What Is Adobe Photoshop ?

Photoshop is Adobe’s photo editing, image creation and graphic design software.

Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Inc. for Windows and macOS. It was originally created in 1988 by Thomas and John Knoll. Since then, the software has become the industry standard not only in raster graphics editing, but in digital art as a whole. The software’s name has thus become a generic trademark, leading to its usage as a verb although Adobe discourages such use. Photoshop can edit and compose raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models including RGB, CMYK, CIELAB, spot color, and duotone. Photoshop uses its own PSD and PSB file formats to support these features. In addition to raster graphics, this software has limited abilities to edit or render text and vector graphics, as well as 3D graphics and video. Its feature set can be expanded by plug-ins; programs developed and distributed independently of Photoshop that run inside it and offer new or enhanced features.

Adobe Photoshop is a software application for image editing and photo retouching for use on Windows or MacOS computers. Photoshop offers users the ability to create, enhance, or otherwise edit images, artwork, and illustrations. Changing backgrounds, simulating a real-life painting, or creating an alternative view of the universe are all possible with Adobe Photoshop. It is the most widely used software tool for photo editing, image manipulation, and retouching for numerous image and video file formats. The tools within Photoshop make it possible to edit both individual images as well as large batches of photos. There are several versions of Photoshop, including Photoshop CC, Photoshop Elements, and Photoshop Lightroom. Adobe Photoshop is available on its own as a subscription that includes Photoshop Lightroom, and as part of the larger Creative Cloud subscription.

The software provides many image editing features for raster (pixel-based) images as well as vector graphics. It uses a layer-based editing system that enables image creation and altering with multiple overlays that support transparency. Layers can also act as masks or filters, altering underlying colors. Shadows and other effects can be added to the layers. Photoshop actions include automation features to reduce the need for repetitive tasks. An option known as Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) allows users to work on content from any computer.

Photoshop been the industry standard image manipulation program for so long that its name has become a verb: It is common parlance to say that an image has been “photoshopped” or even just “shopped.” Shopped, in this context, is synonymous with edited, manipulated or faked —  often regardless of the software actually used. 

How is Photoshop Used?

Adobe Photoshop is a critical tool for designers, web developers, graphic artists, photographers, and creative professionals. It is widely used for image editing, retouching, creating image compositions, website mockups, and adding affects. Digital or scanned images can be edited for use online or in-print. Website layouts can be created within Photoshop; their designs can be finalized before developers move on to the coding stage. Stand-alone graphics can be created and exported for use within other programs.

What is Photoshop CC?

Adobe Photoshop CC is the Creative Cloud version of Photoshop, available by subscription. It is considered to be the professional-level version of the Photoshop family of products. Photoshop CC is available together with Photoshop Lightroom, or as part of a larger Creative Cloud subscription. Photoshop CC is an advanced imaging software used by designers, web professionals, video editors, and photographers to alter or manipulate digital images. Photoshop is primarily used to edit 2D images, although it does offer some 3D image editing functionality. Photoshop includes image analysis functionality, and can be used to prepare images for use online or in-print.

What is Photoshop Elements?

Adobe Photoshop Elements is the consumer-level version of the Photoshop family of products. Photoshop Elements contains many of the professional capabilities that are found in Adobe Photoshop CC, yet they are provided with more simplistic options designed with an entry-level user in mind. More specifically, it is designed for amateur photographers and digital photography hobbyists. Photoshop Elements is built using the same core digital imaging technology as Photoshop CC. Commonly used capabilities of Photoshop Elements include:

Photoshop is used by photographers, graphic designers, video game artists, advertising and meme designers. The software is available for a monthly fee, at this writing between $9.99 and $49.99 depending on the user’s requirements and options selected. Photoshop CC is compatible with Intel-based Mac computers and Windows PCs. 

What is Photoshop Lightroom?

Photoshop Lightroom is part of the Photoshop family of products and is primarily used by photographers for batch processing of large volumes of images. Lightroom does have the ability to create and save image presets that can be applied to a large batch of photos at one time. It also features non-destructive imaging tools; so that the original files remain intact. Lightroom has the ability to edit RAW files. The light balance and white exposure can be manipulated or adjusted within a RAW file. However, Photoshop Lightroom does not have many of the operating features or functions of Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Photoshop Elements, and uses a different interface.

How much does Photoshop cost?

The cost of Adobe Photoshop varies for each specific Photoshop product. Photoshop Elements costs $100 and can be used forever after purchasing it. This software is considered to have a perpetual license. The cost of the other Photoshop products ranges from $10 per month to $60 per month depending upon the type of subscription and the length of the subscription. The lower cost options include the Photoshop-only apps, while the higher cost options include Photoshop along with other Creative Cloud tools. Discounted plans are also available for students, teachers, and organizations looking to purchase licenses for groups of 10 or more employees.

How to learn Photoshop

There are several ways to learn Adobe Photoshop. Popular methods include taking in-person Photoshop classes, live online Photoshop classes, learning via online Photoshop tutorials, and Photoshop books. Classes are designed to help students benefit from both group learning activities and one-on-one instruction. Classroom learning also has the advantage of helping students overcome challenges or obstacles through guided instruction. These learning opportunities are particularly helpful when new features or tools are released. American Graphics Institute offers Photoshop classes in Boston, as well as New York City and also Philadelphia.

Adobe Photoshop training with an online instructor is the ideal solution for students with busy schedules who are not able to travel to a classroom. Online classes offer a hands-on approach to learning that can be particularly beneficial to beginners. They can help first time users navigate all of the features and tools of Adobe Photoshop. From learning how to create paths to understanding which file format should be selected, online instructors can help beginners quickly become Photoshop experts.

Finally, online tutorials, such as those found in videos, digital texts, guided experiences, or FAQ pages, can be used to learn Adobe Photoshop at a personal pace. Learning Adobe Photoshop via online tutorials and self-guided experiences are the ideal choice for students who enjoy overcoming challenges through their own intuition. These tools are especially helpful for students who want to learn through trial and error, as well as those individuals who learn best through a hands-on approach.

Organizations, groups, and individuals with specific needs can also benefit from private Photoshop training which can occur on-site or off-site. Such private training can focus on learning specific aspects of Photoshop.

Photoshop Mac vs. Windows Differences

There are very few differences between Photoshop on MacOS vs Windows computers. Menus, options, panels, and tools are found in the same location on both Mac and Windows versions of Photoshop. There is no functionality difference between Adobe Photoshop on a Mac or Windows computers. Before Adobe Photoshop can be used on either Mac or Windows computers, the computer itself must meet the following minimum requirements.

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