Faster layer renaming in Photoshop

The fastest way to manually rename a bunch of layers in Photoshop is to double-click / run your keyboard shortcut for “Layer” → “Rename Layer…” (in my case Shift+CMD+R) on one then use the tab key to apply the new layer name and jump to the next visible layer. I’ve known about this shortcut for a good long while now.

A GIF of layers being renamed with the tab key

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Save for Web in Photoshop CC 2015

As of Photoshop CC 2015, Save for Web is deemed a legacy feature. It’s held up pretty well over the years I think, considering it was built on top of ImageReady which was first released in 1998 (again, nice to see the Photoshop team pushing things forward).

If, like me, your workflow relies heavily on Save for Web, then no need to worry just yet. No features have been removed from it and whilst it may be removed in the future, it won’t be going anywhere for time time being. Nor will this update have any affect on your actions and scripts.

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Quick Export in Photoshop CC 2015

Amongst the banner features announced for Photoshop CC 2015, there are a few small niceties that have been added too. My favourite so far is “Quick Export as PNG”.

Before now I had an action that would duplicate my selected layer or group to a new document, trim the transparent space on all sides and save it as a PNG to my desktop. But no more.

There are 2 different ways you can use Quick Export. Either by going to “File” → “Export” → “Quick Export as PNG” if you want to export the whole document or by right clicking on a layer or group and selecting “Quick Export as PNG” from the menu.

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Collapse folders and styles after running Bjango Actions

Running any of the scale actions in Marc Edwards‘ wonderful Bjango Actions leaves all of the folders and layer style summaries open in the layers panel. Instead of always collapsing them manually, I just made a short addition to the end of each of the scale actions. They now collapse everything but the group layer style summaries 1 for themselves once everything has finished scaling. You can then quickly collapse the layer style summaries for all groups by atl-clicking on one of the toggle arrows (unactionable). You’ll have to be running Photoshop CC for this update to work.

A before and after of the Photoshop layers panel.

  1. Unfortunately the “Collapse All Groups” command doesn’t currently collapse them. Feedback submitted here

How to copy an RGB value in Photoshop

The following is a result of me scratching my own itch, hopefully you’ll find it useful too. Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that this is a Mac-only solution. If you’re running Windows and want to re-write what I’ve done in VBScript or Javascript (or are just curious) then carry on. If you just came for the how-to then this isn’t for you, sorry.

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A Guide to Optimising Photoshop Performance

Many of us have a love hate relationship with Photoshop. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that helps us get stuff done, it is however also undeniably temperamental. At times it can slow down or become unresponsive.

So today I’m going to try and help you optimise Photoshop based on your needs. Taking the time to tweak a few performance settings based on your workflow can make a massive difference.

As a UI designer, I work almost exclusively with files that have dozens and dozens of layers but are fairly small in size. I’ll show you how I personally have my performance options set as well as giving a few tips for those of you who work more with large documents and photography.

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300,000×300,000 pixel Photoshop files

Those are, apparently, the dimensions a PSB file maxes out at. Out of curiosity, I tried creating a new document at those dimensions and despite having 36.91GB of free space I got the following warning:

OS X's “Your startup disk is almost full” warning dialog

@JonJungemann tried with 900GB of free space and got the same warning.

If anyone out there has more than 900GB worth of scratch disk space available, I’d love to know 1 how much is needed to create a file at those dimensions.

Update: @ckenney108 set a Drobo with 16.75TB of free space as a scratch disk and managed to create the file. It takes up 360GB of scratch space and 4.22GB on disk. I’m not sure why 900GB wasn’t sufficient to create it.

The Get Info pane of the PSB file

  1. My email address is elliot [underscore] jackson [at] me [dot] com. 

How to Export SVGs from Photoshop

Since the release of version 14.2 in January, Photoshop CC has had the ability to export SVGs with Adobe Generator. Whilst the developers still consider this to be an experimental feature, I have been using it for a while without any major issues.

To enable SVG exporting, we will need to create a configuration file for Generator.

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Designing Apps for the Visually Impaired

Launching into the design (or redesign) of your app is exciting. You’ve got plenty of ideas floating around, sketches and wireframes everywhere and when the time comes to get cracking in Photoshop, you can’t wait to get started. At this stage there are plenty of thing to keep in consideration — colours, typography, grids etc. — but with these comes another consideration that is equally as important: accessibility.

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Working with Type in Photoshop

In this post I’m going to show you some of the tools that I use in my workflow when working with type in Photoshop.


The elephant in the room seems to be as good of a place as any to start this post. In previous versions of Photoshop (pre-CS6) selecting the type of anti-aliasing method to use came down to choosing the best from a bad bunch really. However, a few months ago Adobe introduced two new OS-native options in the anti-aliasing settings in Photoshop: “Mac” and “Mac LCD”. These options aim to replicate the system anti-aliasing for fonts: “Mac” replicating OS X’s greyscale font smoothing and “Mac LCD” its sub-pixel font smoothing.For web designers, the CSS equivalent to “Mac” would be:

  -webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased

and the equivalent of “Mac LCD”:

  -webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased

As iOS uses greyscale anti-aliasing for all of its type rendering, you should use the “Mac” anti-aliasing method in Photoshop when designing for iOS devices.

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A Guide to Pixel Hinting

When looking at a website or interface, there are few things more annoying than half pixels. The resulting blurred edges make your potentially great product look hastily designed, uncared for and unfinished. Admittedly, if you are working with company logos, especially type-based ones, half pixels are a fairly regular occurrence and potentially frustrating to deal with. When it comes to icons, buttons or any other interface elements however there are no excuses.

So, today I thought I’d share some tips on Pixel Hinting – which very simply means moving your vector points so that they fall on the pixel grid.

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