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 tooltip below the pointer.


Some workspaces shipped with Photoshop CC 2015 customize the toolbar. When you switch to one of such workspaces, some tools may seem missing from the toolbar. To learn how to resolve this issue, see Tools missing from the toolbar.


In Photoshop CS6, some tools were available as part of Photoshop Extended. All features in the erstwhile Photoshop Extended offering are now part of Photoshop. Photoshop does not have a separate Extended offering.

Photoshop Tools Panel


If you're looking for general information on how to use tools in Photoshop, see Using tools.

Rich tooltips

Figuring out what Photoshop tools do is now easier than ever before! When you hover the pointer over certain tools in the Tools panel, Photoshop displays a description and a short video of the tool in action.

You can choose not to view rich tooltips. To do so, deselect the Preferences > Tools Use Rich Tooltips preference.

Quick Selection tool
Rich tooltip: Quick Selection tool
Crop tool
Rich tooltip: Crop tool

Customize the toolbar

You can customize the Photoshop toolbar to organize tools in a group and do much more.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • Select Edit > Toolbar 
  • Long press , located at the bottom of the toolbar and then select Edit Toolbar.
Photoshop Customize Toolbar dialog
The Customize Toolbar dialog

  1. In the Customize Toolbar dialog box, do one or more the following:
  • Drag and drop tools and/or groups to re-organize the toolbar.
  • Move excess, unused, or low priority tools to Extra Tools.
  • To access extra tools, long press  at the bottom of the toolbar.
  • To save the custom toolbar, click Save Preset
  • To open a previously saved custom toolbar, click Load Preset.
  • To restore the default toolbar, click Restore Defaults.
  • To move all the tools to Extra Tools, click Clear Tools.
  • Select the non-tool widgets to show/hide them at the bottom of the toolbar.
Photoshop non-tool widgets to show/hide them on toolbar
A. Show/Hide Extra Tools | B. Show/Hide Foreground/Background Colors | C. Show/Hide Quick Mask Mode | D. Show/Hide Screen Mode 

Tool galleries

The marquee tools make rectangular, elliptical, single row, and single column selections.

The Move tool moves selections, layers, and guides.

The lasso tools make freehand, polygonal (straight-edged), and magnetic (snap-to) selections.

The Quick Selection tool lets you quickly “paint” a selection using an adjustable round brush tip.

The Magic Wand tool selects similarly colored areas.




The Crop tool trims images.

The Slice tool creates slices.

The Slice Select tool selects slices.

The Spot Healing Brush tool removes blemishes and objects.

The Healing Brush tool paints with a sample or pattern to repair imperfections in a image.

The Patch tool repairs imperfections in a selected area of an image using a sample or pattern.

The Red Eye tool removes the red reflection caused by a flash.

The Clone Stamp tool paints with a sample of an image.

The Pattern Stamp tool paints with part of an image as a pattern.

The Eraser tool erases pixels and restores parts of an image to a previously saved state.

The Background Eraser tool erases areas to transparency by dragging.

The Magic Eraser tool erases solid-colored areas to transparency with a single click.

The Blur tool blurs hard edges in an image.

The Sharpen tool sharpens soft edges in an image.

The Smudge tool smudges data in an image.

The Dodge tool lightens areas in an image.

The Burn tool darkens areas in an image.

The Sponge tool changes the color saturation of an area.


The Brush tool paints brush strokes.

The Pencil tool paints hard-edged strokes.

The Color Replacement tool replaces a selected color with a new color.

The Mixer Brush tool Simulates realistic painting techniques such as blending canvas colors and varying paint wetness.

The History Brush tool paints a copy of the selected state or snapshot into the current image window.

The Art History Brush tool paints with stylized strokes that simulate the look of different paint styles, using a selected state or snapshot.

The gradient tools create straight-line, radial, angle, reflected, and diamond blends between colors.

The Paint Bucket tool fills similarly colored areas with the foreground color.

The path selection tools make shape or segment selections showing anchor points, direction lines, and direction points.

The type tools create type on an image.

The type mask tools create a selection in the shape of type.

The pen tools let you draw smooth-edged paths.

The shape tools and Line tool draw shapes and lines in a normal layer or a shape layer.

The Custom Shape tool makes customized shapes selected from a custom shape list.



The Hand tool moves an image within its window.

The Rotate View tool non-destructively rotates the canvas.

The Zoom tool magnifies and reduces the view of an image.

The Note tool makes notes that can be attached to an image.

The Eyedropper tool samples colors in an image.

The Color Sampler tool displays color values for up to four areas.

The Ruler tool measures distances, locations, and angles.

The Count tool counts objects in an image.

The 3D Object Rotate tool rotates the object around its x-axis.

The 3D Object Roll tool rotates the object around its z-axis.

The 3D Object Pan tool pans the object in the x or y direction.

The 3D Object Slide tool moves the object laterally when you drag horizontally, or forward and back when you drag vertically.

The 3D Object Scale tool scales the object larger or smaller.

The 3D Rotate Camera tool orbits the camera in the x or y direction.

The 3D Roll Camera tool rotates the camera around the z-axis.

The 3D Pan Camera tool pans the camera in the x or y direction.

The 3D Walk Camera tool moves laterally when you drag horizontally, or forward and back when you drag vertically.

The 3D Zoom Camera tool changes the field of view closer or farther away.