If you’ve visited my blog at least once before, you probably know that Photoshop is my favorite tool for blogging and design. I obviously use it to edit photographs, but I also use it to create website mockups, blog images, moodboards, and even clip-art and patterns.
Adobe Photoshop has a lot of tools and it can be quite confusing for a beginner. That’s where the new ‘Learn Photoshop’ series comes in. I’m going to show you how to use some of the basic tools and will eventually teach you how to edit your photos and create better blog images. I’m planning to write one tutorial for beginners every month, and you can find them in the Photoshop 101 category.
If you don’t have Photoshop you can download it as a free 30 day trial from Adobe’s website. For those wanting to buy it, there is a great Photography Plan at only $10/month (it also includes Lightroom) or if you are a student you can get the complete Creative Cloud set at a special price. You can also find older versions of Photoshop at good prices.Are you new to #Photoshop? Here are a few tips to help you learn how to use itClick To Tweet
Lesson 1: Getting started with Adobe Photoshop
Today’s lesson will show you how to create a new document and we will also take a look around the workspace.
Creating a new document
When you launch Photoshop, you will notice that there are a lot of tools, but there isn’t any document. You can create one by going to File/New or by pressing Ctrl+N. A box will pop up with a lot of options.
- Name: You can name your new document or add a name when you save it
- Document type and image size: Photoshop has a few predefined documents like paper (letter, tabloid, and international formats like A4), photo, web, and artboards. You can also choose a custom size.
- Width and Height: For custom sizes, you have to introduce the height and width of the document and you can add it in pixels, inches, centimeters, millimeters, points, and picas.
- Resolution: refers to the number of pixels per inch that will be printed on paper and the size of those pixels. If you want to make web images you should choose 72 pixels/inch, but if your images are for print, you should choose at least 150 pixels/inch, though it would be better to set it at 300 pixels/inch.
- Color Mode: color modes determine how an image will be represented in print or on screen. If you want to edit photos or make images for the web, you should use RGB color mode, but if you want to make images for print, you should work in CMYK color mode. Let’s take a look at the 5 color modes:
- Bitmap: it’s a black and white image that’s formed only from black and white dots, with no color levels in between
- Greyscale: it also uses only one channel like bitmap, but it has intensity levels from 0 to 255. You can use it if you want to print your image on a noncolor printer.
- RGB color: this is what you will use if you want to make images for the web. This color mode is used by computer monitors and the human eye. It’s divided into 3 color channels (red, green, and blue) and each channel has intensity levels that range between 0 and 255.
- CMYK color: is used for printing and it’s made up of 4 channels: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
- Lab color: it has two channels dedicated to color and one to intensity.
- Background Contents: you can choose between a white background, a transparent one, or you can choose a different color for it.
The workspace layout
This is the area you need to get yourself accustomed to. You can add new windows to your workspace from Widow.
- Canvas: is the main workspace where you will create and modify images.
- History: you can access the History panel from Window. It allows you to see the actions you have taken and you can even go back up to a previous point in your work.
- Layers: each layer on your canvas is an individual level and work done on a layer is independent of the other layers. Since layers are one of the most difficult concepts to understand, the next lesson will focus on them.
- Tools: the toolbar is full of useful tools, but it takes some time to learn all of them. Some of the most important are:
- the marquee tools: allow you to make selections
- the brush tool: can be used to write or draw
- eraser tool: deletes a certain color or the whole layer
- eyedropper tool: allows you to select the color from an image
- paint bucket and gradient tool: will fill the whole layer or a selected area with color or gradient
- pen tool: you can make shapes or selections
- text tool: adds text to images
- shape tools: allows you to draw different shapes
Was this tutorial useful? I will show you more features and other ways to use these tools in the future.