11 Photoshop Skills for Creative Professionals

In Photoshop, the first thing you’ll do is either open an existing file or create a new one. So, lets go over how to do both. You might see a start screen like this when you launch the most recent version of Photoshop. You could go to the Open page if you wanted to create a new account. Click the button on the start screen, or use the New button to start a new one from scratch. button on the start screen. However, there is a different method to access these commands from anywhere in Photoshop. Therefore, even if your start screen isn’t visible, you can always access Photoshop’s File menu and select New. or Open. from there. Lets go ahead and choose Open. To open some existing files in Photoshop, choose File from the menu This will open the Windows File Explorer or the Mac Finder, allowing you to select a file by navigating through your file system. As I’m doing, you can choose one of the tutorial’s practice files, or you can choose one of your own. Hold the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a Windows computer while selecting another file if you want to open more than one at once. Then click the Open button. The document window in Photoshop, where both selected objects are currently being edited, opens. There is a tab for each Open_ command at the top of the document window. And the tab tells you the name of the . Simply click the tab to see another Open_. So thats how to open existing s. Leave those options open and discuss how to start fresh instead. When you want a blank canvas to draw on or a surface to put some sand on, you might do that. So, this time, from the File menu, lets choose New. That opens this New Document window. There are many Blank Document Presets in Photoshop that you can use as a starting point. Choose a category of documents at the top of the window to start your search for one that suits you. Photo, Print, Art & Illustration, or one of these others. Im going to select Photo. Next, pick one of the pre-sized documents from this section’s “Blank Document Presets.” If you don’t find one you like, you can view more presets here: View All Presets. I’m going to choose the Landscape, 4 x 6 preset. All the details, including the width and height, have now been set up for me over on the right. In the Width or Height fields, you can enter a different size if you decide that’s not exactly the one you want. You could also alter any of the other settings on the right. However, sticking with the presets eliminates the stress of initially having to figure out technical details. And if necessary, you can change these settings later in Photoshop. In order to complete creating a new document, click the Create button. Photoshop then opens your new blank document, ready for you to add a picture, some text, or even a shape. As you continue with this tutorial series, you will learn how to do everything.

Let’s examine Photoshop’s layout to help you become accustomed to your workspace. To follow along with this tutorial, you can open any . The Document window, which is located right here in the screen’s center, is the first interface component to become familiar with. This is where youll work on your s. The panels, which are to the right of the Document window, contain a number of editing controls. Beyond the panels you can see in this panel column, there are more. Some of the panels are hidden behind others. For instance, this panel group consists of the Color panel and the Swatches panel. Simply clicking the Swatches panel’s tab brings it forward so I can use it if I want to see it. I’ll choose the color blue from the Swatches panel and it will be used whenever I use other color features, such as the Brush tool. On the Photoshop interface, there are some panels that aren’t open. Go to the Window menu and select one of these alphabetical panels that doesn’t have a checkmark to open one of those panels. For example, Ill choose the Histogram panel. That opens the Histogram panel. And I can close it by clicking the double-headed arrow here when I’m done using it, say, to assess the tones in a picture. The Tools panel, which is positioned to the left of the Document window, is another significant component of the user interface. Its this long vertical bar here. Simply hover over a tool’s icon if you’re unsure of what it does. And shortly after that, you’ll see the tool’s name in a tooltip. To select a tool, just click it. There are more tools than what you can see on the Tools panel’s front. Any tool with a tiny triangle at the bottom right corner, such as the horizontal type tool displayed here, can be clicked and held. And youll see a flyout menu of related tools. So, I can simply slide down to the Vertical Type Tool in this flyout menu and choose it from there if I want to add text that is vertical rather than horizontal. Each tool has a number of controls called options. The horizontal Options bar, which is the following significant interface component, is located here at the top of the screen. The Options bar’s ability to change depending on the tool being selected is crucial. I can see options for text, such as this menu for choosing the font size, because I have the Vertical Type Tool selected. However, pay attention to the Options bar as I choose another tool. Ill click on the Brush tool for example. The options have since changed to include Brush Opacity, Brush Flow, and other features. Lets go ahead and apply an option. When you have the Brush tool selected, one thing you frequently want to do is alter the brush tip’s size. And the Brush Picker option, which is the first option over here on the left of this Options bar, will allow you to do that. I’ll select that option to launch the Brush Picker, where I can adjust the Size slider to the right to enlarge the brush tip or to the left to make it smaller. And to end the Brush Picker, I’ll click in a free space. Ill move into the and Ill apply some paint. By the way, the Brush tool is painting with blue because, as you may recall from earlier in this video, I selected that color in the Swatches panel. By the way, the common keyboard shortcut for undo is Command + Z on a Mac or Ctrl + Z on a PC. If I change my mind about that paint stroke or whatever else I just did in Photoshop, I can undo it by pressing that key combination. The Menu bar, located at the very top of the screen, is the final significant interface component. And here you have multiple menus with lots of controls. For instance, if I want to close this, I can choose Close from the File menu; since we haven’t made any changes that will last forever, you can close the without saving. That was a brief overview of the key features of the Photoshop interface that you will frequently use as you work with the program. The Menu bar, Panels, Tools, Tool Options, and Document window

You’ll frequently use zooming and panning as a means of navigating around an as you work on s in Photoshop. Open this from the tutorial practice files or a sizable one of your own to practice using the zoom and pan controls. Zooming refers to altering the magnifying power of the image, as you might do when using a telescope to view the sky. You might want to zoom in to see a smaller portion of an image or out to see more of an image on your screen. Selecting the Zoom tool from the Tools panel’s bottom is the simplest way to zoom in or out. Then, navigate to the Zoom tool’s Options bar, where you can use the plus and minus signs to zoom in and out of the image, respectively. Let’s begin by activating the plus icon, which is the default. Then to zoom in, move into the and click. You’ll also be able to zoom in a little bit more with each click. Return to the Options bar, select the minus icon this time, and then click several times in the to zoom back out to see more of the. You must return to the Options bar, click the plus icon, and then click in the to zoom out once more. You might grow weary of always needing to access the Options menu to switch between zooming in and out. So, heres a shortcut that will help you. Holding down the Option key on a Mac or the ALT key on a Windows keyboard will allow you to zoom out when the zoom in option is active, as it is right now. Hold down that key and then click in the . And that will automatically switch you back to zooming out. After that, switching back to zooming in, let go of the Option or ALT key. Therefore, you can click to zoom in once more. There are a few options in the Zoom tool’s Options bar that you can use to quickly access zoom levels that you frequently use. When you’re zoomed in like this and want to return to a view of the entire page, the Fit Screen option in the Options bar is helpful. Simply select the Fit Screen option, and everything will automatically fit into your document window. Another useful option is this 100% option. The best way to view an image when evaluating its sharpness is to zoom in to 100% view by clicking this. Now that I’m working on a small screen and this is fairly large, I can’t see the entire image on my screen even when I zoom in to 100%. Even though working on a large monitor might prevent you from experiencing the same thing In order to view a different portion of this at this zoom level, I will therefore need to reposition the document window. Thats called panning. And its done with another tool, the Hand tool. I’ll therefore return to the Tools panel and choose the Hand tool there, which is located immediately above the Zoom tool. I’ll then enter the and see that my cursor has changed to an icon of a hand. I will click, drag, and move the document window object to the location I want to see it, and then I will let go of the mouse. Going up to the Hand tool’s Options bar, I’ll see the same Fit Screen option we had for the Zoom tool when I’m done checking the sharpness here and want to return to viewing the entire on-screen. I can simply select Fit Screen in the Hand tool options bar to return to seeing everything in my document window. Let me show you another way to zoom. If you hold down the mouse button while scrolling, you can continuously zoom without clicking. I’ll return and open the Tools panel’s Zoom tool. And then Im going to click and hold in the . And the zooms in continuously. You can see the pixels, which are the constituent parts of an in Photoshop, if you zoom in really close like this. By the way, resolution is a crucial topic, especially for printing, because the size of these pixels can affect the quality of a print. Something we’ll cover in more detail later in this series when we discuss resizing I’m going to click Fit Screen in the Options bar so I can see everything on my screen once more. One more thing: suppose you’re painting in a small space while using another tool, like the Brush tool, and you don’t want to switch to the Zoom tool just to zoom in. In any case, you can substitute a shortcut for the Zoom tool. And that is to press the plus key on your keyboard while simultaneously holding down the Command key on a Mac or the Ctrl key on a PC. And each time you do that, you’ll be zoomed in. Holding down the Command or Ctrl keys while pressing the minus key on your keyboard will allow you to zoom out. And that will zoom you back out. I hope this introduction to zooming and panning will help you navigate your Photoshop projects as you work on them. You can close this without saving to complete this lesson.

You have a lot of flexibility in Photoshop to alter the edits you make. We’ll look at how to undo, redo, and go back in time while editing in this video. You can follow along with this file from the tutorial’s practice files or one of your own creation. Lets start by making some paint strokes on this . Go to the Tools panel, select the Brush tool, then select a color in the Swatches panel. You can use any color that you like. Move into the and make a brush stroke. By the way, if your brush tip is too small, go to the Brush tool’s Options bar, select the Brush Picker, and adjust the Size there. Ill click off of that picker to close it. Lets make a couple more strokes. Return to the Swatches panel and choose a different color and stroke. And lets do that one more time. Let’s say you want to undo the most recent action you performed in Photoshop, which in this case was creating that pink stroke. Using the keyboard shortcut Command + Z on a Mac or Ctrl + Z on a Windows computer will accomplish that task quickly. Which Ill do now. And the pink stroke goes away. By pressing Command + Z or Ctrl + Z again, I can restore it. This keyboard shortcut allows you to undo and redo the most recent action you took. If you’d rather use a menu command than the shortcut, select the Undo Brush Tool option from the Edit menu. Photoshop will even tell you what action you’re going to undo. And then Edit, and Redo Brush Tool. What if you want to undo more than one step? In that case, select Step Backward from the Edit menu instead. And by default, you can repeat that up to 50 times. You are also going back in time one action at a time. Similarly, you can step forward one step at a time. Edit, Step Forward. Edit, Step Forward. Edit, Step Forward. In Photoshop, there is yet another method for stepping through time. And thats using the History panel. In this collapsed column of panels, here, is where the History panel is. If you can’t see it, select History from the Window menu up top. This panel will be expanded by dragging down from the bottom bar until I see a double-headed arrow. So, each of the actions I just took on this panel are represented by their own bars. Open and then three strokes with the Brush Tool. As I make another stroke, keep an eye on the panel. Just now, my fourth stroke was noted in the History panel as well. Now lets use another tool to see how its recorded. Select the Dodge tool from the Tools panel, which is used to make things lighter, this time. Like the brush tool, the dodge tool has a brush tip. There is a Size slider in the Options bar for the Dodge tool that you can drag to enlarge the tool tip. After that, click somewhere empty to close the Brush Picker. Come into the now, and let’s drag the leaf over it a few times. Every time I release the mouse button and drag it again, the History panel records a new Dodge tool state. The convenience of having these states in the History panel allows you to go back through each one individually, as shown here. Or you can jump to a particular state, like this. And each time you do that, the environment changes to reflect how it appeared in that situation at that particular time. In the History panel, you can also move or jump forward in time as shown here. The History panel has two things you should be aware of: if you go back to a previous state, let’s say this one, and then you do something else, let’s say I dodge in this part of the Keep an eye on the History panel, and you’ll notice that everything that happened after the state I returned to vanishes. It appears as though you returned to a fork in the road and chose a different route. Everything on the first road beyond the fork disappears. The second thing to remember is that your history is erased when you close the application, whether or not you saved it. The History panel will be empty the following time you open the and a new history will be started. Now you can rely on the straightforward commands in the Edit menu if the History panel isn’t your cup of tea. Undo for single undos, and Step Backward for multiple undos. As you edit an article, you have plenty of flexibility to fix any errors or try new things.

Saving is a critical step in Photoshop. So, lets see how to do it safely. To start, open this from the tutorial practice files. Now lets make a change to this file. Let’s relocate this tiny inset image to another location in the To do so, open the Tools panel and select the Move tool as the first tool. Then enter and click and drag the small bouquet image to another location in the Ill just put it here. You can put it anywhere you like. By the way, you’re probably not on the correct layer if that didn’t work for you. Later in the tutorial series, we’ll discover a lot more information about layer selection. However, you can temporarily avoid that issue by going to the Layers panel and ensuring that the small bouquet layer is highlighted. And then try dragging that bouquet again. Let’s see what happens if we use the Save command to save the after making the change we just made to the. I’ll select Save from the File menu by going up. And what transpired was that Photoshop immediately saved over and replaced the previous iteration of this. In this case, the original file that we started with. And thats something you dont often want to do. So let me demonstrate a more secure method of saving that doesn’t overwrite the previous version. Let’s make another adjustment; once more selecting the Move tool, click on the tiny bouquet image and move it to a different location in the I’ll place mine here, but you are free to place yours anywhere. Go to the File menu and, this time, select Save As rather than Save. That launches the Save As dialog, where you can avoid overwriting the previous version of your file by changing something, such as the file name or the location where you want to save the file. By the way, this dialog box may appear slightly different if you’re using Windows. It does provide the options we discuss, but they are merely arranged slightly differently. Therefore, I’m going to give this version a new name in order to prevent saving over the previous version. If you’re using Windows, the Save As field is the file name field. And I’ll click just before the “name” and to the right of it. I’m going to type “-v2” for version 2 and the “psd” extension. Now, if I were to go down and click Save—which I’m not going to do just yet—I would end up with two files: the most recent version of the file that was saved and this modified version. Therefore, that’s a quick and easy way to safeguard your most recent backup, which is sometimes your original of an Let’s look at another crucial item in this Save As dialog before clicking Save. On a Mac, that is the Format menu; on Windows, it is the Save As type menu. You should save your files in the original Photoshop format because it gives them a ” psd” extension while youre working on them. To do this, select Photoshop from the drop-down menu, and make sure the Layers box is checked if your file contains layers, as it does in our example. Saving as a PSD has the major benefit of preserving any layers or other editable Photoshop features that you may have added to the document. so that you can revisit them and work with them later. But you cant see a “. psd” file on the web. Additionally, if you give it to a person without Photoshop, they might not be able to open a ” psd” file, a Photoshop file. Therefore, I advise you to save a second copy of the document you worked on in Photoshop in addition to the ” psd”, and save that copy in the JPEG format. The JPEG file will keep any photos in an excellent condition and can be posted online. It will also be smaller to send by email. So, lets go ahead and do that. I’m going to choose JPEG from my Format menu, then click Save in the bottom right corner. That triggers this small window of JPEG options. I advise you to simply click OK with these set to their default values. Finally, here are a couple bonus tips about saving. First: save often. Save the file you are working on before you finish it. Second: save early. This is particularly crucial if you used the new command to create a new file from scratch. Since you haven’t saved the file to your system permanently until you do so, it could be lost if your computer crashes.

10 Powerful Photoshop Skills/Techniques You Need to Know

Top Photoshop skills

Creative professionals may use the following photo editing techniques:

Brightness and contrast

The brightness and contrast feature, which is a fundamental ability, modifies the image’s lightness and darkness. For instance, you can boost the brightness in a dark room when taking a photo to make it appear brighter. When taking a photo in the sun, you can increase the contrast to lessen the sun’s glare and bring more attention to the objects in the frame.


Cropping is another basic ability for photo editing. The tool can remove elements from the frame. For instance, if you have a wide shot, you can crop the image to make the center, the left or right side, or other specific objects the focus.


The saturation feature adds hue to colors in a photo. For instance, you can boost saturation in a beach photo to make the ocean appear more blue and the sand appear more golden. Saturation can be helpful for enhancing the color of people’s skin in photographs.


The sharpening tool adds clarity and defines an image’s fine lines and edges. When a photograph is blurry, it can be advantageous because the contrast is increased, allowing the subject of the image to be more clearly focused. Consider changing the tool’s value so that you can gradually sharpen an image rather than sharpening it all at once, which can make the image look grainy and difficult to view.


Use the layering tool to focus on specific elements rather than altering the entire image at once. For instance, you could add a top layer, boost the contrast, and then add a second layer with text to the image. You can group your layers in the software so that you can remove them or make changes as you please.


The practice of adding text to images is known as typography, and it can draw viewers in and give them more details about the image. For example, designers might use typography to write the event’s date, time, and location on a promotional graphic. With the typography feature, you can alter the text’s color, size, and font as well as position the words anywhere on the image.

Pen tool

The pen tool allows artists to create digital sketches on their work. Types of pen tools within the software, including:

Healing brush

The healing brush is a retouching tool that eliminates minute objects from the image, like skin blemishes and scratches. It enables you to extract samples from one area and apply them to the desired area, allowing you to correct flaws without affecting the rest of the image. Imagine that after taking a picture, you discover a tiny zit on your face. You can use the healing brush to sample different parts of your skin and then paste the pixels onto the zit to remove it from the image.


Examine the histogram, a graph that displays brightness and contrast levels that might not be visible to the unaided eye, to assess the tones of your image. According to the values on the histogram, which also include the highlights, shadows, and overall exposure of the image, you can edit your photo to improve its composition.


The curves tool alters the colors and tones of an image as a sophisticated feature. Use the icon to adjust the photo’s highlights and shadows, or to draw attention to certain elements’ colors. You can also use curves to increase contrast and saturation.


It’s crucial to understand how to save and share your work as you make revisions to it. Here are essential organization tips for using the imaging program:

Who uses Photoshop skills?

Photoshop is a program from Adobe Creative Cloud that gives experts the ability to edit images. To perform their job duties, employers might require job candidates to be skilled in photo editing. Examples of jobs that use the program include:

How to improve Photoshop skills

If you want to improve your photo-editing skills, think about doing the following:

1. Practice using the software

You can improve your navigational skills and familiarity with the software’s features by regularly practicing it. Start by uploading an image to the interface and making basic adjustments like cropping or adjusting brightness and contrast. To learn more about each feature’s function and how to use it, click on it. To track your development, you can also practice saving your work in a folder on your computer.

2. Watch tutorials

Tutorials offer step-by-step guides on how to use the program. Look for online courses that teach the skills you want to master. For instance, you can find videos that go into advanced detail about the healing brush if you want to learn how to crop bystanders out of a picture. If you’re a novice photo editor, it might be beneficial to start with tutorials that cover the fundamentals before moving on to more advanced tutorials as your skills improve.

3. Subscribe to blogs

If you prefer to read instructions, blog posts can be useful subscriptions because they provide updates on the software and how the creative industry uses it. For example, if you’re a graphic designer or social media expert, you might subscribe to a blog that explains how users react to particular images on online platforms and how to use the software to keep up with fashion trends in the arts.

4. Join online groups

You can network with experts and learn how to use the photo editing software by joining online groups. Think about joining a group of people in your profession who can teach you how to tailor the application for professional success. For instance, if you’re a web developer, find a group of other web developers who specialize in photo editing. Additionally, the group might encourage participants to submit their work in exchange for helpful criticism.

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.


What are basic skills in Photoshop?

Top Photoshop skills
  • Brightness and contrast. The brightness and contrast feature, which is a fundamental ability, modifies the image’s lightness and darkness.
  • Cropping. Cropping is another basic ability for photo editing. …
  • Saturation. …
  • Sharpening. …
  • Layers. …
  • Typography. …
  • Pen tool. …
  • Healing brush.

What type of skills is Photoshop?

These photoshop skills are always in high demand: Typography. Free hand drawing. Color theory. Print design: flyers, posters, brochures, magazines, business cards.

How do I list Photoshop skills on my resume?

Proficient in using Photoshop and AutoCAD. I used photoshop to design UI for the web application. designed prototypes and product mockups using Photoshop and Illustrator. completed designs, model renderings, and specification details using AutoCad, Sketchup, Lumion, and Photoshop.

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