Photoshop 101

Developed for GDI Philly by @BridgetCReed


Girl Develop It is here to provide affordable and accessible programs to learn software through mentorship and hands-on instruction.

Some "rules"

  • We are here for you!
  • Every question is important
  • Help each other
  • Have fun

Hello there!

I'm happy to have you here.

Let's take a few minutes and get to know each other.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you hope to get out of the class?
  • If you choose any woman to be on the $20 bill, who would it be and why?

Today's Topics...

Photoshop Tips & Tricks

  • Why Photoshop?
  • Setting up your workspace
  • Layer organization
  • Image Manipulation
  • "The New Stuff"


  • This is a survey of a very complex, multi-use program
  • I don't know everything, and neither will you
  • Have fun! Get messy! Ask questions!

"Fancy" Photoshop Lingo

There isn't much to learn, terminology-wise but...

PSD: The file extension for a Photoshop files.

(...and we'll cover other terms as we get to them.)

Why Photoshop?

Raster vs. Vector


  • Dot-based
  • Dots = pixels (sometimes)
  • Cannot resize without quality loss
  • Photoshop


  • Math-based (!)
  • Uses geometry to create graphics (!)
  • Infinitely resize while maintaining quality
  • SVG, EPS
  • Illustrator

Photoshop Alternatives

It's kind of hard to get away from Photoshop but some people do! They use:

  • Illustrator
  • Sketch
  • InDesign
  • HTML and CSS right in the browser ("designing in the browser")
  • Web-based prototyping tools (InVision, Adobe's Edge suite)
  • Gimp (popular open source alternative)

Getting Around Photoshop

Units & Settings


Under the Photoshop menu.

  • Units & Rulers
  • Guides & Grid





Saved arrangements of:

  • tools
  • tool panels
  • keyboard shortcuts
  • menus

Window > Workspace

Let's Do It!

Take a few minutes to customize your workspace

Creating and working with actual FILES!

But first...


New Files

Grids & Guides

  • Grid systems (tons of downloads online)
  • Bootstrap 12-column grid systems
  • Smart guides

Layer Organization

  • Group and group some more
  • Use clear names
  • Get rid of the cruft
  • Consolidate, within reason
  • Repeat

Next up...

Image manipulation in 5 slides!

1. Effects

  • Filters vs Layer styles
  • Destructive vs non

2. Smart Objects

They're your friends

3. Placing images

4. Blending modes

5. Layer masks

  • Avoids destructive editing
  • Make sure you select the mask when editing
  • White/Black brush
  • Lots more. Google's your friend!

The really exciting stuff

New features in CC 2017:

  • Artboards!
  • Exporting from layers


What's the big deal?

  • Good for web comps
  • Device sizes baked in
  • Better than switching between files

Exporting from Layers

What's the big deal?

  • Save in all formats and sizes
  • No more slicing!

Exercise Time!

Make Your Own $20 Bill

  • Placing Images
  • Layer Masks
  • Effects & Styles
  • Blend Modes


Feedback please!

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