Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for BeginnersPublished in Design, Photoshop Tutorials
We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.
While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop.
Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.
Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:
The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop.
More resources for learning the tools and UI:
- 13 Key Elements to Mastering Photoshop – Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3
- 5 Common Photoshop Myths Solved for Absolute Beginners
- Photoshop Interface Tutorial
- Tip: Use the Grid in Photoshop
- Zooming and Panning in Photoshop
- 5 Highly Applicable Yet Easily Overlooked Features in Photoshop
- Photoshop Toolbox Reference
Layers, Layer Styles, Layer Masks and Adjustment Layers:
In order to be able to efficiently and effectively work with Photoshop you will need a solid understanding of layers. The resources in this section provide guides for working with layers in Photoshop, as well as layer styles, layer masks and adjustment layers.
More resources for working with layers:
- Photoshop Layers Tutorial: Life without Layers
- Layer Style and Layer Mask Interaction
- Install Layer Styles in Photoshop
- Using Layer Comps for Design in Photoshop
- Photoshop Adjustment Layer and Retouching Tutorial
The Pen Tool:
Photoshop’s pen tool can be used for impressive results, but it can be very difficult to use if you don’t understand how it works. The following resources will provide helpful guides to explain the pen tool and how you can use it in your own work.
More resources for the pen tool:
Brushes and Other Presets:
Brushes, patterns, shapes, and the other presets are an essential part of Photoshop. Whether you are using the presets that come with the software, downloading those created by other designers, or creating your own, learning the potential of these presets and how to work with them should be a priority.
More resources for brushes and presets:
- Mastering the Preset Manager
- Quick Tip: How to Load Photoshop Brushes
- How to Use Patterns
- Installing Photoshop Patterns Tutorial
- Creating Custom Patterns
- The Hidden Power of Photoshop Brush Tool
- Installing Custom Shapes and Brushes in Photoshop
- Mastering Custom Brushes
- Create Your Own Custom Brushes
- Photoshop Tip: Rotate Brush Between Use
- How to Distress Text in Seconds with Photoshop Brushes
- How to Sync Photoshop Presets on Multiple Computers
The type tool is a little more straightforward than some of the others for beginners, but it still helps to have a firm grasp of how the tool works and what you can do with text in Photoshop.
With Photoshop’s transform capabilities you can edit and manipulate objects in a variety of different ways. The links provided below with get you started.
The are several different ways to make selections in Photoshop, and each technique has certain situations where it works better than others. Here you’ll learn about the basic selection tools and when to use them.
More resources for selections:
Clone Stamp Tool:
The clone stamp tool allows you to duplicate, or clone, an area. The resources below will explain how to tool works and how you can use it.
Photoshop’s various blend modes give users a lot of potential to create different results quickly and easily. The links in this section will explain how you can play with the blend modes of your layers and what types of changes it will have.
More resources for blend modes:
- Using Blends to Create Depth
- Layer Blending Modes in Photoshop and Elements
- Working with Photoshop Blending Modes & Opacity
Photoshop has a number of different filters that you can use, and each has its own purpose and use. These links will explain some of the different filters, how they work, and when you should use them.
Earlier we provided some links to tutorials on selection methods. Channels can also be used to select and extract, as well as to edit photos in other ways.
Photoshop smart objects can help you to save time on repetitive tasks, and these links will show you how to use them.
Photoshop actions are a great way to automate certain processes and save time. You can create your own actions or use those created by others.
More resources for Photoshop actions:
- Creating a Photoshop Action
- Automating Actions to Save Time
- Automatically Define Photoshop Brushes by Using Actions
Efficiency and Performance:
If you use Photoshop a lot you will want to make the most of your time with it. The resources here will help you to work smarter with as little wasted time as possible.
More resources for efficiency and performance:
- How to Effectively Use Contrast, Auto Levels, and Batch Processing
- Free Yourself with Automated Batch
- Photographers, Let Photoshop Do the Work
- Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
- 18 Exceptional Photoshop Shortcuts
- 28 More Exceptionally Useful Photoshop Shortcuts
- Photoshop Secret Shortcuts
These links will show you how you can save and optimize images that are going to be used on websites, for maximum performance.
Working with Colors in Photoshop:
Colors are, of course, an essential part of any design. These resources will explain the basics of working with color in Photoshop.
More resources for working with color:
Design for Print:
Designing for print is different than designing for the web. These links will explain some of the intricacies of designing for print and how it should be handled.
More resources for designing for print:
- Quick Tips to Help You Design for Print in Photoshop
- RGB to CMYK Conversion
- How to Convert RGB to CMYK in Photoshop
Working with Graphics Tablets:
Although it is not necessary, you may choose to work with a graphics tablet. These links will explain how to do so and how to decide on the tablet that is right for you.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of Photoshop, here are some tutorial collections that you may want to check out: