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What Is Adobe Photoshop?

By Vanessa Harvey
Updated May 16, 2024
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Adobe® Photoshop® is graphic design software that is employed to create professional logos and digital artwork and to work with vector graphics. It is correctly referred to as computer software that allows graphic artists and web designers and developers to accomplish image creation and manipulation in digital and print format. This computer software can be used to work with images that are only in print format because scanners allow for printed photos and artwork to be transformed into digital graphic files so they can be manipulated in a variety of ways using Adobe® Photoshop®.

One of the ways in which Adobe® Photoshop® can be used to manipulate images is by removing what is known as red eye in photographs. This powerful and versatile software even permits an experienced user to change the background and foreground of a photo. It is used to accomplish photo retouching to make a person's image appear flawless by adjusting tones, lighting and gradients and by covering up imperfections by the stamping over them with another color or parts of another image. Adobe® Photoshop® provides digital tools that allow a user of this computer software to do such things as make it appear that someone was found at a certain scene or in a particular geographical area.

The power of Adobe® Photoshop® to manipulate images makes it possible to cut the photo of a person from one scene or background and paste it into another scene of a different background. In fact, it can be used to combine any number of images to form an image limited only by one's imagination. Of course, such image editing capabilities can be used in criminal activities and to create deception. Web designers often use Adobe® Photoshop® to create web site templates that show the chosen color scheme and placement of information such as navigational links and advertisements. These templates can then be what "sliced up" into sections needed for the building of a functional web site with this software.

Although Adobe® Photoshop® can be used to completely build a website, this use of it is generally advised against because of the code that it automatically generates and which can be difficult to edit at a later date. Graphic artists who design print signs, fliers, brochures, book covers, business cards and many other items often featuring graphics make use of Adobe® Photoshop® to have complete control in creating the image or images they desire. Trial versions of this software often are available to allow users the opportunity to work with it before purchasing it.

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Discussion Comments

By Vincenzo — On Aug 23, 2014

@Terrificli -- The difference between the two is pretty simple. Vector graphics are based on mathematical equations. Think of vector graphics as wire frames with textures added to the top of them. Because the graphic is based on equations, you can make it as small or as large as you like with no loss in resolution.

Raster graphics, on the other hand, are based on pixels (individual points which, together, make up an image). If you make those pixels too large, you will lose resolution as images are blown up larger than originally intended.

The big deal about vector graphics is that they are making a comeback as clean, corporate logos and such can be designed with them, stored in relatively small files and then made as large as small as desired at will.

By Terrificli — On Aug 22, 2014

@Logicfest @Soulfox -- Uh, what is the difference between raster and vector graphics? We are not all graphic designers, so an explanation would be appreciated.

By Logicfest — On Aug 22, 2014

@Soulfox -- As I understand it, Photoshop only sort of works with vector graphics these days and is still primarily a raster based program. What that means is that one can manipulate vector graphics with Photoshop, but the program cannot create and save true vectors.

Of course, the fact that it can work with vector graphics at all is a pretty big deal.

By Soulfox — On Aug 21, 2014

I always thought Photoshop was primarily for working with raster graphics. Does it handle vectors now? Has something changed recently?

Vector graphics and raster graphics are totally different things. How can a program handle both of them well without some major modifications? I have never heard of a program that works well with both formats. If Photoshop can do that now, that is a major development.

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