[Photoshop – Tutorial 1] − Brief Introduction to the Photoshop Interface



In these tutorials we intend to provide you knowledge about Adobe Photoshop – an image editing software. Most of us have heard this name if we are regular users on the web where we come across beautiful websites, images and graphic designs which in one way or the other is made using Photoshop.

Now, here we are not looking into learning the professional aspects of the software but to learn the basics which will surely enable you to do almost anything in Photoshop or say you will be able to take your imagination to any extent.

The tutorials are explained in easy language which anyone can understand and is written for beginners. We will usually skip the portions which are not related to the image editing but deal with customizing Photoshop Workspace. But we should be aware of the fact that we will be usually working in the Essentials Workspace ( See the top right corner ) and Photoshop provides us other Workspace options such as Design, Painting, Photography etc. also and these are all customizable. In between the tutorials there will be few essential tips to enable you customize some of the features according to your needs. For now, let us get started with the interface design of Photoshop, basically to know our Workspace and different menu options.

Workspace is simply the space provided in which we are going to work. These tutorials are common for all versions but here we are using Photoshop CS5. Our interface looks like

As we see here, the Photoshop’s interface is quite overwhelming due to lot of options, menu and tools etc. and other stuff. Now, we are going to know about all these tools or options as we proceed towards advanced tutorials.

On the top we have the

1 – Menu bar followed by the 2- Option bar.

Menu bar consists of many tabs with drop down menu. I am providing short introduction of these tabs and we will know about these in details as we go on.

  • The File menu enables us to import and save our work files.
  • The Edit menu contains many useful options such as fill, brush presets, free transform and preferences etc. which will very be useful to us.
  • The Image menu contains all the adjustments that we are going to do for enhancing our images, but the adjustments done through these options are destructive (Destructive editing is never advised because it results in permanent change in the pixels properties and if later you may change your mind, you may not be able to undo it and rework them – more details will be given about this ).
  • The next is the Layer menu, we will not be using this much as we have a layer tab in the 3-Palette which has all the options that we generally need while Working with layers.


Terminologies :

  • Working with layers :  To create many effects in a single image we often work in layers in Photoshop. This empowers us to edit one part of image without affecting other or create special effects and all this editing in a non-destructive way such that if you change your mind later you can still edit the whole image in a way you want.
  • 3 – Palette : As shown in the image above, Palette or panels are individual panes which contains various options for working on your files. Each Palette is having different tabs that contain information that we use while editing. Note that these tabs can be minimized or maximized by double clicking on it. Further these can be closed, grouped with other Palette or can be dragged out as a floating window as per working convenience.


  • The next is the Select drop down menu. From here we can work on our selections that we will be making and loading the selections as alpha channels etc. These stuffs will be covered in further tutorials.
  • Then is our Filter menu which contains many powerful editing tools that we will often use when we will be working on images.
  • The others (view, window and help) we will not be using in these tutorials though if you are interested you can email me or leave a comment in the comments section.


2 – Option bar contains all the options that we get after choosing a tool from the Toolbox. Photoshop provides us the flexibility to change the properties of our tools from this option bar.

5 – Toolbox is having the shortcuts to all the tools that we will be using frequently such as the selection tools, the crop tool, brushes, eraser or text tool. All these tools will be explained in detail in our next tutorial.

Then we have 4 – Document window where we will be working on our document or images.

And 6 – Panel Dock which is generally on the right hand side and contains 3 – Palette containing many individual panes that contain information or option for editing our image. The panel dock is completely customizable .You can rearrange the Palette by dragging a particular tab and placing at desired positions and load the tabs from the windows menu. Now, this is very useful because if you have your most used options in the palette you don’t have to go to Menu bar to make the editing.

Now, we have a basic overview of Photoshop interface. There is still lot to know about its interface but we will explain those we proceed towards more tutorials as their applications will help you understand better. All the options under the window menu of the basic interface will be explained when we will be using them in our editing tutorials.

This ends our first tutorial. Now, to get a better understanding of this tutorial you are advised to play with the interface of Photoshop for a while, see the option bar for various tools and the drop down options in the Menu bar. Our next tutorial is on getting a hand on the Toolbox tools and shortcuts for faster editing.




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1 Comment

  1. very well organised and interface is user friendly……learnt a lot from this..keep up the good work…and keep posting new tutorials….and there is one more request can you please start tutorials for java…

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