30 of the Most Important Photoshop Features and How to Use Them

Nate Dodson over at TutVid just put together one of the most comprehensive overviews of Photoshop’s key tools and features we’ve ever seen. 30 different tools or features you should definitely know about, each covered under two minutes. This one is worth a bookmark.

Dodson gives a really good overview of the features and tools he uses most—features most of us use most, really. From different adjustment layers, to the Quick Selection Tool, to Retouching Skin, to Custom Workspaces and way beyond.

“I created this tutorial as more of a beginner level overview of these tools and functions of Photoshop,” writes Dodson on TutVid, “but my hope is that there is something here for Photoshop users of all skill levels.”


If you’re a novice, we definitely recommend you check out the full video from start to finish. But if you do you want to jump around, here’s a full list of the tools/features Nate demos (there are actually 32 in all) along with their timestamps:

Color Balance – 00:55
Masking – 01:48
Quick Selection Tool – 02:44
Quick Mask Tool – 04:03
Content-Aware Fill – 05:03
Clone Stamp Tool – 05:31
The Patch Tool – 07:05
How to use Levels – 08:07
The Pen Tool – 09:12
Flames Filter – 10:31
The Type Tool – 15:03
TypeKit Fonts – 15:41
Using & Working with Guides – 17:42
Smart Objects – 18:38
Field Blur – 19:35
How to use Curves – 21:41
The Eyedropper Tool – 23:20
Import Color Themes with Adobe Color – 24:58
BONUS: Gradient Maps – 25:49
How to Create an Action – 26:27
The Crop Tool – 28:38
Colorize Live Shapes – 30:36
Convert Objects to 3D/Working with 3D – 31:23
Custom Workspaces – 34:24
The Camera RAW Filter – 35:57
Exporting Images and Graphics – 37:18
BONUS: Changing the UI Background Color – 38:46
Color Range – 39:29
Select and Mask – 40:55
Liquify – 45:38
The Healing Brush – 47:36
The Rotate View Tool – 49:28

Hopefully there was something in there for you—some tool, technique, or feature you’ve either never heard of or thought to try—but if not, share your favorite Photoshop feature in the comments. Let’s see if we can fill in anything Nate left out.

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