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 read 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!

Please follow and like:

8 comments for “Five Best Kept Secrets of Photoshop CS5

  1. David
    May 19, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Feature 1 was available in CS4. See

    Feature 2 was available in CS4 in the “Refine Mask” setting. See

    • May 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

      Thanks for the links David…although it looks like the screen sharing feature was being used in Dreamweaver, not Photoshop…I was talking more about PS specifically…are there any resources that indicate screen sharing was available for Photoshop in the CS4 suite?

      Also, I probably should have been a little more clear about the change in Refine Mask, because the layout there has been made more intuitive rather than just the icons at the bottom of the screen – they now have it as a sort of panel selection option for the entire window…

      • May 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

        The Share my Screen was definitely available in CS4 too. 🙂 So #1 and partly #2 (even though it is improved a lot) as well as #5 was already in CS4. You could definitely note that #5 has been improved with the ability to set your own defaults.

        • May 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm

          That’s what happens when you skip versions! LOL Thanks for keeping me honest! Perhaps I should change the post title to “My Five favorite feature additions since CS3”! 🙂

  2. May 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Point 5 was in CS4 as well. And it made me very happy as well! 🙂

    #1 and #4 I had no idea about. Good grief, what else do they have hidden in the program???
    .-= Rich Charpentier´s last blog ..Sign up for the Photoshop and Lightroom Classes at the Art Store Right here =-.

  3. Michael Petersheim
    May 19, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Jason, do I remember you saying something on here a while back about using speech recognition software to do your blogging? I’m thinking you you did, but I’m too lazy to go back through your archives and check; anyway, what triggered that memory was your comment in today’s post about the stroke feature being black instead of red (which I’m really glad for, too!), your post says “black instead of read” : should be red, and that sounds like the kind of thing software could get mixed up about…. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Jason Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *