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What is Photoshop?

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Photoshop is photo editing software that edits photos, and images should be in a raster image format. It is available in many different languages, such as English, Chinese, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, and so on. Nowadays, Photoshop is also known as Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop is a user-friendly, most powerful, and widely used image/graphics editing software developed by Adobe. Adobe Photoshop is basically a raster-based image editing software. With multiple layers and features such as masking, image wrapping tools, alpha compositing, fluid camera rotation, and file display tools, and much more advanced tools, Photoshop can edit and compose raster images.

In 1988, Thomas and John Knoll developed the first basic version of Photoshop. Later, it was taken over by Adobe systems. Then the software has been upgraded and updated with more advanced features, a set of tools, and commands. The Photoshop CC version is the latest version of the series and it is a part of the Adobe Creative Cloud branding. The Photoshop family has some other software, consisting of Photoshop lightroom, Photoshop elements, Photoshop fix, Photoshop express, and other software.

Versions of Photoshop

Following are the list of Photoshop versions:

S.No. Version No. and Name Release Date
1 Photoshop 1.0 February 1990
2 Photoshop 2.0 June 1991
3 Photoshop 3.0 September 1994
4 Photoshop 4.0 November 1996
5 Photoshop 5.0 May 1998
6 Photoshop 6.0 September 2000
7 Photoshop 7.0 March 2002
8 Photoshop CS(Creative Suite) October 2003   
9 Photoshop CS2 April 2005
10 Photoshop CS3 April 2007
11 Photoshop CS4 October 2008 
12 Photoshop CS5 April 2010
13 Photoshop CS6 May 2012
14 Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) June 2013
15 Photoshop CC 2014 June 2014
16 Photoshop CC 2015 June 2015
17 Photoshop CC 2017 November 2016
18 Photoshop CC 2018 October 2017
19 Photoshop CC 2019 October 2018
20 Photoshop CC 2020 November 2019

Features of Photoshop

With every new version, Photoshop is developed, from a simple small photo editing tool to an industry-leading software that changed the global graphic designing and multimedia industries standards. Every new version has some new features introduced, but there are a few tools that are being tested with time and remain sturdy and highly important to the designers. Here are some tools and features that are proved as the best of Adobe Photoshop:

  1. Layers: With the layers palette, we can draw/design different elements of your design independently in layers and then merge them up as per the order of display. It helps and enhances the power of the designer to control the flow of the design.
  2. Colour channels: In the color channels palette we can look at particular shades that are included in the picture. In the RGB mode, we get red, green, and blue. However, when we move to a different color space, these color channels will be different, such as LAB or CMYK.
  3. Shapes: By holding the original quality a shape layer can be easily edited with the help of a pen tool or a direct selection tool. The colors, gradients, and many other effects within the shape path can be changed anytime.
  4. Pen tool: One of the important features of Photoshop is a Pen tool. It is used for drawing paths along with the anchor points, the creative scope it provides is limitless. The pen tool is so flexible that the designer can draw any shape or edit the existing shapes as well as he is using his bare hand. We have a good amount of control through placing the anchor points in the right places.
  5. Hue and saturation: The Hue and Saturation feature is one of the most important in Photoshop. It enables the designer/editor to adjust the hue and saturation colors, change the richness of colors and their intensity in the photos. This will make the image look more natural and realistic.
  6. Selection Tools: The set of selection tools Photoshop offers is the most common and widely used feature by designers. Selection tools made life easy for photographers, graphic designers and every professional that is associated with multimedia the detail we obtain is fabulous.
  7. Vector Mask: A layer mask looks like a dry and non-responsive subject. Once the subject is grasped it starts to use the black and white colors within the masking layer thumbnail. The layer masks create a masking portion of an object by using the shades of gray, i.e, grayscale color combination. When the masking is done, the area of the object under the layer mask will disappear.
  8. Slice Tool: A slice tool provides the feature to snip the images into slices. These images basically used in the development of web technology so the loading time of a website can be optimized.
  9. Retouching Tools: Retouching tools are a combination of various tools such as Stamp tool, Pattern Stamp tool, Healing tool, Spot Healing tool, Patch tool, Redeye tool, and much more. These tools are used to correct images at the initial stages.
  10. 3D: The feature Photoshop 3D, we can directly import the 3 Dimensional objects into Photoshop and draw the textures directly on the Photoshop canvas. We can make a series of images related to the 3D object and choose the pose and facial expressions from the animation within Photoshop.

Menu bars in Photoshop

  • File: The first menu given in the menu bar of Adobe Photoshop is File Menu. There are many options in this menu such as New, Open, Save, Revert, Place, Import, Export, Automate and also File Info, etc.
  • Edit: The 2nd tab that is given up in the menu bar of Adobe Photoshop stands for Edit Menu. Edit Menu is divided into 4 main sections. History, Clipboard, Transform, and Setting.
  • Image: The 3rd tab Image menu has features for dealing with images and canvas. Using the options of resizing files, adjust curves and levels, duplicating pictures, as well as rotating photos.
  • Layer:  4th tab menu has controls for working with your document/image layers. We can play with the layers with options like add, delete layers, create layer masks, and merge layers, among other things.
  • Type: 5th tab menu has added in Variation CS6 of Photoshop that is Type. A lot of the commands on the Type menu could be discovered on the Options bar, as well as the Paragraph and also Personality panels.
  • Select: 6th menu items let you grab layers, pick colors, use Quick Mask mode, Deselect, Reselect, Inverse, Deselect Layers, Color Range, Refine Mask, Transform Selection, and more.
  • Filter: The 7th menu filter is packed with all kinds of effects you can apply to your documents/images. It groups filter by type: Artistic, Blur, Sharpen, and many more.
  • 3D: This 8th menu includes tools for working with 3-D images, like rendering and painting on 3-D objects.
  • View: The 9th menu gives us all sorts of different ways of looking at designs/images, from zooming in or out to adding guides and rulers.
  • Window: The 10th menu is used to change what we want to see in the Photoshop window. It lets you arrange your open documents, view or hide panels, and much more.

File formats supported in Photoshop 

There are several file types found in Photoshop, some of them that most commonly used are:

  • JPEG – Joint Photographic Expert Group: It is the most popular and widely used file format for digital photos.
  • PNG – Portable Network Graphics: PNG is a great choice for saving digital photos as high-quality originals.
  • GIF – Graphics Interchange Format: GIF allows you to create simple animations. All web browsers support GIF files and their small file sizes load quickly on the screen.
  • PDF – Portable Document Format: PDF files used for viewing, sharing, and printing the documents.
  • TIFF – Tagged Image File Format: TIFF files can be very large, as compared with JPEG files. TIFF is the widely accepted standard for images destined for commercial printing.
  • PSD – Photoshop Document: PSD is Photoshop’s native file format. It is a file format of our working file in Photoshop.

Usage of Photoshop :

The most basic use of Photoshop is photo editing, graphic editing, website theme designing, poster designing.

1. Photo Editing: Almost every photographer needs software for editing photos. Editing the photo involves actions,

  • To adjust the color levels of the photo.
  • Resize and Crop the photos.
  • Touch-up photos, by erasing, changing the objects in the photo.
  • Applying filters.
  • Change the format of the photo.
  • A designer can use their skills and transform the image.

2. UI content designing: Designing the User Interface content, for example, Logo’s, Buttons, Task Bar Design, GIF’s, etc.,

3. Graphics Design: Using paintbrushes, effects like drop shadows, water, fire, and many more effects. The graphic designer can produce high-quality graphics.

4. Social Media Content: Social media handler designs high-quality attractive posts, stories for their public engagement using various tools available in Photoshop.

5. Animation: Using Photoshop, we can make simple graphics animation. We have to create a set of layers and then activate the animation panel from the timeline. We can export our animation in the form of a GIF. 

Advantages of Photoshop 

  • Photoshop is available on multiple platforms.
  • Features of editing different types of image format.
  • Professional Color Grading support.
  • Advanced layer management.
  • Professional Plug-Ins, Filters, Textures, and Overlays.
  • Merging images and graphics.
  • Supports Video Clips and Animation Layers.
  • Has Cloud Storage.
  • OpenType SVG Fonts and Emoji Support.

Disadvantages of Photoshop 

  • Beginners may find the interface complicated to learn.
  • It is a bit expensive.
  • Untested beta versions are sometimes released and may cause the software to crash.
  • A progress monitoring facility is not available in few tools.
  • Less support for vector graphics design.
  • The software consumes more disk space while running.

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Last Updated : 21 Jul, 2021
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