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Adobe Photoshop - Every tool explained

Adobe Photoshop - Every tool explained

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Published by Valeriu
description of every photoshop tool, how it works, etc..
description of every photoshop tool, how it works, etc..

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Published by: Valeriu on Mar 10, 2010
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Finding the lingo a puzzle?Here’s your handy
guide to essential terms found in this Focus Guide

Alpha channel

Alpha channels are stored
alongside colour channels
within Photoshop files but do
not affect the final image
printout. Instead, they store
information that is helpful to
you, such as saved Masks.


Moving pixels around can cause
undesirable jagged edges to
appear, where edited pixels have
not blended smoothly together.
Anti- aliasing refers to the process
of smoothing out these jagged
edges for a more natural look.


Brushes enable you to paint on
Photoshop images with colour,
other bits of images and pre-
defined patterns. They mimic
real brushes in that you can
alter the size, hardness and
texture in order to achieve the
effects you want.

Colour channel

There are three colour channels
in all colour images: red, green
and blue. Each one contains
information specific to that
colour. Photoshop enables you
to alter each channel
independently, making it
possible to reduce grainy blue
skies without affecting the rest
of an image, for example.


Softening the edges of pixels in a
selection, so that they will blend
smoothly when moved elsewhere.
Photoshop does this by only
partially selecting some of the pixels
around the edge of the selection.


One of Photoshop’s preset tools
that applies an effect to an
image (or a selection within the
image). Examples include
sharpening, blurring, creative

and artistic filters. You’ll find
a complete list by clicking in
the Filter menu at the top of
the Photoshop window.


A commonly used term used to
describe the typeface you are
using. For instance, Times New
Roman is a font where all the
letters look fairly formal. In
Arial, however, all the letters
are far simpler looking.

GIF (or .gif)

A type of image file format best
suited for producing simple
images for the web. Examples
include logos, banners, buttons
and anything made up of only a
few flat colours.


An image is greyscale if it
contains no colour information.
Almost all digital camera files,
for instance, will be in colour.
But you can turn them into
black and white with many fine
gradations of grey, from within
Photoshop by turning them in to
greyscale images.

Image size

This refers to the physical size
of an image. For instance, a
photograph you are working on
may be 20x15cm. This matters
most when you come
to printing out the image.

JPG (or .jpeg)

A type of image file format that
gives a desirable combination of
small file sizes and good quality
photo reproduction. It is
commonly used in digital
cameras to store the images that
you take. The small files sizes
also make it ideal for the web.


Layers containing effects or bits
of images can be stacked on top

of the original image layer (the
background) in order to change
the appearance of the image.
Layers do not directly affect the
layers beneath them, in the
same way as a blurry piece of
glass placed over a photograph
does not actually affect the
photograph – in both cases, it is
the appearance that is changed,
leaving the original untouched.


The flashing dotted outline that
surrounds a selection. You’ll
also see it referred to in some
places as ‘marching ants’.


In Photoshop’s default screen
layout, the Navigator is
positioned in the top-right
corner and gives you access to
the whole image, even if you are
currently zoomed in to a
specific part. The red box within
the Navigator image denotes the
area that is currently on screen;
you can move around your
image by clicking and dragging
the red box around the
Navigator image.


A measure of how many pixels
make up an image. A resolution
of 300dpi (dots per inch) is
recognised as the minimum
if you’re intending to print
your images.


Any part of an image which you
select with Photoshop’s tools,
shown by a marquee around it.
You can then work on certain
parts of an image, or remove
then without affecting the rest.


These are special kinds of
selections for web page design. An
image can be split into segments or
slices, and Photoshop creates an

HTML file, plus separate image
files, for each slice. The web
browser then reassembles the slices
in their original position to give the
appearance of a single image.


A small, ‘thumbnail-sized’
version of an image. You’ll find
them in folders of images and
in Photoshop’s File Browser –
Because they’re smaller than a
full size image you can browse
through them more quickly,
which makes finding the file
you’re after far easier.


An abbreviation for ‘picture
element’, it is essentially a tiny
dot of colour on screen. Most
images are made of up millions
of pixels, which combine to
make an image look seamless.
Zoom in very close on an image,
however, and you can clearly
see these individual pixels.


Photoshop’s own file format,
which preserves things such as
layers and channels. If you’re
editing an image file, it’s
sensible to save it as a PSD, in
order for the changes you have
made to remain editable when
you next open it.

Tool Options bar

When a tool is selected, the
corresponding Tool Options bar
automatically appears at the top
of the Photoshop window,
giving you access to various
options, including such things
as Brush Sizes and Feathering.





Ten chapters of expert tips and advice

All book related CD content can be found
on the magazine cover disc

Master every tool in the Photoshop toolbar

Navigate and manipulate images with ease

Use the Cloning and Healing tools to retouch your photos

Make pixel-perfect selections every time

Harness the power of the stunning Effects tools

Tailor-made video tutorials

Every keyboard shortcut for PC and Mac


From the makers of Computer Arts



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