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Adobe Photoshop CC: Editing Tools

The Tools Panel

The editing tools are found below the selecting tools on the tools panel. Naturally, they all have different functions related to editing an image. You can do simple procedures like draw or erase, or perform more complex tasks like dodging and burning -- manipulating the exposure of selected areas -- that will make for studio quality prints and creative visuals.


  • Spot Healing Brush Tool: Corrects blemishes in the image like dust specs and blends the final image
  • Brush Tool: Paints on the image, allows you to select size of brush area as well as color
  • Clone Stamp Tool: Works essentially the same way as the spot healing brush without the blending
  • History Brush Tool: Kind of "unpaints" the edits you made; this brush will revert the selected parts of the image you drew on back to the original form
  • Eraser Tool: Erases pixels from the image, exposing the layer below the image you are working on, or the blank sheet if no layer is there
  • Gradient Tool: Creates a blending of foreground and background colors in the image
  • Blur Tool: Makes parts of the image blurry; useful when creating a selective focus
  • Dodge Tool: A useful tool for brightening dark areas of an image; the Burn Tool (nested within the Dodge Tool) darkens bright areas of an image

As with the Selection Tools, there are other tools with similar functions nested within each of the default Editing Tools on display. Remember, click and hold over any of the tools to see the variant options.

  • Spot Healing Brush: Healing Brush, Patch, Content-Aware Move, Red Eye
  • Brush: Pencil, Color Replacement, Mixer Brush
  • Clone Stamp: Pattern Stamp
  • History Brush: Art History Brush
  • Eraser: Background Eraser, Magic Eraser
  • Gradient: Paint Buckets, 3D Material Drop
  • Blur: Sharpen, Smudge
  • Dodge: Burn, Sponge

Dodging and Burning

Dodging part of an image means that you are brightening up that part, whereas burning it means you are making it darker. In the image below, the area of grass above the dog has been dodged, and the area below him has been burned while the area by the hose has been left alone. See the difference?


These tools can be especially useful if you are cropping part of an image out and layering it on another image, merging the two, and you want to get rid of the "halo effect" -- the bright contrast around the perimeter of the cropped image -- and make the final result look pure.

Dodge and Burn Tutorial Video

Blur Tutorial Video