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How to use Photoshop

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Lluís Enric Mayans
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How to use Photoshop on PC and Mac

If you are reading this guide it is very likely that you want to understand first how to use Photoshop on PC and Mac. Before explaining it to you, however, I would like to make a necessary clarification: being a software aimed above all at professionals working in the world of graphics and photo editing, Photoshop is not free.

Thanks to trial version available on the Adobe website, you can test its functionality for 7 days but, to continue using it, you need to subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, which starts from 12,19 euro / month. All clear? Well, then let's take action and discover, together, how to install and use the most famous photo editing program in the world!



Photoshop download

To download the trial version of Adobe Photoshop on your computer, connected to this web page, click on the button Free trial version located at the top right (in case you can't see it, click on the item first Adobe Photoshop CC located at the top of the page) and then wait for the program download to start automatically.

Once the download is complete, all you have to do is open the installation file you obtained and follow the instructions you see on the screen: if you are using a PC Windows, then start the file Photoshop_Set-Up.exe e poi pigia sul pulsating Yes. If you use a Macinstead, double-click the file Photoshop_Installer.dmg and then run the executable Photoshop Installer contented to the internal suo.

Now, press the button Subscribe located in the window that opened on the desktop and create your account Adobe ID, which is necessary to continue installing Photoshop. Then fill out the form that is proposed to you indicating all the information requested - yours name, your last name, yours date of birth, your email address and Password of your account - and presses the button Registration. Then put the check mark on the item I have read and accept the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy (UPDATED) and his bottone award Continue.




The next step is to answer the short questionnaire that is proposed: using the drop-down menus that you see on the screen, then indicate your level of competence in the use of Photoshop, your profession and the reason why you want to use the program. To conclude, click again on Continue and then Start installing.

Now all you have to do is wait for the installation procedure to finish (which, given the "weight" of the program, could take several minutes) and that's it: you can use Photoshop for 7 days for free and calmly decide whether to buy it. license less.

If some steps are not clear to you, I suggest you take a look at the guide in which I explain in even more depth how to download Photoshop: surely this reading will also help you.

Using Photoshop

To understand how to use Photoshop, you have to analyze well the parts from which his is composed user interface: on the left there is the toolbar containing all the brushes and tools needed to draw, color and edit photos; in the center of the work area are the images to work on; on the right there is a panel from which you can manage the levels that make up the images and at the top there are the menu through which you can open and save photos, apply special effects to them and much more.

The tools in the left toolbar are so many, but if you want to know the main characteristics of each of them you can use a little "trick" that is really very useful to those who, like you, take their first steps in the world of photo editing: passing the pointer on each tool, a menu will open in which its operation is illustrated through an animation and a link that refers to the corresponding official guide on the Adobe website.



Among the tools that deserve to be mentioned, there are those that allow you to select portions of photos, such as the Rectangular selection or Bow, which allows you to select freehand or semi-automatically portions of the image. The Photoshop toolbar also houses a large set of tools that allow you to draw and paint on photos, such as the tool Brush, useful for drawing, the tool Spot Healing Brush, which allows you to remove stains and imperfections quickly and easily and the tool Rubber which, as you can well imagine, can be used to remove portions of the image by applying the background color to the pixels or making them transparent.

The Photoshop menus, located at the top, are structured in such a way as to allow the user to access the main functions of the program in a rather intuitive way. Opening the menu Fillet, for example, you can find all the options you need to open (apri) and save the files (Save with name ...); in the menu Modification there are some tools to distort, resize, move and rotate the elements present in the photos (Transform); opening the menu Image you can find most of the tools with which to adjust the colors of the images (Adjustments); while in the menu Filter there are all the special effects that can be applied to photos.

One of the most common things you might want to do with Photoshop is to improve the colors, brightness, and other parameters of an image. Doing so is very simple, since the program is able to do this completely automatically. To try it for yourself, select the voice apri from the menu Fillet, choose the photo to correct and then select the items Automatic tone, Automatic contrast e Automatic color from the menu Image (above) to apply the desired corrections. You will be amazed by the result obtained.



Do you want to use Photoshop to eliminate a writing or an imperfection from your photo? Open the image to operate on as seen above and select the tool Spot Healing Brush located on the left toolbar. Then, click gently on the sections of the image to be deleted (eg a writing or an imperfection to be removed) and, as if by "magic", this will be replaced by the color or by the surrounding elements, thus making it invisible. If you want to learn more about this tool, take a look at the tutorial where I show how to remove writings from photos with Photoshop.

And the special effects? We get there right away. To apply special effects to an image, all you have to do is open the menu filters and select the effect you like best. In the section Artistic find filters to turn your photo into a poster, a painting and so on; while in the section Distortion find all the tools to deform your photo. Once you have selected the effect you want to use, adjust its properties in the window that opens and click on the button OK to apply it. If you want to deepen the subject, I suggest you read the tutorials in which I show in more detail how to stylize a photo with Photoshop and how to distort a photo with Photoshop.

Do you want to rotate your photo or change its perspective? Select the image with the tool Rectangular selection, open the menu Modificationclick sulla voce Transform and choose the tool you want to use (ex. Wheel o Prospective). Then transform your photo by moving its edges with the cursor and, when you are satisfied with the result, click on the symbol (✓) positioned at the top right to apply the changes.

If, on the other hand, you wish cut out a photo to remove its background and / or to move a subject from one image to another, use the Photoshop selection tools and quick masks as I explained to you in my tutorial on clipping with Photoshop.

Once you have finished "photoshopping" the photo, save your work: open the menu Fillet, select the voice Save with name ... and, in the window that opens, select the folder in which to save the modified image, give it a name by typing it in the field File name and click on Save but I will complete the operation.

If you want to speed up your progress in using Photoshop, I suggest you read the tutorials I dedicated to this software (you can find them at this link) and deepen the topics that are present in the section Discover (to access it just click on the homonymous tab located in the right section of the program) and which you can also find on the Adobe website.

Using Photoshop online


If you want, you can use Photoshop online thanks to Photoshop Express Editor, a free web application developed by Adobe that can be used directly from the browser, but under two conditions: you can only retouch images in JPEG format and the plugin must be installed and activated in your browser Adobe Flash Player (I already showed you how to download and activate Flash Player, remember?).

To use Photoshop Express Editor, then connected to its home page, presses the button UPLOAD PHOTO and then on the button Upload from the box that appears. Then select the image you want to act on, so as to access the Photoshop Express Editor which, as you can see, is very reminiscent of the desktop version of Photoshop.

On the left, in the section BASIC, there are the basic editing functions, such as the one that allows you to do the cropping (Crop & Rotate), resizing (Resize) and red-eye correction (Red-eye); in the section ADJUSTMENTS there are tools to "adjust" and adjust the main image parameters, such as white balance (White level), brightness (Highlight) and sharpness (Sharpen); while in the section EFFECTS there are various effects to apply to the image, such as the one to pixelate the photo (Pixelate) or to distort it (Distort).

After selecting the tools you need to retouch the image, use the previews that appear at the top of the page to adjust the degree of intensity with which to apply it to the photo. As soon as you are satisfied with the result, click on the button first Done and then Save to download the output image.

If you want to learn more about how Photoshop Express Editor works, please read the guide in which I show in more detail how to use Photoshop online.

How to use Photoshop on smartphones and tablets

You don't have a PC available at the moment and would like to know if it's possible use Photoshop on smartphones and tablets? The answer is yes! Adobe, in fact, has developed some free apps that incorporate some of the main features of its famous photo editing software. Let's find out all in detail.

  • Photoshop for iPad (iPadOS) - is the most advanced transposition of Photoshop for mobile devices. It integrates various functions present in the desktop version of Photoshop, reinterpreted for use on the move and with exclusive iPad accessories, such as the Apple Pencil. You can download it for free from the App Store but, after the first month of trial, it costs 10,99 euro / month (unless you already have an active Creative Cloud subscription).
  • Adobe Photoshop Express (Android / iOS / Windows 10 Mobile) - allows you to edit photos in 6-7 steps ensuring very high output quality. In addition to allowing you to retouch the shots by acting directly on the brightness, contrast and all the other main parameters of the photos, Photoshop Express also lends itself to the creation of collages through an ad hoc feature to be used if necessary.
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC (Android / iOS) - offers the possibility to take photos in the DNG format and even to import and edit files in the RAW format (but only if you subscribe to the Adobe CC Photography plan, which starts at € 12,19 per month). Some advanced features, such as the one that allows you to take pictures in RAW, DNG or HDR format, however, are only available for the most technologically performing and recent devices (eg Galaxy S8 / S8 + and later, Google Pixel / Pixel XL and later, iPhone 6s / 6s Plus and later, etc.).
  • Photoshop Sketch (Android / iOS) - the right application if you want to create digital drawings using the touch screen of your device and input devices such as tablet pens.

Do you want to learn more about the functioning of the Photoshop apps that I have just listed? Then take a look at the guide where I explain in more detail how to use them best.

How to use Photoshop

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