Photoshop Can Be Scary, So Here’s A Helping Hand

Photoshop: it’s been with us now for more than a quarter of a century, and in that time you could safely say that its influence has been profound. Not only is it used by practically every design professional on the plant, it’s also entered our language. To “Photoshop” something is now a bona fide verb, used all the time in everyday conversation.


There’s only one problem with Photoshop: given the richness of its feature set, mastering it is difficult. But whether you want to remove blemishes or add backgrounds, here are some tips and tricks to making your Photoshop experience better.

Change The Unit Of Measurement

Sometimes you need to change the unit of measurements on the rulers to really make sense of what you’re doing. Often pixels are more helpful than millimeters or percents. To quickly change the unit of measurement, hold your cursor over the ruler, right click and then choose the option you want from the context menu. If your rulers aren’t showing for some reason, hold Ctrl + R to show them.

Use The Magnetic Lasso Tool

It’s practically impossible to trace the edge of a particular object in an image by hand – say, a tennis ball. If you try to do it, and then cut and paste it into another image, you’ll end up with jagged lines galore. The whole thing will look a mess.


Here’s where the Magnetic Lasso tool comes in handy. You can use it to trace around the edge of an on-screen object and it will detect the edge of the object, allowing you to carve it out neatly. This is really helpful if you want to cut out an image of a product from one particular background and place it in another,  according to

The Magnetic Lasso tool is indicated by a small magnet icon on the Lasso tool fly out menu.

Use The Adjustment Layers Tool

Great images often comprise many different layers. The adjustment layer tool allows you to individually edit each layer of your photos and alter the color and the hue. With layers, it’s easy to reverse the changes you make to an image: all it requires is that you remove the layer and start again.

Backgrounds from sites like help to add depth to images, especially for product backgrounds. These layers can then be adjusted to complement whatever is in the foreground by applying the layer tool.

Spot Healing Brush

The Spot Healing Brush is what defines Photoshop, perhaps more than any other tool. It’s the original blemish remover, used by practically every professional in the industry, removing any imperfection on the subject’s skin.

When using the spot healing brush, choose a brush size that’s a little bigger than the area you wish to repair. Then click fix. Photoshop them samples colors from the immediate vicinity, providing a good illusion for what might have been there, were the blemish absent.

The Blur Tool

If spots aren’t the problem, fine lines usually are. The Blur tool can be used to rid a face of wrinkles, but be careful with it: too much blurring and you’ll spoil the image.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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