OK, so here’s what you’ll find as soon as you open your Photoshop. Basically all the latest versions will show you this (I will be using CS2).
P.S. : If for some reason or another you either close or cannot see one of these windows you can bring the defaults by going to:
WINDOWS > WORKSPACE > DEFAULT WORKSPACE
I named the windows, now we’ll see their basic use:
>Menu Bar: Every software (as far as I know) has this kind of bar. From here you can do the main things such as creating new canvas, edit preferences, adjust sizes, apply filters, set windows (as mentioned above) and much more.
>Options Window: This window will help you set your tools. You’ll see that more or less the options in it will change every time you select a different tool. For example if you select the ‘Brush’ you can set the Opacity, Flow, Mode (etc...); while when you select the ‘Text Tool’ you can set the Style, Size, Font (I will explain their use later on). For now knowing this is enough!
>Tool Window: This is one of the most common used windows. Here is basically your equipment. As you can see by default you have 2 colours in here, the black (foreground) and the white (background). As you may also notice some of the tools have a small black triangle on their bottom right. That means that the tool can be subdivided (i.e. has other tools in it that have different use). You can access these tools by pressing the right-mouse button on them.
>Navigator Window: This is very useful for those who’ll use Photoshop for drawing. This window basically shows you the overall image you’re working on. If you move that small slider below it, you’ll notice that you’d be actually zooming in and out. Also when doing this a red frame will show you the area you’re currently seeing on the screen, which can be moved with the mouse (obviously!!).
>Colour Window: I use this window a LOT when picking colours for drawing. You’ll notice 3 sliders in it together with the background and foreground colours (like in the Tool Windows). Every slider has a letter next to it together with a corresponding percentage on the opposite side. The 3 letters (H, S, B) stand for Hue, Saturation and Balance.
>History Window: Another useful window! Photoshop also utilizes the Undo facility (CTRL+Z) like in many other applications, but only for one move. With this window you can go back and forth in your actions. Keep in mind that there is a limited number of moves that can be stored, and if exceeded Photoshop will remove the old ones and keep the recent one! Also if you close the application (Photoshop) they cannot be recovered back.
>Layers Window: From this window you can set images in your desired order, apply Blending Options, set visibility, change modes, apply Masks and much more (I will explain these in the future!).
You must know that there are other windows there but are ‘hidden’ in tabs. For example you can find ‘Swatches’ in the Colours window and ‘Channels’ in the Layers tab.