Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Save Article
Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article

Adobe Photoshop Tool Palette

  • Last Updated : 14 Jul, 2021

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based image editing software. It is developed by Adobe.Inc and available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can use Photoshop to create or edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and various types of graphic designing work. It provides various tools for designing and editing and these tools are present in the tool palette.

Tool palette

The tool palette in Adobe Photoshop is similar to our real-life color palette. In real life, an artist’s color palette contains all the colors and paints that he uses to color his artwork. Similarly, in Photoshop, the toolbar contains all the tools that are used to work with the image or document to enhance it. The tool palette in Photoshop is located on the left-most side of Photoshop. Here’s an image of the Photoshop tool palette:

Attention reader! All those who say programming isn't for kids, just haven't met the right mentors yet. Join the  Demo Class for First Step to Coding Coursespecifically designed for students of class 8 to 12. 

The students will get to learn more about the world of programming in these free classes which will definitely help them in making a wise career choice in the future.



The tool palette of Adobe Photoshop contains different types of tools that can be used to edit and enhance the quality of the image by the user. When we click on any of the tools from the tool palette, the mouse pointer takes the shape of that tool and works according to the properties of the selected tool. The tool palette has a total of 74 different types of tools present in the tool palette of photoshop. They are classified into different categories based upon their basic function.  

Selection and Artboard Tools 

This category of tools, as the name suggests, helps a user to select a particular part of the image and apply the changes on that part without changing the rest of the image and also moving the selection from one part to another. The various tools that fall in these categories are:

  • Move tool: Move tool helps to move objects within a Photoshop document.
  • Artboard tool: This tool makes artboards of specific ratios and sizes.
  • Rectangular Marquee: This marquee tool helps in making a rectangular selection of any part of the document where we can make changes without affecting the other parts.
  • Elliptical Marquee: This marquee tool helps to make an elliptical selection of any part of the document where we can make changes without affecting the rest of other parts.
  • Single Column Marquee: This tool helps you to select a one-pixel width column.
  • Single Row Marquee: This tool helps you to select a one-pixel width row.
  • Lasso Tool: This tool works like a pencil. It helps us to make a freehand selection of any part of the document.
  • Polygonal Lasso  Tool: This tool makes a straight edge selection around the object like a polygon.
  • Magnetic Lasso Tool: This tool makes a selection on the edges of an object like a magnet.
  • Magic Wand Tool: This tool selects pixels of the same color around it with just one click. 
  • Quick Selection  Tool: This tool makes the selection based on color and contrast of the same color in the image that you wish to select.

Crop and Slice Tool

The tools of this category help us to crop the Photoshop documents and also the slice tools help us to slice the Photoshop documents into slices and make them separate images:

  • Crop tool: This tool is used to trim an image and remove the unwanted part of the image.
  • Perspective Crop: This tool is used to shape an image taken from a different perspective other than a straight view. It helps to stretch and elongate them.
  • Slice: This tool is used to cut the image into smaller slices which can be exported individually.
  • Slice Select: This tool is used to select, move, reshape, align the slices created using the slice tool.

Measurement Tools 

The tools of this category help us in the measurement of the canvas we are working on and also helps us to measure and pick different colors from different parts of the image.

  • Eyedropper tool – This tool is used to pick a color from any part of the document or image opened in Photoshop.
  • 3D material Eyedropper Tool – This tool lets you take the sample color/pattern/gradient from one area or object and then drop it into another area of your 3d model.
  • Color sampler tool – This tool lets us view the color values of any point in our document or image.
  • Ruler – This tool calculates the distance between two points in the Photoshop document and helps us to position elements precisely in the document.
  • Note tool – The note tool helps you to add notes inside a Photoshop document. You can view the note by clicking on it.
  • Count tool: This tool can be used in Photoshop to count objects in an image.

Retouching Tool 

The tools of this category help in beautifying images, especially portraits. Their functionality includes healing dull areas or erasing the unwanted parts and patching them with any other part of the image to make the image flawless and smooth. These tools are used extensively by photographers when editing their images. The names of the various tools that fall in this category are:

  • Spot healing brush Tool: This tool helps us to remove or repair the spots or scratches of different objects in an image. It helps to blend the bad texture of one part with the good texture.
  • Healing brush Tool: This tool helps us to clone the areas of an image and blend the pixels from the sampled area with the target area.
  • Patch Tool: This tool helps to replace large objects from the image or the document in Photoshop.
  • Content Aware Tool: This tool is one of the best retouching tool which helps to move an object in an image to a different location and Photoshop automatically take care of the area left behind.
  • Red Eye Tool: The red-eye tool helps to remove the red-eye that occurs in photos taken in flashlights.
  • Clone Stamp Tool: The clone stamp helps to replicate the pixels of one area to another area inside the Photoshop document.
  • Pattern Stamp Tool: The pattern stamp tool helps us to create a pattern that can be stored in the pattern palette.
  • Eraser tool: This tool is just like an eraser. It erases the color of the pixels of a Photoshop document.
  • Background Eraser tool: This tool can be used to eraser certain elements of the image by selecting the color of that pixel and it erases those colored pixels.
  • Magic Eraser: This tool is like the reverse action of the paint bucket tool. It helps to erase the pixels of the same colors at once.
  • Blur Tool: This tool helps us to create a hazy effect on the portion where it is applied. It softens the pixels of the image.
  • Sharpen Tool: This tool increases the contrast between the pixels at the edges of the image, thus, increasing the focus on the image.
  • Smudge Tool: This tool helps with blending colors. The smudge tool pushes the color of the pixels of one area to another.
  • Dodge Tool: This tool increases the brightness and exposure of the photos.
  • Burn Tool: This tool increases the contrast of the pixels in which it is applied. It darkens the pixels.
  • Sponge Tool: This tool reduces the intensity of the color in the area in which it is applied. 

Painting Tools

As the name suggests, the tools that fall in this category are used in painting digital arts. This category can also be termed as the ‘Artist’s Bag’. These tools help in painting, color mixing and drawing, and so on. The tools that fall in this category are given below:

  • Brush: This tool is used to apply color to the canvas with strokes similar to that of a paintbrush.
  • Pencil: This tool helps to create any free-formed shapes and drawings similar to that of writing with a pencil on paper.
  • Color Replacement Tool: This tool replaces the color of the object with the color selected by the user.
  • Mixer Brush Tool: This tool is like a real paintbrush. It mixes the colors and is used by digital painters.
  • History Brush Tool: This tool is similar to the undo tool. It helps us to travel back and shows us the different states of the image (color, saturation, and so on). 
  • Art History Brush Tool: This tool is used to paints with stylized strokes. It uses the source data from a specified history state.
  • Gradient: This tool helps us to apply color gradients in Photoshop.
  • Paint Bucket tool: This tool helps us to paint an area with a single click.
  • 3D Material Drop: This tool helps us to pick a color or pattern from a point and drop it into a 3d object.

Type Tools 

The tools of this category are used in typing some text to explain anything in the image. They are also used in digital typography and many more such arts where they require some typed text. In simple words, these tools are the typing tools in Photoshop. The tools that fall in this category are given below:

  • Horizontal Type: This tool helps us to type horizontal text inside our Photoshop document.
  • Vertical Type: This tool helps us to type vertical text inside our Photoshop document.
  • Horizontal Type Mask: This tool helps us to create an image as filled in the horizontal text in Photoshop.
  • Vertical Type Mask: This tool helps us to create an image as fill in the vertical text in Photoshop.

Vector Drawing Tools 

In Photoshop, every image is in the raster form, but if we want to include some of the vector shapes and diagrams inside the Photoshop document, we can use the vector drawing tools. We can both make our custom shapes or make already defined shapes like rectangles, polygon, ellipse, and so on. The shapes that we draw using these tools are all vector shapes. The various tools that fall in this category are:



  • Pen: This tool helps us to create straight and curved vector paths which can be transformed into selection or used as vector shapes.
  • Freeform Pen: This tool helps us to draw free for vector shapes using the anchor points.
  • Curvature Pen: This tool helps us to draw curved vector paths.
  • Add Anchor Point: This tool helps to add a new anchor point.
  • Delete Anchor Point: This tool helps us to delete an existing anchor point.
  • Convert Point: This tool helps us to edit existing vector paths and shapes.
  • Path Selection: This tool helps to select the paths and also helps to move the paths.
  • Direct Selection Tool: This tool helps to move the existing paths and anchor points.
  • Rectangle: This tool helps us to draw rectangles inside a Photoshop document.
  • Rounded Rectangle: This tool helps us to draw a rounded rectangle inside the Photoshop document.
  • Ellipse: This tool helps us to draw ellipses inside Photoshop documents.
  • Polygon: This tool helps us to draw polygons inside a Photoshop document.
  • Line: This tool helps us to draw straight lines in Photoshop documents.
  • Custom Shape: This tool helps us to draw custom shapes in Photoshop documents.

Navigation Tools 

These are tools used in navigating through the Photoshop canvas and viewing the different parts of the canvas. 

  • Hand Tool: The hand tool helps us to scroll through the image on the canvas.
  • Rotate View Tool: This tool rotates the whole canvas along with the image.
  • Zoom: This tool helps us to zoom in or zoom out of the Photoshop canvas.

How to change the orientation of the tool palette?

We can change the orientation of tool palette in Photoshop according to our requirements. By default, the tool palette in Photoshop has only one column, which, for some users, may become a bit hectic to find the tool. We can change the orientation from one row to two rows, which is generally preferred by many. Let’s see how to do it:

Step 1. First, open a Photoshop document.

Step 2: On the top left corner of the tool palette, you will see a small icon like “>>”. Click on it and you will see that your tool palette will be transformed into two rows as shown in the figure:

How to customize the tool palette?

The Customize tool is situated at the second last item(i.e., three dots) in the toolbar. We can edit the toolbar to make a customized toolbar by keeping our extra tools(they differ from user to user) in our extra tool section for the ease of our work. If you click on the customize toolbar option, a dialog box will appear as shown below:

We can move the tools from the toolbar to the extra tools panel and click save. The tools which we selected will disappear from their respective positions and will be available in the extra tools section of the toolbar.

Another option which you will see at the bottom of the edit toolbar dialog box is the Show option as given below:



As shown in the above diagram, if we check the “Disable Shortcuts for Hidden Toolbar Extras” the other toolbar options get hidden in our customized toolbar.

Suppose we move the artboard tool and the perspective crop tool to the extra tools section and hit done. Then, you will see that the tools that we selected have disappeared from the toolbar. You can access them from the extra tools section as shown below:

Screen Mode

In Photoshop, the screen modes option changes the screen modes of Photoshop. Photoshop has three screen modes:

1. Standard Screen Mode: This option is selected by default when we open Photoshop documents.

2. Full-screen mode with menu bar: In this option, Photoshop takes the full-screen mode but the menu bar is visible.

Here’s a picture of the full-screen mode with menu bar option:

3. Full screen mode: This option only shows the document on full screen without anything. Here’s a picture of full-screen mode in Photoshop:

Note: We can exit the full-screen mode of Photoshop by pressing the ESC key.




My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :