Photoshop: Getting Started with Photoshop

Photoshop is a great tool for touching up
photos and creating your own graphics—but if you’ve never used the program before, it
can be a bit intimidating at first. Not to worry. In this video, I’m going to
go over the basics, including what some of these tools and features are for. I’ll also
give you tips for setting up your workspace. Let’s start by opening an existing image file. Just go to File in the upper left corner…
choose Open… then find and select the image you want. In this case, I’m going to use a
JPEG that I already have saved to my computer. This is how most Photoshop projects begin.
Generally, you’re editing something you already have, not starting from scratch. But if you
want, you can go to the File menu and choose New to create a blank file instead. As you can see, the image has opened in the
center—this is called the document window. It tells you the filename right here, along
with the current zoom level. In our example, you’ll notice that we’re currently viewing
the image at about 25%, because the original photo is so large. To zoom in, you can press
CTRL+ on your keyboard (or COMMAND+ if you’re using a Mac). To zoom out, press CTRL- or
COMMAND-. To the left is the tools panel, which is one
of the most important features in Photoshop. This is where you’ll select whatever tool
you want to use to edit your image. For example, this one lets you add text. And if you click
and hold the command, you can access more tools that are similar but slightly different.
If a lot of these tools seem unfamiliar right now, that’s OK. You’ll learn more about them
as you get more experience with Photoshop. Let’s take a look at the control panel next.
That’s the area above your file where you can change the settings for your current tool.
The options are specific to whatever tool you have selected, so they’ll always be different.
Right now, we’re using the Text tool. So we can change things like the font… font size…
alignment… and color. If we select a different tool… you can see that the options change. On the right side of the document window,
you’ll find a few more panels—the most important one is the layers panel. Here you can see
the different layers in your document, and turn them on or off. Right now, we only have
one layer—the one that’s called “Background” by default—but you could end up with quite
a few depending on the project you’re working on. You’ll get more experience with layers
once you start working with images. Finally, there’s the menu bar at the top of
the screen—remember, we already used this to open our image file. The menu bar is kind
of a catch-all in Photoshop. It gives you access to common file tasks like save, undo,
and copy & paste; but it also has commands for editing that aren’t on the regular tools
panel. Under Image, for example, you can adjust things like contrast, color, and size. If
you go to the Filter menu, you can access advanced tools and effects, like blur and
sharpen. Now that you know your way around, I’d like
to show you a few more tips. These might not seem important right now, but they’ll come
in handy throughout your time with Photoshop. Let’s start with ways to customize your workspace
by showing, hiding, a nd moving panels. To show or hide any panel, just go to the
Window menu… then you can click the panel you want. Panels that are currently visible
will have a checkmark next to them. I think I’m going to turn on the History panel. To move a panel, click, hold, and drag wherever
you want it to go. As you can see, you can move panels anywhere in the Photoshop window. If you’re just starting out, though, we recommend
keeping most of the panels in their default position for now. If you ever need to reset
your panels, go back to the Window menu… mouse over Workspace… then choose the option
that says Reset Essentials. (Note that this process may be different depending on the
version of Photoshop you’re using. For instance, in Photoshop Elements, you’ll just go to Window,
then Reset Panels.) Finally, there’s one change we recommend making
behind the scenes. It has to do with the type of unit Photoshop uses to measure an image’s
dimensions. To access the setting, go to Photoshop on the menu bar… mouse-over Preferences…
and then choose Units & Rulers. Now, if you’re using Windows, this is going to be found in
the Edit menu instead. By default, Photoshop measures dimensions
in inches, which is great if you’re editing images for print. However, if you’re editing
for the web, we suggest that you change this to pixels. Then click OK when you’re done. And that should do it! Now that you have everything
set up, and you know how to get around the program, you can start using Photoshop to
edit your first image.

6 Replies to “Photoshop: Getting Started with Photoshop

  1. Getting started with #Photoshop can seem scary – but not with our short video. Please +1 or RESHARE so your friends can learn Photoshop too!

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