Basic Tools of Photoshop Elements 11




Introduction: Basic Tools of Photoshop Elements 11

In this Instructable I will tell you about all the basic tool and settings you need to get yourself started in Photoshop Elements 11.


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Step 1: Getting Started

When you click on your Photoshop Elements 11, a options table (Picture 1) will come up. Unless you want to organize your photos, push Photo Editor and it will bring you to a blank editor (Picture 2). From there you want to push..

File - New - Blank File

Step 2: Setting Up

After you click on "Blank File" the square in the picture above will pop up. This is for your starting paper. From there, you want to...

- Name your file

- Choose your dimensions and resolution

- Pick a colour mode and background content.

Once you have all the setting the way you would like them, push OK

Step 3: The Layout

When you have pushed OK your screen should look like the picture above.

To the left of your screen will be your tool bar, where you will find all the basic tools you will need.

On the bottomleft of your screen will be more helpful options, such as undo, redo, photo bin, etc.

On the bottom right of your screen will be even more helpful setting, such as layers and effects.

Step 4: Tools: Zooming

On the left of the screen, you will see a hand and magnifying glass. These will help you position your drawing sheet so that it is set at a place you like it.

The magnifying glass will allow you to zoom in and zoom out as you please.

At the bottom in the red box is your settings for the magnifying glass, it has your zoom in/zoom out buttons, the zoom range, and your pre set placements already.

This settings box will pop up for every tool you use, giving you different options to use.

The hand will position the sheet from

Print size - Fit Screen - Fill Screen

Step 5: Tools: Brush & Eraser

Now we are going to go down a few boxes and talk about our drawing/painting tools.

Your brush and eraser are very similar in settings.

The Brush

You can choose what kind of brush you want to use, (normal brush, impressionist brush, or colour replacement brush) you can also select the air brush or normal brush (which is positioned beside your type of brush).

You can choose the size and the opacity of you brush

You can also pick a mode, so whether you want it to be normal, overlay, darken, multiply, etc.

When choosing a colour for the brush, you want to click on the top square.

The Eraser

The eraser is a tad more simple. You can choose between 3 different erasers ( normal, background eraser, or magic eraser)

You can also choose the size and opacity and if you want a pencil, brush or block eraser.

Step 6: The Colours

At the left of your screen is your tool bar, at the very bottom there will be 2 squares that will start off black and white.

The top square is for your brush colour. The bottom square is your eraser colour.

When you click on one a colour setting box will pop up, with a full RGB colour scale.

Pick the colour you want, it will show you your current and new colour, or you can put the RGB numbers in to get a colour you want. You could also put in colour codes if you know them.

Step 7: Tools: Paint Bucket & Gradient

The Paint Bucket (Picture 1)

You can choose the paint bucket, like in the first image or pattern

Pick your opacity, tolerance and mode

Choose your colour then you are good to go.


Gradient is very similar to the paint bucket.

Pick type of gradient (note 1)

Pick your mode and opacity

Then decide what way you want your gradient to go (in the image it is linear)

Pick your colours then you are finished.

Step 8: Tools: Colour Pickers & Shapes

The Colour Picker

This tool is pretty simple, you pick the average size of the picker, then you choose a colour already on your drawing and it will automatically have it chosen for you in the colour box.


This setting gives you pre set shapes to choose from.

You can pick your style and colour of the shape

Choose the size proportions and the mode and you've got a shape you want.

Step 9: Adding Text

The first part of the text process is writing what you want.

Then choose a font, size and colour.

Decide whether you want it italic, bold, or underlined, then put it off to the right, center or left. (First Picture)

After that click in the grey area, it will automatically bring you to the "Move Tool" and you can align, arrange and distribute your text.(Second Picture)

Step 10: Tool: Penicl

The Pencil Tool is the last drawing/painting tool you have. This tool is very good for sketching out what you want to make.

It allows you to choose the size, opacity and mode

You can also decide if you want an auto eraser or not.

Step 11: The Croping Tools

There are 4 different tools to crop.

There is the Crop Tool (Red Pen) Which allows you to cut off the photo where you would like.

There is the Recompose Tool (Blue Pen) which allows you to resize the image.

There is the Cookie Cutter Tool (Black Pen) which allows you to crop the image to the shape you want.

There is the Straightening Tool (Highlighter) which allows you to straighten out your image to how you want.

Step 12: Tools: Marquee, Lasso, Wand

The Marquee Tool

Allows you to select a part of your image in a rectangle

The Lasso Tool

Allows you to select a part of your image by drawing a line around it how you want

The Wand Tool

Quick selection

Allows to click on a spot and it will select it

Selection Brush

Allows you to draw where you want to select, but it will come out like a brush.

Magic Wand

Allows you to click on image and it will only select you image

Step 13: More Tools

Spot Healing Brush

This tool will let you touch up or repair a spot you have made a mistake (Example in Blue pen)

Cloning Stamp

This tool is pretty self explanatory. If you Alt+click on the spot you want to clone then draw somewhere else, you will have a replica of what you drew before. (Example Red arrow)


This tool is also pretty easy, you just use the tool to blur a part of your image, you just draw over what part you want to blur and voila! (Example Black pen)

And of course all of these tools have setting to go with them such as , size, opacity, and types.

Step 14: Undo - Redo

On the bottom right there should be a bar that has you undo and redo buttons, but it also has a Photo Bin where you can upload images from.

It also has Organize where you can organize your images.

Layout which allows you to make collages and change they layout of your sheet.

Last it has Tool Bar which when you press will get rid of the highlighted box in the picture above to give you a bigger space.

Step 15: Layers

In the bottom right corner will be more options. The first option is layers.

Layers come in handy when you are drawing something from scratch such as a movie poster.

It is always good to have a different layer for every different thing you do such as background, sketch, outline, text, colour, etc.

This will help separate all the different things you will be working on therefore if you mess up on one layer, you wont mess up on the full image you have.

Step 16: Effects

In the bottom right corner we also have Effects

Effects comes in handy when you want to add a little kick to your image.

When you want to add an effect, just click and drag image onto the image.

In the image above you can see you can choose from different filters, styles and effects. (Blue pen)

You can also see you have a tab to pull down (Black Pen) When you pull this down it will give you different categories of effects. The one that is on in the image is Artistic

I have put an effect on my image just to let you see what it might look like. (Highlighted image)

Step 17: Graphics

At the bottom right corner is another option called Graphics

This allows you to add a background, stickers, frames, etc to your image, all you have to do is click and drag the graphic onto your image and it will show such as the one in the image above.

You can look through your graphics by searching through the type or categories such as season, colours, events, mood, etc.

Step 18: Favourites and Move

On the bottom right there are 2 more options Favourites and More

Favourites is self explanatory, it gives you a tab of all the effects, graphics, styles, etc that you use the most (Red Pen)

More just gives you more advanced options regarding your colour scheme, history, navigations etc

Step 19: The End

After you are content with your image push..

File - Save as

Then save your image where you would like it and name it what you would like and you are done.

In regard to film, Photoshop can help when making movie posters, tee-shirts, and kind of movie cover sketches etc.

That's all you need to know about the basics of Photoshop.

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