An Overview of the Photoshop Tools Panel for Digital Scrapbookers

The Tools Panel

Good morning! Erin here with a brief overview of the tools panel.


The tools panel will appear on the left hand side of your screen when you open Photoshop. Many of the icons have hidden tools available, which you can access by clicking and holding on a tool with a small triangle on the bottom right corner. This graphic shows each of the tools in the Tools Panel, plus the hidden tools.




Move Tool

The very top button is the Move Tool. This handy tool allows you to drag pictures, images, and elements around your screen. Simply select the Move Tool (or push the “V” button on your keyboard to quick select it), and select the layer you want to move from the layers palette.


You have several options when the Move Tool is selected. From the Options Bar, you can check and uncheck the Auto-Select and Show Transform Control buttons. If the Auto-Select button is checked, the move tool will select the layer that you click on. If the button is unchecked, only the layer that is selected in the layers palette will move. When Show Transform Controls button is checked, you will see a “bounding box” around the layer that is selected. This allows you to see the layer(s) that you have selected, and also quickly transform an object.


Elliptical Marquee Tool

The Elliptical Marquee Tool allows you to make circular (and oval) selections. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from the Tools Panel, click, and drag your mouse until you have the size and shape you want, then unclick.


Lasso Tool

The Lasso tool will draw a freehand selection around a portion of an image. Click  and drag your mouse around the image(s) you wish you select.


Magic Wand Tool

The Magic Wand Tool is used to quickly select a part of a picture.


Crop Tool

The Crop Tool allows you to select an area of an image and discard anything outside that area.


Eyedropper Tool

The Eyedropper Tool is used to select a color to be used later. Click on the eyedropper tool, then click on a color you wish to save. That color will appear as your foreground color.


Spot Healing Brush Tool

The Healing Brush tool allows you to fix image imperfections such as scratches, blemishes, etc. By sampling the surrounding area or using a predefined pattern you can blend the imperfections into the rest of the image.


Brush Tool

The Brush tool and the Pencil tool work like a traditional drawing tool applying color with brush strokes.


Clone Stamp Tool

The Clone Stamp Tool allows you to duplicate certain portions using a source, destination and brush.


Eraser Tool

The Eraser Tool allows you to delete portions of  your selected layer.


Paint Bucket Tool

The Paint Bucket Tool allows you to fill in an area with a specific color.


Blur Tool

The Blur Tool unfocuses an image area.


Dodge Tool

The Dodge Tool lightens the pixels you paint.


Pen Tool

The Pen Tool allows you to draw paths, which you can turn into selections.


Type Tool

 The Type Tool allows you to add text to a design.


Path Selection Tool

The Path Selection Tool allows you to move around your path selections, which you can create with the Pen Tool or Shape Tool.


Rectangle Tool

The Rectangle Tool allows you to create basic squares and rectangles, and apply strokes and fills to those shapes.


Of course, each of these tools has multiple uses and functions, but this is a basic overview of the Tools Panel. If you have any questions about the Tools Panel, please ask them in the comments below and I will be happy to answer your questions!

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