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Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers

The toolbox


From:

Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers

with Tim Grey

Video: The toolbox

Even if you've never actually used Photoshop, just it's reputation alone. I'm sure tells you, that there are many tools in Photoshop. And of course that can be meant literally, and figuratively. Because in Photoshop, we do have access to a wide variety of tools that allow us to perform a variety of tasks on our images. The toolbox is where you'll find all of the tools in Photoshop. And that toolbox is over on the left side of the interface by default. It's actually possible to float the toolbox. I'll go ahead and click on the header for that toolbox.

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Photoshop CS6 Quick Start for Photographers
2h 14m Beginner Apr 23, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Often photographers who want to learn to use Adobe Photoshop just dive in and figure out how to do what they need to do. This is all well and good, but with this approach you're likely to miss out on features that could help you, ways of working more efficiently, and an overall understanding of how Photoshop works. In this course Tim Grey takes you systematically through Photoshop's interface and tools, then shows you how to make basic adjustments and output your work for sharing. Whether you've been using Photoshop for a little while or you're just getting started, this workshop will make sure you always know where you are and where you're headed.

Topics include:
  • A guided tour of Photoshop
  • Setting up your environment
  • Color modes, bit depth, and image resolution
  • The Histogram
  • File formats
  • Basic adjustments
  • Saving
  • Output workflow
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

The toolbox

Even if you've never actually used Photoshop, just it's reputation alone. I'm sure tells you, that there are many tools in Photoshop. And of course that can be meant literally, and figuratively. Because in Photoshop, we do have access to a wide variety of tools that allow us to perform a variety of tasks on our images. The toolbox is where you'll find all of the tools in Photoshop. And that toolbox is over on the left side of the interface by default. It's actually possible to float the toolbox. I'll go ahead and click on the header for that toolbox.

And then click and drag out into the Photoshop interface, and you'll see that I now have a floating toolbox. I can also have a two column or a one column toolbox. At the moment, it is one column, I'll go ahead and click the Arrow button up at the top of the toolbox. And that will spread the toolbox out into a two column wide view. Generally speaking I prefer a one column view. And also I prefer to have the toolbox docked to the left side of the Photoshop interface. About the only time I might suggest having a floating toolbox is if you're working with multiple monitors. And you want to have that toolbox over on your secondary display. So I'll go ahead and switch back to a one column view. And then I'll drag that toolbox over to the left side of the Photoshop interface. And as soon as I see that blue highlight, I'll know that if I release the mouse, the toolbox will once again be docked over on the left-hand side. Of course the key focus of the toolbox is the tools. And you can see that we have a variety of buttons available to us, each representing one or more tools.

You'll notice that some of the tool buttons actually have a little triangle at the bottom right corner. And that means there's more than one tool represented by that button. At the moment I'm pointing to the rectangular Marquee tool. And if I click and hold the mouse I'll get a fly out menu where I can choose from the several Marquee tools. The Rectangular Marquee tool, the Elliptical Marquee tool, the Single Row Marquee tool, and the Single Column Marquee tool. I'll go ahead and switch for example to the Elliptical Marquee tool and now you can see that the button reflects that tool.

In addition to the Marquee tools for selections. We also have the various Lasso tools, as well as the Quick Selection tool and the Magic Wand tool. You'll also find a Crop tool, a Perspective Crop tool, the Slice tool, and the Slice Select tool. Some of these you won't typically use for photographic images, but I'll point them out anyway. We also have the Eyedropper tool as well as a couple of variations on the Eyedropper tool, plus a Ruler tool and a Note tool. We have some image cleanup tools including the Spot Healing Brush, the Regular Healing Brush, the Patch tool, the Content Aware Move tool and the Red Eye tool.

And then we have the Brush tool as well as the Pencil tool, Color Replacement tool and the Mixer Brush. And the list goes on and on. We have the Clone Stamp tool for cleanup. We have the Art History brush and the History brush, the Eraser tool, the Gradient tool. A series of tools that allow us to blur, sharpen or smudge areas of an image. The Dodge and Burn tools, as well as the Sponge tool. The Pin tool with some variations on that. Several tools related to adding text to your images. Some selection tools that relate to particular features in Photoshop.

Some Shape tools which can be kind of interesting. As well as a Hand tool and a Rotate View tool, and then finally the Zoom tool. Note that in addition to choosing a specific tool, we can also use keyboard shortcuts. So for example, if I want the Spot Healing Brush tool, you'll see on the flyout the letter J. I can press the letter J to access the Spot Healing Brush tool. If I want one of the other tools found along with the Spot Healing Brush tool, I can use Shift+J to toggle through them. I'll go ahead and close the Flyout menu. And I'll press the letter B which gives me the Brush tool, and then I'll press the letter J to get the Spot Healing Brush tool. But then I can press Shift+J to go to the Healing brush tool, Shift+J again to go to the Patch tool, and so on.

Down toward the bottom of the toolbox, you'll find the color picker. At any time, you have a foreground color, which is the color you'll paint with if you're using one of the painting tools. And a background color, which you can sort of think of as a color in reserve, ready to switch to at any time. You can click on the Color Swatch to bring up the color picker if you want to choose a particular color for example. But you can also reset the colors to their default values. Clicking on the smaller representation of the color picker will switch to the default values. You can also press the letter D on your keyboard.

And the button to the right, the double headed curved Arrow button will switch the foreground and background colors. You can also press the letter X to switch between those. Down below the color picker you'll find the Quick Mask Mode icon and that's used for modifying selections. And you'll also find the Full Screen View Options button that allows you to toggle through a series of view options for your images. I'll go ahead for example and switch to full screen view with the menu. And then full screen view which includes nothing but the image itself.

And then I can press F to switch back to my normal view. Obviously as you first get started with Photoshop many of these tools might seem like a mystery. But it's good to know they're there and it's good to explore a little bit checking to see which tools are available. And maybe experimenting around with some of those. But with time you'll also start using more and more of these tools as you learn to really master Photoshop for making the most of your photographic images.

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