Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop


Have you ever thought of entering the magical world of Photoshop? Even if you are interested, you may be confused with the normal questions of “how to start?” and from “where to start”.  Photoshop offers unique opportunities to venture into the image editing world to create stunning images.

If you throw yourself into this field without ample preparation, Photoshop may be quite difficult for you. The side walls of icons and menus in the Photoshop window can be intimidating for an ideal beginner. If you are a complete alien to this field, this guide will be your stepping stone to master this wonderful software.

Here is an awesome guide on the basic concepts of Photoshop. This is completely about learning how to use Photoshop and you can definitely stop worrying about the perfection aspects. With a wonderful start, the “quality” graphics will come automatically to you gradually with time.

Let’s start…In Photoshop, you can find a rich source of information about the basic functions and tools in the “help” file under the “edit” option. To understand the basic steps in Photoshop, simply open an image or a picture and then browse around in the tool menu and try different things out.  You may open an existing image or picture using File->Open.  You may also create using Edit->Paste option to choose from the Clipboard.

To easily understand functions of each tool, apply some functions to the image. From the layer menu, select any function and apply it on the selected image. This will be helpful in checking and analyzing each function yourself.

Basic concepts:

When you start with Photoshop, you will encounter with certain terms like Vector images, raster images, image resolution and many other similar terms. Vector images and raster images are the two classifications of computer graphics. Mathematically defined curves and lines are called “Vector images” and are created using Adobe Illustrator whereas Adobe Photoshop creates “Raster images” made of pixels. Image resolution refers to the spacing of pixels and is denoted as pixels per inch (ppi).

The Photoshop workspace is shown below. It consists of the tools palette, layers menu, color/style menu, drop-down menus, Info menu, history menu and the tool options.


  • Tools menu

The tools menu contains the tools that are used to edit the image directly. The tools include the following:

Marque Tool – Used to select elliptical or rectangular area by simply dragging the mouse over an area of the image.

Move Tool – Used to move a selection to a new location by dragging it. A temporary layer called as “floating selection” is created when you move a selection.

Lasso Tool – By dragging a freehand outline, a selection of an area can be done using this tool.

Magic Wand Tool – Based on the color similarities of other adjacent pixels, you can select portions of an image. Without tracing the outline, you can easily select a colored area.

Airbrush Tool – You can apply gradual tones to an image using this tool. It provides a special airbrush effect on the images.

These are some of the few tools in the Tools menu. Gradually you will be familiar with all the tools as you learn more.


  • Layers Menu

You can see the various layers of the image using this option. The “new layer” button enables to select a new layer. You can individually edit layers if you create new layer for each part of the selected image.

  • Choosing Color

You can select the colors from the color palette and a paint bucket or brush can be used to apply the color. The background color is represented by the bottom square. To swap the colors, you need to click the arrow.

Are you Ready?

These are some of the basic elements of Photoshop. As a beginner, you can simply experiment with all the tools to get a simple understanding. Hope you are ready to face the palettes and menus with confidence.