Tutorial 01: Photo editing software

This tutorial will be a brief introduction to editing software.  It will by no means be an extensive overview or comparison of the many different software programmes available but merely an introduction to hep you understand the basic set up of some often used programmes. Before you attempt doing any photo editing you should be familiar with the basic set up of the programme you use and the tools available for editing. The first step will be to familiarise yourself with the workspace of the programme and how to customise it to your preferences. You are advised to consult the help pages or user manual of the programme whenever you get stuck.

Where to find the tools

Most software programmes have a toolbar on the left hand side of the workspace. When you first start using the software all the tools may not show up but you have the option to customize the workspace to your own preference. Consult the help screen/manual of the software where you will find a topic that will help you to get started.

In Tut 01 Imgage 01 I show where to find the toolbars in Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, Photoshop CS2 and GIMP

Tut 01 Image 01

In Gimp the main page opens showing the most often used tools on the left hand side of the screen. Contrary to other programmes a separate window opens for different palettes and toolbars of the programme and the image that you work on also opens in its own separate window. To open toolbars other than the editing tools you have to select the docking options.

Click on: File - dialogue - create new dock

You will at least have to create a dock for the layers palette.

In PSP the layers palette opens on the right hand side of the screen by default but you can arrange it to your preference by clicking on : View - palettes and then select layers. The various actions of the layers palette can be selected from the top menu  (Click on layers) or can be displayed at the top of the layers palette by dragging them from this position when customising  your workspace (Click on View - Customise - layers and select the actions that you want).

Similar customisation is possible in Photoshop.


Open your software programme and customise the workspace. You should at least have easy access to the following:

The tools menu/toolbar

The layers palette

The materials palette