5 Common Photoshop Myths Solved for Absolute Beginners

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When you first started with Photoshop, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of features and functionalities built for various graphic design tasks and basically don’t know where to begin. So what can we do to overcome this initial difficulty? Just like learning every other thing in life, we start with the easiest part.

In this post, I will provide 5 Simple, Yet Useful Photoshop “How-to”s for Absolute Beginners. Take a look and hopefully you will see after all, Photoshop is not that hard to start with!

Before we start, please note that this tutorial is made in Windows with Adobe Photoshop CS3 and CS4, options may vary in version and OS platform.

How to Draw a Perfect Circle/Square

This might be the first question every beginner would ask. So let’s take a look at the toolbox and find the set of drawing tools as shown below: (to expand, left-click on the rectangular tool and hold)

and You can use those tools to draw rectangule or oval shapes, as shown below:

Now here is the trick: if you would like to draw a PERFECT circle or a square, you must hold down the Shift Key while dragging your mouse:

How to Adjust Brush Opacity and Flow

This is an interest topic – it may seem to be really simple, but the amount of emails and comments I received in regards to this question made me think to include it here.

The options are in fact quite easy to find – if you select the brush tool first, on the option bar above you will the opacity and flow adjustment right there, as shown below:

How to Load Custom Brushsets into Photoshop

These days there are many free Photoshop brushsets you can download from the net, but how to load those beautiful brushset into Photoshop? Here are the steps:

Click on the Brush Tool in the toolbox and click on the drop down arrow next to the brush shape symbol, as shown below”

Next, click on the right arrow on the right hand side of the brush pallette:

You will see a list of options appearing, select the “Load Brushes” option from the list:

and a window will pop up, choose the brushset from the folder and click on “load”:

and that’s it! You will see the newly loaded brushsets in the brush panel:

How to Draw Paths with Pen Tool

Pen Tool can be use to create paths – however, it’s not enabled by default. If you select Pen Tool and straight away to use it, you will see Shapes instead of Paths, as shown below:

So to change it to Path, follow the steps below:

Click onthe Pen Tool in the toolbox and you will a bunch of options appearing on the top bar, click on the second symbol as shown below to change it to Paths:

and that’s it, you can now draw pure paths on your canvas as shown below:

How to Quickly Create Guides in Photoshop

Personally I think this is a rather important and useful function in Photoshop. When you design interfaces (eg. website mockups), you will need to create a sets of guides to ensure precision. But exactly how do we do this?

Here are the steps:

Firstly, if you haven’t turn the Ruler option on, Press Ctrl + R to turn it on, you will see the rulers appearing on top and right of the canvas:

Now if you move your mouse over on the ruler, then left-click and drag, you will see the guides appears on the canvas, as shown below:

and if you would like to clear the guides, simply go to View > Clear Guides

One extra tip with guides: if you right-click on the ruler, you will see a list of options to change the measurements, as shown below:

That’s it for this post! Hope you find it helpful and if you have any further question, just drop me a comment below and I will try my best to assist.

Cheers and have a great day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • DJ Muenchen

    Thank you for the nice presentation. Greets from Munich

  • Darth Wader

    Thank you… :))

  • Eva

    Thinking back to the days when i started using PS… something like this guide would have been helpful in those days :D



  • Ramune

    Thanks.. I just started learning with photoshop, and it’s
    realy helpful for me

  • Aparna

    Thank u!Helpful topic.

  • Naveen

    that was a good one

  • 3rabia graphics

    thnxxxxxx ..{

  • Michael

    Thanks, nice!

  • dimpy gulati

    hello, first of all many thanks for gr8 help.
    i just want to knw hw to record our actions in photoshop & tell me about baica of animation ?

  • Russ

    Thanks I learnt a few tricks. Only learning by trial and error and many tuts.
    About brushes, I have so many I can only see a portion of choices on one screen.(1680 by 1050)
    Is there any way I can diminish my collection via classification i.e. clouds, water, trees etc?

  • Airwalk Design

    A very unique article. These things are hard to recognise in photoshop. I knew about the brush opacity though, but it took me a long time to notice it.

  • ksg

    yah..i was having prob with the shape and path tool….couldn’t find where to change..thanks..

  • jhona

    nice thanks for help

  • Photoshop magic wand tool

    this is really helpful to many

  • Imon

    Some simple but really helpful tips, keep up the good work.

  • evilkitty75

    WOW if i had this 3 years ago it would have been a godsend to me lol as it wasi discovered by trail n error
    nice handy tips ill be linkin this page tho so that
    crawling photoshoppers can learn
    thxxx ^.^

  • mumthas

    thanx for the service to brush up the forgotten lessons

  • avangelist

    And these are myths how exactly?

    This is a “Guide for people who can’t be bothered to read the manual”

  • Aamir hayyat

    ur tips were really help full thnks .wish best 4 u

  • Anaz

    I am a .net web developer and beginner in photoshop designing……..
    I feel great thankful to the authr of dis article…….

    and i would like to know how i can make use of
    the T tool I tried but mistakes are happening…

  • Anaz

    so for those with great mind can u

    teach me how i can become friendly with it
    to make labels or add sticker designing

    usage of T …the font are essential ……….

    and how it can be style

    mail me [email protected]

  • eMazing

    It’s like a pieze of the big photshop-puzzle, wich fits perfectly!

  • Luo

    Although I’m not using PS mostly, but these tips are really useful. Thanks!

  • JagJag

    Useful information but I don’t know why the are called “myths”?…

  • gege

    thanks for the post,..it’s very usefull

  • SCX

    nice to read this post as it is get me back to the first time when I was learning Photoshop…. :D

  • DJ München

    Thanks for this useful tipps! :-)

  • Rajni

    Thnk’s For Help :)

  • Hasan

    Thank you. Especially info about guides is very helpful to me.

  • epocale

    grazie per il tutorial, è spiegato benissimo e molto chiaro

  • Gt World

    how do we add color to the brushes?

  • Mfrk00

    Excellent Easy and Eminent

  • Arif Suhaimi

    very helpfull…. thanx    

  • C Quezada09

    hola soy principiante, y en verdad me interesa saber mas del fotoshop, por ejemplo si quiero cambiar a un objeto y darle otro fondo y agregarles cosas como para crear baners de publicidad ect. 

  • Rob Beasley

    very helpful thank you

  • Pavan Somu

    The tutorial is completely for fresh ps users. This will definitely help them to get aware of the selection tools.

  • Hahahelf


  • Solei Men

    many thx

  • Aftab Alam

    Thnks for guide me

  • Sumit Paul

    thank you so much…it was a great help..!!!

  • Rajev

    A million thanks for the easy, pleasant and encouraging way to learn PS.

  • Rashmin Bhagwat

    Hi, how exactly can the above 5 be called “Myths”???…. myths are usually “busted” in related posts….you havent mentioned mentioned a single “myth” associated with the above tools, and then proceeded to bust it….
    Nevertheless, the post itself is very helpful and educative….Thanx.
    – Rashmin Bhagwat

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