Adobe Photoshop Tutorial for Beginners – Step By Step Tutorial

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial for Beginners
Adobe Photoshop Tutorial for Beginners

The article is about a step-by-step Photoshop tutorial for beginners. Photoshop is a powerful tool but confusing at the same time. You may want to start using Adobe Photoshop but not sure where to start or think you might do something wrong. If you don’t have Photoshop yet, then get onto the 30-day free trial that is downloadable from their website. The trial version will give you some time to have a play and explore all the fun and amazing things it can do. If you find it’s not your thing, or you find it too difficult then as it was only a trial, there are no strings attached. This article will give you the basics to get you started using Adobe Photoshop and a step-by-step Adobe Photoshop tutorial.h

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial Video

iVideo is one of the easiest ways to learn Photoshop. The video covers the basics of Photoshop. The video covers most of the tools mentioned here, but for up to date information, I’ll recommend watching the video, and reading the article too.

The Photoshop Tools

Adobe Photoshop has a group of tools, just like anyone with a hobby will have. The toolbar in the photoshop is long and narrow and found on the left side. These tools are what you will need to paint, erase, draw and plenty of other cool things.

The first thing is the basics of what you would find in the toolbar. You can break the tool down into sections or categories if you like. Breaking into categories is suitable for beginners to help you find the tool you need. Once you have familiarized yourself with the tools, you can create shortcuts for them which will help in speeding up the process when you are working in photoshop.

Toolbar - Photoshop Tutorial
Toolbar – Photoshop Tutorial

How to use the tools

If you want to select a tool, click on the tool icon in the toolbox. If you hover your mouse over a tool icon in the toolbar, you will see a tooltip that will appear and then shows you the name of that tool and what the keyboard shortcut is. Once you understand the tools and what they do, it is best to learn the shortcuts to speed up your work. Some shortcuts are simple like Z for zoom and E for the eraser. A shortcut merely means you press the shortcut letter on your keyboard. Tool keyboard shortcuts enable you to change your tools without taking your hands from the keyboard.

Different column toolbar

The toolbar is one long column by default. You can make it shorter, into a double column by merely going to the double arrows at the top and clicking. If you wish to change back to a single column, you only have to click it, again.

Two Column Toolbar - Adobe Photoshop
Two Column Toolbar – Adobe Photoshop

Accessing the hidden tools

There are so many tools in photoshop than what we can see at first.  When you see a little arrow on the bottom of an icon, it means there are hidden tools there. These tools are accessed by clicking on the tool icon and holding it. As you are holding it, you will get a set of tools to appear that show all the hidden tools for the one item.

Hidden Tools - Adobe Photoshop
Hidden Tools – Adobe Photoshop

The menu bar

File Toolbar - Adobe Photoshop

Menu Bar – Adobe PhotoshopAlong the top of the photoshop screen, you will see a menu bar. The Menu Bar is where you will find options and commands all arranged into groups.


Starting we have the File toolbar”. In this Photoshop tutorial, we will cover all the most common tools. The File Menu is used similarly to how you would in other programs. You go here to make new files, save files, print a project or open an existing file.

Check out: Adobe Photoshop Express Full Tutorial


The edit menu is for editing. You can edit objects on the page, from the menu or shortcuts. You can undo or redo actions and even cut and paste from the same place. The shortcuts for the keyboard are found here it is good to get familiar with these for later on. In the edit part, you can search for specific text and even replace the text with something different using the find and replace button.


In the image, the section is where you can change the mode of your project to grayscale, multichannel, duotone and plenty more. In the adjustment, the section is where you can get access to the tools used for changing the brightness, exposure, contrast, saturation and the colour balance. There are a few automatic tools here where you can improve the way the image looks without needing to go into specific tools. You have the options of auto tone, auto colour and auto contrast.


In the layer menu, you can see where all the manipulation tools are hiding. You can create new layers, delete, rename the layer and duplicate existing ones.


The filters are where you can get into tools such as the brush stroke, sketch, texture, distort and other special filters. Located directly in the filter menu is where you will find the blur filter, render, pixelate, and sharpen tools.

The right side panels

Photoshop comes with right side panels and covering those in Photoshop tutorial for beginners is essential. On the right side of the interface is where you can find what are called panels. The panels give you access to commands and options. You will see there are different panels for all the various tasks. The main board you need to be familiar with is the layer panel. The layer panel where you can delete, add and work within the layers of the document.

Right Side Panels - Adobe Photoshop
Right Side Panels – Adobe Photoshop

How to panel groups

If you want to save some space on your screen, then you can put panels together that are similar. Each panel has a tab which displays the names of the sections. The panel that is currently open will appear brighter than the rest. There are also tabs on the right with the layers tab one is paths, and the other is Channels. These are other panels that are among the layer panel but within the same group.

Check out: Grammarly Editor Review

More Panels in Photoshop

You will see only a small number of panels are displayed. There are more there to discover which you can find under the window menu that is located in the menu bar.

The Search Bar

The search bar gives you access to finding tools and commands in photoshop, which is an excellent tool for beginners. It also offers tutorials. To use this feature, you click the magnifying glass that you will find in the upper right corner side. You need to search for your term by typing it in. The search bar will then expand, showing you the results of the search. Below the search term, you will see a menu that will allow you to limit the type of results that you are seeing. As a default setting all is selected, but you can change this by restricting the results to Photoshop tools, commands or panels.

How to crop in photoshop

You must know of this tool to get started with Photoshop. When you crop, you are changing the number of pixels that are in the image by cropping away the surrounding area. In the photo editor, you can crop an image using the Crop tool or command.

Crop Tool - Adobe Photoshop
Crop Tool – Adobe Photoshop

To crop an image, follow these steps:

  • Choose the crop tool from the panel, or you can press the keyboard shortcut C.
  • Take the cursor to the point of the image where the corner of the image will be and then click the left side of your mouse.
  • Then move your mouse diagonally while keeping the mouse button pushed down.

There is another feature that isn’t used as commonly, which is the crop tool used for adding more canvas space all around your image, which can be used space for a decorative border.

To do this, follow these instructions:
First, open the image you want to add space too. Set the background colour to default by pressing the keyboard shortcut D. Then go on and press control and minus to zoom out then press the shortcut F. This will allow you to see the grey area that surrounds your picture.

Press the letter c to switch over to the crop tool then you can drag a cropping border out to any size. Now grab a side of the corner point and start to drag outside of the image area heading into the grey area. The cropped area that the border extends out to is the area that will become the extra canvas space. Press the enter key to complete the crop where you will find the canvas area has now turned white.

Zooming in and out of an image

You can find the zoom level in two spots. The first one is up in the document tab above your image. The second you can find is in the bottom left side corner of your document window. As you can see the zoom in the picture below is sitting at 25%.

Zooming In and Out - Adobe Photoshop
Zooming In and Out – Adobe Photoshop

How to change the Zoom Level

You may wonder why your zoom information is seen in two different places. The zoom level that you can see in the document tab is for information purposes. You can’t change the zoom level from there. You can change the zoom level by the bottom left corner. If you want to zoom into an image at 50% then to change this level, you need to highlight the current level then enter in the new percentage. You don’t need to include the per cent symbol as photoshop will include this itself.

Keeping the Zoom Level box in sight

Complex things can happen any time, and it is vital that you know what is going on. That’s why I have covered if you face any troubles while using Photoshop in this step-by-step Photoshop for beginners tutorial. Sometimes you can run into a problem when you press enter to complete your new value you may notice your input box has lost focus. A special trick to avoid this is simply holding down the shift key and press enter to accept the amount you entered. You will notice the zoom level has remained highlighted. This is good for when you want to try out a new size without completely changing it and not liking it.

Continuous Zoom

There is another way to use the zoom tool, and that is the continuous zoom. You must choose the zoom tool from the keyboard shortcut or the toolbar. You then click on the spot where you want to zoom in while keeping your mouse button down. Photoshop will continuously zoom inwards until you stop holding the mouse button down. Vice versa you hold your alt key down, so you can zoom out continuously until you let go of the button.

The Scroll Bars

This is how you can scroll your image left, right up or down. It works much the same way as the scroll bar on a normal word document. The scroll bars are found along the right side of the window and the bottom.

Using the Scroll Wheel

You can also scroll your image by using the scroll wheel found on your mouse. To move the image up scroll the mouse wheel up and the same for going downward, you simply scroll down. By using the keyboard, you can scroll by pressing down and holding the ctrl button scrolling down to go to the right and move it up to move to the left.

Magic Wand Tool

Magic Wand Tool - Adobe Photoshop
Magic Wand Tool – Adobe Photoshop

This tool is ideal for the times when you are working with a background that is a solid colour or something like a clear blue sky. This tool is used to change backgrounds. Once you have selected the tool from the toolbar, you then click on the area of the image you want to select. You need to toggle the add to selection part from the icon of the two squares in the top bar. This will let you move forward with changing the colours and tones of the image you have selected.

Final words

Photoshop can seem daunting when you first start, but once you have mastered what each tool is for and get to know the keyboard shortcuts, you will find it is not that hard to navigate around and complete projects. There is so much you can do in photoshop, and it will all come to you once you start playing around it with. You can delete blemishes on faces, change looks or hair colours, you can even place your photo somewhere else around the world.

Adobe Photoshop is around 28 years old, and it still impresses people with everything that one program can do when it comes to image manipulation. I hope the article step-by-step Photoshop tutorial for beginners helped. Have you started using Photoshop? Or already, master? Please share us some tips so everyone can get benefits.

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