Photoshop Tools in Depth
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Photoshop Tools in Depth

Your ultimate in-depth guide to complete understanding of the Photoshop Tool Panel and all the options for each tool.
4.0 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
31 students enrolled
Created by Mike Rose
Last updated 10/2015
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand all the options for each tool in the Photoshop Tool Panel
  • Know how to use all the basic tools inside the Photoshop Tool Panel
  • Know which tool is appropriate for your needs
  • Understand how different tools can interact with each other
View Curriculum
  • You will need Photoshop CS6 or newer (CC, CC 2014, CC 2015 etc)
  • You will need a Windows or Macintosh computer with a keyboard and mouse.

In this Photoshop Tools course, I go over all the major tools that you will ever use in Photoshop. I not only cover how the tools work, but I extensively cover all the options that are available for each tool in the Photoshop tool panel.

I also cover the various keyboard shortcuts that you should learn that will make speed up your workflow.

I have included the source files that I use in each lesson so that you can follow along with me.

If you are just now learning about Photoshop or if you have been using it for a while but still get frustrated and confused with all the tools and the number of options available, this course is for you.

The Photoshop tool panel looks intimidating, but once you learn the in's and out's of each tool, you will have the confidence to know how to use each tool and when to use it.

Who is the target audience?
  • This Photoshop course is for people starting to learn Photoshop as well as anyone that gets confused about the variety of options that each Photoshop tool offers.
  • There is no previous Photoshop knowledge required to take this course.
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Curriculum For This Course
33 Lectures
Introduction and Overview
2 Lectures 05:06

In this video, I go over the tool panel itself and show you how it's organized.

Preview 03:18
Selection tools
6 Lectures 28:44

Although not technically a selection tool, the Move tool is up there with the selection tools but lives in a world by itself. With extensive and often confusing options, the Move tool is much more powerful once you learn its ins and outs.

Preview 04:17

The marquee tools are often overlooked as selection tools in Photoshop. But they are much more useful than most people realize.

Preview 06:07

Feathering smoothes out your selections. But how does it actually work? How will you know what values to use? Here is a brief explanation on feathering.


The standard lasso tool is the first of the free form selection tools in Photoshop. It allows you to draw out your selection by hand.

Standard Lasso Tool

The polygonal lasso tool allows you to constrain your selections to straight lines. Here I show you how to use it in conjunction with the standard lasso tool and the magnetic lasso tool as well.

Polygonal Lasso Tool

The magic wand and quick selection tools are "automatic" selection tools, meaning that you set the options and Photoshop automatically makes the selection for you based on those options. Don't worry, I go over all the options so that you know how to set them up properly; although it's often a matter of trial and error to get them set properly.

Magic Wand and Quick Selection Tools
Crop Tools
3 Lectures 13:59

The crop tool allows you to trim an image based on your own needs. But it's more useful than just cropping. Watch this video to learn what else it can do.

Crop Tool

Similar to the crop tool, the perspective crop tool can crop the image while straightening crooked images or even correcting for perspective problems.

Perspective Crop Tool

Rulers and guides may not seem useful but they do come in handy at times. I'll show you how to use them and even show you a handy way to figure out where the exact middle of your image is!

Rulers and Guides
Eye Dropper Tool
2 Lectures 10:42

The eyedropper tool allows you to sample colors from your image and set your colors based on the colors you sample.

Eye Dropper Tool

The color sampler tool works like the eye dropper tool, but it allows you to set a point in the image document and save the color information of the pixel that you select in the info panel. Sound confusing? It's not; I go over that in detail in this video.

Color Sampler Tool
Retouching Tools
7 Lectures 40:27

The spot healing brush is the first of the retouching tools. It allows you to replace pixels based on pixels from surrounding areas. Photoshop does all the heavy lifting here. There are times when you want to use it,, and times when you don't. This video will help you understand when to use it and when not to use it.

Spot Healing Brush Tool

The main difference between the healing brush tool and the spot healing brush tool is that the healing brush tool lets you tell Photoshop which pixels you want to use to replace instead of having Photoshop guess at it. This tool is more useful in certain circumstances.

Healing Brush Tool

The patch tool works much like the spot healing brush tool but it allows you to draw selections that you want to replace instead of using a brush.

Patch Tool and Content Aware

The clone stamp tool allows you to brush in exact copies of pixels to replace other pixels. It's a popular tool with retouchers but if you use it too much, it can become obvious that you have been using it. I'll show you the most effective ways and situations to use it in.

Clone Stamp Tool

The pattern stamp tool allows you to brush preset textures into your image.

The Pattern Stamp Tool

The blur, sharpen, and smudge tools are hold overs from much older versions of Photoshop. While there are better options available now, they still have their use in certain circumstances.

The Blur, Sharpen, and Smudge Tools

Just like the blur, sharpen, and smudge tools, the dodge, burn, and sponge tools are old Photoshop tools. But these are much more useful. I show you how, when and where you want to use these great tools!

The Dodge, Burn, and Sponge Tools
Painting Tools
9 Lectures 46:02

The brush tool is quite possibly the most useful tool in Photoshop. It has a multitude of options and I cover each and every one of them here and in part 2. Many of the options that you learn for this tool can be carried over to other tools that are based on the brush tool - like the healing brush tool and the clone stamp tool.

The Brush Tool Part 1

This is a continuation of part 1 of the Photoshop brush tool.

The Brush Tool Part 2

The pencil tool isn't a very useful tool, but I cover it here just for your reference.

The Pencil Tool

Color replace tool replaces one color with another and the mixer brush tool mixes two colors together. Why would you ever use these tools? Watch this video and you'll find out.

The Color Replace and Mixer Brush Tools

The history brush tool is an often overlooked tool in the Photoshop arsenal. I'll show you how it works and why you want to learn how to use it; it will probably come in handy when you get too carried away!

The History Brush and Art History Brush

The eraser tool works like the brush tool but instead of brushing colors, it erases pixels. Use this tool with extreme caution!

The Eraser Tool

The magic eraser tool works like the magic wand tool, but instead of selecting pixels, it deletes them! Use this tool with extreme caution!

The Magic Eraser Tool

The gradient tool blends colors together with a transition.

The Gradient Tool

The paint bucket tool enables you to put down a color over a large selection area.

The Paint Bucket Tool
Drawing and Type Tools
3 Lectures 18:34

The pen tool let's you draw shapes, make selections, or even paths. It has a variety of options that can be intimidating unless you know how to use them. The pencil tool is much more versatile than most people realize. With a little practice and some patience, it won't be long before you're a pencil tool power user!

The Pen Tools

Want to put text over your image? Here's how to do that.

The Type Tool

The shape tool is useful for making shapes! Use preset shapes or make your own!

The Shape Tools
Miscellaneous Tools
1 Lecture 04:28

There are a few other options that aren't really tools as much as they are utilities. I go over these in this video and show you how and when you might want to use them.

Tool Panel Utilities
About the Instructor
Mike Rose
4.3 Average rating
15 Reviews
139 Students
2 Courses
Professional Photographer and Small Business Expert

Mike is a professional photographer, Photoshop expert, and small business expert. He has been a photographer since 1996.

He has run several small businesses and built a lucrative photography business from the ground up.

He has consulted for numerous photographers and videographers struggling to get their businesses off the ground. Mike enjoys teaching other photographers how to build and grown their businesses, how to use their cameras, and how to take better photos.