Getting Started with Photoshop  – Toolbar Overview and Selection Tools – Lesson One

Getting Started with Photoshop – Toolbar Overview and Selection Tools – Lesson One

Posted on by in Photoshop

Time to dive in, head first.  To most people Photoshop seems very intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you don’t even know where to begin.  In this multi part series we are going to discuss the tool bar, what they do and the overall functionality of Photoshop in relation to Web Design.  There will be certain skills and tools we skip since they are not essential for the Web.
Hopefully by the end you will be well on your way to being a pro.
Below you see the tool bar and next to it the name of each tool and its purpose.


Photoshop Toolbar
Photoshop Toolbar
Photoshop Tool Used To:
1 – Rectangular marquee tool Used for making selections of items with a rectangular shape.
2 – Lasso Tool Used for drawing the shape of whatever you would like to select.
3 – Crop Tool Used for cropping the size of the image to whatever you like.
4 – Spot Healing Brush Used for blending areas
5 – Clone stamp tool Used to create exact clone of whatever you reference it to copy.
6 – Eraser Used to erase whatever you like.
7 – Blur Tool Used for blurring whatever you continue to click on.
8 – Pen Tool Used to create paths or shapes.
9 – Path Selection Tool Used to select and or move paths you have created.
10 – 3D Rotate Tool Used for rotating 3D items in document.
11 – Hand Tool Used to naviage your view especially when zoomed into large percentages.
12 – Foreground/Background Used to select the color of the foreground and background
13 – Move Tool Used to move things in your document
14 – Quick Selection Tool Used for selecting shapes or other parts of an image from its background to be removed or relocated.
15 – Eye Dropper Tool Used to change the foreground/background color to whatever color you click on in your document
16 – Brush Tool Used to paint whatever you like with whatever type of brush you choose.
17 – History Brush Tool Helps with mistakes and can use previous states of the image
18 – Paint Bucket Used for filling areas with color.
19 – Dodge Tool Used for turning an image lighter.
20 – Text Tool Used for adding text horizontally or vertically.
21 – Shape Tool Used to create shapes from rectangles to polygons, to even custom shapes.
22 – 3D Orbit Tool Used to rotate 3D camera
23 – Zoom Tool Used to zoom in and out of your document. Great for looking at fine image details.
24 – Quick Mask Selection Used for selecting part of an image to be

First up….The Selection Tools

The selection tools are used to create selections of shapes, colors, and objects on the canvas, and manually positioning them in the working image area.

In Photoshop, selections are used to work in a specified area, while not altering any of the area around it.

Marquee Tool

When you want to make a rectangular, elliptical, horizontal or vertical line selection you use the marquee tools. To create a selection with a marquee tool, hold down your mouse button over the active image area, and create your shape.

Marquee Tool

Marquee Tool

Lasso Tool

The Lasso Selection Tool is used for those times you need an irregular shape. To use the tool, click and drag a your selection with your mouse.

When you use the Polygonal Lasso Tool,  you can click to make various points that will define a custom selection, when you return to your starting point you are finished.

The Magnetic Lasso Tool uses the the first two tools mentioned. You click once, and begin to drag a manual selection around the object you wish to select. The magnetic lasso tool attempts to dynamically create target points itself while you follow the edge of your object (you can define points by clicking if needed). The end result is generally a much cleaner and smoother selection than the polygonal lasso tool is able to do.

Lasso Tool

Lasso Tool

Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool selects areas based on color.  To use this tool, click the color you want to select in the active image area.

Combining Selections

Magic Wand Tool

Combining Selections

Sometimes, you need to  combine multiple selections in order to select the entire area you want to work with.   In these situations, it’s possible to combine multiple selections using an easy keyboard shortcut.

When you need to highlight an unusual shape sometimes you will want to combine multiple selections.  There is an easy shortcut that allows you to add to an already existing marquee.  By holding down shift it will add your new selection to the existing selection.

Combining Selections

Combining Selections

Subtracting Selections

In order to subtract from an existing selection hold Alt when using the marquee tool

Move Tool

The Move Tool is used for moving selected areas of an image, layers, shapes, and other objects.

To move a selected part of an image (marqueed), select the move tool, and then click and drag your selection. This will cut out the selection from its location, and allow you to move it .

Move Tool

Move Tool

Crop Tool

The Crop Tool is used to re-size a canvas. To use the crop tool, drag out a square that encompasses the area which you want to become the new canvas size.  You can set it to delete the cropped out area or just make it invisible.

Crop Tool

Crop Tool

Be sure to check back soon for part two in the series

Here is a short tutorial to test out what you have just learned

Step 1
Make a selection.
Step 2
Hold down the shift key, draw another selection.
Step 3
When you release the mouse, the selection will automatically be added to your previous selection:
Step 4
To subtract from selection hold down the alt key while you make the selection

Once you are comfortable with what you have learned hear, go to the next step  – Photoshop Type Tools and Vector Drawing

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply