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A Printable Glossary of Tools and Terms for Photoshop


Action: The Actions icon is located in the panel dock. It allows users to record a set of actions (or steps) to carry out when editing an image.

How To Use Photoshop Actions - Complete Guide (2021)


Background Eraser: The background eraser tool is one of the options in the eraser tool menu. It removes colors not associated with the main image of the photo.

The Background Eraser Tool In Photoshop


Blending Mode: Located in the layers palette dropdown menu, blending mode can be used to change the appearance of an image or create special effects.

Blending Modes Explained - The Complete Guide to Photoshop Blend Modes


Brush Tool: In the brush palette, the size, spacing, angle, hardness, and other settings can be adjusted. The brush can then be used to paint layer masks and create artwork.

Photoshop Basics - Working with Brushes


Burn Tool: On Windows computers, the burn tool is accessed by pressing shift+O. The burn tool uses a brush to darken selected parts of the image.

How to Lighten and Darken with Dodge and Burn Tools in Photoshop CS6


Clone Stamp Tool: The clone stamp is located on the left toolbar. It allows users to duplicate selected areas of an image and paint them into new areas.

How to Use the Clone Stamp Tool


Curves Tool: Accessed on the toolbar, the curves tool is one of the most powerful in Photoshop. It allows users to adjust contrast, shadows, brightness, and highlights. It can also be used to adjust colors.

Photoshop Curves Tool: 6 Techniques Every Photographer Must Know


Color Balance: The color balance tool is found by pressing Choose Image → Adjustments → Color Balance. It alters the hue and saturation of colors in the image.

Photoshop: Color Balance Adjustment


Dodge Tool: Like the burn tool, the dodge tool is accessed by pressing shift+O. Unlike the burn tool, the dodge tool brightens parts of the selected image.

Photoshop Box of Tricks: A Beginner's Guide to Magic Wand, Lasso, and Other Features


Eraser Tool: PC users will right-click on the eraser menu while Mac users will hit control-click to access the eraser tool, which removes any effects used on the selected layer.

Eraser Tools


Eyedropper Tool: Hitting the letter I on the keyboard brings up the eyedropper tool, which copies the color code of a shade within the image.

Eyedropper Tool In Photoshop


Feather: This process softens edges, and is often used when combining elements into a new image. It's accessed by opening either the Lasso or Marquee menus and choosing the Tool Options Panel.

Adobe Photoshop CS3: Feathering a Selection


Flattening: Flattening is used to combine all existing layers into one. The action is completed by right-clicking on Layers in the layers palette.

Photoshop Basics: Layers Part 3 - Merging and Flattening


Gradient Tool: The gradient tool can be selected by either pressing G on the keyboard or clicking the gradient icon. The Gradient tool fills in a selected area with pre-chosen colors that fade into each other.

Adobe Has Finally Made It With Their New Gradient Tool- a UX Review


Healing Brush Tool: Flaws in images are corrected with the healing brush tool, which obscures the flaw by matching shadows, textures, and lighting of nearby items to obscure the issue. The tool is found in the Photoshop Toolbox, which is in the menu on the left side.

Photoshop Healing Brush


History Palette: Choose Window-History to pull up a list of all recent actions and steps taken in the editing process. It helps users go back to previous steps.

The Power of Undo


Lasso Tools: The lasso tool is in the left side menu. To use, chose part of the image by drawing or using the magnetic lasso to select part of an image.

3 Ways to Use the Lasso Tool in Photoshop


Layer: Layers can be stacked to create special effects. Each layer can be edited separately. The Layer menu is located in the toolbar.

Getting Started with Photoshop CS6: Layers


Layer Masks: Adding layer masks is a multi-step process. Choose Select > Deselect and then in the layer panel choose either a layer or a group. Click add Layer Mask, which is in the layers panel. These layer masks apply special effects to the selected area of an image.

Masking in Photoshop: Understanding Layer Masks and Clipping Masks


Levels: Levels lets users adjust the shadows, brightness, and contrast of their image. It's opened by clicking on the layer adjustment icon.

Tutorials: Photoshop Levels


Liquify: Select Filter > Liquify to open the liquify tool, which alters the chosen area of an image by pulling and pushing the pixels. It's usually used to make objects look thinner or to push out other areas of an image.

Importance of the Liquify Tool in Photoshop


Magic Wand Tool: The magic wand has an icon on the left side toolbar. When used, it uses colors in order to differentiate the selected area from the larger background.

How Does the Magic Wand Tool Work?


Marquee Tools: Clicking on the marquee tool icon opens up the selection menu. The tools include various shapes - elliptical, columns, rows, and rectangles - that are used to choose the part of an image.

How to Use Marquee Tool in Photoshop


Opacity: Choose layers in the layer panel to adjust the transparency of the layer. Sometimes users want one layer to be transparent enough that other layers can be viewed beneath them.

Changing Image Opacity in Photoshop


Paint Bucket Tool: Choose the paint bucket icon in the left side menu to open up a tool that will fill a selection portion of the image with a solid color.

Paint Bucket Tool Photoshop Uses


Patch Tool: Click on the healing brush icon to access the patch tool. Like its neighbor, it works when users chose a section of the image and then move it to another part of the image to heal a bad spot in the pictures.

Healing Brush and Patch Tool (PDF)


PSD file: A Photoshop file format where individual layers are saved intact so they can be edited at a later time.

What Is a PSD File and How Can You Open It?


Selective Color: This tool allows each color to be adjusted individually and is located in the main toolbar.

How to Use Selective Color in Photoshop (Step by Step!)


Toolbox: The bar on the left side of the screen is home to all editing tools.

Photoshop Tools and Toolbar Overview


Unsharp Mask: Increasing the values of an image sharpens it. This tool lives under the Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask selections.

Using the Unsharp Mask for Sharper Photos


Additional Resources