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First Steps In Photoshop
It doesn’t matter if you are new to the world of graphic design, or you are a photographer and you want to enhance your photos, you will eventually encounter the need to use Adobe Photoshop. Remembering when I first started out, I recall how intimidated I was at all of the menus and features available. I wondered how I would ever begin to know how to work my way through Photoshop and create professional quality, eye-dazzling work. Years later, I use Photoshop on a daily basis, and my actions are more like reflexes and I can complete most tasks without a second thought. I won’t lie to you. You won’t be able to go from getting started, to pro overnight, but you can take comfort in knowing that everyone has to start somewhere.
Getting to Know Your Way Around Photoshop
It is good to have a general idea of where everything is, so that you can work your way around the Photoshop interface. To get started, I will list some terminology, and where you can find it in Photoshop.
1. Main Menu
This is where your Options, Image Adjustments and Filters are. When you run filters in Photoshop, they will be found in this section under the Filters Menu.
2. Options Bar
This menu is most used when you have a tool selected. It allows you to adjust settings that are specified for the active tool.
By default, this sits on the left side of your screen and contains all of the different tools that are available in the program. If a tool contains a black triangle in the bottom-right corner, then there are other tools related to that one stored in a sub menu. All you have to do is click and hold your mouse over that tool to reveal the submenu.
Terms That You May Hear When Learning Photoshop
When learning Photoshop, you may be watching video tutorials, reading a book, or reading a blog tutorial online about how to do something in Photoshop. Most writers have an assumption that the reader has a general idea of the basic terminology involved with using Photoshop.
This refers to each window inside of Photoshop, which contains controls over different aspects of your document. Good examples would be the Color Panel, the Layers Panel, the Paths Panel, and anything else besides the toolbox that is open alongside your actual Photoshop document. What is great about Panels is that you can arrange them however you desire. You can dock any panel with another set of panels, so that you can consolidate your workspace. This is especially handy for people who are working on a laptop or a smaller monitor. All you have to do is click and drag the title tab of any panel over another panel. The bottom panel will outline in blue, letting you know that you can dock this panel with another set. Release your mouse, and now you will have multiple panels in one small window.
A good rule of thumb is to dock alike items. I tend to dock Swatches, Color, Styles and Kuler together. Then, I dock Layers, Channels, and Paths together. I also dock brushes and brush presets together, and I dock the Character and Paragraph panels together.
This is the actual image or file that you are working on in Photoshop. This also refers to any other open document inside of Photoshop. You can have multiple images open in Photoshop at once.
This refers to a popup box that opens when you select choose to use a filter, or certain options in Photoshop. Dialog boxes usually contain options and settings for the filter or action that you just selected.