Adobe Photoshop in WordPress Design - dummies

Adobe Photoshop in WordPress Design

Adobe Photoshop is one of the two most common raster-based graphic software programs used by WordPress designers. These programs have vector capabilities, but they aren’t known as vector-editing programs, and their vector abilities are somewhat limited. When you work with raster images, you need at least one of these two programs in your arsenal to create your WordPress designs.

Available from Adobe Systems, which has several graphics programs and design software suites, Photoshop is the most popular piece of software for raster images, and it’s available for Windows and Mac. You can purchase Photoshop either as a standalone product or as part of the Adobe CS5 software suite. You can find out more about the different packages that are available at Adobe.

With graphic and web design using Photoshop, the most popular format is a PSD file. A PSD file is a single image file with multiple layers that contain complex image effects and text layers that comprise a full image. PSD files are often used and developed to create full website designs.

You can lay out an entire design look for a web page in one file, and then using different layers and elements, you can create one, flat raster image for use in the overall design.

The figure displays a PSD file in Photoshop. On the bottom-right side on the Layers tab are several layers that comprise the file. You can open a PSD file any time to change or edit any of the graphics, and then save the graphic as a single file, in JPG, PNG, or GIF formats to use on the web.

There are several tools, like brushes, patterns, and plugins, that can be added onto the Photoshop software, developed by either Adobe, or third-party developers, to help you create effects and elements for your graphic design, including

  • Plugins: Small add-on programs created by Adobe, or third-party developers, to add new features and effects to Photoshop, such as the array of Photoshop plugins available from Alien Skin.

  • Brushes: Small graphics created by Adobe, or third-party designers, to give you some great effects to use with the Paintbrush tool in Photoshop.

  • Patterns and textures: Small graphic files created by Adobe, or third-party designers, to give you interesting textures and pattern effects to use in your graphic design.


Photoshop is also well-known for its built-in tools for editing and enhancing photographs. Many photographers use Photoshop for this purpose, and as a web designer, you can also take advantage of the photo-editing tools in Photoshop to enhance and optimize photographs for your website designs.

To find out more about how to use Photoshop, check out any of the online resources listed in this table.

Online Photoshop Resources
Resource Name Description The official Photoshop marketplace where you can find and
download Photoshop tools like brushes and textures, as well as find
tips and tutorials.
Psdtuts+ A popular blog that covers Photoshop tutorials from beginner to
advanced levels of experience and knowledge.
Planet Photoshop A website where you find several Photoshop tutorials, resources
and reviews.