64 essential guides, tips and tutorials to definitely master Photoshop like a pro

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I’ve been compiling Photoshop resources for about nine years for this site, always focusing on specific subjects. Some of these compilations became very popular, such as The best 80 text effects on the web, 100 wonderful Photoshop photo effects tutorials, or 40 Extravagant Surreal and Fantasy Scenes Photoshop Tutorials, to mention just a few of them. But all of them turned out to be constrained to a single subject, be it a very general one or to something more specific such as 30 Fascinating Video Game Inspired Photoshop Tutorials and Brushes, or Spectacular Superheroes Themed Photoshop Tutorials.

What about learn how to actually use Photoshop? There are hundreds of resources that teach you how to master the different Photoshop tools or commands. You probably never noticed many of those just because they look boring and have no flashy images to capture your attention. But believe me that these tutorials can teach you some unbelievable tricks that will ease your way to become a Photoshop pro.

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Learning the Photoshop Interface

Photoshop CS4 Interface Quick Tour

Adobe has been making major changes lately to Photoshop’s user interface, and Photoshop CS4 brings with it the most streamlined, efficient and user-friendly interface we’ve seen yet. In this Photoshop Basics tutorial, we’ll take a quick, general tour of the new interface to see what’s what, what’s new and where it all is in this latest and greatest version of the world’s most popular image editor!
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The Photoshop Toolbox

In this lesson, you’ll be introduced to Adobe Photoshop’s Toolbox, and a lot of the tools it has to offer. A solid understanding of the tools showcased in this tutorial will lead to better comprehension of Photoshop in general.
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Zooming and Panning in Photoshop

When working in Photoshop, it often helps to be able to zoom in close to certain areas of an image, or to pull back and get more of a bird’s eye view of what’s happening. In this tutorial, we’re going to learn several ways to quickly zoom in and out of a document, as well as how to move an image around on the screen when you’re zoomed in. We’ll be looking at Photoshop’s Zoom Tool, the Hand Tool, some menu options, and some handy, time saving keyboard shortcuts! Read More…

Multi Document Layouts

Adobe Photoshop CS4 includes lots of great new ways for us to arrange multiple documents on the screen, all of which can be accessed from the Arrange Documents option in the Application Bar, a new feature of the Photoshop CS4 interface. In this Photoshop Basics tutorial, we’ll take a quick look at some of the new layouts we can choose from, as well as how to navigate around images inside a layout. Read More…

Tabbed Document Windows

Working with multiple images open at once in Photoshop has always felt a bit clumsy and frustrating, usually requiring us to click and drag several document windows around on the screen to get to the one we want. If you’ve been wishing for a better way to manage multiple documents in Photoshop, you’ll definitely want to check out the new tabbed document windows feature in Photoshop CS4! Read More…

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Mastering Photoshop Tools and Commands

Lights! Camera! Photoshop Actions!

In this series of Adobe Photoshop tutorials, we’re going to look at everything you need to know to get up and running with Photoshop Actions! We’ll look at what Photoshop actions are and what the difference is between an action and an action set. We’ll explore some of Photoshop’s Default Actions as well as the additional action sets that install for free with Photoshop. We’ll learn all about the Actions palette, how to play an action, how to edit an action, how to view the details of an action, and much, much more. Read More…

Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

The Pen Tool makes appearances across almost the entire Adobe product range. Its function and behavior varies depending on the application, but by mastering it you’ll find you work quicker, smoother and with better results. This guide will give you a comprehensive basis for working with the Pen Tool in Photoshop. Read More…

A Comprehensive Introduction to the Type Tool

Who doesn’t know the Type Tool? This is maybe one of the most powerful and useful tools of Photoshop. We’ve all used it at least once, but do you know all its potential? That’s why I decided to write a comprehensive guide about Photoshop’s Type tool, including do’s and don’ts of the most important features of this tool. Read More…

A Comprehensive Introduction to Photoshop Selection Techniques

Have you ever had difficulties making selections and thought there was a better way? Let’s review both quick solutions, and on the other side, comprehensive and details techniques for making selections. Each approach has it’s place in your workflow. The more methods you know how to use, the faster and more effectively you’ll move in Photoshop. Read More…

How to Install Layers Styles in Photoshop

The question’s been asked several times around Tutorial9, “How do I download and install these custom layer styles you provide?”, and rather than answering the same thing over and over, I thought it was a nice idea to settle the issue once and for all in a convenient post for everyone!

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Saving Images for the Web

When saving for the web, it’s always important to consider the quality of the image, and the size of the image in order to provide visual clarity without slowing performance. This tutorial will teach you what you need to know about saving images for the web. Read More…

Photoshop Layers Essential Power Shortcuts

When it comes to getting the most out of Photoshop with the least amount of effort, there’s two things you absolutely need to know – how to use layers and how to get around inside Photoshop using keyboard shortcuts. Read More…

Understanding Layer Masks

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to look at one of the most essential features in all of Photoshop – layer masks. We’ll cover exactly what layer masks are, how they work, and why you want to use them. If you’ve been staying away from using layer masks with your Photoshop work because you thought they were somehow beyond your skill level, well, if you know the difference between black and white and can paint with Photoshop’s Brush Tool, you already have all the skills you need! Read More…

Photoshop Color: Custom Photoshop Color Swatches and Sets

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to learn how to collect and organize colors into custom color swatch sets which we can then call up and use whenever we need them, perfect for times when we’re working with multiple clients and each of them has their own specific colors they want used on their project, or when we simply want to collect and organize different colors for our own work. Read More…

Creating Custom Shapes Sets

We’re going to look at how to collect and organize our custom shapes into custom shape sets, and then how to load them into Photoshop any time we need them. Read More…

Photoshop Blending Modes Basics

You use layer blending modes to determine how the pixels in a layer are blended with underlying pixels on other layers. By applying specific blend modes to individual layers, you can create a wide variety of special effects. These mode types are based on the latest version of Photoshop, but their effects are universal in all versions. Read More…

Professional Tips for Improving Photoshop’s Performance

In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at the Photoshop Preferences to increase our Performance. With more and more features and important improvements, Photoshop gets more effective than ever. On the other hand, depending on the Photoshop version, features for working with 3D imagery, motion-based content, and advanced image analysis, greatly increase the requirements of both Graphics and Hardware. Read More…

How to Use Content-Aware-Scaling in Photoshop CS4

The latest version of Photoshop CS4 offers a variety of new features that save time and work. One of them is the newly added Content-Aware-Scaling feature, which automatically preserves important areas like people, buildings, objects, as you resize your images. It saves you a lot of time, since there’s no time-consuming cropping and retouching required anymore. How and why you should use this? Read More…

Getting to Grips With the Vanishing Point Filter

These two tutorials are simple guides about using Photoshop’s Vanishing Point filter in photo editing. We’ll learn some of the basics about making selections, cloning areas, and pasting images into the vanishing point filter window. This is a beginner level tutorial that will help you master the basics on this topic. Read More…

How to Use Smart Filters in Photoshop

In this Photoshop CS3 tutorial, we’ll look at the basics of how to apply smart filters to an image, which are not only a brand new feature inside Adobe Photoshop CS3, but also one of the best things to happen to Photoshop in a long time. Whether you’re restoring or retouching a photo or going after a creative effect, once you’ve seen how much freedom smart filters give you, you’ll be using them in your Photoshop work all the time. Read More…

Working With Smart Filters in Photoshop

A quick look at how to work with smart filters in Photoshop CS3. You’ll learn how to create a smart filters mask, how to use brushes to work with an image, and how to paint out areas of an image. Read More…

Web Photo Workflow in Photoshop CS4

This movie introduces a failsafe workflow for making sure your photographs are ready for the World Wide Web, all using Photoshop CS4. Learn about organizing your files, choosing the best settings for color space and bit-depth, making non-destructive edits, and finally, how to resize and optimize your photos so they’re ready to publish. Read More…

Create a Photo Template Using Smart Objects and Smart Filters

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to learn how to create and then reuse a photo effect as a Photoshop template using Smart Objects and Smart Filters. Smart Objects were first introduced in Photoshop CS2, and Photoshop CS3 takes them even further with Smart Filters. Both of these recent additions to Photoshop have the potential to completely change how you work inside the program, since they give you an amazing level of flexibility that simply doesn’t exist without them. Read More…

Useful Applications for the Clone Stamp Tool

Maybe the Clone Stamp Tool is one of the most known tools in Photoshop, but have you ever wondered: what else can I do with the cloning stamp than duplicating pixels and hiding objects? These two short tutorials will show you some new uses for this wonderful tool. Read More…

Using Photoshop Plugins and Filters

The Photoshop filter collection offers more than just filters to make your photo look like it’s painted in watercolors. There are filters to add spotlights and some fun options that don’t appear on the menus but are only a click or two away. Helen Bradley tells you all you need to know about filters, including how to apply multiple filters at once, how to find hidden options, and how to change the colors that a filter applies to your images. A bonus is a list of 10 filters you can use today! Read More…

Color Tools, Resources and Tutorials for Photoshoppers

Choosing a color scheme for your project can be one of the most difficult and most important decisions that you make during the design process. Within the last several years there have been quite a few advances in technology and resources related to this subject. This article is a roundup of some of the best new applications, resources, articles, and tutorials for choosing a color scheme for your project. Read More…

Photoshop CS4 and 3D

Adobe is bridging the gap between two dimensional and 3 dimensional approaches to creating art. It started with CS3 where we have the ability to import 3D objects into 3D Layers and have some of the same navigational functionality as 3rd party 3D program. In addition, we can access the textures via the use of Texture Layers. This gives us the flexibility to alter them to match our final vision in post production. Read More…

Using Photoshop Gradient Editor

It’s impractical for most users to get to know every aspect of Adobe Photoshop. Even advanced Photoshop users limit themselves to a certain workflow that precludes comprehensive knowledge of the program. Yet, every now and again, we all have to expand beyond our comfort zone and get into areas of the program that we’re not familiar with, even on the most basic level. Read More…

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Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts and Cheat Sheets

18 Exceptionally Useful Photoshop Shortcuts

Keyboard commands, or shortcuts, are simply a way to bypass a few mouse clicks when doing tool changes or tool property adjustments. They’re a little awkward and cumbersome at first, but once you pick up a couple of commands on the keyboard you’ll never go back. The whole idea is that while one hand is running the mouse, the other hand might as well be doing something too. This method of working with Photoshop can really decrease your time spent on the computer. Read More…

28 More Exceptionally Useful Photoshop Shortcuts

There were so many comments that brought up additional shortcuts on the last post, that 80% of the following tips came from all of you. It was great to see that level of contribution from the readers, and I learned a few very useful Photoshop tricks along the way. The other 20% of the following tips are some that weren’t mentioned at all in the last post, and I’ve even included a few side notes and mouse-related shortcuts. Read More…

Photoshop Secret Shortcuts

It is proven that by using software shortcuts can boost up productivity. Here are 30 secret Photoshop shortcuts that I’ve learned from years of experience. Well, what I mean by “secret” is that these shortcuts are not documented in the menus. Keep reading and you will find how these shortcuts can speed up your productivity. I bet you don’t know all of them. Read More…

Keyboard Shortcuts Printable Cheat Sheets for Photoshop Version 5 to C4

Keyboard Shortcuts are keystrokes used to quickly invoke a command. As well, shortcuts usually (but not always) involve a modifier key such as Ctrl/Cmd, Alt/Opt, or Shift. For example, instead of choosing Select » Deselect from the menus, you could simply press Ctrl/Cmd+D. Keyboard shortcuts can improve your efficiency, and in some cases, they can even invoke commands that might not otherwise be available (e.g., zooming while a dialog box is open). Read More…

Create Your Own Custom Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we’re going to look at how to create your own custom Photoshop keyboard shortcuts, which may not sound as exciting as, say, swapping people’s faces in a photo or drawing lightning bolts that shoot out of someone’s eyes, but no matter what you’re doing in Photoshop, being able to customize your own keyboard shortcuts is a great (and easy) way to speed up your workflow and make both you and Photoshop much more efficient. Read More…

Photoshop Pen Tool Cheat Sheet

Adobe’s pen tool works pretty much the same across Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Yet, as important as this ubiquitous tool is, many people get confused with how to handle certain tasks, and the differences between the various pen symbols. Read More…

Brush Tool Cheat Sheet

How much useful information can you fit onto a standard 3×5 index card? That’s the challenge our Adobe Expert, Jasson Hoppe, takes on each month with his growing collection of Photoshop cheatsheets. This month’s tiny cheatsheet contribution covers shortcuts and tricks for Photoshop’s Brush Tool. Read More…

Lasso Tool Cheat Sheet

This month’s creative cheatsheet covers the Photoshop Lasso tool. We’ve distilled the basic functions of this widely used tool into a concise format that fits on a standard 3×5 index card. Read More…

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Graphics and Photography Theory Applied
to Photoshop

RGB and Color Channels in Photoshop, Explained.

Photoshop is completely and totally blind when it comes to color. All Photoshop sees is black and white. Well, black, white, and a lot of shades of gray in between, but that’s it. The world’s most powerful image editor, an industry standard among photographers, designers, and virtually all creative professionals, capable of producing millions, even billions of colors has no idea what color is. Read More…

Using Your Camera’s Histogram to Take Better Photographs

The histogram is one of the best ways to check for accurate exposure in the camera, and yet it’s underused by many photographers. Use this tutorial to learn to use histograms in-camera and as part of further Photoshop processing. Read More…

Difference Between Image Resizing and Resampling In Photoshop

When changing the size of an image in Photoshop, there’s really two ways to go about it. You can either resize the image, or you can resample it. A lot of people use the terms resizing and resampling as if they mean the same thing, but they don’t, and there’s an important difference between the two. As we’ll see in this Photoshop tutorial, the difference, as important as it is, is controlled by nothing more than a single checkbox option at the bottom of the Image Size dialog box. Read More…

Understanding Image Pixels

Before we can understand digital photography-related Photoshop topics like image resolution and bit depth, and before we start editing and printing our digital photos, we need to grab our virtual microscopes and magnifying glasses and examine the tiny, often times completely overlooked world of digital image pixels. Read More…

Benefits Of Working With 16-Bit Images In Photoshop

Digital cameras, or at least high-end digital cameras, have been able to shoot in the raw format for several years now, enabling you to open your images in Photoshop and edit them in 16-bit mode rather than the 8-bit mode you get with standard JPEG images. And although there are a few valid reasons for choosing JPEG over raw, many people are still shooting in JPEG simply because they don’t understand the benefits of being able to edit their images in 16-bit. Read More…

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Advanced Photoshop Topics

Super-Handy Photoshop CS4 GPU Features Unraveled

The latest version of Photoshop CS4 offers a variety of new features that save time and work. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at all the new GPU based features and how to use them. On the one hand they save you a lot of time, on the other hand they snatch your RAM away and stress your graphic card, but one things for sure, they all look cool! Let’s jump into Photoshop and take a look at what it offers! Read More…

Photoshop Blend Modes: Advanced Technical Explanation

I’m compiling a list of blend mode tutorials. It is incomplete for now. I’ll add to it over time. I’m particularly interested in the ‘killer app’ for each blend mode, and the best way to demonstrate it. I think that any collection of tutorials that uses the same pair of images and only varies the blend mode combining them is not demonstrating each mode in the best possible way. Read More…

Create Filters With Pixel Bender

The Adobe® Pixel Bender™ technology delivers a common image and video processing infrastructure which provides automatic runtime optimization on heterogeneous hardware. You can use the Pixel Bender kernel language to implement image processing algorithms (filters or effects) in a hardware-independent manner. The Pixel Bender graph language is an XML-based language for combining individual pixel-processing operations (kernels) into more complex Pixel Bender filters. Read More…

Programming Photoshop Plugins

Finding resources that explain how to program a Photoshop plugin is a extremely difficult task. Why? Just because there is little information on the web. You may ask yourself "Is that possible?" Well, most people agree that creating an Adobe Photoshop plugin is a gold mine business due to the popularity of this software. I don’t know if that is still true, but that was true not so long ago. This article is a concise guide that covers all aspects about programming your own Photoshop Plugins. Read More…

Configuring Color Profiles for Your Camera, Monitor, and Printer

Although there are entire books written on the subject of color management in Photoshop, in this chapter we’re going to focus on just one thing—getting what comes out of your color inkjet printer to match what you see onscreen. That’s what it’s all about, and if you follow the steps in this chapter, you’ll get prints that match your screen. Now, I’m not going into the theory of color management, or CMYK soft proofing, or printing to multiple network printers, etc. It’s just you, your computer, and your color inkjet printer. Read More…

Working With Photoshop Scripts

Many people are not familiar with the power of Photoshop Scripts and aren’t aware that there are many excellent sample scripts and learning guides included with Photoshop. This tutorial will show you where to find the Photoshop Scripting Guides, show you how to install Photoshop Scripts, and explain how to work with Photoshop Scripts. Read More…

Create Photoshop Panels With Configurator

Welcome to the prerelease of Adobe® Configurator. Configurator is an open source utility that enables the easy creation of panels (palettes) for use in Adobe Photoshop® CS4. Specifically, Configurator makes it easy to drag and drop tools, menu items, scripts, actions, and other objects into a panel design, then export the results for use inside Photoshop. These panels leverage the support for Adobe Flash® built into Photoshop, making it possible to drag and drop audio, video, images, and even other SWF files into a panel design. Read More…

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Photoshop Tutorials Compilations

 

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Helpful Photoshop Books

How to Cheat in Photoshop CS4

A fun project-led workbook for anyone who wants to get to know Photoshop more intimately. Covering all the techniques you’ll ever need, it’s packed with inspirational projects to try – from combining body parts, to making introduced light sources, shadows, textures and reflections look realistic. With this handy guide, the digital world really is your plaything. Read More…

Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature

When Photoshop guru Matt Kloskowski was asked why he wrote this book, he replied, “It’s simple: I wanted to write the Photoshop book that I wished was around when I was learning Photoshop”. You’ve always known that layers were the key to understanding Photoshop, and now you have a resource to show you exactly how. Read More…

The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers

Scott Kelby, the best-selling Photoshop author in the world today, once again takes this book to a whole new level as he uncovers the latest, most important, and most exciting new Adobe Photoshop CS4 techniques for digital photographers. This major update to his award-winning, record-breaking book does something for digital photographers that’s never been done before—it cuts through the bull and shows you exactly “how to do it.” Read More…

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book

The fastest, easiest, most comprehensive way to learn Adobe Photoshop CS4. Fourteen lessons in Adobe Photoshop CS4 Classroom in a Book cover basic and advanced techniques in Adobe Photoshop, the world’s best image-editing software. Learn how to retouch digital photos, work with layers and masks, navigate the workspace, prepare images print, and explore the latest features. Tips, extra-credit exercises, and step-by-step lessons help you become more productive using Photoshop. Read More…

Art and Design in Photoshop

In this unique book, acclaimed master of photomontage and visual trickery Steve Caplin shows you how to stretch your creative boundaries. Taking the same tried-and-tested practical approach as his best selling How to Cheat in Photoshop titles, Steve’s step-by-step instructions recreate a dazzling and diverse array of fabulous design effects. You’ll learn how to design everything from wine labels to sushi cartons, from certificates to iPod advertising, from textbooks to pulp fiction. Read More…

Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers: A Professional Image Editor’s Guide to the Creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC

Martin Evening’s Adobe Photoshop for Photographers titles have become classic reference sources for photographers at all skill levels. Whether you are an accomplished user or just starting out, the Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers book contains a wealth of practical advice, hints and tips to help you achieve professional-looking results. Read More…

Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS4

The Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in for Adobe Photoshop has changed the way photographers work with images. Shooting in the raw format gives digital photographers complete control over every aspect of image quality. Camera Raw makes the process of using raw files easier by providing a standardized way of accessing and working with these uncompressed digital negatives. Read More…

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