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Adobe Photoshop is an image editing program that I find very useful. It has many valuable features essential for making great graphics. This tutorial will teach a beginner how to use some of it's basic functions.
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Start by creating a New file Ctrl + N. You can select Custom from the Preset Sizes drop down menu and select a width and height of your choice. Now we can begin to explore the menu bar located on the left of the photoshop screen. You can use your new document to try out the tools as we go.
The first tool is the Rectangular Marquee, or selection tool . It is used to select part of a document. It is most useful when you want to either: delete a portion of a document, but not all of it, or edit a specific portion of it. If you click and hold the rectangular marquee tool button you will see a menu of other selection tools. The Elliptical Marquee tool selects in a circular shape. The Single Row Marquee tool selects a horizontal line across a document. The Single Column Marquee tool selects a vertical line across a document.
The second tool you will see on the menu is the Move tool . As the name suggests it will move an image, or selected portion, to an area of your choosing.
The Lasso tool is the next tool you will see on the menu. With this tool you can draw around an image to select it. It is useful for selections that are not in the shape of a rectangle or circle. When you click and hold this button on the menu you will see other lasso choices. The Polygonal Lasso tool is yet a better way to select an image that is not a precise shape. It will allow you to click points of an image to trace around it in a uniform way. The Magnetic Lasso tool will trace the object on its own while you drag your cursor throughout the image you wish to select. Once you are done tracing it, as you may notice this tool does it practically on its own, (continue holding the mouse click), press enter. The image will now be selected.
Next on the menu is the Magic Wand tool . It is useful for selecting the background out of an image. It will select everything in a document of a particular color. Simply click any color you wish and all objects that color will be selected. Then just hit delete and like "magic" it removes all.
The Crop tool is like a selection tool, except it will take the section you cropped, and make it a new document deleting the rest of the image that is left behind. This is a good tool to use when you make your document too big and need to delete the unused portion.
The next tool is the Slice tool . What the slice tool does is divide an image into different sections with the intent of optimizing each separate section for use on the web. It is complicated especially for beginners. I suggest not using it unless you know what you're doing.
I am going to sort of glaze over two other tools as well, mainly because a beginner really does not have a use for these. They are the Healing Brush tool , and the Clone Stamp tool . They basically allow you to select an area of an image and stamp it on a document. The healing differs because it matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the selected area. Now back to more benefical tools for starters.
Continuing down the menu is the Brush tool . This is a wonderful and useful tool. When you select the brush tool a menu appears at the top of the screen.
This menu has various features, which include the modes of painting, type of brush, and the brush itself. When you click on the Brush: part of the brush menu a drop down is displayed. Within this drop down you can edit the size, by changing the Master Diameter. Also, you can edit if the brush will be faded or strong, by changing the hardness. Below these two features, you will see a significantly long list of brushes. If you scroll down, you will see infinite types such as stars, leaves, and more. You can also create and load new brushes into this list. Lots of websites offer brushes and instructions on how to load them into Photoshop. Brushes are a great way to add images to a document. Play with these until you find the brush that fits your needs. When you click and hold the brush tool another option displayed is the Pencil tool . It can be used to draw images freehand onto a document. It too, has a menu where you can change the size and shape.
The Art History brush is the next tool on the menu. It can be used for corrections to a document. If you have painted over old work this brush will remove the paint revealing what is underneath. It is a handy brush to correct mistakes.
The next tool, the Erase tool , is also useful for correction. It does the very simple task of erasing. This is a very easy to use tool, and its size can be changed in the same menu where the brush features were. The block mode works like a simple eraser, while the Brush/Pencil mode will be more creative because you choose the size and form of the eraser. Again holding in this button will reveal other erasers. The Background Erase tool basically does as said. It erases much the same as the erase tool but it only erases the background. This eraser will not erase the whole background at once. The Magic Erase tool erases like "magic". You can click on an image and erase all of that color in a document.
tutorial continued on page 2
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