While Photoshop is an incredibly advanced piece of software, this doesn’t mean it’s only reserved for expert graphic designers. With a few simple tips, tricks, and suggestions, even the greenest amateur can master the basics. Keeping this in mind, let’s take a look at five things you’ll find incredibly helpful.

1. YouTube Is Your Best Friend

Is there anything that YouTube can’t teach you how to do? Once again, video tutorials come to the rescue. This Photoshop tutorial video will help you learn the basics in less than half an hour. That’s a small price to pay for knowledge that could benefit you for years to come.

The great thing about learning from a YouTube video is that you can pause, jump ahead, and rewind as much as you’d like. You can even open the video alongside your Photoshop window for real-time learning. Can’t get enough of YouTube tutorials? Here are 10 channels that continually post new content.

2. Use The Correct File Formats

One of the things most Photoshop beginners struggle with is using the correct file formats. At the heart of this matter is color theory. Don’t worry — we aren’t about to give you a lecture on the intricacies of color and how different tones relay different meanings.

As datapine, a leader in business intelligence solutions, so kindly points out, “We could write books on color theory, but luckily, that has already been done. For a great resource for which colors work together best, and which emotions they convey, check out this comprehensive guide on color for designers.” With that being said, we are going to briefly touch on one point: the difference between RGB and CMYK file formats.

While there’s an entire science behind why this is true, all you need to know is that you should design in RGB color mode any time your final artwork is going to be viewed on a computer screen or other digital device. On the other hand, if your final artwork will be physically printed, you need to create files in CMYK color mode.

3. Master The Toolbar

It would take hours to discuss all of the different tools available in the Photoshop toolbar, so we’ll spare you the boring details. However, it is helpful to know some of the basic functions if you want to do anything useful with Photoshop. Here are a few you’ll use quite frequently:

  • Move Tool (Keyboard: V)
  • Lasso Tool (Keyboard: L)
  • Crop Tool (Keyboard: C)
  • Eyedropper Tool (Keyboard: I)
  • Eraser Tool (Keyboard: E)

As you can see, the tools are pretty intuitive. Generally speaking, the commands correlate to the tool using either the first letter, or one of the letters that makes up the name.

4. Learn How To Add Filters

One of the more important things you’ll need to know how to do involves adding filters. Filters are helpful for cleaning up, retouching, and improving your artwork. For example, you can make a standard image appear like a sketch, impressionistic painting, or vintage photo. Here’s a helpful guide from Adobe on filter basics.

5. Learn How To Adjust The Contrast

The fifth important thing you need to know about is how to adjust the contrast of your projects. This allows you to make simple adjustments without completely altering an image. Once again, Adobe provides some pretty clear instructions on this topic.

Become A Photoshop Master Today

As you can see, Photoshop isn’t as elusive as you may have once assumed. While there are certainly aspects of Photoshop that require an in-depth knowledge of graphic design to master, the basic functions are fairly simple. Using these five tips, you can learn how to use Photoshop as soon as today. What’s holding you back?

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