Photoshop interface

by Design Workshop Sydney

It’s important to feel confident with Photoshop’s user interface: its various tools, palettes and menus. In our Photoshop courses we show you all the main features of the program as well as how to use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your workflow and efficiency.
There are four main elements to the Adobe Photoshop interface: the main part of the workspace is, of course, the image itself. You can have one or many images open at a time. In another blog post we’ll lophotoshop blog 001ok at how to zoom and pan the image, and how to examine its file size and resolution.
The second element of the interface is the Toolbox or Toolbar on the left. If you hover your cursor over any of these tools, a small tooltip will appear reminding you of the function of the tool. Also notice the keyboard shortcut in brackets. These are useful for the more commonly used tools. Some of the tools have a small arrow on the bottom right, indicating that if you right-click on that tool, other related tools are available behind.
At the bottom of the toolbox we have Foreground and Background colours. The Foreground is the one you’d use most of the time, for example, to change the colour of a brush, or some text. The Background colour is used occasionally, when you create a gradient, for example. There are various methods for changing colour in Photoshop, which we discuss in another blog post.
The third element of the interface is the Control panel at the top of the screen, also known as the Options bar. Notice when you select a tool the options at the top will change. So the two elements work hand in hand: you select a tool then adjust the options. Above the Control panel we have the standard drop-down menus. In the File menu we have the save, open, new options; very similar to other programs. And you can see the keyboard shortcuts on the right-hand columns. The only difference between working in the Windows and Macintosh versions of Photoshop are these keyboard shortcuts. On the PC you have the Control and Alt buttons; on the Mac you have Command and Option buttons.
In a later post we’ll look at the last element of the Photoshop interface, the palettes.
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