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Simply wondering what your favorite or most used tools are when you are (web)designing in photoshop. This way we maybe get new insights on the tools and how to use them. Never hurts to learn right?

I will kick off:

Favorite 1: gradient tool

Why: Basically to create subtle differences in color shades to give elements more depth.

Examples:

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Favorite 2: Transform tool (Especially warp)

Why: Mostly to create unique shadows.

Examples:

enter image description here

Surely hope this won't get closed since i think we can learn alot from eachother.

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This is more of a community wiki kind of post since this is opinion-based and there's not a real answer. I voted to close it for now. –  Johannes Aug 24 '11 at 14:05
    
I have converted this to a wiki since it probably will not bring up any answers that would be better posed as questions, but rep should not be gained from this either. –  Philip Regan Aug 24 '11 at 14:06
    
@Philip Regan I am not doing this for rep. I am seriously wondering what other designers use a lot and why. I cannot see why this is out of line. Lots of people could benefit from this in my opinion, including myself :) –  Luuk Aug 24 '11 at 14:11
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@Luuk: My comments are not out of malice, they are intended to provide justification for the switch to community wiki. Survey/Poll questions like this are typically discouraged and closed (they have been used as rep "farms"), but can be allowed as a community wiki. It is not out of line, it is just not typical of the Stack Exchange format. If I thought it were out of line, I would have simply closed it per the communities comments. You're cool. No worries. –  Philip Regan Aug 24 '11 at 14:18
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@Philip Thanks anyways. To others: I voted to close this question on the basis that it doesn't seem that substantive to me (my favorite PS tool is always the one that will help me complete the current task). However, after browsing questions on SO it seems that these sorts are regularly allowed. Unfortunately, it seems there is no way to rescind the vote. –  Farray Aug 25 '11 at 14:26
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closed as not constructive by Farray Feb 20 '12 at 22:57

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3 Answers

Layers pallet. Once upon a time there were no such critter and the widows and orphans would gnash teeth and rend hair as the handful of designers around the world struggled with channel addition and subtraction.

I don't think I could ever explain how game changing layers were for Photoshop users.

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I was going to say this too. –  horatio Sep 16 '11 at 17:28
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Opacity masks. Before I discovered 'em compositing was a nightmare, particularly with any kind of photorealism. Being able to control the alpha of each layer, particularly with a soft edge, makes life oh-so-easier.

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There are too many. Deke McLelland did an excellent "Top 40" a while back that covers a lot of ground, and any of those is a candidate.

Currently, I'd say that Smart Objects and Mask Edge are my current hot favorites, but there are a great many core capabilities I couldn't live without, layers, blending modes and opacity masks being right up there at the top.

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