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Photoshop is one of the most powerful applications around. When it comes to working with photos, there’s almost nothing it can’t do. Even the name “Photoshop” is a byword for image editing.

Since it launched more than 25 years ago, however, Photoshop’s picked up loads of new features that let it do even more. Adobe has developed the Creative Cloud into a suite of overlapping apps. Some of the tools from programs like Illustrator have made their way into Photoshop and vice versa. Photoshop can now do a lot more than just edit photos.

Let’s look at some of the ways you can make use of my favorite program, Photoshop.

Editing Photos

Editing Photos is Photoshop’s original use — it’s in the name after all. Even after a quarter of a century of competition, Photoshop is the most powerful image editor out there. You can modify any pixel in an image pretty much any way you’d like.

Basically, if there’s any conceivable way to edit an image, you can do it with Photoshop. It’s used by tens of thousands of people every day. There might be some competitors out there but it’s still the industry standard What Can Photoshop Do That GIMP Can't? What Can Photoshop Do That GIMP Can't? GIMP can do a lot of what Photoshop can do, but there are some areas it falls short. Here is a summary of the key differences. Read More and no app really beats it on features Photoshop VS Pixelmator: Which is Better for Mac Users Photoshop VS Pixelmator: Which is Better for Mac Users Photoshop is the most famous image editing application in the world. For Mac users, however, there's another option. Here's a look at how Pixelmator stacks up. Read More . Photoshop, first and foremost, is always going to be an image editor.

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Digital Painting

Most paintings, cartoons, book covers, and other art that you see online isn’t created with a paintbrush, paints, and a canvas. It might not look like it but most of them are now “painted” using a computer. Photoshop is one of the most popular apps for doing just that.

Digital painting uses technology to emulate old school, brush-in-hand, beret-on-head painting. With a Waccom graphics tablet Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet Review and Giveaway Wacom Bamboo Create Pen and Touch Tablet Review and Giveaway Read More you can draw or paint without having to use a mouse, or god-forbid, a touchpad. This means you can work with a far more natural tool for the job. When you paint, different colors will combine to create new colors just as you’d expect acrylics or oils to do. You can get the effects of everything from a felt marker to a can of spray paint all while staying within Photoshop. There’s a reason so many artists use it over more analog tools.

Creating digital art has a steeper learning curve than editing photos. Luckily, Christian’s put together this great list of Digital Art courses Learn Digital Art from Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses Learn Digital Art from Scratch With These 22 Lynda Courses With hundreds of online courses to choose from, Lynda.com is the fastest way to mastery of digital art. Here are a few courses to get you started. Read More if you want somewhere to get started.

Graphic Design

Although Adobe also has graphic design specific apps like InDesign and Illustrator in the Creative Cloud Your Guide to Choosing The Right Adobe Product Your Guide to Choosing The Right Adobe Product When most people think of Adobe, they either think of Photoshop or Acrobat Reader. But the company has a plethora of other useful software packages that most people know nothing about. Read More , many of their tools have been incorporated into Photoshop as well. For example, the Pen Tool is a staple in almost all Adobe’s apps.

While Photoshop isn’t the best graphic design app out there, it is entirely competent. Something more specialized will make your life easier but there is very little you can’t do. If you’re going to do regular design work, investing time in learning one of the other apps is worth it, but if you just occasionally want to create a Christmas card How to Make Your Own Christmas Card in Photoshop How to Make Your Own Christmas Card in Photoshop It's never been easier to make your own Christmas card on Photoshop. In this article, we walk you through making one. Read More , design your t-shirt, mock up a quick logo How to Make an Eye-Catching Logo for (Almost) Nothing How to Make an Eye-Catching Logo for (Almost) Nothing Whether for your website, band, book, or social networking brand, if you want to succeed, you need to get the logo just right. Here's how to make one. Read More for your business, or even create a business card, Photoshop is perfect.

Web Design

One of the most important steps in web design is creating a mock up: a finished design made in an app like Photoshop. It’s something that amateurs often skip. I know that when I first started designing websites, I jumped straight into coding rather than taking the time to plan out what I wanted the site to really look like. All I had was a rough vision in my head.

As you can imagine, this led to all sorts of problems. Designs took a huge amount of tweaking and going back and forth to make things look right. I’d spend an hour changing something with code that would take 30 seconds in Photoshop.

There’s a reason professional web designers start in Photoshop. It’s far easier to resize objects, move things around the page, and just try ideas out. Once you start working with HTML, one tiny tweak can start breaking all the work you’d done before. Anyone planning to design a website should start in Photoshop.

Editing Video

This last use might be a surprise to you but it’s entirely possible to edit video in Photoshop. You’re not going to cut together a Hollywood blockbuster, or even a short film, but for editing small clips it can be really convenient.

The best thing about editing videos in Photoshop is that you get to use adjustment layers just as if you were editing a photo. If you want to convert a regular video you shot on your iPhone into a high contrast, black and white, film noir style clip, you can do it with just three layers.

If you know how to edit photos but don’t know how to use apps like Premiere Pro and After Effects, Photoshop can be a great alternative. All the tools you’re familiar with are there. Another awesome feature of using Photoshop to edit videos is you can also create GIFs!

Whatever You Want

Photoshop is an incredible app with an awesome array of tools. While it was originally meant for editing photos, it can do a whole lot more. In fact, there’s almost nothing you can’t do. It might be a bit time consuming but if you wanted to create a spreadsheet or write an essay, you could actually do it with Photoshop’s tools.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve used Photoshop for? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Kevin Farrell
    July 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Decent article, however, lets ask what can you do - without - Photoshop?

    https://pixlr.com/editor/

    If you are simply needing to do layered-comps, and the standard PSD Tools, then the above link is free - and a Chrome App, as opposed to a subscription-based cloud app.

    Granted Photoshop is a very awesome, in-depth tool - way way beyond pixlr's, if you are like me and want to do band promo materials, development prototypes, etc.. check it out.

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