Adobe Photoshop is used to produce sophisticated graphics for print and other media. For years, Photoshop has been the model against which other graphics programs are compared. Today we will explore the Photoshop workspace and complete several exercises to become familiar with its basic components. Then we'll work on a project using layers and other features to add an image of a girl to a beach scene, creating a custom print-media image.
Let's open Photoshop and begin today's exercises.
Step1. Open Photoshop using the Start menu or another shortcut.
Step2. To view the preferences, from the Menu bar,
Click Edit, Click Preferences, Click Interface...
NOTE for MacOS Users: To view the preferences, from the Menu bar, Click Photoshop, Click Preferences, Click Interface.
Step3. To select the lightest interface color, in the Color Theme section,
NOTE: You may choose whichever color you like, but screen captures in these materials are taken at the lightest setting.
Step4. To accept the settings,
Step5. To open a file, from the Menu bar,
Click File, Click Open...
Setting the Location for Opening Your File
When the dialog box opens, it lists a default location from where the file will be opened. All of our exercise files are contained in the epclass folder, located on the desktop. We'll want to change our location to this folder.
We will start at the desktop, since our exercise file folder, epclass, is located there.
Step1. To move to the desktop,
Step2. To open the epclass folder,
Step3. To open the correct folder,
Double-Click the Photoshop Basics folder
Step4. To open the file,
Understanding the Interface
With a file open, let's look at the interface. The Photoshop interface is very similar to many other Adobe programs, and has some standard features.
We can see our image situated in the center of the interface. We can have multiple files open at the same time. Each file will be held in a tab that we can use to switch between files. We can also alter the interface so that we can see multiple windows at the same time. Sometimes this will be necessary to easily complete certain tasks.
In looking at an open document in Photoshop, we see the basic components of the interface:
We will look at each section of the interface individually.
Exploring the Tools Panel
The Tools panel is located on the left side of the interface by default. It contains tools that change the way our cursor interacts with the image. Here we can activate tools that allow us to remove blemishes, fix red eye, move objects, and perform a host of other Photoshop tasks that we will learn about today.
We would like to activate the Move tool. It is located near the top of the Tools panel.
Each tool has a tool tip that will appear when we hover over it.
Step1. To view the tool tip for the Move tool, in the Tools panel,
NOTE: The letter V in parentheses after the tool name indicates the key we can press on the keyboard to activate the tool.
Step2. To activate the tool, in the Tools panel,
Exploring the Options Bar
The Options bar is located just below the Menu bar. This is a context-sensitive panel that displays options for whichever tool we have selected. Currently, it is showing us options for the Move tool.
Let's switch to the Brush tool to see new options.
Step1. To activate the Brush tool, in the Tools panel,
The Photoshop panels appear on the right side of the interface. These allow us to change options that affect the tools, and also to work with the structure of the image in Photoshop. We will learn more about how these panels work as we continue today, but let's see how to activate them now.
We see the default panel view now. These panels can be rearranged easily by pressing and dragging their tabs.
We can also notice that there are several tabs located in each panel section. Each tab represents a different panel. Let's switch to a different panel now.
We can see the Color panel listed at the top. Let's activate a related panel, which is the Swatches panel.
Step1. To activate the Swatches panel, in the panels,
Saving as a .PSD File
We would like to save our file, but we want to make sure that we save it as an appropriate file format. We could save it as many different file types but we want to have a file type we can continue editing. The standard file type for Photoshop is the Photoshop Document, or.psd. We will keep our file in this type until we are ready to export it.
Step 1. To save the file, from the Menu bar,
Click File, Click Save As...
Step 2. To change the file type, in the Save as type field,
Click , Click Photoshop (*.PSD, *.PDD)
Step 3. To save the file, in the dialog box,
Let's begin editing our photo.