The Digital Darkroom (Adobe Photoshop)
Developed and Instructed by James Gordley 2004

Using the tools

    You use tools in the toolbox to select, edit, and view images; other tools let you paint, draw, and type. You can view information about any tool in the toolbox by positioning the pointer over it. The name of the tool appears below the pointer--this is called the tool tip. Additional information about the tool appears in the Hints palette.

    You must select a tool in order to use it. The currently selected tool is highlighted in the toolbox. Some tools have additional tools beneath them--these are called hidden tools. When you see a small triangle at the lower right of the tool icon, you know that there are hidden tools.

    Selecting a hidden tool         

To select a tool:

    Do one of the following:

    bulletClick a tool in the toolbox. If there is a small triangle at a tool's lower right corner, hold down the mouse button to view the hidden tools. Then click the tool you want to select.
    bulletPress the tool's keyboard shortcut. The keyboard shortcut is displayed in its tool tip. For example, you can select the move tool by pressing the "v" key

To move the toolbox:

    Drag the toolbox by its title bar.

To set tool preferences:

  1. In Windows or Mac OS 9.x, choose Edit > Preferences > General.
  2. In Mac OS X, choose Photoshop Elements > Preferences > General.
  3. Set one or more of the following options:
    bulletSelect Show Tool Tips to show or hide tool tips and rollover hints in the Hints palette.
    bulletSelect Use Shift Key for Tool Switch so you can hold down the Shift key in order to cycle through a set of hidden tools. When this option is deselected, you can cycle through a set of hidden tools by simply pressing the shortcut key (without holding down Shift).
  4. Click OK.


Graphic by Jim Gordley copyright 2010 all rights reserved