Twitter Facebook Flickr Buzz
Social Networks


Forgot Password? Go Join Now
Sign Up for Starter's Pack (Free)
Call (800) 223-8720
Need Web Solutions? Get Free Sample Issue

Join Our Newsletter!

Receive exclusive offers, coupons,
tips, and weekly updates.

Adobe PDF IconAdobe Acrobat Reader
(required to view PDFs)

Library: Inside Photoshop

Browse through Inside Photoshop library to enhance your creativity

  Search Library:  
2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2008 |  2007 |  2006 |  2005 | 

a) Browse the Current issue

Inside Photoshop, April 2016
 Inside Photoshop, April 2016 Issue


Cut print costs with duotones

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:32 am EST

by T.N. Tumbusch

Between the simple monotone of black and white printing and the rainbow tapestry of process color lurks the shadowy realm of duotones. Long a staple of budget-conscious designers, duotones are sometimes overlooked by Photoshop users because they don’t behave like images in other color modes. But don’t let this stop you.

What are duotones?

A duotone is a grayscale image reproduced using two colors of ink, usually black and a spot color such as those used in the PANTONE color system. In Photoshop terms, duotone is also used to refer to grayscale images reproduced as monotones (i.e. with an ink color other than black), tritones (using three inks) or quadtones (using four inks). The Duotone color mode is used to create all four types.

Why use duotones?

The basic purpose of a duotone is to expand the range of tones in a printed grayscale image. Even though a grayscale channel in Photoshop can contain up to 256 shades between white and black, a traditional printing press has a much more limited range. At best, a printed black and white image can only replicate about 50 shades of gray. Duotones are designed to overcome this limitation by adding additional ink colors. With each color, another 50 shades can theoretically be added to the image.

Here’s a visual example. Figure A is a standard grayscale image, printed only with black ink. Figure B shows a duotone of the same image, reproduced using black and PANTONE 5455 C (a blue-gray tone). The result is a cleaner-looking image with richer tonal depth.

Figure A:

Article figure image

Figure B:

Article figure image

Note: While many of the examples in this article use spot colors, Inside Photoshop is prepared for PDF output. Thus, we’ve act



Make your images look dreamy with a soft focus

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:35 am EST

by Renée Dustman

In your mind’s eye, you see the picture you’re about to take as ethereal. Once you have a look at it onscreen, though, you wonder where the dream-like qualities are. As with our “Before” image shown in Figure A, your image may look flat and unimaginative. Where’s the soft focus? Where’s the heavenly glow? You may not have captured those qualities with your camera, but we’ll show you how to create them in Photoshop. With our soft focus technique, you can make your image look as dreamy as our “After” image shown in Figure A.

Figure A: Before

Article figure image


Article figure image

Choose a photo

The first step is to choose the image you want to edit and open it in Photoshop. To achieve results similar to ours, choose an image that has an obvious subject area against a fairly absent background.

Note: If you like, you can download the image flowergirl.jpg from the URL given at the beginning of this article. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purpose



Correct imperfections in digital photos with the Healing Brush

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:36 am EST

by Jim Whitcomb

Have you ever come across an image that would be perfect to use except for a spot located right in the middle of your subject? A speck of dust, a scratched paint job, or a smudge of dirt can all render your image less than desirable. But you don’t have to let a little spot ruin an entire image. Photoshop’s Healing Brush tool is a great tool for correcting these types of imperfections. With the Healing Brush, you can touch up a problem area, making it blend into the surrounding image, and avoid having to reshoot a subject or having to use a different image.

Select a practice photo

Before you start, go through your archives and find a good candidate for retouching with the Healing Brush tool, such as the example shown in Figure A. Next, launch Photoshop and open your file.

Figure A:

Article figure image

As mentioned earlier, take a few moments to analyze your image. Our example is a daffodil with a number of dirt spots and other blemishes. The surface of the flower is smooth and without busy detail. The flower is softly lit from the top with only a hint of shadow under the petals. Because the lighting is low-key and gradual, any retouching you do has to copy the color value of the petals and match the very subtle change in tone value as it graduates from top to bottom.

Why use the Healing Brush tool?

If you were to use, say, the Brush tool, you could match the color value at any one point, but you’d have to constantly resample it as you move across a graduated area. The process would be slow and tedious. If you were to use the Clone Stamp tool, you’d be able to stroke your image from a cloned sample. However, the Clone Stamp doesn’t integrate color into the image, so it can be hard to make cloned areas match with its surroundings. The Healing Brush too



Make a bold impression with this rock-solid text effect

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:37 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Some text effects come with a lot of baggage; too many starbursts and halos are distracting, and the need to use a certain background color is too limiting. We’ll show you how to create the stone-text effect shown in Figure A. It’s easy to implement, requires no special background treatment, and it’ll produce rock-solid satisfaction!

Figure A:

Article figure image

Set the type

To get started, you’ll need to create a new document. We created a new 5-inch wide by 3-inch high, 300ppi, RGB document. It doesn’t matter which color you choose for the background because you won’t be working on the background layer. However, you will see the background layer, so a lighter color or the white default works best. Now you’ll need to choose a font and set some type.

To set the type:

1. Press D to set the foreground and background colors to their defaults.

2. Choose the Horizontal Type tool from the Tools panel and set the type options on the Type tool options bar. We used Arial Black 110 pts.

Tip: A bold font will work best for this technique.

1. Click on the canvas and add some text, and then select the Move tool and reposition the text as necessary.

2. Press [command] ([Ctrl] in Windows) and click on the text thumbnail to activate the text as a selection.

3. Click on the text layer’s eye icon to turn off its visibility.

4. Click on Create A New Layer button at the base of the Layers panel to add a new layer.

5. Choose Filter > Render > Clouds to render cloud text on that new layer, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B:



Abracadabra! Turn pixels transparent with the Magic Eraser tool

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:38 am EST

by Amy Palermo

The magic in the Magic Eraser tool is that it can sense similar pixel values. The Magic Eraser works very much the same way as the Magic Wand does. You select the Magic Eraser tool from the Tools panel, set the tolerance on the tool Options bar, and then click an area in your image. Except unlike the Magic Wand tool—which selects an area of similar pixel values based on the set tolerance—the Magic Eraser tool simply makes those pixels transparent.

Tip: If your image is on a locked Backg



Don't like your edits? Revert back to the original! (Photoshop CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:39 am EST

by Amy Palermo

Sometimes it’s just inevitable—your Photoshop manipulation turns out to be an epic failure. That



Harness the power of Scrubby Zoom (Photoshop CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:39 am EST

by Amy Courtright

If you’ve been zooming for years and consider yourself a keyboard shortcut master to boot,



One-step scratch removal (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:40 am EST

by Amy Courtright

Did you know that you can use the Blur t



Change history with the Step Backward command (CS5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015)

Added on Thursday 21st of April 2016 07:41 am EST

by Renée Dustman

Has this happened to you? You just finished creating a multi-layered