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Lesson 1: What is Photoshop?

All about Photoshop

Even if you've never worked with images on your computer, you may have heard of Photoshop. Available for both Windows and Mac, Adobe Photoshop is an extremely powerful application that's used by many professional photographers and designers. You can use Photoshop for almost any kind of image editing, such as touching up photos, creating high-quality graphics, and much, much more.

screenshot of photoshop

In fact, Photoshop has so many features that it may actually be too powerful for many users. It's also very expensive, so unless you need to edit photos or graphics professionally, Photoshop may not be the best option for you. You may want to review our lesson on Photoshop Alternatives to learn about some other image editing programs you can choose from.

About this tutorial

Because Photoshop is primarily designed for professionals, it can be somewhat challenging to use, especially if you're learning it for the first time. That said, you don't need to understand all of Photoshop's features to use it effectively. Throughout this tutorial, we'll help you understand the most basic and essential Photoshop skills. We'll also provide links to other tutorials if you want to learn more about advanced tools and techniques.

We'll be using Photoshop CC throughout this tutorial to show you Photoshop's features. If you're using an older version of Photoshop—like Photoshop CS5 or earlier—some features may work a bit differently, but you should still be able to follow along. However, if you're using Photoshop Elements, it's important to note that some of the features we'll discuss may be missing or work in a different way. We'll talk more about Photoshop Elements in the next lesson.