15 Step Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Photoshop

If you’re new to Photoshop CC, this is the guide for you. In this video, you will be taken from zero to hero in terms of being able to use Photoshop to perform simple, yet effective commands and functions and take control of the photograph or graphic design that you’re working on in Photoshop. This tutorial will help you take the first steps to getting better at using Photoshop and impressing your friends and your next potential boss with the new-found skills that you possess. Here’s to you becoming the next Photoshop MASTER!

Working with the UI and saving Workspaces

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The user interface in Photoshop can be customized almost any way that you like. Simply click and drag the tab at the top of any panel to break it away from its group and make it a stand-alone panel or drag it near other panels and watch for the blue highlight to appear so you can drop it into place next to the other panels that are already in place in Photoshop. Check out the full video to see how I work with the Photoshop UI and customize and save my workspace in Photoshop with ease.

The PSD, New Documents, and Dragging in New Files

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In this part of the video I talk about what a PSD is and how you should think about your PSDs and where JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, etc… come from. I’ll also show you how you can drag or place images in Photoshop as a new image, or within an already open image.

Tabbed Documents and Navigating the Open Document

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When you open multiple files in Photoshop, you’ll have a series of tabs that open in Photoshop. We’ll cover how to handle multiple files being open and also working with a single open Photoshop file and how to navigate around that PSD while working on your image.

What, Why, & How of Layers & the Layers Panel

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We’ll cover the what, why, and how of layers and how to work with the layers panels in Photoshop. Creating, deleting, duplicating, adjusting opacity, and so much more with regard to layers will all be covered in this portion of the tutorial. This is must-see tutorial action!

All About the Selection Tools

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Almost everything you do in Photoshop will involve a selection tool in some way or another so grab the Rectangular Marquee tool using the hotkey (M) and drag out your first selection! In this part of the tutorial, I’ll cover the very basics of using the selection tools and some very helpful hotkeys and functions of the marquee tools. You’re going to love it!

Master the Move Tool

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One of the most used tools in Photoshop has got to be the Move tool. This is the go-to tool for selecting any object, any layer, anything that you want to drag around your document. I’ll also cover Smart Guides and using this tool to perfectly align objects within your Photoshop document.

The Importance of Shape Tools

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If you’re into web design or graphic design or even some types of light UI design, the shape tools will become your best friend. These tools allow you to draw pixel-perfect vector shapes that are live and updateable via the properties panel in Photoshop. I’ll show you some tips and tricks for using this tool and avoiding some of the problems you may run into when using this tool. Grab any one of the Shape tools (except for the pesky Line tool) and drag out a shape and play along with the tutorial!

The Power of the Type Tool

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The Type tool is pretty straight forward and simple, but absolutely essential if you used Photoshop for much of anything. I’ll show you how to create type, customize type, and tweak the way the type looks in your document. Check out this part of the tutorial for all the info I share!

The Power of the Adjustment Layers

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In my mind, Adjustment Layers are at the center of the non-destructive editing wing of the Photoshop mansion. Learning what these are and how to use them is incredibly important and one of the most useful things you will ever learn about Photoshop.

Power of Masks & Masking

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Masking is the second most important part of non-destructive editing and is the absolute best way to erase parts of any layer or contain what part of an image your adjustment layers can edit. You can add a mask to any layer by going Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. This will give you a white mask which shows everything on that layer until you start painting with black. Check out the video to see my full explanation. Once you learn to mask, you may never use the regular Erase tool ever again. Masking is power in Photoshop currency.

Filters & Smart Filters

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Filters allow you to do all kinds of crazy things to your images in Photoshop, but also allow you to perform simple tasks like blurring your image or sharpening your image. In this part of the tutorial I’ll cover Smart Filters and some of the things you want to avoid when using filters in Photoshop.

Transforming, Rotating, Resizing, Scaling

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When you want to resize a layer or an object in Photoshop you need to use Free Transform. We’ll cover how to rotate, resize, scale, adjust perspective, skew, and more to any object in Photoshop. Cmd/Ctrl + T gets you to Free Transform, this part of the tutorial get’s you all the way home with Free Transform.

Cropping, Resizing, and Straightening

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From selling stuff on eBay to putting the finishing touches on your photographic masterpiece, cropping is almost always a part of getting your image just perfect. I’ll talk about the Crop tool and how powerful it now is in Photoshop and why you should avoid the standard cropping method in Photoshop right away.

Undoing and the History Panel

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One of the things that made Da Vinci great was that he didn’t have Ctrl + Z. That actually wasn’t what made him great, but it sure helps me look good being able to undo with a simple hotkey in Photoshop. We’ll cover undoing, the history panel, and expanding on your history capability in Photoshop.Saving, Exporting, and File Types

Saving, Exporting, and File Types

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Once you have created your PSD and are ready to share your image with the world, it’s time to export and get the file out there using the best format possible. We will take a look at the export options of Photoshop and how to get the best quality while getting much smaller file sizes by avoiding the standard “Save As” and using “Export As” in Photoshop. Don’t skip out on this last part of the tutorial!

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