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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended for the beginning user: Fundamental Edits

This guide will act as a quick reference for those who are first encountering Adobe Photoshop CS6 as well as good review for users who have worked with it before.

Fundamental Edits

This page will take you through some of the most simple, but most essential edits you'll use while using Photoshop. These edits will include cropping, resizing images, merging images, and changing colors to or from black and white. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it should help you get started in your Photoshop adventure.

Cropping Images

  1. Select the Crop Tool from the Tools panel on the left hand side of the interface
  2. Select the portion of the image you want to keep by dragging the tool around its borders
  3. Right click on that portion and select Crop, or press Enter
  4. Note that cropping affects your entire image, not just your selected layer.

Note: There are other tools you can use to crop, such as the Quick Selection Tool. Right click on the Crop tool icon to bring up other crop tools that offer different cropping options.


Resizing Images

  1. Go to the upper menu bar and select Image -> Image Size
  2. Enter in the desired pixel dimensions
  3. Click OK and the image is resized

Note: When you adjust the width of an image, the height is automatically adjusted proportionally and vice versa. You can "unchain" height and width from each other, but that will change the proportion of the image dimensions and can lead to a funhouse-mirror effect.

Resizing Image on one Layer

  1. Select the layer you want to resize
  2. Select the Move tool, and check the option "Show Transform Controls" on the top toolbar.
  3. Click and drag to adjust the size. To maintain the image proportions while resizing, hold Shift as you click and drag.

Merging Images

Depending on the desired effect, merging two images can be rather simple, or somewhat difficult. These steps are broken down first, into how to place images together, then, how to merge them.

Add Images Together

  1. To add one image on top of the other, open both photos in different windows
  2. Choose the Move Tool and drag one photo into the tab of the other
  3. You can now place the image or resize it where you would like it

Merge Images

  1. Crop subject from one image
  2. Resize cropped image accordingly -- it may take a few tries!
  3. Drag cropped image into other image pane and place on background photo, position as desired

The end result can look like the following image:


Black & White

There are two ways to change the color of an image to or from black and white.

  • Click the Black & White icon in the Adjustments panel; or,
  • Choose Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Black & White
    • In the New Layer dialog box, type a name for the adjustment layer and then click OK

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