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You don’t have to be a pro at Photoshop to be a good web designer. Just knowing your way around the software will let you perform heroics. Take a couple of minutes to go through these 10 tips that will help you use Photoshop for web design:

  1. It’s a good idea to have all your elements on your Photoshop screen before you actually get down to designing. Have the outline ready first, so you can go ahead without too much editing.
  2. Use grids: Your designs need to be taken care of alignment and size issues. Using a free Grid resource like Grid System Generator can take care of this for you. Many have multiple PSD templates for multiple screen sizes.
  3. If you want to play around with colors, activate the Eyedropper tool by clicking on it or just press I. You can then drag the icon to your screen, wherever you want it; now you can get the colors your heart desires!
  4. If you need to use the same layer again and again for some purpose, you can just click Alt and drag the fx button next to your layer, to another layer, and voila! The layer style will be automatically applied.
  5. You can easily organize your group layers by using Control/Command and G.  Separately group the components like navigation and footers, and content areas, so that there’s no confusion.
  6. Positioning your elements correctly is very important. Use guidelines to set borders and margins, and just snap your elements to it. You can create horizontal or vertical guides.
  7. To make your elements appear genuine, apply shadow effects. Define borders and edges with a little exaggeration so that you achieve a good contrast. You can use the Single Row Marquee Tool to add shadows and gradients.
  8. Press Shift and G to access the Gradient Tool. It is very useful for creating shadows, backgrounds and highlighting. This works ideally for larger areas. The Gradient Overlay effect is better suited for individual elements like buttons and icons.
  9. Customize always. Be innovative, and move away from the default settings Photoshop has. Use different fonts, depths and colors. You can also improve on the Document presets.
  10. Use smart objects, especially when you have a lot of graphics to deal with. Right clicking a layer will give you the option to ‘Convert to Smart Object’. It is scaled down with no loss of quality. This is especially useful when you do backward transformation.  When you don’t use the Smart Object Tool, the picture quality suffers.
Photoshop has even more features that will make web designing unbelievably simple. Once you practice a little, you will get the hang of it and be an expert!