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Learn Photoshop: All of the Basics for Beginners

We frequently publish posts on this blog that feature tutorials for learning how to do various things with Photoshop, but we have rarely focused on just the basics. This post is intended for designers or aspiring designers who either want to get started with Photoshop or have limited experience and are looking to improve.

While there are plenty of great learning resources available online, it’s often difficult for beginners to know where to get started because everything seems to be scattered. With this post you’ll find links to plenty of resources to teach you all the basics and fundamentals of Photoshop.

Most of the resources and tutorials listed in this post will focus on teaching one particular aspect of Photoshop, such as how to use a specific tool. Everything is broken down into sections so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

Intro to Photoshop’s Tools and UI:

The resources in this section will serve as an introduction for those who are new to Photoshop. They will help you to learn your way around the interface and with some of the basics of Photoshop.

New Photoshop Tutorials Added Daily on the Sleeklens Blog

photoshop tutorials

The Photoshop Workspace (video)

The Photoshop Workspace

The Ultimate Guide to Customizing How You Work in Adobe Photoshop CC

Customizing Photoshop CC

More resources for learning the tools and UI:

Layers, Layer Styles, Layer Masks and Adjustment Layers:

In order to be able to efficiently and effectively work with Photoshop you will need a solid understanding of layers. The resources in this section provide guides for working with layers in Photoshop, as well as layer styles, layer masks and adjustment layers.

The Ultimate Guide to Adjustment Layers (series)

Ultimate Guide to Adjustment Layers

Introduction to Photoshop Adjustment Layers

Intro to Photoshop Adjustment Layers

Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles (series)

Intro to Photoshop Layer Styles

How to Install and Use Photoshop Styles (video)

How to Install and Use Photoshop Styles (video)

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Masking in Photoshop

Beginner's Guide to Masking

More resources for learning about layers, layer styles, layer masks, and adjustment layers:

The Pen Tool:

Photoshop’s pen tool can be used for impressive results, but it can be very difficult to use if you don’t understand how it works. The following resources will provide helpful guides to explain the pen tool and how you can use it in your own work.

Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

Photoshop's Pen Tool

Photoshop Pen Tool Guide

Photoshop Pen Tool Guide

Making Selections with the Pen Tool

Make Selections with the Pen Tool

Become a Master of the Pen Tool in Under 30 Minutes

Become a Master of the Pen Tool in Under 30 Minutes

More resources for the pen tool:

Brushes and Other Presets:

Brushes, patterns, shapes, and the other presets are an essential part of Photoshop. Whether you are using the presets that come with the software, downloading those created by other designers, or creating your own, learning the potential of these presets and how to work with them should be a priority.

Photoshop’s Brush Tool – Basic Guide

Photoshop's Brush Tool

How to Install and Use Photoshop Brushes (video)

Install Photoshop Brushes

Installing and Managing Brushes and Other Presets

Installing Brushes and Presets

How to Install and Use Photoshop Actions (video)

Install and Use Photoshop Actions

More resources for brushes and presets:

Type Tool:

The type tool is a little more straightforward than some of the others for beginners, but it still helps to have a firm grasp of how the tool works and what you can do with text in Photoshop.

A Comprehensive Introduction to the Type Tool

Intro to the Type Tool

More learning resources related to the type tool:

Transform:

With Photoshop’s transform capabilities you can edit and manipulate objects in a variety of different ways. The links provided below with get you started.

Photoshop CS6: Scaling, Skewing, and Rotating with Free Transform (video)

Free Transform Tool

More learning resources related to the free transform tool.

Selections:

The are several different ways to make selections in Photoshop, and each technique has certain situations where it works better than others. Here you’ll learn about the basic selection tools and when to use them.

Basic Selection Tools in Photoshop CS6 (video)

Basic Selection Tools

Quick Selection Tool (video)

Quick Selection Tool

Introduction to the Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop

Introduction to the Magic Wand Tool in Photoshop

Introduction to the Lasso Tools in Photoshop

Lasso Tools

The Selection Tools

A Comprehensive Introduction to Photoshop Selection Techniques

Master Photoshop’s Selection Tools in Under 30 Minutes

More resources for selections:

Clone Stamp Tool and Content Aware Fill:

The clone stamp tool allows you to duplicate, or clone, an area. The resources below will explain how to tool works and how you can use it.

Using the Clone Stamp (video)

Using the Clone Stamp (video)

How to Use Content Aware Fill in Photoshop

Content Aware Fill

More learning resources related to the clone stamp tool and content aware fill.

Blend Modes:

Photoshop’s various blend modes give users a lot of potential to create different results quickly and easily. The links in this section will explain how you can play with the blend modes of your layers and what types of changes it will have.

An Explanation of Photoshop Blending Modes

Blend Modes

More resources for blend modes:

Filters

Photoshop has a number of different filters that you can use, and each has its own purpose and use. These links will explain some of the different filters, how they work, and when you should use them.

Photoshop CC Filters Help Salvage Photos Once Deemed Unusable

Photoshop Filters

How to Use the Camera Shake Reduction Filer in Photoshop CC

Camera Shake Reduction Filter

Create Vignette Effects with the Radial Filter in Photoshop CC

Radial Filter

More learning resources related to filters:

Smart Objects:

Photoshop smart objects can help you to save time on repetitive tasks, and these links will show you how to use them.

More learning resources related to smart objects

Efficiency and Performance:

If you use Photoshop a lot you will want to make the most of your time with it. The resources here will help you to work smarter with as little wasted time as possible.

How to Tune Photoshop CS6 for Peak Performance

Photoshop Performance

Photoshop CS6: Improving Performance

Photoshop Performance

Manage Your Layers More Efficiently with Photoshop CS6

Efficient Layers

More resources for efficiency and performance:

Saving Images:

These links will show you how you can save and optimize images that are going to be used on websites, for maximum performance.

Saving Images for the Web in Photoshop CC

Saving for the Web

How to Save a Photo for Print in Photoshop CC

Save for Print

Working with Colors in Photoshop:

Colors are, of course, an essential part of any design. These resources will explain the basics of working with color in Photoshop.

Color Settings in Photoshop CC (video)

Color Settings

Color Replacement in Photoshop CS6 (video)

Color Replacement in Photoshop CS6

More resources for working with color:

Now that you’ve learned the basics of Photoshop, here are some tutorial collections that you may want to check out:

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