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Using the Photoshop Toolbox

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This chapter is from the book

In This Chapter

  • Using the Options Bar

  • Using the Selection Tools

  • Using the Crop and Slice Tools

  • Using the Retouching Tools

  • Using the Painting Tools

  • Using the Drawing and Type Tools

  • Using the Shape Tools

  • Using the Annotation, Measuring, and Navigation Tools

  • Selecting Foreground and Background Colors

  • Changing View Modes

The toolbox has gone through many incarnations since Photoshop was first introduced. More tools have been added and some modified and combined. Photoshop also shares most of the same tools as ImageReady, with a few differences that you’ll see later. This chapter is a reference on each of the tools. Skim over it for just the tools you are trying to learn or read it straight through. Many tools have a keyboard shortcut assigned to them to access them immediately without having to locate them on the toolbox. When you hover your mouse over tools in the toolbox, a ToolTip gives you the name of the tool and the keyboard shortcut bound to it (see Figure 3.1). Some tools actually have groups of tools hidden underneath them. You can tell whether there are hidden tools if an arrow is fixed in the lower-right corner of the tool’s button.

Figure 3.1

Figure 3.1 A ToolTip appears when the mouse pointer hovers over a tool in the toolbox.

Using the Options Bar

When you have chosen a tool from the Toolbox, look in the Options bar for ways to apply settings to the tool. As you select a particular tool, the Options bar shows the settings for that tool in that context. So the Options bar always has different options available depending on the tool selected. Not all tools have options you can change, but most of them have some options you can change in the Options bar.

Understanding Paint Options

There are painting options available when one of the paint tools is selected. Paint tools include the Brush, the Pencil, the Gradient, and the Paint Bucket tools. Options you can change for these tools are the mode (which is the blending overlay effect as the tool paints), the opacity, and the flow, to name a few. Opacity settings for painting with these tools enable you to paint with a transparent ink, with one that is completely opaque, and with every percentage between.

Understanding Type Options

After you select one of the type tools, many options are available in the Options bar. Choose a font family from the font family menu. In Photoshop CS2, a preview of your font families shows up in the menu. If different font styles like Bold and Italic or Oblique are built into the font, those are available under the font style menu in the Options bar. Change the point size of the font from the Font Size menu. You can select one of the sizes in the menu or type your own value in the box. The highlighted text in the type layer is updated; if no type was selected, the next characters typed use these settings. When you use the Character and Paragraph palettes, these options and more are available, but the convenience of the Options bar is what makes it so valuable.

Many other options are available, depending on the tool selected. Although this book cannot cover all these options in detail, you will explore some of them as the tools are covered in the following pages.

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