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The Absolute beginners tutorial -How to open an image in Photoshop for editing

Updated on January 31, 2015

Photoshop-Starting page

When you start up photoshop you will see nothing but the tool bar at the top.
When you start up photoshop you will see nothing but the tool bar at the top. | Source

Importing the image into Photoshop

By this point you should have already started up Photoshop and are ready to work

-Open Your photoshop program and arrive at this page.

This is assuming you want to work with an image. You can always open new pages from here on, First you want to get all the resources you need opened (Images). It is good to write down your plan of action so that you do not stray.

Using the drop down menu in Photoshop

Using the drop down menu, you can access the open command which will give you option to open a particular file.
Using the drop down menu, you can access the open command which will give you option to open a particular file. | Source

Using the drop down menu

On the drop down menu, select open.

This will lead you to a host of options, the open option is located at the top. You can also use the keyboard shortcut cmd O (Mac) or ctrl O (PC) to bring up the open dialogue box.

This will lead you to a dialogue box. Please see image on your right for a graphic illustration of this step.

Opening Files

Once you have clicked on the file menu, you should have a drop down menu that will have the "open" function. Click this and it will lead you to your files on your computer.

Selecting your file

Select the file you would like to work on in Photoshop.
Select the file you would like to work on in Photoshop. | Source

Select file

Once you have your folder opened,select the file you want to open either by double clicking its name or selecting it (Clicking once) and the going to the open button at the bottom. Please note that you cannot import some files such as word documents or files that Photoshop can nopt work with.Common files that are image associated have the extensions jpeg (jpg), png,gif,tiff NEF,RAW.

File opened in Photoshop

File open in Photoshop.
File open in Photoshop. | Source

Saving File that is to be edited

It is a wise decision to save the file as a PSD (Photoshop document) before you start editing it.This way you will have created a new document that can be edited without affecting the original file. This new file will have the extension .psd. When you have finished editing you can save it as a compressed format such as jpeg,pdf,tiff,gif,png. These formats can be accessed by clicking on the save as button and clicking on the drop down arrow which will be beside the save as "photoshop document" in your saving dialogue box. Please see image for illustrated instructions.

Layer 0

Creating an editable layer
Creating an editable layer | Source

Editing background layer

By double clicking on the background layer in the layer panel (see illustration to your right) You can create an editable layer.This will appear as Layer 0 which you can change to a custom name before you click ok. You might have previously noticed that the background layer is not editable. If you have any questions on this ,please leave them as comments and i will address them as they come.I realize that it may be confusing to clearly see what I am talking about if you are not familiar with Photoshop.

Editing with Shadow/Highlight
Editing with Shadow/Highlight | Source

Editing with shadow highlight

Using the half black half white circle (Illlustrated) you can create new adjustment or fill layers. These are none destructive layers created over your image (that you imported) and give the overall view the desired effect produced by the adjustment of fill layer. Click on the little eye icon beside your adjustment layer and see a before and after.


When working with Photoshop, it is a good idea to have a very rough hand drawn sketch that will act as your guide. This helps you clarify your ideas and also keeps you focused on the task at hand. You will need this sketch because Photoshop has so many features and you can easily lose track of what you are doing if you do not have a drawn plan.

In some cases such as photo editing , you do not need a plan as such but it is good to have a resource you can use as reference. In the video below is a brief tutorial on how you can remove distortion from your images.

If you have any questions about editing photos using photoshop, please leave me a comment and I will address them as soon as I can.

How to remove distortion in a photo using Photoshop.


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    • Alladream74 profile imageAUTHOR

      Victor Mavedzenge 

      7 years ago from Oakland, California

      @Lady_E. Thanks. Video coming up soon

    • Lady_E profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful. Thanks.

    • Lady_E profile image


      7 years ago from London, UK

      Very useful. Thanks.


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