How To

Best free online tutorials and courses for Photoshop

Patrick Devaney


Where do you begin with Photoshop? It is a huge photo editing suite that has an unbelievably large number of tools. You’d be forgiven for opening Adobe Photoshop, staring blankly at the screen for a few moments, closing it again, and then bursting into tears. Where to begin?!?

If you’re not familiar with Photoshop, you’re going to need some image editing software guides, graphic design courses, and maybe even some video tutorials to bring yourself up to speed. There is simply too much going on for you to pick it up as you go along. Sure, you’ll be able to pick up how to use the odd tool, but to make any serious progress you’re going to have to knuckle down. That is why today, we’re going to introduce you to all the best places to find online Photoshop tutorials.

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Free tutorial courses Photoshop

The official Adobe Photoshop user guide

Adobe Photoshop guide

As you’d expect with a professional-level piece of software that comes with a hefty price tag, Photoshop has a fantastic free course and user guide available online. There are a lot of documents here starting with an introduction to Photoshop and going through all sorts of methodologies and techniques like how to use layers, make adjustments to images and even advanced tutorials like animation and video. This is a great place to start but take into account all the guides come as written documents.

Adobe TV

Adobe TV

If written text documents detailing complicated methods for controlling image adjustments and lighting curves isn’t the learning experience you’re after, don’t worry. Adobe also has an official video channel offering all sorts of colorful guides that’ll walk you through anything and everything including adjustment layers, layer masks, logo design, digital photography, and more. The videos are separated into episodes and are presented by Adobe’s own Photoshop Evangelists and Experts.

A great thing about Adobe TV videos is that you can separate them out into Beginner and Experienced level tutorials. You can start from the beginning and watch general videos introducing you to all of Photoshop’s buttons and tools, but you can then delve deeper and go into more advanced techniques like accurately selecting and cropping around the hair for example.

Photoshop Café

Photoshop Cafe

Photoshop Café offers many excellent tutorials, guides, and courses on, you guessed it, Adobe Photoshop. The guides here are geared towards beginners as the language used isn’t too complicated and the steps given are clear and easily understood. You’ll find free tutorials broken down into many different themes including Photoshop Basics, Special Effects, Drone Photography, Text Effects, and Photo Tutorials. Most of these tutorials are video guides too.

Photoshop Café does also have a lot of premium content but there is more than enough free content available for you to work your way up to a level of expertise where you might be thinking it’d be worth investing in the premium guides as well.


PSD fan

PSD Fan is a great place for anybody who is looking for specific Adobe Photoshop tutorials relating to particular design techniques. Imagine guides with names like Create a Dark Landscape Matte Painting with Photoshop or Create a Dark, Mysterious Photo Manipulation and you’ll have a good idea about what you can expect to find at PSD Fan. You can find guides on Designing, Text Effects, Drawing, Photo Effects, Web Design, and Icon Design. There are also more basic tutorials relating to the default Photoshop tools.


Tuts+ learning guides

You will find premium tutorials and guides on the Tuts+ network of learning websites and webpages but thankfully, there is also a lot of free stuff here too. The Tuts+ network has a lot of very useful How-to Tutorials, Courses, and eBooks covering all sorts of helpful topics. If you’re looking to learn how to do specific tasks like design business cards or make flyers this is the place for you.

The unfortunate thing about a lot of the guides you’ll find on the Tuts+ network is that some of the guides are free and some are not. In many cases this is OK, you simply take the free classes you’re looking for and avoid the premium. In other cases, however, courses will be split with free classes for the early modules followed by premium modules. This means, unless you’re willing to spend some money, you won’t get to the end of your course.

Premium Photoshop tutorials and guides

If you are willing to spend some money on your Photoshop tutorials, guides, and courses there are some excellent premium options out there.



Udemy offers excellent Photoshop courses that will take you from beginner to expert. Udemy courses are published by individual experts who are, in essence, running their own independent businesses. You buy access to individual courses and then take the lessons at your leisure. The Mastering Photoshop CC course is an excellent place to start but there are much more worth looking into.



Lynda is another excellent source of tutorials, guides, and courses. Like Udemy, Lynda has an extensive list of all different types of courses beyond just Photoshop. Lynda is connected to the Microsoft LinkedIn professional social network and works on a subscription basis. This means unlike with Udemy you pay a monthly subscription to Lynda for access to all courses. You can get a free month’s trial, however, to try it out before you pay anything.

Wrapping up

So, as you can see there are lots of different options available for anybody looking for tutorials and guides on how to use Photoshop. There are lots of free options available and you’ll be able to learn how to do plenty without having to pay anything. If you’re looking for a more structured and defined course, however, you might be better taking one of the premium options, with Udemy offering a number of excellent options.

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