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Make Photoshop Easier to Use by Making Presets

A lot of people ask me how I work so quickly in Photoshop – the truth is I use my own pre-made templates as well as ones downloaded from around the net. It is high time I shed some light on this subject. And here I’m going to do just that. Here are a few quick ways to simplify Photoshop for yourself with presets.

Note: At the end of this tutorial you can download a full collection of 17 presets all in one zip file.

Before we begin

If you haven’t done so already, check out my “introduction” tutorials for Photoshop. In the ones I have linked below you will learn the basics and go through all the essential knowledge about Photoshop:

All of our Photoshop tutorials

Basics Guide
Layers – Basics
Layers – Advanced Tricks

Photoshop Presets and the Preset Manager

The Preset Manager is what you’re going to be using when it comes to importing and exporting presets. You can find it by going to Edit > Presets > Preset Manger.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Manager Edit Presets Built It

The manager’s default view is Brushes. In this view it will display all brushes you have imported or made by yourself.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Manager Edit Presets Built It

From the small gear located at the top right, you can chose a different display mode. My favourite is Large List, but feel free to check out the other ones as well.Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Manager Edit Presets Built It ViewPhotoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Manager Edit Presets Built It Large View

From the Preset Type dropdown menu, you can select all other presets you can view. Each one also has its own keyboard shortcut, as shown below:

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Manager Edit Presets Built It

The manager allows you to rearrange, rename, save separate sets and delete presets. It’s a much better way of organising your presets rather than manually pasting downloaded ones in the respective directories.

Brushes

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

What are they?

Brushes – the name speaks for itself. Simple tools for drawing, retouching, and a lot more. Whether you use Photoshop for drawing or not, you will notice that the newer versions feature brushes that come as close to the look of a realistic brush stroke as possible.

How can I make one?

Start by making a new document with an aspect ratio of 1:1. The larger the resolution, the more you will be able to scale the brush.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw Document

Use images, combine other brushes, or just experiment with full freedom until you get a brush that looks exactly the way you want it to.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw Example

Press Ctrl+Ato select your whole canvas, and then go to Edit > Define Brush Preset.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

You can give your brush a name and then press OK to save it.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw Name

After saving, it will appear at the bottom of all your other brush presets.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

Here’s Some of the Presets I Use (links and sources)

When making posters and other artwork, I really often include one of the brushes from the Watercolor Splatters by pstutorialsws.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

For general work and drawing, I always keep going back to the Brush Professional Pack by Roman Melentyev.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

Finally, I want to share my own brushes or download brushes shared by others, I go to the official Adobe Photoshop Exchange where I can download tons of presets just by logging in with my Adobe ID.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Brushes Stroke Brush Paint Draw

Swatches

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool

What are they?

Swatches are quick colours you can pick up and use at any point in time while working in Photoshop. These are very useful and come in handy for designers who like working by a strict color scheme.

How can I make one?

Adding a color to your swatches is probably one of the easiest things in Photoshop. Open the Color Picker by clicking on either the Foreground or Background color.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Pick Color

From here, you can play around and look for the specific color you would like to add.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Color Selection

Pro Tip: If you’re working with a specific designer-friendly color palette (Pantone, for example) you can click on the Color Libraries button to browse from a list of palettes built into Photoshop.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Color Libraries

After you’ve found the color, simply click the Add to Swatches button to the right.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Add To Swatches

Again, you will be able to add a name to your color.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Swatch Name

Then it will appear at the bottom of all your other swatches.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool Final Swatch Preset Manager

Which ones do I use (links and sources)

I don’t use Swatches that often, so this set of 26 differently themed swathes from JustJaimee.com is all I need throughout any kind of work in Photoshop.

Photoshop Adobe Presets Templates Download Make Create Simplify Easy Simple Quick Access New Tutorial Guide Swatches Colors Palettes Pantone Design Designer Tool
Next Up: Gradients and More

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One Response to Make Photoshop Easier to Use by Making Presets

  1. TONTHAT September 12, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Just great. I printed the post to read as bedtime !!!! A big thank you.

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