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Photoshop - Tools Tutorial

Photoshop itself provides a decent tutorial designed to teach the basic tools and commands associated with the tool bar. This tutorial is designed to pick up where Adobe's leaves off with more in depth examples and concepts, after all practice makes perfect.

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Photoshop - Tool Bar

The tool bar rests along the left hand side of the screen when Photoshop opens. Each icon represents a different tool and each of the different tools has a specific function that will be outlined as the tutorial progresses.

The tool bar itself can be moved about the stage by clicking along the top bar and dragging it from location to location. The other windows and palettes can also be moved about. For now it might be best to leave the tool bar as it is until you begin to get comfortable with the program.

Photoshop Tool Bar:

Tool Bar

Photoshop - Secondary Tools

As you follow along in the examples, you will discover that there is more than meets the eye with the tool bar. Each tool usually has several secondary tools that can be accessed by clicking on an icon and holding. A pop-up menu will appear with more tools.

Photoshol Secondary Tools:

Secondary Tools

Photoshop - Tool Bar Shortcuts

As each tool is outlined in its own lesson, we will offer the keyboard short-cut as a means of accessing the tool without having to constantly drag your mouse about your monitor. Don't feel obligated to memorize each and every shortcut but be aware of them and as you use Photoshop these shortcuts become more of a habitual ritual which can save time here and there.

To see the keyboard shortcuts for each tool simply click and hold on a tool, as you do for the secondary tools, and the letter that is shown off to the right is the keyboard shortcut for that tool.

Keyboard Shortcuts:

Secondary Tools

Most secondary tools can also be accessed through keyboard shortcuts. By holding shift and then pressing the normal keyboard shortcut, the tool bar will cycle through the secondary tools available through the tool bar.

As a demonstration, cycle through the lasso tools by hitting shift+L.

Photoshop - Tool Options and Customization

Tools can also be customized through the tool options located at the top of the stage.

Tool Options Bar:

Tool Options Bar

Each tool offers different variants and options, these will be outlined in the tool specific lessons that follow.

Photoshop - Tool Presets

If you set up a tool that you enjoy and use often, tool options can be saved in the form of a tool preset. Save a tool preset by:

  1. Click the arrow by the tool along the tool options bar.
  2. Preset Arrow:

    Preset Arrow
  3. Click the Create New Preset Icon.
  4. New Preset Icon:

    New Preset Icon
  5. Name the tool preset.
  6. Name a Preset:

    Name a Present Box
  7. Click OK

The preset will be saved and accessible by the same route. Additionally, the tool preset palette can be accessed by clicking on the folder located at the top of the screen.

Tool Preset Palette:

Tool Preset Palette


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