Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By David Peters




The basics of Photoshop are relatively easy to pick up, but can seem a bit of a mystery when you first come to the program, thanks to its somewhat unintuitive interface and lack of simple tutorials.

Upon first inspection you will see that Photoshop is basically made up of four areas: the menu bar, at the top, the toolbar just below it, the toolbox on the left and the palettes on the right. The different modes and options you can choose are located in the menu bar and toolbox which always stay the same. The toolbar will change with the context.

An updated status of your image is provided by the palettes. This includes a history of all of the actions and changes you have made along with a thumbnail image of the current results.

As an example of how the interface changes as you use it, select the type tool from the toolbox (looks like a capital T). Note how the toolbar changes completely to permit changes to the font name, size etc.

In the history palette, your use of the type tool will be added to your history, and a new layer will be created for your text and shown in the layers palette.

The toolbox or the menus will most likely be the starting point for projects done with in Photoshop. Everyday tools such as selecting, filling and making shapes will be found in the toolbox. More advanced functions, such as blurring sharpening and most other effects Photoshop can produce are found in the menus, most of which are found under the Filter menu.

Once you have chosen a tool from the toolbox, you can adjust its settings through the toolbar. In this, options from the menu will typically open a dialog box. Should you want to go back and make a change to something you have done to your image, use your palette history for the quickest fix. Experiment with the palettes as they have other uses also such as changing colors, naturally under the colors palette.




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