Are you new to Photoshop and struggling to master the basics? While the software can seem overwhelming at first, there are certain features that all beginners should know. Once you have a handle on these key features, the sky's the limit in terms of what you can create.

This article will provide all of the information needed to get started with Photoshop, including what the software is, who uses it, and the top ten features beginners should know. You will have a solid foundation to start your Photoshop journey by the end of this article.

What is Adobe Photoshop?

Photoshop is a popular graphic design and photo editing software developed by Adobe. It can be used to create and edit digital images, as well as artwork for both digital and print media. Creative professionals such as Graphic Designers, Web Developers, Photographers, and Illustrators all use Photoshop to create or enhance their work.

Who Uses Photoshop? 

Photoshop is used by people from all walks of life, from casual users who want to edit their personal photos to professional Graphic Designers and Photographers who rely on the software for their livelihood. It is a versatile tool that is used to create anything from simple designs to complex artwork.

Top 10 Photoshop Features for Beginners

1. Layers

Layers are one of the most vital features in Photoshop and are key to understanding how the software works. Layers allow you to make changes to the image without affecting the underlying pixels, which gives you a lot of flexibility when editing photos or creating design elements. 

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It's crucial that beginners understand that any edits to a background layer of a project will be permanent and cannot be undone. However, by working with layers, you can experiment with different effects without affecting the rest of your image.

2. Adjustment Layers

Building off of the first feature, adjustment layers are another essential tool for making non-destructive changes to your images. These layers allow you to adjust the color, brightness, contrast, and other properties of your image without affecting the underlying pixels. 

This is an excellent way to experiment with different looks for your image without having to worry about making permanent changes. Adjustment layers can also be turned off and on, so you can easily compare the before and after versions of your image.

3. History Panel

The History Panel functions as a way to keep track of all the changes you have made to an image. The panel automatically saves each change as you make it, so you can always go back and undo any steps that you don't like. 

This is extremely helpful when you are trying to achieve a specific look for your project and need to experiment with different effects. It's also a lifesaver if you accidentally make a mistake and need to start over from a previous point in your editing process.

4. Regular Healing Brush

The Regular Healing Brush is one of the most commonly used tools in Photoshop. It can be used to remove blemishes, wrinkles, and other imperfections from photos. The brush works by taking a sample of pixels from one area of the image and using them to cover up the imperfections in another area. 

This is a great tool for retouching photos and making people look their best. It's also helpful for removing objects from an image that you don't want there or for fixing imperfections in scanned images.

5. Crop Tool

The Crop Tool is a simple yet essential tool for cropping photos and images. It can be used to remove unwanted parts of an image or to change the aspect ratio. The Crop Tool is also helpful for straightening out crooked images. 

This is a basic tool that every beginner should know how to use. It's a simple and quick way to make small changes to your images that can have a significant impact on the look of your project.

6. Color Balance

The Color Balance feature is a great way to adjust the colors in your image. It can be used to make an image look warmer or cooler, as well as to correct any color casts that may be present. 

This is a helpful tool for achieving a specific look for your image. It's also useful for fixing photos that have been taken with a white balance setting that is not ideal.

7. Levels and Curves

Levels and Curves are two similar yet distinct features that can be used to adjust the brightness and contrast of an image. Levels adjust the overall lightness or darkness of an image, while Curves allow you to make more specific adjustments to the brightness levels. 

Both of these features are helpful for making an image look its best. They can be used to correct any exposure issues, as well as to enhance the overall contrast of an image.

8. Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp Tool is a handy tool for copying pixels from one area of an image and using them to cover up another area. This is a great way to remove imperfections or objects from photos. It's also useful for duplicating parts of an image, such as a background element. 

This is a must-have tool for any creative professional who works on photo editing. It's an essential tool for retouching photos and for making composites.

9. Blending Modes

Blending modes are an excellent way to change the way two layers interact with each other. By changing the blending mode of one layer, you can drastically change the overall look of your image. 

There are many different blending modes, each with its own unique effect. Some of the most popular blending modes include Multiply, Screen, Overlay, and Soft Light. Experiment with different blending modes to see what kinds of effects you can create.

10. Making a Selection

Making a selection is an important skill to know in Photoshop. There are many different ways to make a selection, such as using the Marquee Tools, Lasso Tools, and Pen Tool. 

Knowing how to make a selection is essential for anyone who wants to do much photo editing. It's necessary for retouching photos, making composites, and working with layers.

These are just a few of the essential Photoshop features that all beginners should know. By learning how to use these tools, you'll be well on your way to becoming a Photoshop pro. Consider signing up for the Photoshop Bootcamp from Noble Desktop to get started with learning the software today.