CreativePro Tip of the Week: Using Photoshop History Snapshots

This CreativePro Tip of the Week on using Photoshop history snapshots was sent to CreativeProse email subscribers on March 15, 2017.

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Whether you call them do overs, Mulligans, or second chances, we all need those opportunities to go back and fix something we botched. If only the rest of life had something like Photoshop’s History panel, where you can freeze any moment in time by taking a snapshot, and then return to that state whenever you like.

Here are two ways to create snapshots in Photoshop:

1. The one where you get to set the options: Hold the Option/Alt key and click the New Snapshot button at the bottom of the History panel.

Photoshop History Panel Create New Snapshot

This method gives you the opportunity to name your snapshot something descriptive (always a good idea), and choose whether to make the snapshot of the full document, merged layers, or just the current layer.

Photoshop History State Menu

Or you can omit the Option/Alt key and create a snapshot with default settings.

2. The one that’s (almost) totally automatic: Go to the History panel menu and choose History Options. In the dialog box, choose Automatically Create New Snapshot When Saving.

Photoshop History Snapshot Create When Saving

Then every time you press Command/Ctrl+S, a new snapshot will be saved, named with the time it was saved.

To make a snapshot be the current state of your document, just click it.

Photoshop History select

Just remember that snapshots only last for as long as you keep the Photoshop document open. Once you close the file, snapshots are deleted. If you need something more permanent, use the other button at the bottom of the History panel, which allows you to save states of your document as separate files.

Posted on: March 20, 2017

Mike Rankin

Mike is the Editor in Chief of, InDesign Magazine, and He is also the author of several video training series, including Font Management Essential Training, InDesign FX, and InDesign CC: Interactive Document Fundamentals.

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