No Tech Genius Required: Photo Editing with Photoshop

Photoshop's Work AreaUnless you’re a graphic designer, it’s likely that when you hear the word “Photoshop” your heart starts pumping fast and your brain shuts down from fear of being overwhelmed. While the software is extensive, it’s really not that hard to use. In fact, you don’t have to know how to use everything to get started with photo editing. Just focus on what you want to do at the time instead of all the things the software can do. Performing minor photo editing with Photoshop is simple. Just follow along.

When you open Photoshop, you will see a window that looks like the one below except without the cute bee.

Photoshop Bee

Within the opening screen are the following choices across the top.

Photoshop Menu

Highlight any of the choices to see the rest of your options with your mouse pointer. There are many options that open up when you activate the dropdown menu. In addition, for each action you take on the dropdown menu, even more options will open up in the center of the screen, as well as the right, left and bottom.

How to Open a Picture with Photoshop

The first thing you need to know is how to do is open a picture inside Photoshop for editing. You can do this in three ways.

1. Highlight the Image and then right click the mouse

When you right click on the image, you’ll be given a choice of options. Choose to open the image with Photoshop.

Opening an image in Photoshop


2. Click File, then Open on the top menu

You can use “New”, “Open” or “Open Recent” and you’ll activate various choices from there. Click file, and then look at the drop down to choose your next action.

Opening an image in Photoshop


If you choose New you’re saying that you’re starting a brand new project without an image to start with. It will give you a popup in the middle of the screen that will let you choose how large your work area is and your new project name, among other choices.

Opening an image in Photoshop

Your work area is kind of like a canvas where you bring in other elements like images, typesetting, colors and so forth to make your design interesting. The below is an example of what the settings above give you. The image if printed would be the width, height, and resolution as described, with a background color that you chose. The red arrow is pointed to the area you’d click to change the color above.

When you start a new project it will look similar to the above depending on if you choose a transparent background or not and other factors. The image above is without a transparent background.

If you choose Open, a window will pop up allowing you to find an image in your files on your computer or other storage device.

New Photoshop Image

If you choose another option, a different window will pop up. It’s up to you, but the end result is the same. You’ll bring a picture into the window for editing and enhancing. To choose an image, highlight it with your mouse and then click open on the bottom right.

3. Open Recent

When you open up Photoshop after you’ve worked on a project you’ll see the words “Open Recent” with a list of images or projects under it. If you have already been working and want to resume working on an image use this option.

Open Recent Photoshop Image


To demonstrate this, the Bumblebee picture has been opened by clicking the bumblebee.jpg because it was on the list.

Photoshop Bee

Now you can begin to alter the picture according to what you want to do. You can add borders, crop the image, enlarge the image, and improve resolution and more. The most important things that you need to learn to do are cropping, resizing, rotating, and adding text to an image.

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