Photoshop is the best photo editing program there is. It has so many tools and features that imagination is the only thing limiting what graphic designers and high resolution photographers can do with the Adobe program. Photoshop is a big beast though. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it is just a dark screen with lots of buttons and toolbars. It can be hard to know where to start, especially if you don’t know the difference between a PNG file and a JPG.
There are tools and resources out there though, to help you get to grips with all that Photoshop has to offer and teach you how to do whatever you need to get done. Furthermore, Photoshop is a customizable piece of software, which means you can add extra Photoshop actions to the mix by downloading plugins. Many of these are freebies too. This is why today we’re walking you through a roundup of all the best free design resources for Photoshop.
Free resources for Photoshop
Official Photoshop resources
You don’t buy Photoshop; you subscribe to it. You pay for it each month and then use it as a service. Some people will complain about this and say it is expensive but for web designers who subscribe this gives two beneficial outcomes. The first is that Adobe will regularly update Photoshop and the second is that Adobe offers free access to a huge amount of Photoshop step-by-step guides covering every aspect of the massive image editing program.
As well as an extensive user guide that will walk you through how to use every tool on the program and introduce you to a number of key photo editing and graphic design techniques, Adobe will also give you access to Adobe TV. Adobe TV has plenty of videos, which will show you many different tricks and tips and also TV shows and webinars walking you through many different Adobe design products.
Best places for Photoshop tutorials
Before you do anything, you’re going to need to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop. This is where Photoshop guides and tutorials some in. You can teach yourself how to do anything on Photoshop with the right guide.
PSDFAN has a wide variety of easily searchable Photoshop tutorials from the very basics all the way up to advanced photo editing techniques including light manipulation and blended multi-exposure shots. This is a very cool place to start.
The envano tuts+ website offers a wide variety of different design focused tutorials. Many of these are Photoshop tutorials, including their very handy Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, which gives quick guides on many Photoshop tools. You’ll also find guides here for other Adobe programs too like Illustrator and InDesign.
PSHero has many different Photoshop tutorials that’ll help you find your feet and then develop your skills all the way up to a professional level. The tutorials are split into four categories: Graphic Design, Photo Effects, Text Effects, and Tips & Tricks.
Best places for Photoshop tools (Brushes, Plugins, and Textures)
As well as the extensive set of design tools that come pre-loaded on Photoshop, you can download specialized tools for your particular needs. These include specialized brushes, textures, and plugins, which could be anything from tools to shave a few seconds off your workflow to more advanced versions of standard Photoshop tools.
BrushKing is a Photoshop brush marketplace where you can choose between thousands of free Photoshop brushes available via hundreds of different brush sets. You will have to pay for some of these but fortunately, most are available for free.
Another excellent Photoshop brush marketplace worth your attention is BrushLovers. You’ll find all sorts of different types of high-quality Photoshop brushes here and they’ll be easy to find too, due to BrushLovers’ impressive advanced search features.
CC-Extensions have brought to the internet a variety of different plugins that add more high-end and pro-level features to Photoshop. These are mostly for experts only but if you’re at that level, they’ll add some serious swagger to your game.
Digital Anarchy has a lot more to offer than just its Photoshop plugins but its cool list of add-ons is definitely worth a look. You’ll find tools here to help you design backdrops for your images, draw up borders, and more.
DinPattern offers Photoshop users almost endless libraries of patterns, textures, wallpapers, and backgrounds. This is your one-stop-shop for all your Photoshop patterns and texture needs.
Best place to find Free PSD files and Photoshop templates
There are a LOT of places online where you can find Photoshop templates. The best of these comes in the form of the standard Photoshop file. PSDs are the format type Adobe developed for Photoshop. They save all the composite parts of a photo editing project so you can stop what you’re doing and then pick up exactly where you left off later on. This also means that you can download PSD templates that have images already built, complete with individual layer styles that you can edit to make the overall image your own.
The best place to find thousands of these ready-made PSD file templates is Freepik, which has almost 100,000 files for you to browse through and then download for free. There are all sorts here too including t-shirt mock-ups, business cards, flyers, and even smartphone templates. Keep an eye out, however, as sometimes you might need to attribute the author if you’re going to use the file publicly or for commercial purposes.
Adobe Photoshop really is its own world. From the first second you launch it you realize that there is a lot to get lost in. To put it bluntly, you need Adobe’s extensive tutorials and video guides and then once you’ve familiarized yourself with all the tools the design suite offers, you’ll need the more creative tutorials we’ve offered too. Once you know what you’re doing though, there is still more exploring to do with all of the potential templates, textures, brushes and plugin-free downloads available for Photoshop. We’ve shown you some of the best but if you want to go deeper, you could see this guide as just the start.