Learning how Photoshop 7.0 works is relatively easy…just as long as you know and understand how each category of tools work. But because there are a variety of tools provided in Photoshop 7.0, it’s certainly understandable if you’re feeling a little intimidated.
Most Important Tools to Know in Photoshop 7.0
Cropping Tools – Crop is simply a fancier term for cut, and if you know how the cut function works with text, then that’s basically how the crop function works with images as well.
Image Viewing Tools – There are only two tools under this category – hand and zoom - but you’ll be using both frequently. The zoom option is easy to understand because it simply magnifies or shrinks the image, so you should just concentrate more on learning about the hand tool.
Moving Tools – This is what you use to move a cropped or selected area from one image to another and for adding layers.
Painting Tools – In this category, you’ll be able to edit or add color to your images. The most basic tools are the brush and paint bucket – they work just the way their name implies. The airbrush can be used for a softened look. Other tools in this category are history brushes, the pencil tool, and gradients.
When using the painting tools, you’ll have the option of using pre-selected colors or creating your own palette. Make sure that you memorize the code for each color you create so as not to redo the whole process afterwards.
Retouching Tools – This category of Photoshop 7.0 tools is better suited for intermediate users. As its name also implies, retouching tools are used to further enhance the quality or overall appearance of your images. The eraser can be used to delete any part of the image. The patch tool and healing brush are both used to rectify errors in the image. Blur or sharp can be used to make the image fade or sharpen in appearance respectively.
Other tools in this category are smudge, sponge, burn, and dodge. You’ll find it easier to understand how each tool works by comparing before and after effects.
Selection Tools – There are two basic tools in this category: the select and deselect tool. Use the select tool to determine which area or part of the image you wish to focus on. Once the area has been selected, any subsequent action made will be applied to the selected area only. The deselect tool is used to undo the selection. Other tools under this category are the lassos – selecting irregularly shaped areas, quick mask, magic wand (a wonderful and easy to explore tool), and other marquee tools.
Vector Tools – If retouching tools are suited for intermediate users, vector tools are more suited for advanced Photoshop 7.0 users. Although very much in use in a professional capacity, they’re not something you’re likely to utilize frequently if all you’re interested in is making personal photos prettier for your online scrapbook.
Vector tools include pen, line, shape, and path select, and are used to create and edit vectors. If you’re interested in learning and understanding how vector tools work, be prepared to expend more time and effort than usual.
There are other tools offered by Photoshop 7.0 of course, but it’s best that you concentrate first on the tools listed above. If you still feel unsatisfied with what you can do with the tools described here then by all means increase your knowledge!
Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For a free photo shop tutorial and or to purchase a video photo shop tutorial checkout his website.