About the toolbox

You use tools in the Photoshop Elements toolbox to select, edit, and view images; some tools let you paint, draw, and type. The toolbox appears on the left side in the Quick and Expert modes.

Tools in the toolbox are grouped logically, in the Quick and Expert modes. For example, in the Expert view, the Move, Rectangular Marquee, Lasso, and Quick Selection tools are placed together in the Select group. 

Select a tool in the toolbox to use it. Once selected, the tool is highlighted in the toolbox. Optional settings for the tool appear in the Tool Options bar, towards the bottom of the Photoshop Elements window.

note: You cannot deselect a tool—once you select a tool, it remains selected until you select a different tool. For example, if you’ve selected the Lasso tool, and you want to click your image without selecting anything, select the Hand tool.

Toolbox overview
Toolbox overview

Select a tool

  • Do one of the following:
    • Click a tool in the toolbox. If there are additional tool options, they are displayed in the Tool Options bar. 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 Brush tool by pressing the B key.

Set Edit preferences

  1. In Windows, choose Edit > Preferences > General. In Mac, choose Photoshop Elements > Preferences > General.
  2. Set one or more of the following options, and click OK.
    • Select Show Tool Tips to show or hide tool tips.
    • Select Use Shift Key For Tool Switch to cycle through a set of hidden tools by holding down the Shift key. When this option is deselected, you can cycle through a set of tool options by pressing the shortcut key (without holding down Shift). For example, pressing B on your keyboard repeatedly, cycles through all the Brush tool options (Brush, Impressionist Brush, and Color Replacement tools)

Set the appearance of a tool pointer

  1. In Windows, choose Edit > Preferences > Display & Cursors. In Mac, choose Photoshop Elements > Preferences > Display & Cursors.
  2. Select a setting for the Painting Cursors:

    Standard

    Displays pointers as tool icons.

    Precise

    Displays pointers as cross-hairs.

    Normal Brush Tip

    Displays pointers as circles at 50% of the size you specify for the brush.

    Full Size Brush Tip

    Displays pointers as circles at the full size you specify for the brush.

    Show Crosshair In Brush Tip

    Displays cross-hairs in the circles when you choose either Normal Brush Tip or Full Size Brush Tip.

  3. Select a setting for Other Cursors:

    Standard

    Displays pointers as tool icons.

    Precise

    Displays pointers as cross-hairs.

Resize or change the hardness of painting cursors by dragging

You can resize or change the hardness of a painting cursor by dragging in the image. As you drag, you preview both the size and hardness of the painting tool.

  • To resize a cursor, right-click + press Alt (Windows only), and drag to the left or right.

  • To change the hardness of a cursor, right-click + press Alt (Windows only), and drag up or down.

Set tool options

The Tool Options bar appears above the taskbar at the bottom of the Photoshop Elements window. The Tool Options bar displays different options when you select different tools.

Set tool options
A. Tool icon B. Active tool in the Tool Options bar C. Hidden tools D. Tool options 
  1. Select a tool.
  2. Look in the Tool Options bar to see the available options. For more information on setting options for a specific tool, search for the tool’s name in Photoshop Elements Help.

    Note:

    To return a tool or all tools to their default settings, click the tool icon, select the flyout menu from the Tool Options bar, and then choose Reset Tool or Reset All Tools.

  3. To close the Tool Options bar, click Tool Options in the task bar. To reopen the bar, click Tool Options from the task bar.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License  Twitter™ and Facebook posts are not covered under the terms of Creative Commons.

Legal Notices   |   Online Privacy Policy