Tools in Photoshop

Featured image for 'Overview of all the tools in Adobe Photoshop' by Lalit Adhikari at Learn That Yourself (LTY)

In this Photoshop Lesson, I’ll give a brief ‘Overview of all the Tools in Photoshop‘. Here, my goal is just to make you familiar with all the tools in photoshop.

I am Lalit Adhikari at LTY. Let’s get started.



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All the tools in photoshop

Here, I will be giving a general idea of these tools. To know more about advanced features of these tools, you can click on to the links of these tools, I’ve mentioned below.


Move tool

move tool in photoshop
Move tool

Move tool is the first tool in the toolbar in Adobe Photoshop. This tool allows us to drag the image around your document.

Now, the move tool comes in combination with the transform tool. So, if you want to actually transform something, press ctrl + T on your keyboard and can start transforming. Then, we can do various kind of transformation like rotation, horizontal and vertical shear etc.


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Selection Tool

selection tools in photoshop
Selection Tools

Selections define a lot in Photoshop. If you want to affect a certain area of your image then selections are perfect to do that.

There are various tools for making a selection in Adobe Photoshop such as marquee tool, lasso tool, quick selection tool, and magic wand tool etc.

If you just right click over this tools you can see that there are also various other tools along with it in its fly-out menu. You can know more about selection tools in my ‘Selection Tools in Photoshop’ blog post.

To add an area to the selection, you can hold shift key and then make other selections. To minus out the selection you can hold alt key in your keyboard. To get rid of the selection just press ctrl + D on your keyboard.


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Crop tool

crop tool | perspective crop tool | slice tool | slice select tool
Crop Tool and other tools

The crop tool is generally used for resizing the image according to your requirements. Underneath this tool’s fly-out menu there is eyedropper and slice tool.

The eyedropper tool picks whatever color it’s over. If you are painting something and you can’t find what exact color you are trying to get, you can just hold it down and go over until you find the color that you want.

To know more about these tools you can read my blog post on ‘How to Crop in Photoshop’.


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Healing Tools

spot healing brush tool | healing brush tool | patch tool | content-aware move tool | red eye tool
All Healing category tools

These lists of tools are basically used for retouching images to remove blemishes, unwanted spots, and elements.

In the fly-out menu of this tool, there are many other tools like spot healing brush tool, healing brush tool, patch tool, content aware move tool, and red-eye tool.

Additional tools that come under these categories are Clone stamp and Pattern Stamp tool.

You can know more about the healing tools in my ‘Healing tools in Adobe Photoshop’ blog post and demonstration of these tools in ‘Healing tools Part 2- Fashion Retouching’ blog post.


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Brush Tool

brush tool | pencil tool | color replacement tool | mixer brush tool
All brush tools

This tool is exclusively used for painting purposes. You can change the size and hardness of the brush by coming up in the options menu bar and opening the brush picker menu.

You can choose the brush setting from pre-selected preset or you can make your own custom settings. To more about brush tool, visit my blog post on ‘Brush tool in Adobe Photoshop’ & ‘Color Replacement Tool and Mixer Brush Tool‘.


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History Brush Tool

history brush tool | art history brush tool
History brush tool & Art history brush tool

This tool allows you to use previous states of the image to create new effects. The other tool under its fly-out menu is Art History Brush Tool.

It paints with stylized strokes using the source data from a specified history states. To know more about this tool you can visit my blog post on ‘History Brush Tool and Art History Brush Tool’.


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Eraser Tool

eraser tool | background eraser tool | magic eraser tool
Eraser tool, Background Eraser Tool & Magic Eraser Tool

This tool allows you to erase pixels from your image. You can increase or decrease the opacity or hardness of eraser brush.

And the eraser brush settings are the same as the normal brush tool.

To know more about eraser tool visit the ‘Eraser tool in Photoshop’ blog post.


Paint Bucket Tool

This tool just fills or paints in whatever the color you’ve picked.


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Gradient Tool

gradient tool
Gradient Tool

In this tool, you can draw a line across and it will put a gradient across that guide. You can change the color and blend modes of the gradient.

There are five gradients in Adobe Photoshop and these are linear, radial, angled, reflected, diamond. You can know more about gradient tool from my blog post ‘Gradient Tool in Photoshop’.


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Blur, sharpen and smudge Tool

blur tool | sharpen tool | smudge tool
Blur tool, Sharpen tool & Smudge tool

These lists of tools are editing tools in Photoshop in which we don’t have to apply any paint on the image. Blur tool will blur the area of the image where you will move this tool.

Like the name suggests, the sharpen tool sharpens the blurred area of the image. And smudge tool allows the pixels to flow in a direction where you drag it.

You can know more about these tools in my ‘Blur, Sharpen and Smudge tools in Photoshop’ blog post.


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Dodge, Burn and Sponge Tool

dodge tool | burn tool | sponge tool
Dodge tool, Burn tool & Sponge tool

Dodge tool is used to lighten the pixels of the particular area of an image.

And unlike the Dodge tool, burn tool darkens the pixels of the area where it was applied. These tools can be used to create depth on an image. 

Sponge tool is used to adjust saturation on different parts of the image.

To know more about these tools you can see my blog post on ‘Burn, Dodge and Sponge in Photoshop’.


Pen tool

This tool is the only tool that gives you very clean and sharp selections without blurred lines and or soft edges because the pen tool uses vector lines to make the selections.

To know more about pen tool, its other options and what it does you can read my blog post on ‘Pen Tool in Photoshop’.


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Type Tool

horizontal type tool | vertical type tool | horizontal type mask tool | vertical type mask tool
Text tool

To use this text tool you can press T in your keyword or directly access it from the toolbar. In order to use the text tool, just click and then type whatever you want.

You can change the size and other text settings from the character panel.

You can know more about type tool in my ‘Type menu in Photoshop’ blog post.


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Path Selection Tool

path selection tool | direct selection tool
Path Selection tool & Direct Selection tool

Path selection tool allows you to select the entire path along with every segment and anchor points.

You can hold alt key, click and drag the path to duplicate it. And this duplicate path will be created inside the same shape layer whereas direct selection tool allows you to get into the actual path itself and edit one segment or anchor point of the path.


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Shape tools

rectangle tool | rounded rectangle tool | ellipse tool | polygon tool | line tool | custom shape tool
Shape tools in photoshop

You can create many geometric shapes with this tool. If you open up the flyout menu of this tool, you will see there are various options like rounded rectangle, ellipse, polygon, line tool and custom shapes.

You can make various custom shapes using this option. There are large numbers of custom shapes available in the shape presets.


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Hand Tool

Hand tool | rotate view tool
Hand tool

The purpose of the hand tool is to let you move around the document. To use this tool, go ahead and click on your image and drag it. As you can see just by moving your mouse you can move the document and it’s much easier to handle.

The shortcut key for this tool is H

There is another tool in the fly-out menu of this tool and this is ‘rotate view tool. Whenever you use this tool, you will see a compass shape on your document and this tool rotates your image.

You can reset the image’s position by clicking on the ‘reset view’ option on the top menu bar.


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Zoom Tool

zoom tool in photoshop
Zoom tool

This tool allows you to zoom in or out of your document. The shortcut key for this tool is Z


If you are following our Free Photoshop Lessons and Tutorial Guide, then next you should read about, ‘Selection tools in Photoshop‘.


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2 thoughts on “Tools in Photoshop”

  1. Heya,
    To be honest your article is informative . I search many site to know All the tools in photoshop but I didn’t get the information I needed.
    I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. It is beneficial for many more like me.
    Thanks for share your kind information.
    Sohel’s Website

  2. The content of the article is very interesting. However, there is another way to remove the background that is using online tools rather than tools in photoshop as discussed here. I regularly use an online background removal tool called “removal.ai“. It uses AI to quickly and efficiently remove the background. I think you should give it a try because it’s really helpful.

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