How Photoshop works

Photoshop’s editing and enhancement process is carried out by layers. This concept, applied to digital image enhancement, was quite revolutionary when Adobe first released its program because it was similar to working with stacked acetate sheets. Thus, editing tasks could be much more detailed as it allowed us to compose several images, add text to a picture or add shapes, graphics, and special effects in a much more accurate and precise manner.

These operations are all carried out from the Layers panel, where the layer groups can help you to organize and manage them. The advantage of this functioning is that the editing process can be carried out without modifying the image’s pixels as this layer-based organization allows us to work with the so-called adjustment layers and that only contain color or hue settings that affect lower levels. That’s what is known as non-destructive editing.

Regarding how it works from the point of view of handling the program, it comes along with an interface split into several areas with a group of functions associated with each one of them:

  • On the upper part of the interface, you’ll find the Applications panel from where you can enable or disable any plug-in you may have installed.
  • A toolbar on the left-hand-side where you can find basic image editing functions such as the cropping tool, the transformation tool, the flip tool…
  • Just under the Applications panel, you’ll find the tool control parameters. From there, you can adjust the values of the tool selected at each precise moment.
  • On the right-hand-side, you can find the program’s control panel which will help you to adjust your project to whatever you need: web design, photography, 3D modeling…
  • The workspace is located in the middle of the interface and that’s where you’ll be able to view the image that you’re working on and your editing progress.

By making use of each one of these functions you’ll be able to find out how Photoshop works, although you probably already know that it isn’t as easy as that and is rather hard to master.