The Best Practices For Photoshop CS6

There are several graphical software presently in existence. Adobe Photoshop CS6 is however, arguably the best among them, as it comes with a lot of features that make it interesting for both experts and beginners alike. Experts and beginners have access to a lot of tools they can utilize to carry out their photo-editing and graphical tasks on Adobe Photoshop CS6 compared to other graphical software. Here are some best practices on Adobe Photoshop, which at least one or more is lacking in other graphics software.


Simple Naming And Colored Conventions For Changed States

When you are working with a PSD with many states (for example, hover or active state of a button), you can use a convention that can be understood easily to indicate it so that you can quickly remember. You can change the name of the active state of a red button to “ACTIVE red button”. Adobe Photoshop CS6 also allows you to use different color labels for different groups and layers of specific objects. For instance, you could use green labels for hover states and blue labels for active states.

Utilization Of Groups

The most efficient way of organizing your PSD is to group the layers. Elements at the higher level such as footer groups, section groups and header groups, or elements group that are related such as graphical, elements, banner or buttons. When you group your elements in this way, it becomes convenient and easy to move around your PSD. Another advantage of utilizing groups is that Adobe Photoshop CS6 allows you to carry out clipping of masks and adding layer styles to a group.

Naming Every Object

If you are familiar with all the enhancements in the Adobe Photoshop CS6, you should have noticed that a new feature has been added which gives you the ability to search for layers. With this important new feature, you can name all your layers and easily locate them by searching for them. This best practice would make it easier to work on the different layers in your work, without getting confused or finding it difficult to locate a particular layer.


Using Ordering Groups And Hierarchical Orders

You should endeavor to group your layers in a particular hierarchy. This allows you to easily trace your layers. The 2 hierarchical orders you could choose from include “top to bottom” or “bottom to top” hierarchical orders. You would get to see the importance of this when you have a page with a header, footer and 4 body sections. It would not be in the best practice to put your header in between your footer and body sections or at the bottom, or leave your footer at the top or middle of the hierarchy. The correct hierarchical order should be header, the 4 body sections in the order they appeared on the web page and then the footer. This will make it easy for you or any other person who would have to work on the PSD or view it to move through your file.

Grouping Related Layers Together

One frustrating experience that always occurs when working with graphical software is trying to find and salvage layers that are scattered. To prevent this, you can ensure that related layers are close together when you are working on your PSD. If you are not mindful of it, you could easily allow one or more layer to separate from other layers that are related to it. You should thus ensure that while working and after every working session, you trace all your layers and ensure that layers that are related to each other are close together.

Using A Vector To Rule Or Mask Every Object

There are times when you want to apply specific effects or edit more than one element at the same time on your PSD. Adobe Photoshop allows you to achieve this by using one vector mask on the several objects. It is even possible to use a big vector mask on all the elements in your PSD, making it possible for you to edit all the objects at once. The challenge you can sometimes encounter while doing this however, is moving around layers with different shape. You can overcome this challenge by right clicking on a particular part to get a drop down menu. Proper planning can help you avoid difficulties with vector masks that are too big.

Using Smart Objects

There are cases where you decide to maintain the actual object’s EPS. There are also other cases where you want to merge several instances of an element so that it is simpler for you to edit them on a .PSB format. You can achieve this by using the smart objects. You should thus look out for places where smart object would enhance your workflow and apply them appropriately.

Clipping Masks

If you are working on graphics or images in a placeholder that is located inside a particular section or shape, clipping masks could come in handy in this situation. Instead of transferring and editing vector and layer masks, clipping masks allow you to put any graphic or image into any particular space of pixel. In addition, you can identify them easily, easily edit them in a flexible manner and always ensure your elements in layers that are related, are always close to each other.

Quick Style And Color Editing

One action you will need to carry out regularly, while working on your PSD, is to change the style or color of an element in your design. You can make it easier to do this by using clipping masks, layer style effects with color overlay and shape layers to conveniently and easily edit your job. Furthermore, you can use grey colored gradients to pick the type of gradient effects you want to apply to the object as opposed to using the actual colored gradient.

Locking Of Elements You Do Not Want To Change

Perhaps, you might have been in a position where you, either through a sudden inspiration or masterfully, achieve a particular design on a particular element of your work. You know at that moment, that the element’s current look is perfect for your work and you are scared you could mistakenly change it, so you created a copy. After you invested several more hours of work on the file, you feel you have completed the job and in the process of deleting the old and redundant file, you deleted the new one instead. You were now forced to rework on the old file and probably was not able to replicate the quality of your initial final work you deleted in addition to the extra hours and stress. You could however save yourself from this condition, by locking elements you are already comfortable with instead of creating redundant and confusing copies of your work. Once the elements are locked, you would not be able to change them mistakenly. It is however worthy of note that you can easily unlock such elements if you want to and re-lock them. You thus have a high range of flexibility and best practices on Adobe Photoshop CS6.


Confirming If A Layer Is Empty Or Not

Layers with a high percentage of transparency can be difficult to select. Sometimes, you might be tempted to think such layers are empty. You can however check if a layer is empty or not by using the ‘Ctrl + T’ command. This will help you to make decisions such as deleting such layers if they are really empty or not.

Selecting Multi-Layer Selection

There are cases whereby it gets difficult for you to active and select a specific group or layer. You can use the multi-layer select capability of Adobe CS6 to easily select these elements, groups or layer.


When you want to use backgrounds that are styled on a web page, there is the probability of the background being full bleed on some screen resolutions while it will not be full bleed on other screen resolutions. You can thus decide to make your styled background to change into solid colors, so that solid colors display on screen resolutions that are not compatible with your styled background. You should also ensure your background is seamless and tileable if you are using a textured background. You can also use images for your background, which you should set as full bleed so that it can easily adjust on different monitor resolutions.


A best practice you should apply on Adobe Photoshop CS6 is to ensure that you save your file with file names that are descriptive of the name. You should name the about us page of IJK company as IJK_about_us. Furthermore, if you have different copies of the file, you could save successive versions as IJK_about_us_1, IJK_about_us_2, IJK_about_us_3 and so on. This will make it easier to trace the most recent version of the file or go back to a particular version. When you also want to delete redundant files, it will be easier to know what versions to delete and what versions to leave.



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