We’ve simplified Photoshop for all you beginners out there that just want a few tips on how to navigate this somewhat complicated software. Photoshop might be complicated the first few times you use it, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll become your photo-editing BFF.

Be Familiar with the Components and your Edition

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There are three components in Photoshop you need to be familiar with. The first being the menu bar – it’s in every software and it includes many of the options Photoshop has to offer. Secondly, the options bar, it’s right beneath the menu bar and has contextualized options for different tools. Finally, the tool bar, which has short-cut for all Photoshop tools. Be familiar with your photoshop edition. You have to know that Photoshop’s editions are labelled with a CS after the name. The latest edition of Photoshop is the CS6 version, but there are very minor differences between editions.

Resolution and Canvas

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Make sure to work with a resolution that best fits the quality of the image you want to edit, the standard is 300 pixels per inch (for print) and 72 pixels per inch (for digital) – this is called DPI. You can do this in the box that appears as soon as you insert an image into Photoshop.

The ‘canvas’ is the the area you’re going to work with. It changes if you want to expand your working space to add another picture, and is commonly used with memes. You can either select the size of the canvas at the beginning or adjust it halfway into the editing process. It can be adjusted under the image option in the menu bar.

Layers

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The best thing about using Photoshop is the ability to use layers, which make your work more organized and more efficient. When you have more than one subject in your photo, like a text on an image, you need to have the text on one layer and the photo on another layer in order to be able to move the two items independently. You can show/hide each to play around with the positioning and delete all unwanted content without affecting the image.

Tip: Before starting the editing process, copy the original (main) layer and work with the copy. Hide the original to ensure that ruin the image too much. If all goes wrong, you still have the original to work with.

Editing

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This is the most important feature of Photoshop. It gives you many different options, such as adjusting shadows, highlights, and colour composition. You can change the size of the photo so that you don’t affect its quality or resolution. Moreover, under the edit and image options, you can choose other editing options – like duplicating a part of the picture.

Filters

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Just like other photo-editing softwares, Photoshop has 12 big filter categories (including video) that include many sub-filters underneath. Hard to find? Easily located in menu bar under filters.

Advanced Options

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For the more advanced among you, you can use the Magic Wand tool to get rid of the background to keep focus on the subject you want. You can use the Lasso tool or the Magnetic Lasso tool to create a border around the part of the image you want to select – just drag the mouse around the area you want and then inverse the filter. You can also use tools such as Healing Brush, Spot Healing, Clone, Pattern Clone Stamp, and the Patch Tool to play around with the background of the photo to change the position of an item in the picture.

Saving

When it comes to saving your final product, you have more than one option. If this is your final product and no more editing will be done using Photoshop, you can save your file in an image format using (.jpg) with quality of 12 points or more and maximum option selected. The second option is designed for future edits on Photoshop. If you have not finished editing and wish to continue editing, save your unfishinshed work using the (.psd) format.

Saving as .jpg flattens the layers, meaning no more independent editing within Photoshop will be allowed.