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How to Use Adobe Photoshop

By: Leo Malkin, Creative Coordinator



Knowing how to use Adobe Photoshop properly can mean the difference between a boring and a beautiful project. While the learning curve may be steep in the beginning, the program allows for a nearly unlimited amount of creativity when properly honed. Photoshop can be used to create both new and existing images.

  • The first step in making a beautiful Photoshop composition is to create a file.

  • From the File menu, you can choose to either create a new blank document or open an existing image.

  • From there, you will need to familiarize yourself with the Photoshop default layout. The Menu bar at the top of the screen contains the following commands: File, Edit, Image, Layer, etc.

  • The Option bar lays directly beneath the Menu bar and displays various options for the tool you are using.

  • To the far right of the workspace is the Panels menu, which includes Colors, Layer, Properties and other panels that can be used to edit images.

  • The Document Window is in the middle of the workspace, where you can find the file you are working on.

  • The Tools panel to the left of the workspace contains the tools used for editing images and creating artwork.


There are around 70 tools available for use, but there are three main tools that the average Photoshop user needs to be acquainted with to make the best use of the program:


1. The Magic Wand Tool

2. The Pen Tool

3. The Spot Healing Brush Tool.


The Magic Wand Tool is a selection tool that selects based on tone and color of the image. The Pen Tool can be used as either a selection tool or a shape creation tool by drawing an outline and clicking Selection, Mask or Shape. The Spot Healing Brush is used to cover an object with sampled elements from the file to hide the subject. These tools can be used in combination with one another or with any of the other options available for the image. With just a little bit of experimenting, the average user can quickly become comfortable with the program.

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