[Photoshop – Tutorial 4] – Introduction to the Toolbox (contd.)


Let us continue with the rest of the Tools. Now, in the second category we have the Retouch & Paint tools.

  1. Spot healing tool (J)  : Spot healing tool is generally used for small retouching in images. For example you want to remove blemishes or spots from a person’s face in a picture this tool works perfect for you. We will later have an example to see how it works. There are four options nested under this tool. These are :
  • Spot healing Brush : Now this tool looks like a band-aid as it is used to remove round blemishes. Its works by blending the area you are working on with the surrounding pixels. It basically uses content aware fill to remove blemishes and spots. By content aware we mean that filling a portion of area according to the surrounding pixels. Photoshop has that much power to decide which are to choose and fill so we get the desired result. It all depends on your selection.
  • Healing Brush : Now, this tool works the same as the Spot healing brush but can be used on the areas which are not rounded. Hence, can be used to remove dark circles, pimples and other spots too. And thus are magical.
  • Patch : It works similar to other tools but in this you have to select an area and drag it to the area where you want the changes. Photoshop makes the changes considering which pixels are to be selected for the desired results.
  • Red eye tool : Now, this tool as the name suggests remove the red-eye. You just need to select the whole eye and not just the pupil. Photoshop inspects the area and fills it with dark grey pixels to remove the Red eye effect.

The options bar for the Spot healing brush tool is

1. The second tool is the Brush Tool (B). This tool is very powerful. Select the brush tool and look into the options bar and you will find the variety of options for choosing the kind of brush you want to use. To give you more flexibility for the brush tool there are more options for the brush tool nested under the Window menu in the menu bar. Click on brush option and the following window will pop up on the right side on the panel dock.

From here you can modify your brush tool the way you want it to work like. We will further discuss about all the options here in the advanced tutorials. But you can try the various brush presets available and try them on your images. There are many types of brush which you can use as it is and can provide great effects on the images.

Now, there are again three other tool options nested under this tool. These are

  • Pencil Tool : This is a hard edge brush tool and you will hardly use it for anything since you can modify your brush tool the way you want it to work.
  • Color replacement Tool : This tool allows you to replace once color to the other from an area. This trick can also be processed using masks and selections.
  • Mixer Brush tool : The mixer brush tool is used to create painting effects in an Image, but if you want very good painting effect such as oil painting you can use pixel blender from the Filter menu in the Menu bar.

The options bar for the Brush tool is


2. Clone Stamp Tool (S) : As the name suggests this tool is used to clone one part of the image to another part of the image. Instead of blending the pixels, it allows us to copy pixels from one area and paste it other area. Select this tool and then press “alt” button on the keyboard and select the part of the image you want to copy. Now you can move this area and paste it one the other parts. This tool is very useful along in company with the Spot healing tool and allows you to make stuffs disappear from an image without letting anyone notice about it.

Now, there is one more tool nested under this which is the Pattern Stamp tool, this tool though is a stamp but it acts more of a brush and allows you to copy pattern as and use them as brush for painting other parts of the image. The option bar for this tool is

3. The History Brush (Y) and the Art History brush are two tool you will find here. Now these tools lets you paint over areas so that you can see the previous version of your editing. The Art history brush adds one more thing. Along with the painting it creates some effects such that image looks better. The options bar for this tool is

4. The next is the Eraser tool (E) that allows you to delete pixels directly on a particular layer. Select a layer from the layer palette and you can delete pixels on that.

There are two tools nested under this. These are the Magic & Background Eraser tool. Its working is to remove the background pixels on an image removing the foreground intact and works by selecting the pixels of similar color density. The options bar for this tool is

5. Gradient Tool (G) : Here, you can find the Gradient tool & Paint bucket tool. The Gradient tool allows us to create blend between layers. Or overlay colors on an image in different patterns or apply colored tint or apply a fade between Black & White and colored picture. This tool is very powerful if you want to create artistic effects or you want to make beautiful fade effects, this is the tool to look for. The working of this tool will be explained in detail later. But you can select this tool and click and drag from one part of the image to other and see the various effects it creates. Also you can change the way it behave from the options bar which is

The other tool i.e. the Paint Bucket tool simply allows you to fill a solid color on the image. It uses whatever color you choose as the foreground color to do the application.

6. The Blur Tool allows you to paint parts of images so that they look like they are out of focus. Now, it is a kind of brush only. The other tools under this are the Sharpen tool & Smudge tool. The sharpen tool increases the contrast around edges and thus making the images sharper. The smudge tool on the other hand creates effects such they look like painted with hand. Now, this tool has no shortcut since it is not used widely. The options bar for this tool is

7. The next set of tools is the Dodge tool (O), Burn tool & Sponge tool. The Dodge tool lighten parts of images, the Burn tool darkens the parts of images and the Sponge tool allows us to increase or decrease the saturation of an image. The option bar for this tool is


8. The Pen tool (P) is a tool that lets you draw a line and then create a path by modifying the anchor points. This can be used for complex selections and also for nice text effects on an image.

Now apart from the Pen tool, there are five tools nested under this. These are

  • Freeform Pen tool : It works similar to the pen tool but it allows you to draw any random shape and modify it.
  • Add anchor, Delete anchor & Convert point tools : These tools allow you to edit the shape you have made with the help of the Pen tool.

The option bar for this tool is

The Third and Fourth Category of tool is the Drawing & Type tools and Measurement & Color tools. We will discuss these two categories together. There are seven tools under these categories.

1. The Type tool (T) is used for typing on the image and is capable of creating many awesome text effects on the image. We will see this in the later tutorials. There are four tools nested under this.


  • The Horizontal & Vertical Type Tools : The Horizontal tool as the name suggests allows you to create text from left to Right and Vertical on the other hand lets you type from top to bottom. You can modify these tools from the options bar according to your need of the moment
  • The Horizontal & Vertical Type mask Tools : These tools allows you to create outline of text which is a kind of selection and lets you create beautiful text effects.

The options bar for this tool is

2. The Path Selection tool (A) : This tools allows you to choose paths that you have created with the Pen tool and even modify the texts to different interesting shapes. The other tool you will find here is the Direct selection tool which is used to choose anchor points or parts of path instead of the whole path itself. The option bar for this tool is

3. The Shape tool (U) : This tool allows you all kind of shapes. This is one of the tools which allowing you to create awesome outlines, all you need is a creative mind. The other options with this tool are to create other regular shapes such as rectangle, elliptical, straight line etc. Further on the options bar there are a lot of predefined shapes and cursors to choose from. You can also download different vector shapes and include it for ready use. The options bar for this tool is

4. The Hand tool (H) , Rotate view tool (R) and Zoom or Magnifying Tool (Z) are the last set of tools on the toolbar.

The Hand tool is used to change the portion of image you want to see, it doesn’t move the image as done by the Move tool instead it takes you to the part of the image you see. You can use this tool along with other tools by just pressing the space bar and you will get this tool for temporary use. The option bar for this tool is

The Rotate view tool lets you rotate the image according to your need of painting or editing and hence gives you more flexibility. The option bar for this tool is

The Zoom tool lets you get a closer look to the area you are working on. You can zoom up to 3200 percent into the image. The option bar for this tool is


So, this ends our fourth tutorial. Now, you must practice these tools on images and try to explore the various options. Always remember to work on the background layer for now otherwise you will get some errors and you would not be able to work with the tools. Once we have the tutorial for the layers, we can work on layers.

Important notes :

  1. The various nested tools have the same shortcut as the main tools. Now, let us say you want to choose a tool without using the mouse. You can do so by pressing shift along with the tool shortcut. For example : You want to choose the line shape from the Shape tool. All you need to do is press “Shift + U” and keep pressing until you get the desired tool. Please practice this as it is going to be very helpful.
  2. You can customize these shortcuts according to your comfort too. This can be done as


  • Open the Edit menu and go to Key Board shortcuts. Here you can customize the shortcuts.

So, now this ends our fourth tutorial related to the Toolbox. In our next tutorial we will have a look at the various other keyboard shortcuts which we will be using very often for editing and transformations. We will also look upon the right side of the Photoshop interface and briefly talk about the layers. Please note that we are working in the essentials workspace. Although everything from the toolbar, options or menu will remain same the right side that is the palette will keep changing with different workspaces.

If you have any doubts regarding this tutorial, please leave a comment below.


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