Couple of quick tips I thought would be helpful while you are trying to find your way with the Photoshop interface.
In both Lightroom and Camera Raw you have the ability to turn on a mask so you can see the affect of your painting with a brush. In Photoshop you have the backslash (“\”) key that does the same thing. Just press the “\” key on the keyboard to toggle the layer mask on and off. See below.
Default Layer Mask is Red
The difference is that the layer mask in Photoshop is backward from Lightroom and Camera Raw. Pressing the “\” key shows what is being masked. You then paint away what you want to reveal. In the image above I adjusted the brightness of his skin by applying a Curves Adjustment and painting the mask away to reveal the adjustment on his skin.
The second tip is for changing the preview of the workspace. By pressing the letter “F” you can cycle through the different looks of the workspace. It works much like it does in Lightroom, except in Lightroom there is no Tab Mode. The default mode in Photoshop is the “Tab Mode”, the second is the “Window” mode, and the third is the Full Screen mode. See examples below.
Tab Mode is the default
This is the default mode. Notice the tabs at the top (red arrows) where you can see the images that are open and select the image to work on.
Windows Mode removes the Tabs
If you don’t like the Tab Mode, just press the “F” key to go to the Window Mode. Here the tabs are gone and to go to a different image you must select Window from the menu and select your image from the list at the bottom. See below.
Select your image from the Window menu in the Window View
If you want to see your image in the Full Screen Mode just press the “F” key one more time. This mode removes everything (except your ruler if it’s turned on) from the screen except the image. It’s great to get an overall look without the distractions. Not good for working, but very good for viewing. See below.
Full Screen Mode
Cycling through these screens by pressing the “F” key allows you different options for viewing and working with your image.
These were just a couple of quick Photoshop tips that are not usually mentioned much. They are very helpful for me and I hope you find them helpful as well.