Photoshop Basics


Below are basic instructions on how to use your Photoshop templates for your basic graphic design needs. I give all the files with detailed layers, so you will know where everything is once you open your document.

Important Tip: Remember to only use your branding elements for all of your designs (colors, graphics, fonts, etc).


  • You will want to keep the original file safe somewhere, just in case, and duplicate this before beginning so you always have an original copy for reference.
  • When you first open the template, you will want to save it as a different file, so you do not overwrite the original file. Go to File > Save As to choose a new file name and location.



  • For updating your file, you will use the Layers Palette which is typically shown in the right hand part of your screen. If you do not see layers, go to Window>Layers.
  • The items in red are the basic things you will want to change; however, the entire file is editable so you can make additional adjustments as needed. For example, for darker pictures, your text will want to be very light so it is legible; for lighter pictures, darker text, etc.
  • You can also hide layers that you may not want to use for a particular design. You can do this by clicking the "eye" just the left of the layer, and it will hide everything there. For example, if we don't want to use a picture in this template, but just a background color you can click the "eye" next to the "INSERT PICTURE" layer to hide it.

Inserting a Picture

  • If you would like to use a picture as a background, click on the "INSERT PICTURE" layer, then go to File > Place Embedded...
  • Just a quick note that when placing outside files inside Photoshop, it will automatically create a new layer for you above the current layer.
  • Photoshop will automatically adjust the photo to the size of the canvas (background). This doesn't always work well for pictures, as you would want them to cover the entire background. Once your image is placed, take your curser and place it in one of the corners until you see the diagonal arrow. Hold down the Shift key, and then drag the photo until it is just past the corner and fills the background. Do the same thing with the opposite corner, and then hit Enter.

Changing TEXT

  • To change text, click on the layer for the text, then select the "T" tool in your left panel. This will allow you to click in the text box to change the text.
  • To change the text color, highlight all of the text you would like changed and select a new color from the color picker at the top right of your screen. Remember to only use your brand colors, or white (for a dark picture if your lightest color doesn't work).

Modifying OBJECTS

  • To move an object, select the layer by clicking once, then hit "V" on your keyboard. This will allow you to freely move your object.
  • To scale your object (make larger/smaller) click once on the layer, then go to Edit > Transform > Scale (or rotate, etc.)
  • To recolor an object, such as a line or a shape, click on the layer, and at the top left of your screen you can change the color. Fill is for solid objects, such as a circle or square, and fill is for lines. You will see a color picker come up where you can change the color.

The Help Center

There is a Photoshop Help Center within Adobe, or you can also Google your question as well should you need anything else. I often find that Googling gives me an answer a bit faster, but the help center is great for beginners to Photoshop.