Inspiration, Tips

10 Photoshop mistakes to avoid

July 8, 2013 • By

Everyone makes mistakes, it’s what makes us humans however sometimes the mistakes people make in Adobe Photoshop could easily be avoided if only people took the time to think things through before acting. In this article we have compiled a list of 10 mistakes people make in Photoshop. If you feel we have forgotten any then please share then with us in the comment section below.

1. Removing too much

We have all seen the pictures with Photoshop fails. No matter how tempting it might be to remove a birthmark or a wrinkle, please remember that this often isn’t necessary, plus if you are not focused then you run the risk of making a mistake and removing some vital part of the photo, remember all those models without belly buttons? Yes an overzealous Photoshop user removed those.

2. Not using guides and grids

This is especially important if you are working on web design or something where it is obvious if things don’t line up. Don’t try and estimate where things should go. There is a reason why Photoshop includes guides and grids.


3. Enlarging small images

Unless you work for CSI Miami there is just no way you can take a really small pixelated image and enlarge it without losing quality, yes there are certain times where you can enlarge it somewhat, but really my suggestion is work with a bigger picture and if you can’t find a bigger version then look for another picture.

4. K=100 is not the same as black

If you have read other posts listing Photoshop mistakes to avoid then you will have noticed that almost all of them mention that K=0 is not the same as black, actually the color is a very dark grey. While you might be thinking so what if it is dark grey or black, fact is if you have a lot of these little differences then in the end you risk ending up with a product that looks more bleh than beautiful.

5. Relying on the Magic Wand

Often one of the biggest mistakes rookie Photoshop users make is that they rely on the magic wand, quick selection or the lasso tool when trying to extract an object from the background. While this might have been the way to do things back in time please note that Photoshop tools have come a long way since then. If you think that your extracted object does look too Photoshoped then you can always try to add a slight feather, it makes the extracted object look much more natural.

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6. Overuse of actions

When used correctly actions can vastly improve the quality of a picture however you need to be away of the fact that a picture quickly turns from beautiful to an over processed piece of junk. If you are starting out with Photoshop then my best advice is before getting hooked on actions get to know the program first. Once you start to get the feel for the program then you can begin using actions.

7. Ignoring Layers

Sometimes I think Photoshop users think Adobe added the layers option just for the heck of it, I keep telling everyone that there is a reason layers are there! You need to use layers in your Photoshop projects, trust me if you are neglecting layers then at some point in your project you will regret it dearly.


8. Creating Logos in Photoshop

This is another one of those you will see in practically every list of mistakes to avoid, and there is a reason for this! There is really no reason why you should be creating logos in Photoshop when Adobe created Illustrator, a vector based program perfect for creating stunning logos. The reason I say this goes back to the enlarging of images, if you create your logo in Photoshop and then enlarge it then the logo quickly becomes pixelated, however if you create then in Illustrator then the vector is easily scalable and retains sharpness no matter how much you increase the size.

9. Not using shortcuts

Every designer knows that the faster and more efficiently you can complete a task the better, that’s why people are always looking for ways to make working with Photoshop more efficient. If you are not using shortcuts then now is really the time to get started! While it does take some time getting used to all the different shortcuts they will really increase your workflow in the long run.

10. Not saving along the way!

I cannot even begin state the importance of saving your progress,  often people get so caught up in their work that they totally forget to save along the way, then something happens and they lose everything therefore having to start over. Please remember this doesn’t only apply to Photoshop but everything when working on a computer, whether you are working in Word, Excel or Photoshop. Saving should really be done at least every ten minutes if not more frequently.


Check back on Wednesday when we present some of worst Photoshop mistakes in history.

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