Know your tools

Over the years, the tools in most image editing packages have been distilled to a common set of similar icons that perform in very similar ways. The tools themselves can be divided up into several groups, depending on their general function.

Drawing tools (see Figure 29.6) Designed to allow the user to draw lines or areas of color onto the screen, these tools are mostly used by the digital photographer to add to existing images. Those readers who are more artistically gifted will be able to use this group to generate masterpieces in their own right from blank screens.

Most software packages include basic brush, eraser, pen, line, spray paint and paint bucket tools. The tool draws with colors selected and categorized as either foreground or background.

Selecting tools (see Figure 29.7) When starting out, most new users apply functions like filters and contrast control to the whole of the image area. By using one, or more, of the selection tools, it is also possible to isolate part of the image and restrict the effect of such changes to this area only. Used in this way, the three major selection tools - lasso, magic wand and marquee - are some of the most important tools in any program. Good control of the various selection methods in a program is the basis for many digital photography production techniques.

Text tools (see Figure 29.8) Adding and controlling the look of text within an image is becoming more important than ever. The text handling within all the major software packages has become increasingly sophisticated with each new release of the product. Effects that were only possible in text layout programs are now integral parts of the best packages.

Viewing tools (see Figure 29.9) This group includes the now infamous magnifying glass for zooming in and out of an image and the move tool used for shifting the view of an enlarged picture.

Figure 29.6 Drawing tools.




S^ Magic Wand

Figure 29.7 Selecting tools.

Selection Brush

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