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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop CS6
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Lecture Comments (6)

3 answers

Last reply by: Professor Brown
Tue Feb 5, 2013 3:36 AM

Post by paul claridge paul claridge on February 5, 2013

Quite often Micheal asked to takea screen shot.... in a pc i found this easy but what is the process in my new mac.... just can't find it

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Brown
Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:35 PM

Post by Yousef Alsayegh on January 28, 2013

Hello Michael,

Could you please create a PDF or DOC file that contains all the shortcuts, P.S tools definitions, and the four basic categories of P.S? I have taken screenshots (as you recommended, but when I print them, they came out blurry and not so clear.

Thanks in advance.


  • The Four Basic Categories that will give you almost all of the tools needed to do almost anything you want in Photoshop
  • Selections - isolating parts of your image to apply changes to them and protect the remaining image. THE MOST IMPORTANT TECHNIQUE TO MASTER IN PHOTOSHOP!
  • Corrections - color correction and exposure changes
  • Retouching - correcting flaws, modifying and removing unwanted details. All of the tools and techniques to do these tasks.
  • Manipulation - the tools and features that allow you to distort, size, and otherwise physically alter layers or parts of an image.


Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:06
  • The Four Basic Categories in Photoshop 2:10
    • The Four Basic Categories in Photoshop Overview
    • Selection
    • Correction
    • Retouch
    • Manipulation
  • Some Important Tools and Valuable Shortcuts 6:23
    • Hand Tool
    • Move Tool
    • Zoom Tool 1
    • Zoom Tool 2
    • Zoom Tool 3
    • Quick Mask
    • Gradient Tool

Transcription: Categories

Hi, Michael Brown again, welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop CS6 course.0000

We're getting started here on Photoshop, and you may be just a little bit apprehensive, but I want to assure you that although I said this earlier, that Photoshop is a very large program with a lot of stuff, it's really fairly easy, and I have taken Photoshop and simplified it and almost everything that you will be doing or can do in Photoshop can be organized down into four primary categories.0007

And if you learn all the tools and functions in those four categories, you have at your fingertips more than 95% of what Photoshop has to offer.0039

The rest of it, you will utilize all of those functions to do, so that's the key--the four primary categories.0049

Also in this lesson, I'm going to go over some essential tools and the shortcuts, and I'd like to stress again that in an earlier lesson I showed you the single key and two key shortcuts and hopefully you took screenshots and printed those--if not go back and find the lesson and do that.0057

If you learn the single key shortcuts for the tools, and the two key shortcuts--and I mean Command on a Mac, Control on a PC plus a single letter, simple shortcuts, it will cut down your work time dramatically.0081

The amount of time it takes me to go to the zoom tool and back to do something, that was about one second, maybe even a half second at best and then go back again to go to another tool and back, and back to the zoom tool and back, and another tool.0096

If you can knock that down completely and save a half a second and move, you multiply that out over hundreds and thousands of moves in a couple or three hours, you've saved yourself an enormous amount of time, and it also allows you to focus on what you're doing.0111

I can't stress enough the importance of learning the shortcuts.0126

Alright, so let's get started.0129

Here's the chart that I have here where I divided Photoshop into its four basic categories, and the tools and shortcuts--I might suggest that you stop the video, take a screenshot of this chart, and print it out for reference.0133

That way you can be aware of everything as we move along and how they relate to each other, so let's get started and talk about the basic categories in Photoshop.0150

I've broken this down into the four categories: selections, corrections, retouching and manipulation--almost everything you do will involve one of these four categories or multiples.0161

These are, by the way, in order of priority.0178

Selections are the most important technique to master in Photoshop, we'll spend a lot of time on selections.0181

Once you learn to master these, life is really simple.0189

Selections allow you to isolate specific areas of an image for either correction, retouch or manipulation.0194

In some cases, the selections will have sharp, clean edges such as cars or buildings or people, and you want to make sure that those are perfectly clean so that when you apply a change, it will blend perfectly right along that clean edge and you see no evidence.0205

In other cases, maybe in landscapes, you will find that selection edges need to be very, very soft because there's no distinct transition, and it needs to have a very gentle blend to achieve a very natural look, and again, they have to be flawless-that's the whole key with selections--they must be flawless, otherwise it will be a dead giveaway that you've Photoshopped, so that's why selections are so important.0225

Corrections are very simple...they're exposure and color, brightness contrast levels and curves, and shadows and highlights are you four primary exposure adjustments.0254

Color balance, hue saturation and variations are your three principle color corrections, and all seven of these are very easy to learn, and they all involve selections--you select an area, apply the correction, and you must make sure that the blend is flawless.0265

So this is easy; retouching tools, a rubber stamp, a cloning tool, the healing brush (which is a magic spot and imperfection removal tools that really are magic) blur and sharpening, dodge and burn, they're all important but very simple to do and off times, you will make selections to protect other areas while you're making retouching in one area that it doesn't carry over into another area and so you don't see the affects there.0286

So retouching involves selections as well, and it's very easy to learn...takes a while to master some of the techniques in retouching but that's just a matter of practice.0320

And finally, manipulation.0331

In manipulation you use transform tools to stretch or distort images as well as cropping and rotating.0334

Puppet warp is a new addition and has been improved in CS6 that allows you to actually move limbs on people and adjust things this way.0343

Some of the other panels that you will utilize here--you have alpha channels, which are selections, layers, image and canvas size has been changing and there're some filters that allow you to manipulate, so everything in Photoshop boils down to selections, correcting with selections, retouching with selections, manipulation with selections...there it is, right there.0353

That's all we're going to need to learn plus a lot of other techniques of course, but there you have it, very simple.0377

Here are some important tools and valuable shortcuts to help you save time.0384

The hand'll use this all the time--it's right down here--there's the zoom tool and the hand tool, they're right here and the move tool, those three tools.0391

The hand tool is the allows you to move your entire image around.0400

It's independent of how many layers you may have in the image...everything moves with the hand tool, but the shortcut, no matter what tool you're in, if you want to move the image--let's say you're working here and I need to see more over here, just hit the spacebar and your tool, as long as you hold the spacebar, becomes the hand tool.0406

I can move the image, release, and I'm back at that tool.0429

Spacebar again, now I can move over and work over here--spacebar, move down here--very, very simple, beautiful shortcut.0432

The move tool moves layers--not a particular shortcut for it, the actual letter for your shortcut to change to that tool is the letter V, notice it became the move tool.0441

Move tool moves layers.0455

If we highlight a layer, and I click and drag, you notice I'm now moving that text layer around, and not affecting anything else.0458

The move tool moves layers, the hand tool moves the entire image.0466

Those are the differences between those two.0469

Now I have three shortcuts on the zoom tool...if you're in any tool, it doesn't matter what tool it may be, if you want to zoom in or zoom out, you don't need ever to access the zoom tool.0476

If you're in a tool, simply Command on a Mac, Control on a PC, the plus sign zooms up, the minus sign zooms down--you're holding down the Command or Control key--Command+, Command-, and Command0 (the number zero) will fit the image in the window no matter whether it's zoomed up or zoomed down, that's the number one tip for the zoom tool.0491

The number two--if you happen to be using the zoom tool itself, we have what's called Scrubby zoom--if you just click and drag to the right it zooms up, the left it zooms down, and at any zoom level if you go up, it zooms up gently...if you go down it zooms down.0519

In other words you get fine control--gross control right and left, fine control with up and down.0540

OK, I'm going to go Command or Control zero again, that's number two.0549

Now, if you're in any tool, Command on a Mac, Control on a PC and the spacebar, changes to the zoom tool--you can zoom in, release and you're back to your other tool--Command or Control spacebar, zoom down, and you're back in your tool again.0553

Those are your three zoom tool shortcuts.0575

You're going to use the quick mask a lot--this is to allow you to see and to also alter by painting a selection.0578

I'm going to make a freehand selection with a little bit of a soft edge here (just going to draw one) and the outline, the border of the selection is what you see--these little dashed lines.0587

This icon, second up from the bottom, is the quick mask--the shortcut key, if you'll notice when the tag comes up, is the letter inadvertently de-selected.0600

The letter see right there--quick mask mode.0617

There's the quick mask mode--it is a transparent overlay, the transparent color is the protected area, the white or clear area is the selected area, and you notice I have a soft edge on this selection, if I wanted to have a hard edge, for example, I'd make it zero, and now you will see that the edge is hard, so you can adjust your selections.0622

You'll use quick mask a lot using the letter Q, in other words you don't even need to go over to the icon, just hit Q and you've got it.0648

The gradient tool--you'll find you may use this sometime, and you will either be creating color gradients for graphics, or black and white gradients to create actual selections and masks.0658

So there you have some important tools and valuable shortcuts, and the four basic categories to simplify Photoshop: selections, corrections, retouch and manipulation.0670

So now, let's get into Photoshop and learn how to this.0683

I'll see you back in the next lesson.0686