Use tools

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and Adobe services
    1. Photoshop and Adobe Stock
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries
    3. Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop
    4. Grid and guides
    5. Creating actions
    6. Undo and history
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    9. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    10. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export cloud documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. System requirements 1.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    23. System requirements 2.x | Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Edit your image size
    25. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    26. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    27. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
  5. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud doc sync logs
    8. Share access and edit your cloud documents
  6. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Create documents
    3. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    4. Microsoft Dial support in Photoshop
    5. Tool galleries
    6. Performance preferences
    7. Use tools
    8. Touch gestures
    9. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    10. Technology previews
    11. Metadata and notes
    12. Quickly share your creations
    13. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    14. Preferences
    15. Default keyboard shortcuts
    16. Rulers
    17. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    18. Specify columns for an image
    19. Undo and history
    20. Panels and menus
    21. Place files
    22. Position elements with snapping
    23. Position with the Ruler tool
    24. Presets
    25. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    26. Grid and guides
  7. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Export files in Photoshop
    4. Device Preview
    5. Copy CSS from layers
    6. Slice web pages
    7. HTML options for slices
    8. Modify slice layout
    9. Work with web graphics
    10. Create web photo galleries
  8. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  9. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
    26. Layer
    27. Flattening
    28. Composite
    29. Background
  10. Selections
    1. Select and Mask workspace
    2. Make quick selections
    3. Get started with selections
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Select a color range in an image
    7. Adjust pixel selections
    8. Convert between paths and selection borders
    9. Channel basics
    10. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    11. Create a temporary quick mask
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
    16. Selection
    17. Bounding box
  11. Image adjustments
    1. Perspective warp
    2. Reduce camera shake blurring
    3. Healing brush examples
    4. Export color lookup tables
    5. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    6. Understand color adjustments
    7. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    8. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    9. Levels adjustment
    10. Adjust hue and saturation
    11. Adjust vibrance
    12. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    13. Make quick tonal adjustments
    14. Apply special color effects to images
    15. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    16. High dynamic range images
    17. View histograms and pixel values
    18. Match colors in your image
    19. How to crop and straighten photos
    20. Convert a color image to black and white
    21. Adjustment and fill layers
    22. Curves adjustment
    23. Blending modes
    24. Target images for press
    25. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    26. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    27. Filter
    28. Blur
    29. Dodge or burn image areas
    30. Make selective color adjustments
    31. Replace object colors
  12. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. How to make non-destructive edits in Camera Raw
    10. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    11. Manage Camera Raw settings
    12. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    13. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    14. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    15. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    16. Feature summary | Adobe Camera Raw | 2018 releases
    17. New features summary
    18. Process versions in Camera Raw
    19. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  13. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  14. Image transformations
    1. Transform objects
    2. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    3. How to crop and straighten photos
    4. Create and edit panoramic images
    5. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    6. Vanishing Point
    7. Use the Liquify filter
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
    10. Warp
    11. Transform
    12. Panorama
  15. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    14. Draw with the Pen tools
    15. Create patterns
    16. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    17. Manage paths
    18. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    19. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    20. Create textured brushes
    21. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    22. Gradient
    23. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    24. Paint with a pattern
    25. Sync presets on multiple devices
  16. Text
    1. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    2. Format characters
    3. Format paragraphs
    4. How to create type effects
    5. Edit text
    6. Line and character spacing
    7. Arabic and Hebrew type
    8. Fonts
    9. Troubleshoot fonts
    10. Asian type
    11. Create type
    12. Text Engine error using Type tool in Photoshop | Windows 8
    13. World-Ready composer for Asian Scripts
    14. How to add and edit text in Photoshop
  17. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  18. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Layer effects and styles
    9. Apply specific filters
    10. Smudge image areas
  19. Saving and exporting
    1. Save files in graphics formats
    2. Save your files in Photoshop
    3. File formats
    4. Save and export video and animations
    5. Save PDF files
    6. Digimarc copyright protection
  20. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Duotones
    8. Print images to a commercial printing press
    9. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    10. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  21. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  22. 3D and technical imaging
    1. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    2. Print 3D objects
    3. 3D painting
    4. 3D panel enhancements | Photoshop
    5. Essential 3D concepts and tools
    6. 3D rendering and saving
    7. Create 3D objects and animations
    8. Image stacks
    9. 3D workflow
    10. Measurement
    11. DICOM files
    12. Photoshop and MATLAB
    13. Count objects in an image
    14. Combine and convert 3D objects
    15. 3D texture editing
    16. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    17. 3D panel settings
  23. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Work with color profiles
    5. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    6. Color-managing documents when printing
    7. Color-managing imported images
    8. Proofing colors

When you start Photoshop, the Tools panel appears at the left of the screen. Some tools in the Tools panel have options that appear in the context-sensitive options bar.

You can expand some tools to show hidden tools beneath them. A small triangle at the lower right of the tool icon signals the presence of hidden tools.

You can view information about any tool by positioning the pointer over it. The name of the tool appears in a tool tip below the pointer.

For a pictorial overview of the different tools in Photoshop, see Tool galleries.

Select and display tools

Select a tool

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click a tool in the Tools panel. If there is a small triangle at a tool’s lower right corner, hold down the mouse button to view the hidden tools. Then click the tool you want to select.
    • Press the tool’s keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut is displayed in its tool tip. For example, you can select the Move tool by pressing V.
    Note:

    Pressing and holding a keyboard shortcut key lets you temporarily switch to a tool. When you let go of the shortcut key, Photoshop returns to the tool you were using before the temporary switch.

Photoshop Tools panel
Accessing tools

A. Tools panel B. Active tool C. Hidden tools D. Tool name E. Tool shortcut F. Hidden tool triangle 

Cycle through hidden tools

By default, you cycle through a set of hidden tools by holding down Shift and repeatedly pressing a tool shortcut key.

If you prefer to cycle through tools without holding down Shift, you can disable this preference.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > General (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > General (Mac OS).
  2. Deselect Use Shift Key For Tool Switch.

Change tool pointers

Each default pointer has a different hotspot, where an effect or action in the image begins. With most tools, you can switch to precise cursors, which appear as cross hairs centered around the hotspot.

In most cases, the pointer for a tool is the same as the icon for that tool; you see that pointer when you select the tool. The default pointer for the marquee tools is the cross-hair pointer ; for the text tool, the default pointer is the I‑beam ; and for the painting tools, the default pointer is the Brush Size icon.

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences > Cursors (Windows) or choose Photoshop > Preferences > Cursors (Mac OS).
  2. Choose tool pointer settings under Painting Cursors or Other Cursors:

    Standard

    Displays pointers as tool icons.

    Precise

    Displays pointers as cross hairs.

    Normal Brush Tip

    The pointer outline corresponds to approximately 50% of the area that the tool will affect. This option shows the pixels that would be most visibly affected.

    Full Size Brush Tip

    The pointer outline corresponds to nearly 100% of the area that the tool will affect, or nearly all the pixels that would be affected.

    Show Crosshair In Brush Tip

    Displays cross hairs in the center of the brush shape.

    Show Only Crosshair While Painting

    Improves performance with large brushes.

  3. Click OK.

The Painting Cursors options control the pointers for the following tools:

Eraser, Pencil, Paintbrush, Healing Brush, Clone Stamp, Pattern Stamp, Quick Selection, Smudge, Blur, Sharpen, Dodge, Burn, and Sponge

The Other Cursors options control the pointers for the following tools:

Marquee, Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, Magic Wand, Crop, Slice, Patch, Eyedropper, Pen, Gradient, Line, Paint Bucket, Magnetic Lasso, Magnetic Pen, Freeform Pen, Measure, and Color Sampler

Note:

To toggle between standard and precise cursors in some tool pointers, press Caps Lock.

Visually resize or change hardness of painting cursors

You can resize or change the hardness of a painting cursor by dragging in the image. As you drag, the painting cursor previews your changes. (Previews require OpenGL.)

  1. To resize a cursor, press Alt+right-click (Windows) or Control+Option (Mac OS), and drag left or right. To change hardness, drag up or down.

Use the options bar

The options bar appears below the menu bar at the top of the workspace. The options bar is context sensitive—it changes as you select different tools. Some settings in the options bar (such as painting modes and opacity) are common to several tools, and some are specific to one tool.

You can move the options bar in the workspace by using the gripper bar, and you can dock it at the top or bottom of the screen. Tool tips appear when you position the pointer over a tool. To show or hide the options bar, choose Window > Options.

Photoshop Options bar
Lasso options bar

A. Gripper bar B. Tool tip 

To return tools to their default settings, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the tool icon in the options bar, and then choose Reset Tool or Reset All Tools from the context menu.

For more information on setting options for a specific tool, search for the tool’s name in Photoshop Help.

Tool presets

Tool presets let you save and reuse tool settings. You can load, edit, and create libraries of tool presets using the Tool Preset picker in the options bar, the Tool Presets panel, and the Preset Manager.

To choose a tool preset, click the Tool Preset picker in the options bar, and select a preset from the pop‑up panel. You can also choose Window > Tool Presets and select a preset in the Tools Presets panel.

Photoshop Tool presets
Viewing the Tool Preset picker

A. Click the Tool Preset picker in the options bar to show the Tool Preset pop‑up panel. B. Select a preset to change the tool’s options to the preset, which applies each time you select the tool until you choose Reset Tool from the panel menu. C. Deselect to show all tool presets; select to show presets for only the tool selected in the toolbox. 

Create a tool preset

  1. Choose a tool, and set the options you want to save as a tool preset in the options bar.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Tool Preset button next to the tool at the left of the options bar.
    • Choose Window > Tool Presets to display the Tool Presets panel.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Click the Create New Tool Preset button .
    • Choose New Tool Preset from the panel menu.
  4. Enter a name for the tool preset, and click OK.

Change the list of tool presets

  1. Click the triangle to open the Tool Presets pop‑up panel menu and choose one of the following:

    Show All Tool Presets

    Shows all loaded presets.

    Sort By Tool

    Sorts the presets by tool.

    Show Current Tool Presets

    Shows only the loaded presets for the active tool. You can also select the Current Tool Only option in the Tool Presets pop‑up panel.

    Text Only, Small List, or Large List

    Determines how presets are displayed in the pop‑up panel.

    Note:

    To create, load, and manage libraries of tool presets, see Work with the Preset Manager.

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