Photographer, designers, artists and hobbyists all enjoy using Adobe Photoshop for its rich uses for editing photos. In this tutorial, I will be sharing with you the basics of Adobe Photoshop so that you can start creating your masterpieces. We will be taking a look at the toolbars and going over most everything that holds. We will not be going over all of the tools, but we will go over the most used ones.
The Tool Panel
We will start with the Tool Panel in Adobe Photoshop to learn Photoshop Basics. Let’s get started with the User Interface or UI.
In this tutorial we will start to learn Photoshop basics with the first five tools on the Tool Panel.
At the top of your tool panel is the Move Tool. Click on this to move a selection around and resize it. The little arrown in the bottom right corner is where you will click and hold it to find your grouped tool. This is where you will also find your Artboard tool.
The Artboard tool defines the canvas areas and expands the canvas as it’s moved. It behaves like a layer group and gives a rectangular boundary to your canvas. Any layers that you add to the artboard workspace are clipped by the boundary of the artboard.
You can quickly access this tool by pressing V on your keyboard.
Rectangular Marquee Tool
Here we have the Rectangular Marquee Tool. This is where you will make a quick selection of a rectangular form on your canvas. To use it you will click and drag the tool and then release it when you have made your selection. To select from the center outward hold down the Alt (or Option on a Mac) after you start dragging. Once you have the desired selection, go ahead and release the mouse button and the Alt key. To keep it a perfect square, hold down the Shift key while you make your selection. To quickly select this tool press the M key.
When you press the bottom right arrow in this tool, you will also get the selections of the Elliptical and Single Column Marquee tools. Your Elliptical Marquee Tool is a rounded tool. To keep it a perfect circle, hold down the Shift key while you make your selection.
The Single Column Marquee Tool is one pixel wide and as many pixels as you want for the row.
The next tool we will discuss is the Lasso Tool. This is a quick selection tool looks like a rope – a lasso that cowboys use. To use this tool, click on the outside of what you want to select by tracing it. Hold down your mouse button until you have traced all the way around the selection and then release your mouse button. This tool allows you to rely solely on your own abilities to outline and trace to make the selections perfect.
Grouped in with this tool you will find the Magnetic Lasso Tool and the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
The Magnetic Lasso tool is a little more on the lazy side, but makes selections soooo much quicker! This tool is an Edge Detection Tool. It actively seeks out the edges of your object as you move around it. It will then snap to the edge and, like a magnet, cling to your selection. Voila! Magnetic Lasso Tool!
The Polygonal Lasso Tool allows you to select along individual short paths until you get your object(s) selected.
To select these tools, press the L key. To scroll through the tools, press Shift + L until you get to your desired tool.
Quick Selection Tool
The Quick Selection Tool selects pixels based on tone and color. It will also seek out similar textures in an object, making the selections much quicker. You can select pixels simply by painting over them.
To select this tool, simply click W. To scroll to the other tool, press Shift + W.
The other tool in this group is the Magic Wand Tool. This tool is much like the Quick Selection Tool, but rather than making a selection according to the three bases, it makes its selection only through tone and color.
The crop tool is a tool which allows you to select an area of an image and discard everything else outside of your selection. Please do not confuse this for resizing and image. It will only reduce the dimensions of an image. Resizing an image allows you to reduce or enlarge an entire image.
The other tools grouped with it are the Perspective Crop Tool, the Slice Selection Tool and the Slice Tool. You can select these tools with the C key. And scroll through them by pressing Shift + C.
The Perspective Crop Tool is a tool which can be used to keep perspective properly as you crop an image. It allows you to isolate different planes within an image and crop it to the correct distortions caused by perspective.
With the Slice Selection Tool and the Slice Tool you can slice selections and divide them into smaller selections. The Slice Tool slices the selection and with the Selection Tool you can move the selections around and modify those selections.
Learning Photoshop Basics – the first five tools in the Tools Panel
Well, there you have it folks! That is a quick runthrough of learning Photoshop basics for the first few tools on the Tools Panel. These are your selection tools. I hope that helped you out with starting up in Photoshop. Now that you’ve learned some of the basics of Photoshop, get out there and try these tools out! See how they work for you and your creativity!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
Have fun creating!