Parts & Functions of Adobe Photoshop CS2

by Elizabeth Mott
Oli Scarff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Every version of Adobe Photoshop adds new functions and tools, improves existing features and adds depth to a program that can become a career in itself. Photoshop CS2 marked the second generation of Adobe Systems' formal integration of the software with the rest of the company's graphics applications into suites of interrelated programs. If you're familiar with past versions and other Adobe software, you'll find familiar territory in Photoshop CS2's parts and functions.


Adobe Photoshop CS2 offers you a full suite of powerful tools for image editing and manipulation. You can paint with a brush that becomes any size you choose, remove or duplicate image elements with retouching and cloning tools, draw shapes, set type, correct red eye, and make and move selections. To speed your work, you can use keyboard shortcuts to switch among tools without reaching for your mouse.


Adobe Photoshop CS2's palettes – renamed "panels" in later versions – give you access to program features, elements and information. Whether you're adding document layers and effects, selecting tools, mixing colors, automating actions or looking through the steps in your document history, palettes enable you to monitor and manipulate your work. You can hide, resize and relocate them so you only see the ones you need. If you're using a computer with dual monitors, try putting the palettes you need less often on your secondary screen.

Keyboard Shortcuts and Customizable Workspaces

Like all Adobe applications, Photoshop CS2 enables you to access and control its interface through multiple input options. As you become more familiar with the program, you can shift from using menus to relying on keyboard shortcuts. Power users take advantage of the program's customizable workspaces and key commands to build personalized versions of the onscreen environment for the various ways they use it. Your workspaces can specify panels and their locations, remove menu items you don't use, and enable you to reset the interface with one menu command.

Filters, Effects and Adjustments

Every Photoshop user expects different outcomes from her use of the program, from graphics production to original illustration. You can use Photoshop's filters to enhance or caricature a portrait, create alien-looking worlds and build believable natural textures. Layer styles include effects such as drop shadows, glows, bevels and overlays that can make your composites look multidimensional without permanently altering a single pixel. The program's adjustments simplify powerful color correction and manipulation, overcoming image deficiencies with permanent or nondestructive changes.


Photoshop CS2 supports eight different modes ranging from black-and-white-only through CMYK color. You'll probably spend most of your time working in RGB mode, especially since not all of Photoshop's features, filters and functions work in the alternatives, but each of them has its purpose. For example, you can adjust image brightness separately from its color by switching to Lab color, reach for Indexed color if you're creating an animated GIF, or use grayscale for black-and-white photography.

Layers, Channels and Paths

An individual Photoshop document can contain hundreds of layers, each made up of content that covers the entire dimensions of your file or consists of a single pixel. Your document's channels hold its individual color components – for example, red, green and blue in an RGB file – and any alpha channels you've created to hold saved selections. Although Photoshop is primarily a bitmapped image editor, it also enables you to add vector paths as the basis of selections and masks. You'll find each of these essential components in its own palette.

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