10 Critical Photoshop Mistakes You Must Stop Making


We all love to laugh at other people’s mistakes, especially while looking at those hilarious Photoshop Fails. But when are you going to fix your own mistakes?

Even those so-called experts make mistakes sometimes. So, before you call yourself a Photoshop master, see if you make any of these amateur mistakes when using Photoshop.

1) Forgetting To Use History Snapshots

The History window is one of the best features in Photoshop that allow you to turn back time whenever you mess up an image. Although, it’s not easy to go back to a specific time when you can’t remember where you went wrong. And, worst of all, Photoshop has its limits for recording history.

But, it won’t be an issue if you create Snapshots. Whenever you make a sensitive edit on an image, it’s wise to create a Snapshot before making any further improvements.

This will allow you to quickly restore your photo to an earlier point in time. Watch video below.

2) Not Using Adjustment Layers

Most people find it easier to just use the main menu to adjust the brightness/contrast and hue/saturation of an image. This mistake not only makes your changes irreversible but also damages the image.

Why not create an Adjustment Layer instead?

With Adjustment Layers, you can apply adjustments to the whole image or specific layers and edit to change it at any time you want. Watch video below.

3) Not Using Actions

Imagine you have 100 images that need the same simple color balance and a level adjustment. How would you go around doing that? Would you spend your entire day performing the edits on all 100 images one by one?

You won’t be doing that if you knew how to use Actions. This awesome feature allows you to record each adjustment you make to be used at a later time.

For example, let’s say you’ve recreated a cool Instagram-like filter on Photoshop. Now, you can record each step of this filter so you can instantly apply this filter to other photos. Watch video below.

4) Resizing Layers

Don’t resize layers, resize Smart Objects!

Directly resizing layers is a mistake that you need to fix immediately. When you resize layers using the free transform, it dramatically reduces the quality of the image.

Next time, convert the layer to a Smart Object before resizing. It will preserve the quality of the image while you go crazy with the free transform tool. Watch video below.

5) Making Selections With Lasso Tool

Are you still creating selections with the Lasso Tool? Why choose that painful way to make selections when there’s a much easier way to create more accurate selections.

How? Using the Pen tool, of course. The Pen tool is not just a tool for creating shapes. It can also be used to create curved and accurate selections, especially for selecting vector graphics.

Just switch you Pen Tool mode into Paths and start creating a path. After completing the path press Ctrl + Enter on PC or Command + Enter on your Mac to turn that path into a selection.

Still, even the Pen Tool is not enough to make selections around frizzy hair and create smooth masks. But, there are better tools to get that job done too. Watch video below.

6) Trying To Create Complex Designs Using Vector Graphics

Photoshop is a great app with limitless possibilities, but that doesn’t mean you can do everything with it. Yes, Photoshop does come with tools that allow you to create vector shapes and graphics, but professionals never use them unless it is for a logo, an icon or some basic shapes.

If you need to create complex vector graphics, learn how to use Adobe Illustrator Or, you can avoid all that by downloading professionally designed vector graphics off a marketplace and save hours of your precious time.

7) Changing Color Mode To Make B&W Images

Changing the color mode of an image to Grayscale will turn any image into a black and white image, but after going grayscale, you also lose the ability to enhance your photo.

So, instead, use the Black And White Adjustment Layer to convert your images into B&W while adjusting the Reds, Yellows, and Greens to achieve the best B&W effect possible. Watch video below.

8) Not Using Layer Groups

It’s easy to get lost in a large pile of layers when you’re editing an image. At one point you are copy-pasting dozens of objects and the next you’re trying to figure out which one’s which.

It’s best to organize your work when working on those large projects. Always rename layers and create Layer Groups to easily arrange the layers in the right place.

This is an important habit you need to develop early on that will come in handy when you’re working for someone else and have to pass on your PSD files to another designer. Watch video below.

9) Forgetting To Customize Preferences

Does Photoshop get laggy while trying to edit high-resolution images? Maybe you should increase the amount of RAM Photoshop is allowed to use.

You can do this, and more, by going over to Edit > Preferences. From here, you can change the amount of RAM Photoshop use and do so much more like changing the colors for your guides, grids, and select options to zoom with your mouse scroll wheel.

10) Excessive Retouching

Much like every other aspect in this world, there’s a limit to how far you should go to enhance a photo. Because, sometimes, the harder you try to make it look good it will only end up worse. Those highly retouched selfies and profile pictures on Facebook and Instagram are perfect examples for that.

Of course, people will Like any of those retouched photos on Facebook as long as there’s a pretty girl in it, but when it comes to professional designs, you’re not allowed to make the same mistakes. So, learn to know your limits!

Making mistakes is a great way of learning. But, an even better way is to learn how to avoid them. If you follow this article, you’ll certainly be able to avoid many Photoshop embarrassments in the future. Watch the video below for an advanced skin retouching tutorial, or read Photoshop Roadmap’s photo retouching guide.