Chapter 2. Getting Into Photoshop CS5 Basics

In This Chapter

  • Discovering the Photoshop tools

  • Navigating your work area

  • Changing screen modes

  • Performing basic tasks in Photoshop CS5

Navigating the work area in Photoshop can be slightly cumbersome at first, especially if you've never worked in a program that relies so heavily on panels. In this chapter, we introduce you to the Photoshop CS5 work area, show you what the Photoshop CS5 tools are all about, and reveal how to neatly organize and hide panels. We also show you how to do basic tasks, such as open, crop, and save an image.

Getting to Know the Tools

Tools are used to create, select, and manipulate objects in Photoshop CS5. When you open Photoshop, the Tools panel appears along the left edge of the workspace (see Figure 2-1), and panels appear on the right side of the screen. (We discuss panels in the later section "Navigating the Work Area.")


In the Tools panel, look for the name of the tool to appear in a tooltip when you hover the cursor over the tool. Following the tool name is a letter in parentheses, which is the keyboard shortcut command you can use to access that tool. Simply press the Shift key along with the key command you see to access any hidden tools. In other words, pressing P activates the Pen tool, and pressing Shift+P activates the hidden tools under the Pen tool in the order they appear. When you see a small triangle at the lower right corner of the tool icon, you know that the tool contains hidden tools.

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