How to Sharpen Your Digital Photo in Image-Editing Software

Use your image-editing program’s Sharpen tool, if it has one, to “paint” sharpness in only those places in your digital photo where you want things to look clearer or crisper. To use a Sharpen tool in your image-editing software:

1Turn on the Sharpen tool by selecting it from your image editor’s toolbox or menu.

This figure shows the Sharpen tool selected in Photoshop Elements.

2Set your brush size, as shown in this figure.

The size you pick controls how big an area is sharpened with each click or drag of the mouse.

3Set the strength for your sharpening effect.

A good default value is 50%, but you can raise or lower that level as needed by dragging the slider or other control, as this figure shows.

4Click or drag over the area that you want to sharpen.

Clicking sharpens an area the size of your brush tip, and dragging allows you to sharpen in a freeform area, following an edge or working within a desired region of the image (like in this figure).