Five Best Kept Secrets of Photoshop CS5

By now you should know all about the latest and greatest features of Photoshop CS5.  People have been talking until the cows come home about Content Aware Fill, Puppet Warp, and the other “sexy” features of CS5 (and they are pretty awesome, sure).  Heck, you may even know about some of the JDI (just do it) features, but there is still so much under the hood of CS5 that the gurus and pros haven’t even discussed yet.  After taking some time and tinkering around inside CS5, here are five features that I am surprised are not getting more “air time”…I am calling them:

The 5 Best Kept Secrets of Photoshop CS5

1.  Sharing Your Monitor – In Cs5, the feature has been added where you can share your monitor with others so you can show people exactly what you are looking at.  I can totally see this as a feasible solution for clients that are remote to your location, and travel costs need to be kept down.  Even training seminars could be conducted this way…imagine sitting at your computer at work (or home) and watching an instructor teaching you live from their own desktop!  Very cool!

Sharing Your MOnitor

2.  Refine Edge Backgrounds – I know, refine edge has been around for a while, and we are used to seeing the “marching ants” around our selections…but now Adobe has gone and added different backgrounds to help you better make refinements to selections.  The options are the traditional Marching Ants, and several new options like Overlay, Black, White, and Layers (my favorite).  This is a huge time saver when trying to make selections from within a photo!

Refine Edge Backgrounds

3.  Paste in Place – Another godsend!  After making selection refinements and masking off your layer selection, it’s now super easy to take another image from your clipboard and paste it directly into the active document.  Done with a simple keyboard shortcut: Shift+CTRL+V (Shift+Command+V on the Mac)

Paste in Place

4.  Cache Settings – are now adjustable to your own library preferences.  If you have mostly smaller sized images in your library, you can tweak the cache to Tall and Thin to accommodate your particular editing and library needs.  Likewise, if you are used to working with larger files, then you can customize Photoshop to Big and Flat for those purposes as well.

Cache Settings

5.  Stroke Settings – I cannot remember if this was in CS4, primarily because I didn’t have much interest in CS4, but now having used CS5 to a pretty decent degree, I am so glad this is now black instead of red by default, so I am including it here.


There’s my five “best kept secrets” of Cs5!  It takes some time to kick the tires and check out everything that new programs have to offer, so be sure you download a trial copy from Adobe.  It’s free!  Have you downloaded your trial yet?  What are your favorite “under the hood” features?  Any that you feel aren’t getting enough press or coverage in the photo circles?  Sound off in the comments!  In the meantime, don’t forget to step away from the computer periodically and take pictures! 🙂  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!