Adobe Photoshop is a sophisticated tool with a 21-year history and a seemingly-endless array of powerful capabilities. And after spending $549 for the product with discounts (or $199 for students), who wants to pay a lot more to learn how to use it all?
Fortunately there are a number of avenues to get great training and tutorials for free. The first stop is Adobe TV, which has nearly four hours and 37 chapters of 100% free tutorials for Photoshop CS5 alone. There is also a wealth of content for prior versions like Photoshop CS3 and CS4. It’s a good place to get started and orient yourself with the major functions, and all of it is gratis.
For learning how to use the best new features added in Photoshop CS5, take a look at our collection of articles with tours of:
- Content-Aware Fill
- Puppet Warp
- Top Masking Techniques
- Creating Time-Lapse Videos
- Impressionist Oil Painting
We also have a regular page here on the site with a rotating selection of tuts for all versions of Photoshop, stepping through various tips and tricks. And for a terrific set of little-known but very handy techniques, check out Adobe’s Photoshop “Hidden Gems” series with Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes.
We’ve previously covered 17+ hours of free video tutorials for Creative Suite 5, plus three hours for Lightroom 3 – so here are some brand new training resources for the just-released Adobe Photoshop Elements 10… Most of these tutorials also apply to Photoshop Elements 9, which shares the same interface but just doesn’t have as many features.
In these three courses the experts share how to get started, the basics of the software, new features, how to use key tools and functions, plus their favorite tips and techniques. In sum, there is over four hours of free content, with 46 separate chapters.
[ Bonus! Here also are 70 minutes of free tutorials for Premiere Elements 10 for taking care of your video. ]
If you need a copy of Photoshop or Premiere Elements 10 to get going right away, just download the free trial and it will work fully for 30 calendar days, which should be plenty of time to get through the classes.
If you prefer learning in written form, we’ve got the Adobe Photoshop Elements Guide – a free 95-page e-book you can download as well.
[UPDATE (Nov. 2016) – Watch 235 hours of new training & tutorials from MAX 2016!]
Just back from Adobe MAX 2011 and it was sensational… The keynote presentations were larger than life and filled with news and demos of new Adobe software and initiatives. The hundreds of diverse product sessions were incredibly educational. The show floor was a buzzing activity of experts, partners, and vendors… And the renowned “MAX Bash” party did not disappoint.
But perhaps the best part for those who weren’t there is the majority of the sessions were captured on video and are now offered online for free… In other words, pick your favorite Adobe product(s) and you can learn the latest tips, tricks, and techniques from the top instructors in the field from the comfort of your desktop. There are three major tracks below (Design, Develop, and Envision) with scores of different topics; most sessions are about an hour long and the collection runs to over 160 hours of video in total.
If you’re interested in learning about the best web and interaction design techniques, there’s a free new 2½-hour course you’ll find worthwhile…
It’s the third installment in the excellent Classroom series, which features free expert training in well-designed sessions with high-quality production values. Previous classes have been an in-depth Dreamweaver CS5 tutorial and a terrific After Effects CS5 tutorial.
This latest presentation details how to design your interfaces in the most effective way with the behavior of the user in mind. Some of the topics include crafting effective navigational systems, creating a liquid layout, how to best deliver images and media, designing forms and dialogs to smoothly guide users through a positive user experience, and more. The best practices covered here will help you make better design decisions in your work going forward.
For some months now, Adobe has had a great set of videos out (17+ hours) covering the highlights and new features of all products in Creative Suite 5… Now comes a terrific new course specifically on getting started from the ground up with Dreamweaver CS5. This 15-chapter step-by-step tutorial really covers all the basics and key topics – not just for Dreamweaver, but for developing websites in general.
Basically, if you’re looking to get going with website design and development, this is a nice way to get your feet wet (or expand your existing knowledge) with the industry-standard product in just three hours for free – regardless of whether you keep using it. If you want or need a free copy of Dreamweaver CS5 to walk through during the training, you can just download the fully-functional 30-day free trial.
We’ve previously featured over 17 hours of free video tutorials for Creative Suite 5, plus three hours for Lightroom 3 – so here’s a brand new set for the recently-released Adobe Acrobat X Pro & Standard… In the free courses below, product experts share how to get started, the basics of the software, overviews of major new features, how to use key tools and functions, plus their favorite tips and most useful techniques. In total, there are three courses with 3½ hours of free content, spanning over 57 separate chapters.
If you need a copy of Acrobat X Pro to get going, you can just download a free 30-day trial.
[UPDATE (February 2013) – The commercial version of Project ROME will remain free for public download! (Windows and Mac OS)]
In all the excitement last week with the hundreds of free online sessions from the Adobe MAX conference, there was a brand new product debut that should get just as much press. Adobe launched a free preview of their new Project ROME content creation and publishing application for print, photo, presentations, animation, and web. And this is a pretty cool tool if you haven’t checked it out yet. The streamlined interface with plenty of templates helps you get started quickly, and the “all-in-one” nature allows you to easily borrow and repurpose content across projects or from the cloud.
The best way to get a sense of it is a quick one-minute demo:
Yesterday at the big MAX conference, Adobe finally announced their Digital Publishing Suite – a new publishing solution that allows authors to deliver innovative digital reading experiences that attract readers and advertisers. This set of end-to-end, turnkey hosted services plus viewer technology build on the foundation of Creative Suite (including InDesign CS5) and allows publishers to use existing staff, skills, and workflows to design and deliver engaging, digital content direct to consumers, through content retailers or leading mobile marketplaces. You may have seen this already being used very successfully by magazines such as WIRED and The New Yorker.
The Digital Publishing Suite will be released in the second quarter of 2011, likely in conjunction with a CS5.5 point release update. In the meantime, Adobe Labs has made some tools available now for writers to get started and create, preview and share their content in the new format. The tools include the Digital Content Bundler and Interactive Overlay Creator, plus the Digital Publishing Plug-in for InDesign, which allows InDesign to interface with and transfer information to the Digital Content Bundler.
[UPDATE (Nov. 2016) – Watch 235 hours of new training & tutorials from MAX 2016!]
Adobe MAX 2010 – the worldwide user conference – runs this week and if you aren’t in Los Angeles, the two major keynotes will be broadcast live plus all of the conference sessions will be available on demand for free… A full attendance pass with these informative technical sessions normally goes for $1,500, so this is a great deal (see a full listing of the hundreds of programs offered below).
Adobe InDesign tweets, “don’t be the last to know… if you can’t be at Adobe MAX, you can still watch the keynotes LIVE for some exciting announcements!”
There’s a fantastic new resource available for After Effects users – a free three-hour in-depth tutorial on After Effects CS5. This introductory course covers a broad range of topics: learning the basics of compositing and animation, how to use keyframes as well as spatial and temporal interpolation, using parenting to group animated elements together, how to use masks and layers, introduction to effects, importing Photoshop documents into AE, syncing transitions to music, creating a master composition, how to render out your finished video to a standalone file, and more. The program is hands-on and includes downloadable sample files to follow along with for creating a motion graphic title sequence.