The Basics of Photoshop

If you are a graphic designer or a web developer, you’re going to need to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop. It is an essential tool to create digital, print and online graphics optimized for their use. In addition to that, web designers can code website faster and more efficient if they are using a PSD file to design their project.

However, mastering Photoshop can take some time because it offers a lot of advanced features, shortcuts. But learning the basics can greatly improve your performance, knowledge and skills. Starting with the most basics is the way to mastering the world of Photoshop and digital design.

But wait, what did you say, you don’t have Photoshop yet? Creative cloud membership is cheap; you can get Photoshop as a single app on Adobe’s Creative Cloud. But of course, if you’re just starting to learn the bits and bytes, you can always get a free 30-day trial. That time frame should be enough to let you master the basics. Onwards to the basics!

The Toolbar

  • Move tool – simple as the name, it will let you move an object in a given layer around the Photoshop canvas.
  • Marquee – this will let you select part of the Photoshop canvas in a specific shape.
  • Lasso – This is a free form selection tool that lets you select anything that the lasso can cover around the canvas.
  • Magic Wand – clicking an area using the magic wand will select it and anything that looks like it. This is a quick way of removing a background, though not so accurate.
  • Crop tool – the crop tool is used to crop (duh) your pictures. You can specify size, proportions or any size you want.
  • Eyedropper – click any part of a canvas and sample the color on that part. It can also change your foreground color to whatever color it sampled form the canvas.
  • Healing brush – it can sample part of the photo and use it to paint over another part and once you’re done, Photoshop will examine surrounding area to blend the paint in with the rest of the photo
  • Paintbrush and pencil – straightforward tool that emulates real world tools, the paintbrush can be changed to a different type
  • Clone stamp – the same as the healing brush, except that it won’t blend in. It’s like copying and pasting an area to another.
  • History brush – just like a time machine, you can paint back in time into the current photo.
  • Eraser tool – it’s just like a paintbrush, though it erases things, shocking eh?
  • Paint Can and Gradient tool – it fills a specific area with the current foreground color, the gradient on the other hand, will create a gradient blending the foreground and background color.