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Creative Quick Tips
Illustration by John Hersey

How to speed up Photoshop's performance


Creative Quick Tips

with Justin Seeley

Video: How to speed up Photoshop's performance

Hi there, welcome back to another episode of Creative Quick
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome to the series
    2. How to send feedback
  2. 13m 45s
    1. How to find free stock photos online
      1m 55s
    2. Using the transform command in Illustrator
      4m 14s
    3. Five tools for wireframing & mockups
      7m 36s
  3. 11m 50s
    1. How to create layers from Photoshop Layer Styles
      3m 14s
    2. How to turn Illustrator artwork into Shape Layers
      3m 15s
    3. How to combine vector shapes in Photoshop
      2m 49s
    4. How to use text wrapping in Illustrator
      2m 32s
  4. 15m 41s
    1. How to effectively rotate objects in Illustrator
      2m 39s
    2. How to create interlocking shapes in Illustrator
      3m 29s
    3. How to speed up Photoshop's performance
      3m 25s
    4. How to use tool shortcuts in Photoshop
      2m 52s
    5. How to use springloaded shortcuts in Photoshop
      3m 16s
  5. 9m 27s
    1. How to create a better Twitter avatar
      3m 59s
    2. How to embed videos in WordPress without a plugin
      1m 45s
    3. How to embed real tweets into any WordPress post
      2m 15s
    4. Create your own Photoshop shortcut cheat sheet
      1m 28s
  6. 17m 53s
    1. How to create better Facebook cover photos
      4m 31s
    2. How to use keyboard shortcuts in WordPress
      2m 47s
    3. How to add Apple touch icons to your website
      5m 27s
    4. How to use Font Awesome in design applications
      5m 8s
  7. 8m 50s
    1. How to create your own pixel grids
      4m 25s
    2. How to sample colors from anywhere
      2m 5s
    3. How to create diagonal guides in Illustrator
      2m 20s
  8. 13m 48s
    1. How to round individual corners on Illustrator shapes
      3m 21s
    2. How to use Camera Raw as a Smart Filter
      4m 8s
    3. How to use the Shape Builder Tool to recolor artwork
      3m 34s
    4. How to use "Align to Key Object" in Illustrator
      2m 45s
  9. 8m 26s
    1. Exploring the Kuler Panel in Illustrator CC
      1m 50s
    2. How to draw awesome shapes with the tilde key
      2m 12s
    3. How to reset your bounding box in Illustrator
      2m 6s
    4. How to change your artboard color in Illustrator
      2m 18s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. How to use Photoshop and Illustrator to write CSS
      4m 1s
    2. How to create scalable rounded rectangles in Illustrator
      4m 16s
    3. How to use the fill commands in Photoshop
      3m 52s
    4. How to accurately space objects in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    5. Ten WordPress plugins that you should know
      9m 5s
  11. 9m 41s
    1. Unlocking background layers in Photoshop
      1m 8s
    2. Using opacity shortcuts in Photoshop
      1m 50s
    3. Using Illustrator's Glyphs Panel for icon fonts
      3m 15s
    4. Creating flexible buttons in Illustrator
      3m 28s
  12. 6m 31s
    1. Locking artwork in Illustrator
      2m 5s
    2. Five free fonts for your next project
      2m 0s
    3. Improving the SEO of your Muse website
      2m 26s
  13. 17m 7s
    1. Fitting content into your InDesign frames
      2m 37s
    2. Setting up your own Autocorrect in InDesign
      2m 33s
    3. Drawing complex shapes in Illustrator
      3m 14s
    4. Using the snapshots feature in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    5. Creating awesome product shots with Placeit
      4m 3s

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Creative Quick Tips
2h 38m Appropriate for all Aug 05, 2013 Updated Jul 21, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Justin Seeley, staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.

Design Web Design Techniques
Illustrator InDesign Photoshop
Justin Seeley

How to speed up Photoshop's performance

Hi there, welcome back to another episode of Creative Quick Tips, My name is Justin Seeley and this week we're talking about Adobe Photoshop and how to speed it up so that it works a little bit faster for you. Now this is a question I get all the time, especially with people who have older computers or not a lot of RAM is, how do I make Photoshop run faster? In this movie I'm going to take you through some of the things that you can do to help increase the speed of Photoshop, but all in all, your best bet is to do two things. Either add RAM to your computer or switch to something called a solid state hard drive.

But there are little tweaks you can do inside of Photoshop to make it run a little bit smoother. So, let's take a look. First things first. We're going to open up our Preferences panel. We're going to do that by clicking Cmd or Ctrl+k on our keyboard, and once we do that, we're going to go down here to the Performance tab. Once we're on the Performance tab, there's a couple of areas that we can look at here. And so the first one is going to be Memory Usage. The Memory Usage area basically tells your computer how much RAM are you allocating to Photoshop at any given time. Now, it should be noted here that as you crank this number up you're giving Photoshop more RAM, but you're also taking RAM away from other applications on your computer.

So, Photoshop might run faster, but something else might run significantly slower, so, you have to be aware of that trade off. Like I said, the easiest way to make Photoshop or any application run faster is to throw RAM at it. In this case, if you wanted to you could bump this up anywhere between probably 70 to 80%. You don't want to bump it up too much higher than that though because you really start to take resources away from your machine, so I generally keep this around 70, 75. It just depends on your personal choice, how much RAM you actually have in the machine. Now you can also, conversely, do something called a scratch disk.

And a scratch disk allows you to sort of offload certain processes that Photoshop is doing to an alternate hard drive. And if you do this, it really does speed up the process of Photoshop. You will need an extra hard drive in order to do that though, so you might want to look into something like that. Other things that you can do are over here on the right hand side. History States. By default, Photoshop saves 20 history states. That means you get 20 undos for whatever it is you're doing. Now in most cases you don't need 20 undos.

Maybe you can back that down to something like ten, or maybe even five. The less Photoshop has to remember, the more resources Photoshop can devote to doing what you're doing at any given time. Just remember, you're increasing the memory by decreasing what it has to remember. You can also adjust the Cache Levels. Now, you do have to be careful with Cache Levels, depending on what type of image you're working on. But if you wanted to you could back this down to something like one, and that would definitely speed up the process but that's going to be for when you're working on probably smaller types of images.

And if you wanted to, you could increase that something like three or four when you're working on larger types of images. It tells you right here at the bottom to set the Cache Levels to two or higher for optimum GPU performance, so, when you're working on bigger images, you might want to increase that number. My recommendation is, before you start a project, think about the types of intensive processes and things like that, that you're going to have to go through. Then jump into this dialog box, and dial in all of the settings that are appropriate for that particular project. Worst comes to worst, you can always just come in here and reset anytime you want, or simply Cancel to get out.

But once you press OK, Photoshop now has all of those different settings now built in and it should run a little bit smoother.

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