According to Adobe, over 90% of creative professionals use Photoshop. It’s one of the most versatile photo editing packages available today, with a huge range of tools available to advanced users.
To the uninitiated, this array of photoshop tools takes on hieroglyphic proportions, offering no clue as to their functions when you first view photoshop software. It’s difficult figuring out where to start.
Find out more about the basic tools you need to edit pictures for everyday use, here.
An Overview of Photoshop Tools
There are six main types of Photoshop tools to know when you learn Photoshop. They’re grouped in descending order along the left-hand side toolbar.
4 Selection Tools
2 Crop and Slice tools
1 Measurement tool
8 Retouching and Painting tools
4 Drawing and Type tools
2 Navigation tools
Each of these icons represents several more related tools that you can see when you click on the main icon.
Magic Wand Selection Tool
This is one of the most widely used selection tools.
You use the Photoshop Magic Wand Tool to select and mask certain portions of your image. That allows you to keep one portion of your image intact while manipulating the others.
According to Google Trends, hundreds of people use the search term ‘remove background from an image online’ every month. That’s because this task is rather complicated when using Adobe Photoshop.
It’s much easier to use an online automated tool, but perfectionists will find they get better results using the following steps in Photoshop:
Open your photo
Duplicate the background layer
Select the background tool using the magic wand tool
Refine the edges using the Smooth function and refine edge tool
Output your selection to a layer mask
Insert a new background by pasting it over the original background layer
Other Photoshop Selection Tools
Photoshop’s array of selection tools offers more specific functionality than the Magic Wand does. There are tools available like Photoshop brushes, but of course there are multiple others, and these are:
Move Tool for layers, guides, and selections
Artboard Tool for designing multiple layouts
Rectangular marquee tool to draw rectangular selection outlines
Elliptical marquee tool for elliptical or circular selection outlines
Single Row Marquee Tool to select a single row of pixels
Single Column Marquee Tool picks a single column of pixels
Lasso Tool for free form selection
Magnetic Lasso Tool snaps the selection outline to the edges of an image
Object Selection Tool
Quick Selection Tool for selecting an object by brushing over it
These tools don’t do much except allow you to carry out precise manipulation of images.
Image Manipulation Tools
All the Photoshop cropping and slicing tools work the same as lower-end editing programs like Paint or even Microsoft Word. They also offer more refined functions like fixing distortion issues or editing individual slices of an image.
The retouching and painting tools are awesome to edit photos, giving you the ability to fix, blur, clone, and blend areas of your image.
Make the Most of Your Photos
These photoshop tools are all you need to get started with retouching and manipulating your images, but it takes time to master them all.
You can sign up for a course to learn more in-depth techniques, but online tutorials are an excellent way to learn photoshop tips if you aren’t going to make a career or photo editing.
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