This is an expeditious reduction of Photoshop’s Tools palette with an explanation of each tool’s uses and shortcuts. Perfect for those brand new to Photoshop.

I chose to begin at the beginning. The very beginning. For these people who just “picked up” a copy of Photoshop and should no idea what to do with it. The keyboard shortcut is in ().

Rectangular Marquee Tool (M):

Practice this tool to make choices on your image, in a square aspect. This changes the area of your image that is modified by other tools or actions to be the defined state. Being the [Shift] key while moving your selection, restricts the shape to a perfect square. Holding the [Alt] key while dragging sets the center of the rectangle to where your cursor began.

Polygon Lasso Tool (L):

This should be the Lasso Tool, but use the Polygon Lasso a lot further often. Use this to draw picks in whatever aspect you would like. To close the selection, either noise on the beginning end, or just double-click. When holding the [Ctrl] key, you’ll see the cursor change, and the subsequent time you click, it will close your selection.

Move Tool (V):

Use this means to, well, move things. Usually, you use it to remove a Layer around after it has been placed. Hold the [Shift] key to restrict the movements to vertical/straight.

Crop Tool (C):

The Crop Tool operates similarly to the Square Marquee tool (see earlier if you have no short-term memory). The exception is when you press the [Enter/Return] key, it crops your image to the size of the box. Any information that was on the outside of the box is now gone. Not forever, you can still undo.

Magic Wand Tool (W):

Use this to pick a color range. It will choose the block of color, or transparency, based on where you click. In the Options Bar at the top, you can change the Tolerance to make your reservations more/few specific.

Slice Tool (K):

This is often used for building websites, or splitting up one image into smaller ones when delivering out. It’s an advanced tool, and as you’re in here for the basics, we’ll kind of skip over it. Kind of makes you angry I made you read all that for blank.

Brush Tool (B):

This is one of the greatest tools ever. It’s what Photoshop is based on. Well, not actually, but it’s pretty necessary. It paints one your image, in whatever color you have chosen, and whatever size you have selected. There’s a lot of opportunities for it, but this is basic, so you don’t get to discover them and you can retouch your photo with brush tools.

Clone Stamp Tool (S):

This is very related to the Healing Brush Tool. You use it the same way, but this tool doesn’t blend at the end. It’s a direct copy of the information from the first selected state to the second. When you get to use both of these tools together in perfect form, you will be a Photoshop MASTA! Not really, it’s just less trying.

Eraser Tool (E):

This is the anti-Brush tool. It acts like an eraser and erases whatever information wherever you snap and drag it. If you’re on a Layer, it will delete the information transparently. If you are on the background film, it erases with whatever small color you have selected

Gradient Tool (G):

You can use this to make a promotion of colors. Graduation doesn’t seem to be a word, but it makes sense anyhow. It creates a blending of your view color and background color when you snap and drag it. Like a gradient.

Horizontal Type Tool (T):

It does type. Or text. Or whatever you need to call it. You can click a particular point, and start typing right away. Or you can click and drag to make a bounding box of anywhere your text/type goes. There’s a lot of options for the Type Tool. Just play about, it’s relatively good-forward.

Pen Tool (P):

I mentioned this tool above. It’s for creating paths, in which you would use the Path Selection Tool to select the path. Tracks can be used in a few different ways, mostly to build clipping paths, or to create selections. You use the tool by clicking to add a point. If you click and drag, it will change the shape of your path, allowing you to bend and shape the way for accurate selections and such.

 

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