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Photoshop Tools and Features User Log

The purpose of this log is for you to record what tools and features you used in the creation of your digital graphics. You should try to use as many as possible
and you must record how, why and when you used them. You do not need to record repeated actions but each single new action should be recorded. An
example of this would be setting up a new Photoshop file/image which would cover the ranges; “Image Settings” (all) and part of “Menus” (some of). You
only need to do this once. Remember that where the “e.g.” appears in a range, as many of the items should be covered as possible but not all of them; your
tutor will guide you here. Where possible you should also provide a screen dump to illustrate the action (see sample image below).
Tools and  How, why and when used. ScreenShot
features
Menus: 
Open; Open is used by going on to ‘file’
and then selecting it from the
drop-down menu. It is used to
open either a previously made
photoshop document, file or
image. Open can also be
triggered by the shortcut ‘ctrl +
O’ After ‘open’ selected it then
takes the user to their folders
where they can choose what
they would like to open and
where they would like to open it
from.

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save; Save is also found in the drop-
down menu from selecting ‘file’
and is used to keep your work up
to date. Saving regularly is helpful
as if mistakes are made instead
of trying to fix them, you can just
go back to the last save file if too
much work won’t be lost. The
shortcut for saving is ‘ctrl + S’.
Save as can be used to choose
what the document is saved as
and where it is saved.
import; Import is found in the drop-down
menu after clicking on ‘file’ it is
near the bottom and has a
rollover menu that appears when
interacted with by the curser. This
then gives the options of various
things to import. Each option
takes you to your documents
where you can choose which file
you want to import.

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export; Export is also found in the drop-
down menu after clicking on
‘file’. It is around half way down
and also has a rollover menu that
appears when interacted with by
the curser. There are some
shortcuts for exporting such as
‘alt + shift + ctrl + w’ That gives
the option of ‘export as’ which
means you can change how it is
imported and what the name of
the file once it has been
exported.

edit; The edit bar has a drop down of


different options such as cut,
copy, paste etc. Most of the
options have shortcuts that could
be used instead for example
copy is ‘ctrl + c’.

The options I have used from this


were, undo, cut, copy and
paste. I used them all when
making my different graphics.

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view; View also has a drop down of
different options such as zoom in,
zoom out, screen mode etc.
Again some of these options
have shortcuts such as zoom in is
‘ctrl + +’.

The only options I used from this


list were zoom in and zoom out so
that I could see more of what I
was doing for example I was
really zoomed in when I traced
the logo from the scanned story
board. I did this so that if I took
more time and doing it like this
then it would look better when
zoomed out.
help; The help option is there for
people who may not be familiar
with the software so they can ask
for help or they may have a
problem and need assistance.
There is an option to speak
directly to someone online or
there are links to information
pages that may contain the
answer to the users questions. By
giving the user the option to
speak to someone directly is a
good way of making sure any
problems they have are dealt
with almost instantly so the user is

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not left waiting. Another option in
the help tab is ‘sign in’ this is
where someone with an account
can log in and have their
personalised set up with things
such as tool pre sets and the tool
bar set up and access to their
previous work.
Image 
settings:
size; The image size can be changed
by holing ‘ctrl+t’ and then
adjusting slightly however this
can distort the image and can
be difficult to get an exact size.
So, another way of changing the
image size is by going into image
settings or using the shortcut ‘alt
+ ctrl + I’ and then selecting
image size. This is where the size
of the original image is shown,
the current width, height and
resolution and also where these
can be adjusted and changed
can be changed. As well as the
actual numbers being changed,
so can the units for example if
you know that you need an
image to have the width of 4.5
inches, instead of guessing you
can go into the settings and set it
up to the correct size this way.

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Resolution; The resolution of an image can
be changed in the image size,
the units can also be changed
too, the options for the units in
the drop down menu are:
pixels/inch or pixels/centimetre.

width; The width of an image can also


be changed in the image size.
The options for the units in the
drop down menu are: percent,
pixels, inches, centimetres,
millimetres, points, picas and
columns.

height; The height of an image can also


be changed in the image size.
The options for the units in the
drop down menu are: percent,
pixels, inches, centimetres,
millimetres, points and picas.

colour mode; The colour mode gives the user


the different options for changing
the depth of the colours for
example 8bits, 16bits or 32bits.
The higher the number then the
more options for colours there
are. The different modes also
change how the different colours
are shown for example the ‘RGB’
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is the standard red, green, blue
whereas the ‘CMYK’ stands for
‘cyan, magenta, yellow and key’
and these are the inks used for
printing.

background; The different background options


are either white, transparent or a
chosen colour or colour effect.
For my graphics I kept to a
transparent background so that
they can be put onto another
screen without having a white
background or such behind
them.

transparency; If something is transparent then it


has no background, whether it
be text or an image so this
means that they are good for
layering as they will not come
with their own background.

aspect ratio, This is the ratio of the width to the


height of an image or screen. On
photoshop these can be linked in
the image size settings so if the
width is increased then so is the
height automatically but in
proportion to the width.

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file name This can be set and edited
depending on what the user
decided to call their work or an
asset. IT is important that files are
saved with a clear name so that
it is obvious what it is when it
comes to finding it again or
needing to use it.

Drawing 
tools:
brush; The brush tool can be used to
draw straight onto the
background or on top of
different layers. The type of brush
can also be changed for
example there are square brush
tools as well as the round ones.
The brush stroke can be
changed depending on how big
it needs to be, as well as the
opacity of what is drawn.
pencil; The pencil tool is very similar to
the brush tool as it offers the user
the ability to free draw onto
anything or trace things. There
also the different options for
pencil size and whether you want
a rounded stroke or a more
squared one.

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clone; The clone stamp tools allows you
to replicate parts of an image on
top of another part of the image
for example if there were stars in
an image of the sky that you did
not want, you could clone part
of the plain sky and put it on top
of the stars to cover them up.
Doing it this way would ensure
that the edges were seamless as
you would still be using the same
image to fix it.
fill; There are different options for
filing, you can have a simple
block colour fil or you can have a
gradient. There are also different
options for the gradient. You can
change the colours and the
direction.
text; The text tool allows you to write
whatever you want and change
the font, colour and size.

line; The line tools allows the user to


create a straight line simply and
quickly.

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shape; The shape tool allows you to
draw any shape to any size and
any colour. The different shapes
available are: rectangle, ellipse,
rounded rectangle, polygon, line,
or custom shape.

zoom; The zoom on photoshop allows


you to zoom in and out so you
can see what you’re working on
more clearly.

Grid; You can set the background to a


grid so that it splits up what
you’re working on so that you
can work in parts rather than as a
whole as if the image is large
then you wouldn’t be able to be
zoomed in and see it as a whole
so if you only have to worry
about a part of the image then
you can be much more zoomed
in.

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Paletts, e.g. The colour palette allows the
colour, options to pick a pre-set colour
gradients, from the ones available or, mix
layers, my own.
object,
brushes, The different layers make what
history, you are working on easier to
actions, size, organise and create as if for
resolution; example you were making a
logo you could split that logo up
into the different components
such as text, outlines and
different shapes. This makes
mistakes easier to fix and even
though they are all separate
layers, in the end they can be
merged to become a whole.

The different brush options make


working with the brush tool a lot
easier as there are the pre-set
sizes available to use as well as
being able to change them by
typing in a number or using the
increase or decrease arrows. It
also offers a selection of brush
type for example there are the
typical round brush options which
are the pre-set ones but by going
into the settings there are other
options such as the square brush
tools which again, offer the same

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options for pre-set size options to
choose from.
Layers, e.g. The different layers allow you to
copying, work on the different
saving, components separately or merge
arranging; them together. Once linked
flattening; together, the layers can be
colour unlinked and become separate
selection, again. Layers make working on
something a lot easier as you can
edit a layer without the whole
thing being affected and you
can add and take away layers
as you please. The most simple
form of having more than one
layer would be to have an image
or shape on a different layer to
the background. This would be
useful if you wanted the
background a different colour as
you colour set it up this way
rather than trying to fill it in
around the image at a later
point with the fill tool.
Colour There are different ways to select
selection, or choose a colour on
e.g. photoshop. One of the ways is by
foreground, using the colour palettes but
background, there are other ways such as the
colour eyedropper tool, this allows you
swatch, to pick up a colour from
eyedropper something else and copy it

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almost exactly.
The colour swatch then allows
you to save this colour for future
use so if for example you mixed a
shade and used it in part of your
work but you know you’ll need it
again, instead of having to use
the eye dropper tool each time,
you can save the colour as a
colour swatch.
Editing tools: 
Selection, The different selection tools allow
e.g. you to either select a different
marquee, image or shape if you have
lasso, magic multiple or they allow you to
wand, select just part of the image or
magnetic shape. For example if you
lasso, wanted to remove the
deselect; background from an image you
could use the magic wand tool
and select the parts that you
don’t want and delete them.
You can also use the selection
tool to separate images in a kind
of cropping method for example
you could select part of an
image and separate it from the
background which would leave
you with the cut out and the
background with that part
missing, kind of like a jigsaw. As
well as images being selected,

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they can be deselected by right
clicking and choosing the
‘deselect’ option.
Transform, Transform is found in the edit
e.g. scale, drop down menu and this allows
rotate, skew, you to distort and change
flip; cut; images. You can also do this to
copy; paste; separate layer without all of
crop; trim; them being affected. The
erase; undo; different transform options on the
fill drop down menu are: scale,
rotate, skew, distort, perspective,
warp, rotate 180, rotate 90 CW,
rotate CCW, flip horizontal and
flip vertical.
Advanced 
tools:
Effects, e.g. Effects can change how
layer effects, something looks by either adding
filters, something extra or altering what
channels; is already there. For my graphics I
image changed added the stroke
adjustments, effect to my text, I then changed
how much or how little there was
depending on how big the text
was. This created a black border
around the lettering which I
thought looked similar enough to
how pixelated 8 bit fonts look.

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Image Images can be altered slightly
adjustments, without looking overly edited; this
e.g. can be done by slightly
brightness increasing or decreasing the
and contrast, brightness, contrast, saturation,
hue and transparency etc. Depending on
saturation, what you want to do to the
colour image would depend on what
balance, you adjust for example if you
gradients, think an image is too dark then
transparency, you could increase the brightness
invert; masks; however if you thought an image
was too dull then you could
increase the saturation. The way
this can be done in photoshop is
by going to the image option on
the navigation bar and going to
adjustments, this then allows you
to change the brightness,
contrast, exposure, vibrance,
hue, saturation, colour balance
etc..
Paths, e.g. Vector paths- a vector path is
vector paths, where the pen tool creates and
converting connects anchor points to
text to paths; create a shape. Then depending
image slicing. on the brush size you can draw
over that shape to recreate it
without having to actually draw
over it, the tool just follows the
path created by the pen. This is
best for creating smooth curved

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lines without having to actually
hand draw them out.

Text to path- these are used to


make text look more exciting
than just the plain straight lines.
They work by creating a path
with the pen tool then by adding
the text to the path. By doing this
it can change how the text looks
causing it to warp in various
different ways.

Image slicing- the image slicing


tool does exactly what it says, it
slices up a whole image into
smaller sections depending on
how you want to do it. You can
slice an image and change the
alignment, remove separate
parts or section it up and save
each part individually. Once
sliced the images pieces can be
realigned if needed.

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