experience delays. Making Photoshop run faster is often a concern. From launching the application to loading images, applying effects, rendering, saving and sending files to clients, waiting on your computer can be a normal part of the day, but it doesn’t have to be layers and effects), render, restore files, Run Photoshop and other applications. Applications like Photoshop require memory (RAM) to store data while in use and access it quickly. Memory is also needed to access each image you work with.

More memory means you can process more images at once and work on everything in real time, without lag. More storage also means you can save and restore files faster. Because most Photoshop files are extremely large, they take up a lot of disk space. When files try to use more disk space than is available, your computer converts (swaps) them to long-term storage, further slowing down your productivity. Today’s goal is simply to speed up your Photoshop work, because that’s the main goal of what you’re doing today. Everything we’re about to look at is designed to help you work faster, faster, and more efficiently.

How to work faster in Photoshop

Run Photoshop CC in 64-bit mode

When using Photoshop CC, you will see two options (depending on the version). One is Photoshop CC (64-bit); the other is Photoshop CC. The 32-bit version can only use between 1.7 and 3 GB of RAM, while the 64-bit version can use as much RAM as the capacity of your computer. So depending on the machine you’re using, choosing this option can help speed things up considerably. To take advantage of your RAM, go to Edit>Preferences>Performance. The Preferences dialog shows the default preferences on my laptop. One of the first things you may notice is that the RAM is set to only 60%. This is pretty low. A good starting point is 70% and then try Photoshop to see how well it works.

It is possible to increase this setting to 85%, but you must ensure that no memory errors occur. In this case, reduce the memory usage setting. In theory, you should be able to use 100% of the RAM, but this is not practical as other running applications (for example, the font manager) could cause an out of memory error.

Also in the dialog are the history and cache settings. You can adjust the number of history states, although 20 is a good starting point. For the cache, you will see two settings. The first, cache levels, determines how Photoshop redraws high resolution images. If you have a large file, you might want to increase the cache levels to 8. If you’re working with a smaller file, you might want to lower it. And if you’re using a drawing tablet, setting cache levels can help with sensitivity and lag issues.

Tune up your computer

If you want Photoshop to run fast, you also need to make sure your computer is in tip-top condition. This means defragmenting your hard drives, fixing hard drive errors, making sure you have enough RAM, closing unnecessary programs, and installing the latest Windows updates.

Here are some good tools to have on your computer: Advanced System Care, MalwareBytes (anti-malware software) and CCleaner. Each of these programs offers system performance benefits and I have found that, with the exception of antivirus software, each program detects different problems on your hard drive.

Use a drawing tablet

A computer mouse or laptop trackpad can often be a really inefficient tool for using Photoshop, especially when it comes to masking or retouching. In particular, trying to paint or mask with a mouse can be like trying to paint with a baseball bat. So a drawing tablet is worth a try – you’ll be surprised how much it can speed up your workflow.

Note that with some tablets, for example Wacom tablets, streaks may appear on both sides of the drawing area. If you accidentally touch any of them, you may experience unexpected zoom issues. The easy way to deal with this is to disable these stripes from the Wacom interface.

Create your own workspaces

Photoshop CC gives you the ability to quickly select from multiple integrated workspaces. You can also create yours. To access workspaces, go to Window > Workspaces. In the menu on the left you will see the options for your workspace: Basic, 3D, Motion, Paint, Photography and Typography. Clicking on one of these brings up a predefined menu that you can use as a starting point. Alternatively, you can click New Workspace and design your own.

Create your own shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts is one of the most effective ways to speed up your workflow. The most commonly used keyboard shortcuts are Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V (select all, copy, and paste). Of course there are many more. Here is a list of Photoshop shortcuts to improve your workflow.

Alternatively, you can create your own keyboard shortcuts. To do this, go to Window>Workspace>Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus. As you can see, there are many different ways to speed up Photoshop. Some directly affect the program, while others affect your operating system. As you use the different techniques, you will find that their effects are cumulative. One step may not make a huge difference, but combined, their impact can be significant.

Final remarks: How to Work Faster in Adobe Photoshop

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James Hogan
James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.

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