Photoshop is a huge program, which can be intimidating to the newcomers, it is surely more complicated than the average office program. Which makes some people wonder if is it hard to learn. The short answer is no, you may need some instructions to help you know which part of the program does, especially if it is the first art program you ever use (Ms Paint doesn’t count here). But other than that, it is just a matter of keeping on learning it.
Photoshop basics are easy, if you only want to do simple things, you will be able to do it within hours of starting learning it. Depending on what you want to do. You are unlikely going to produce professional-grade edits that fast though.
According to the rough estimates I made in my other article How long does it take to learn Photoshop and achieve results?. It takes about 20-30 hours to learn how use Photoshop, the process is not hard at all, but after that comes a period of practicing, which depends on your creativity and what you are trying to achieve, there may be some disappointment in what you do, but as long you kept doing it and learning new things, you will improve into something you wouldn’t have imagined.
Some of Photoshop features that are very easy are the things directly related to the basic tools. For examples, if you learned how to use the Clone Stamp Tool, then you already know how to remove any unwanted object from your Photo. And learning how to use the color balance dialog will immediately allow you to lessen the excessive amount of red, blue or green you may have in one of your pictures, and so on. Again, to create a more sophisticated design, you will need to use a combination of any of these tools, something that will come from practice and learning from others.
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I have a saying that I kept saying every time Photoshop learning come into a discussion, which is that “Photoshop is fun to use, but boring to learn”, which is something I still stand by even now. While it is surely nice to discover how each of Photoshop tools work, cramming some of the concepts to your head is totally not. And the more you are eager to use your new photo-editing knowledge in real projects, the more you will feel itchy about continuing to learn it. Taking a break to have fun with what you already learned may help you get over this little problem. But always remember to continue your training to the end.
When I wrote my book, Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures, I made sure to include picture example for each tool or concept I explain, instead of simply using text to do that. I did that so the reader won’t feel like cramming info, but instead understanding them so they would make a perfect sense, and hopefully making Photoshop less boring to learn.
If you are not much into technology, and still want to learn Photoshop, that’s still possible, you may not learn it as fast as someone who is pretty much familiar with computers honestly, as you may need to fill some of the gaps of knowledge you have, but just give yourself a little more time, and you will be able to do it.
Like I said earlier, Photoshop is a huge program, with features that serve many purposes, from photo-editing to graphics design. While that’s a very good thing in itself, that doesn’t mean you need to learn the features related to all those. Learning only the part you want to learn is more than enough. For one, if your goal for learning Photoshop is to enhance the Photo collection you have, focus on learning that, if it is to have fun with them, then that’s what you need to focus on. Doing things that way will make the learning process less hard on you, as well as shorter.
I hope my article has helped you see if Photoshop is really hard to learn or not. And that in case you were intimidated by it, you feel less that way now. Normally, huge programs like Photoshop look confusing because they are new to us, and not really because they are hard to understand or anything.
Interested in learning Photoshop? Check out my book Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures, which is made to make learning Photoshop easier.