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Photoshop training courses

Photoshop is a very extensive package with many possibilities. We offer various courses that allow you to become familiar with how Photoshop works in an accessible manner. The Basic Photoshop course is a good start for starters who want to learn more quickly. The Photoshop advanced course is aimed at users who already have some knowledge of Photoshop. This course focuses on the advanced possibilities of the photo editing programme.


15 indispensable Photoshop tips

drawing photoshop

Photoshop is an overwhelming programme with endless functions. In the beginning, many people get lost in the many possibilities. Recognisable?

Of course, a good course is the real solution. But for those who don't have the time or money, we have listed the 15 most important tips below.

After hundreds of training sessions for thousands of students, we have a pretty good idea which options the average user needs, and how to quickly learn to find and use them. No endless manual, no complex tutorial, just get started and see results.


Tip 1: Transform

Rotate or change an image
transform transform from context menu

If you want to change the size of a photo, rotate or distort it, you can do so by clicking on edit, then transform and selecting the desired action. There is an easier way to do this. Press Ctrl + T and a box will appear around the image indicating the distortion. This means you can change the size of the image. The best way to do this is to place the mouse on one of the corners and then drag while holding down shift, so that the height and width keep the same ratio. Press Enter when done.


Tip 2: Change the unit of measurement

Switch between centimetres and pixels
Units of measurement in menu

A short and quick way to change the unit of measurement is to place the mouse on one of the rulers (press Ctrl + R to show or hide the rulers), right-click and then choose a unit from the displayed menu. You have a large choice of units: centimetres, pixels, millimetres, points, percentages, etc.


Tip 3: Magnetic Lasso Tool

Detach an image from its background
use magnetic lasso

This is an easy selection tool that helps you trace part of the outline of the image. It allows you to easily separate an object in the image from the rest of the image and perform certain actions on it. For example, you can separate a product from its background.


Tip 4: Magic Wand Tool

Remove a consistent background
magic wand tool magic wand tool

The Magic Wand Tool is another background selection tool, ideal when working with a monotone and consistent background. If you want to choose a clear colour in an image, this is the tool for you. For example, the Magic Wand Tool is suitable for a white background or a clear blue sky.

Choose the Magic Wand Tool from the tools panel and click on the part of the image you want to select. Make sure you switch between the "add to selection" option in the top row (icon of two squares) so that you can continue to add colours and shades to your selection.


Tip 5: Custom Shape Tool

Choose from a huge range of shapes
custom shape tool custom shape tool

The functions panel gives you all the basic shapes you need, such as a square, a line, a circle, an oval, etc. However, if you want more options, use the Custom Shape Tool. Its icon looks like the first pancake (perhaps this was not Adobe's intention).

The Custom Shape Tool is easily found in the Options bar. After selecting the Custom Shape Tool, a large number of shapes appear. To the right of the Custom Shape Tool icon is a small thumbnail. You can access more shapes by clicking on the small arrow on the right-hand side of the panel. If you are looking for banners, talking bubbles or all kinds of arrows, this is the tool for you.


Tip 6: Adjustment Layers

Work in a separate layer
adjustment layers adjustment layers

Whenever you use Photoshop, for whatever purpose, to change the colours of an image, to make a contract sharper or better, always remember to use Adjustment Layers. The big advantage of Adjustment Layers is that it doesn't make a change on the image itself, but on a separate layer. This way you can easily adjust your operations to see what works best. The Adjustment Layers can be found at the bottom of the layers panel (a black and white circle icon).


Tip 7: Layer Styles

Give an effect to your image
layer styles

This is a simple and easy way to add some spice to an image. Layer styles are a special effect that you can easily add to individual layers. All you have to do is double click on the layer and choose the effect you like.

You can choose from a whole range of functions; add a glow, add shadows and much more at the click of a mouse. Be careful not to overdo it. These effects tend to look cheap if you use too much of them.


Tip 8: Healing Brush Tool

Remove imperfections
healing brush tool

This is a very useful tool for somewhat advanced photoshoppers. You can use it to repair the image of imperfections such as scratches and stains. Choose the brush size, hold the Alt key and select a nice clean area of the image. Release the Alt key and paint over the bad area. Basically, this function copies a piece of the image from the first position to the second.


Tip 9: Spot Healing Brush

Remove blemishes and pimples
spot healing brush

Yes - it is indeed exactly how it sounds, this tool makes everything a lot more beautiful! If you have a spot, blemish or mole, this tool can remove it immediately. It can also be used to remove a pimple.

Place the brush on the area you want to "fix", make sure the brush is a little larger than the spot, and click. Photoshop automatically makes the retouched area beautiful so you don't have to do anything else.


Tip 10: Dodge Tool

Remove red eyes
dodge tool

The Dodge Tool makes pixels lighter in colour where you use it. This is a good solution to the well-known red-eye problem. Set the Dodge Tool to a soft brush, go to Range settings in the menu bar and choose highlights, set the Exposure to about 20%. Then gently run the brush over the red area.

Do not overdo it, otherwise your model will look unrealistic. A few simple strokes should be sufficient.


Tip 11: Blur Tool

Blur small imperfections
blur demo

A simple and fine way to remove small wrinkles is to blur them a little. Use the Blur Tool to smooth out small imperfections, such as wrinkles around the eyes or mouth area, you simply blur them into the background. Again, be careful not to overdo it or the image will blur too much.

The Blur Tool can repair imperfections, but the Blur Tool is also used for more artistic purposes. So it is important to build up some dexterity with the Blur Tool.


Tip 12: Move Tool

Moves selections
move tool

This is a simple but useful tool. The Move Tool is used to move selections or layers, including to other images. It is usually used to move the layer after it has been placed in the image. Hold the shift button to move only horizontally or vertically.


Tip 13: Clone Stamp Tool

Make an exact copy
clone stamp

This tool is similar to the Spot Healing Brush Tool (see above). You use it in the same way, but this tool does not blend in at the end. It is an exact copy of the information from the first selected area to the second selected area. So you use it to correct small mistakes or to make manipulations.

Select the Clone Stamp Tool and set the desired brush size. It is best to set the flow to 50%. Hold down Alt and select the area you want to clone. By clicking and then dragging, you can move the clone.


Tip 14: Crop Tool

Delete part of the image
crop tool

The Crop Tool (hotkey C) allows you to remove parts of an image to focus on a particular area. To use the Crop Tool, select part of the image and press Enter. You can move the selection by dragging it with the left mouse button.


Tip 15: Gradient Tool

Fill a background with transition colours
gradient tool

The Gradient Tool can be used to fill an area with transitional colours, for example, to change an image from orange to grey. There are also more advanced gradients available with multiple colours that include transparency, for example.

Other functions of the gradient tool include placing coloured backgrounds behind objects, creating shadows or adding depth to an image. However, these are options for more advanced photoshoppers.


Extra: Save for the web

Save the image for the web
gradient tool

Finally, it is important to save the image in the correct format. If you want to use the image on the internet, it is important that the loading of the image does not take too long. To do this, use the File > Save for Web & Devices option. In the settings you can choose the file format and the quality, the higher the quality the larger the file.

Within the Save for Web window are a number of tabs, including 2up. 2up can be used to split the window; the left-hand side shows the original, while the right-hand side contains the new settings.

You now know the basic tools of Photoshop, congratulations and good luck!

Would you like to become even more proficient with Photoshop and edit images in a professional manner? During Learnit's Photoshop courses you will learn how to work efficiently with Photoshop. You will learn the intricacies of Photoshop and receive active support during the training. Read more about these courses!