Latest Photoshop tutorials
Welcome to Photoshop Essentials, where everyone can learn Photoshop! We offer fun, exclusive, step-by-step tutorials for all skill levels, and all written with beginners in mind. From Photoshop Basics to Photo Editing and Retouching, Photo Effects, Text Effects and more!
Check out our latest Photoshop tutorials below. Or download our tutorials as PDFs and get exclusive bonus content!
Photoshop gives us quick access to a few type options in the Options Bar, but its more interesting and advanced options for working with type are found in the Character and Paragraph panels. In this tutorial, we learn all about the Character panel options like leading, tracking, kerning, baseline shift, and more!
Learn the difference between point and area type in Photoshop, and how area type lets us easily wrap larger amounts of text onto multiple lines inside resizable text boxes!
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes we still need to add our own words to an image or design layout. In this tutorial, we cover the basics and essentials of adding, editing and working with type in Photoshop!
By default, Photoshop places each new vector shape we draw on its own independent Shape layer, but in this tutorial, we learn how the Add, Subtract, Intersect and Exclude options let us combine shapes in more interesting ways!
Learn the differences between the Shape Layers, Paths and Fill Pixels drawing modes for the Shape tools in Photoshop, and why one of them in particular is almost always a better choice than the others!
Learn how Photoshop’s Custom Shape Tool lets us add hearts, flowers, animals, snowflakes, music notes, copyright symbols and other useful shapes to our designs with no drawing skill required!
Learn the essentials of working with vector shapes and Shape layers in Photoshop, from drawing simple rectangles and ellipses to stars, starbursts, direction arrows, and more!
Learn how to easily and automatically align and distribute layers within a Photoshop document using the Align and Distribute options, and how layer groups make it easy to center multiple layers with the document itself!
As you add more and more layers to a document in Photoshop, your Layers panel can quickly become a cluttered mess of confusion. In this tutorial, learn how layer groups make it easy to keep things neat, tidy and organized!
Tired of dragging images from one Photoshop document to another? Learn how the Load Files into Photoshop Layers command, first introduced in Adobe Bridge CS4, can open multiple images at once as layers inside the same document!
Layers are easily Photoshop’s most important feature, but one special type of layer – the Background layer – comes with a few rules and limitations we need to be aware of to avoid confusion and frustration.
For Photoshop CS5 and earlier. Learn all about the Background layer in Photoshop, what makes it special, and how to get around its rules and limitations.
Take a whirlwind tour of the Layers panel in Photoshop and learn the essential skills you need for working with layers! For Photoshop CS5 and earlier.
If there’s one thing every Photoshop user needs to know, it’s how to work with layers, Photoshop’s most powerful and important feature. In this intro to layers, we look at the difference between working with them and working without them!
Photoshop’s Opacity and Fill options in the Layers panel both control the transparency of a layer, but in this tutorial, we learn the important difference between them when working with layer styles!
In this Photoshop Basics tutorial, learn how to create more interesting text layouts in your designs using custom shapes as text frames, and watch as your text fills the area inside the shape!
In this Photoshop Basics tutorial, learn how to create fun designs and interesting logos by combining text with custom shapes! You’ll learn how to convert text to a shape, how to add other shapes to text and how to use shapes to cut holes out of letters!
In this third tutorial in our series on repeating patterns, learn how to create fun and interesting patterns from Photoshop’s custom shapes!
In a previous tutorial, we covered the basics of creating and using simple repeating patterns in Photoshop. In this tutorial, learn how to add colors and gradients with Solid Color and Gradient fill layers!
Learn the basics of creating and using simple repeating patterns in Photoshop!
Dragging and dropping photos between documents has always been an essential skill in Photoshop, but is it still possible with the new tabbed document windows in Photoshop CS4 and CS5? Of course it is! This tutorial shows you how!
Before we can use Photoshop to blend photos together in creative and interesting ways, we first need to know how to move photos from one document to another. In this tutorial, we look at three easy ways that work with any version of Photoshop!
Learn how to easily make your type flow along the shape and direction of a path. For Photoshop CS5 and earlier.
Learn how to select and download photos from your digital camera or memory card to your computer using Adobe Bridge CS5 and the Photo Downloader!
Photoshop’s Free Transform command is one of its most useful features, a one-stop shop for resizing, reshaping, rotating and moving things within a document. Learn the essential skills and shortcuts for getting the most out of this powerful feature, including how to switch to other helpful transform modes without leaving Free Transform!
Tired of drawing selections in the wrong size, shape or location you needed and trying again and again until you get it right? Learn how to fix the selection you’ve already made with Photoshop’s Transform Selection command, and create a fun picture-in-picture effect while you’re at it!
If you’re using Photoshop CS3 or higher, you’ll definitely want to learn all about the Quick Selection Tool and how it lets us select objects in an image simply by painting over them!
The Magic Wand, one of the oldest and most basic selection tools in Photoshop, selects pixels in an image based on tone and color. Learn how it works and how a tool so simple can make replacing the sky in a photo quick and easy!
Make sure you’re getting the most out of Adobe’s most powerful version of Photoshop to date with a quick look through Photoshop CS5’s essential Preferences settings!
Tired of switching between Photoshop and Bridge every time you need to open a new image? Now you don’t have to! Learn how the new Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5 lets us easily locate, preview and open photos from Bridge without ever leaving Photoshop!
Adobe Bridge CS4 may be great at managing and organizing our ever-growing collection of photos, but first, we need some photos to manage. Learn how the Photo Downloader in Bridge CS4 makes it easy to get your photos from the camera to the computer!
Digital cameras give us the freedom to snap as many photos as we like, and Adobe Bridge CS4 gives us an easy way to locate, manage and organize them! In this tutorial, we take a quick tour of Bridge CS4’s many features and options.
Learn how to dynamically control the opacity of our brush’s color and the flow of the paint with the Other Dynamics options, the last (but not least) of six Brush Dynamics categories in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
Learn how to dynamically control the hue, saturation and brightness of your brushes as you paint, and even how to paint with both the Foreground and Background colors at once, using the Color Dynamics options, the fifth of six Brush Dynamics categories in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
Learn how to blend and mix two different Photoshop brushes together using the Dual Brush options, the fourth of six Brush Dynamics categories in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
Learn how to use textures to change the shape of your Photoshop brush and how to paint with patterns using Photoshop’s Texture options, the third of six Brush Dynamics categories found in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
Learn how to dynamically scatter multiple copies of your Photoshop brushes as you paint, creating a ‘spraying’ effect, using the options found in Scattering, the second of six Brush Dynamics categories in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
In this Photoshop Brushes tutorial, learn how to dynamically control the size, angle and roundness of your brushes as you paint using Shape Dynamics, one of six Brush Dynamics categories in Photoshop’s Brushes panel!
In this series of tutorials, learn how to dynamically control various aspects of our brushes as we paint in Photoshop, including brush size, shape, color and more using the Brush Dynamics options in the Brushes panel!
Photoshop ships with lots of great brushes for us to use, but it’s way more fun and interesting to create our own! In this tutorial, learn how to create a new brush from scratch, and how to control the behavior of the brush with dynamic brush options!
The Magnetic Lasso Tool is one of the best selection tools in Photoshop, giving us much better results than what the standard Lasso Tool offers in less time and with less effort and frustration. In fact, with a little practice, you may find yourself hopelessly attracted to it!
The Polygonal Lasso Tool, another of Photoshop’s geometry-based selection tools, allows us to easily select objects with straight, flat surfaces with just the click of a mouse!
Photoshop’s Lasso Tool is probably the easiest of the selection tools to use, allowing us to draw freehand selections around objects in a photo as if we were outlining them on paper with a pen or pencil. We’ll also learn how to fix up problem areas and dramatically improve your results!
The Rectangular Marquee Tool may be one of the easiest Photoshop selection tools to use, but it isn’t much help to us when we need to draw oval or circular selections. That’s where the Elliptical Marquee Tool comes in. In fact, the Elliptical Marquee Tool is really just the Rectangular Marquee Tool with extremely rounded corners!
Being able to select objects or areas in a photo is one of the most important Photoshop skills you need, but not all selections need to be complex or time consuming. The Rectangular Marquee Tool, one of Photoshop’s basic selection tools, is perfect for making selections based on simple geometric shapes.
There’s lots of ways to make selections in Photoshop, some simple, some advanced. But having lots of ways to do something doesn’t explain why we need to do it in the first place. In this tutorial, we’ll look at why we need to make selections in Photoshop at all, and why Photoshop doesn’t see things like we do.
Photoshop CS4 makes viewing and comparing multiple images easier than ever thanks to the new Arrange Documents feature and a bunch of new multi document layouts! Learn how to use them and even how to zoom and pan all of the images in a layout at once!
If you’ve been wishing for a better way to work with multiple images open at once in Photoshop, one that doesn’t involve endlessly dragging document windows around on the screen, check out the new Tabbed Document Windows feature in Photoshop CS4! Switching between multiple images has never been easier!
New to Photoshop or upgraded from an earlier version? Check out our quick tour of all the features in Photoshop CS4’s user interface, the most streamlined, efficient and user friendly interface so far! Learn what’s what, what’s new and where it all is, including a look at the brand new Application Bar and Application Frame!
Photoshop’s layer styles are a great way to create fun and interesting photo effects and text effects without a lot of effort, but remembering how you created an effect isn’t always easy, and recreating it can take time. Thankfully, Photoshop lets us save our layer style masterpieces and re-apply them instantly with just the click of a button!