Get to know: Photoshop toolbar

 If you are starting to use PS or would like to give it a try, this post will come on handy as it is important you get to know the available tools that the software offers.

The tool bar is located on the left side of your PS workspace, has more than 20 tools and most of them come with variables.


We will start looking at them briefly from the top to bottom. Let’s get into it.

  • Move tool – As the names states, you can select a layer and move it around within your workspace.
  • Marquee tools – To select a part of the image/layer you are working with. Its variables are rectangle, elipse, single row and single column.
  • Lasso tool – This facilitates the selection of specific areas and it is hand draw by the user. You can find the lasso, polygonal  or magnetic tool.
  • Magic Wand – It allows you to select areas of your image with the same or similar colour. Here you can find also the Quick Selection tool.
  • Crop – I’m guessing you are already familiar with this tool, as it is common to find it in photo editing programs. The alternatives here are: Perspective crop, Slice tool, Slice Select tool.




  • Eyedropper tool – This is a good tool, especially when you need to take sample colours or match them. It allows you to select any colour you like from an image so you can later on work with it. It comes with more options: 3D Material Eyedropper tool, Color Sampler, Ruler, Note and Count tool


  • Spot Healing – You’ll love it! This is probably one of the tools that make Photoshop so popular. It lets you remove areas of an image. Variables are: Healing Brush, Patch tool, Content-Aware Move tool, and Red Eye tool.
  • Brush – Remember Paint? This tool will remind you of it but this is waaaaaay better. and gives you different options to work with like: Pencil, Color Replacement and Mixer Brush


  • Clone Stamp – Pattern Stamp. In the example below, I quickly cloned the wood table and started adding it to the top of the photo.


  • History Brush – Art History Brush
  • Eraser – Background Eraser and Magic Eraser


  • Paint Bucket – Gradient and 3D Material Drop Tool. In the example below, I have my main photo and a second layer where I applied the paint bucket. The color used was white and reduce its opacity which gives a grey look to the image. As you can see, I left the cup of coffee as it is.

PS-tool-bucket eg

  • Blur tool – As the names says, it blurs out an area of your photo, you can manage the way to do this by selecting the brush type, size and other options. Under this tool you will also find the Sharpen and Smudge tool.
  • Burn Tool – This tool can make an area of the image darker while the Dodge tool lights up the selected area. They are great to use and come very handy when editing images that are overexposed or underexposed. Here you’ll also find the Sponge tool which saturates or desaturates the colour of the area you select.
  • Pen tool – This is a bit of an extra tool which is fantastic to have in Photoshop. With the Pen tool you can draw using vectors, you can do straight or curves lines and it works with anchor points. The options here are: Freedom Pen, Add Anchor Point, Delete Anchor Point and Convert Point Tool.
  • Type tool – You guessed it, it allows you to combine text and images. I love typography on a design, sometimes you don’t really need images or any other thing as the font can be the entire design. The cool thing of this tool is the options it gives you like, Horizontal, Vertical, Path which allows you to get as creative as you like only with text.


  • Path Selection – and Direct Selection tools help you to select areas from a path and move anchor points.
  • Line tool – Super easy to do. This tools lets you draw straight lines which you can adjust the with, colour and type of line. You also have options like: Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon and Custom.
  • Hand tool – This facilitates the move of the image around the screen. It is just an easy alternative to move the elements you might have in your PS document. There is also the Rotate tool.
  • Zoom – To get closer to the details of your image, you also have the option to zoom out. Once you select this tool, you will have the zoom in and out options on the left top corner of your screen.


  • Foreground and Background colours, they are the two squares with color, he first one represents the color that will be use when you create a new shape or in case of using the paint bucket. The second one, will be used if you work with the eraser tool. There are two arrows right next to this tools, by clicking on it, you will be switching the colours around.
  • Edit in Quick Mask – If you want to do a quick selection you can use this tool which will allow you to edit only the part you have applied the mask, you can add color, erase, etc to the selected area only.
  • Change Screen Mode – Is how you see your work area, the options here are Standard, Full Screen and Full Screen with Menu Bar.

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