Topic outline

  • General

    Welcome to Advanced Photoshop for Certification!

    This is an independent study class designed to prepare you to take the Adobe Certified Associate Exam. The exam is 40 questions that you will have 50 minutes to complete. About half of the questions are multiple choice, and the other half are in a Photoshop simulator where you are asked to perform specific tasks. NE Metro Career and Technical Center is a registered testing site and I am registered as a proctor.

    Here is an excellent rundown of Photoshop CS5's new features:

    Terry White's Top Five Photoshop CS5 New Features [Video]. (2010).


  • Topic 3

    Identifying Design Elements When Preparing Images

    Objectives of this unit:

    2.1 Demonstrate knowledge of image resolution, image size, and image file format for web, video, and print.

    2.2 Demonstrate knowledge of design principles, elements, and image composition.

    Click here to experience Adobe's Graphic Design presentation.

    2.3 Demonstrate knowledge of typography.

    Click here for Adobe's exam prep materials on typography.

    2.4 Demonstrate knowledge of color correction using Photoshop CS5.

    Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on color correction.

    Note: All Adobe materials have been downloaded from

    2.5 Demonstrate knowledge of image-generating devices, their resulting image types, and how to access resulting images in Photoshop.

    Scanning an image is your best option when you don't have a digital copy. On a pc, you can use WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) to import your images right into Photoshop.

    If you have a camera that can shoot camera raw images, you can do all kinds of editing in Bridge before you even open up the photo.

    • Topic 4

      Understand key terminology of digital images.

      Objectives of this unit:

      3.1 Identify elements of the Photoshop CS5 user interface and demonstrate knowledge of their functions.

      For this, I suggest reading the Help menu available in Photoshop CS5. Click on the image below to be directed to the online help menu.

      selection gallery link

      You can add to a selection with any selection tool by holding down the shift key as you use that tool; you can subtract from a selection by pressing the Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) key.

      3.2 Demonstrate knowledge of layers and masks.

      Video by Michael Ninness, produced by, embedded from YouTube

      3.3 Demonstrate knowledge of importing, exporting, organizing, and saving.

      3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of producing and reusing images.

      When you make an image into a Smart Object (Layer, Smart Objects, Convert to Smart Object), any edits you make are not permanent. So if you take a large image, make it a smart object, scale it to 20% of its original size, you can still rescale it back to its original size.

      3.5 Demonstrate an understanding of and select the appropriate features and options required to implement a color management workflow.

      Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on this subject.

      • Topic 5

        Manipulating Images using Adobe Photoshop CS5

        Objectives of this unit:

        4.1 Demonstrate knowledge of working with selections and measurement.

        Click on the image below and read all of the sections about selection.


        Follow this link to read about measurement.

        4.2 Use Photoshop CS5 guides and rulers.

        4.3 Transform images.

        4.4 Adjust or correct the tonal range, color, or distortions of an image.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on this subject.

        4.5 Demonstrate knowledge of retouching and blending images.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on this subject.

        4.6 Demonstrate knowledge of drawing and painting.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on drawing.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on painting.

        4.7 Demonstrate knowledge of type.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on type.

        4.8 Demonstrate knowledge of filters.

        Click here to read Adobe's exam prep materials on this subject.

        All Adobe materials have been downloaded from

        Click here to take the quiz on this material.

      • Topic 6

        Publishing Digital Images using Adobe Photoshop CS5

        Objectives of this unit:

        5.1 Demonstrate knowledge of preparing images for web, print, and video.


        To prepare an image for the printing press, you need to know the specs. Your printer's rep is a good source. Here are the basics:

        Your resolution (Image, Image size, should be 300 ppi, or pixels per inch.) If you are printing in 4 color process, you need to convert the image to CMYK before you send it to the printer.

        CMYK has a lower gamut than RGB. Gamut means the colors that are visible to the eye in any color mode. You will see an exclamation point in the Info palette, Color palette, or Color Picker if a color is out of gamut. Photoshop will correct this when you convert the image to CMYK. Choose View, Proof Setup, working CMYK to see what your image will look like once it is converted.

        Make sure to do a Save As and make a copy when you convert to CMYK, because if you need to make any alterations, (and you always do) you will want to work on an RGB document and then convert to CMYK again.


        Choose File, Save for Web and Devices. The arrow in the image below shows you where you can change from jpg to png or gif, and additional choices for each. The purple circle highlights the image size and how long it would take to load on a dialup connection.

        Save for Web


        Photoshop pixels are square by default, but video images have rectangular pixels. Under the Image menu, choose Pixel Aspect Ratio. NTSC is the standard in the United States.

        • Topic 7


          is an excellent article on High Dynamic Range from Peachpit Press by Jerry Courvoisier.

          Here is an excellent movie from YouTube

          • Topic 8

            Adobe Bridge and Mini Bridge

            Have you ever looked for a file and forgotten where it was on your computer? Adobe Bridge is here to help! When you open Bridge, you can see the documents on your computer, where they are, and more info about them, like file type, keywords, date created and date modified. Bridge helps you stay organized!


            • Topic 10

              Take the practice quiz made by Adobe.

              PHOTOSHOP CS5
              Study Guide Sample Exam Items

              LINEAR EXAMPLES

              PS 1.1

              Which images would be most appropriate when selecting images for a national health club chain
              developing a marketing plan to increase enrollment?

              A. images of healthy foods
              B. images of athletic and toned models
              C. images demonstrating fashion trends
              D. street view images of the buildings at prominent locations
              Correct Answer: B

              PS 1.2

              When is obtaining permission to use a copyrighted image NOT required?

              A. when using images to develop design skills
              B. when using images to promote a free event
              C. when using images for a free public display
              D. when creating images for educational institutions
              Correct Answer: A

              PS 1.3

              Which three elements should be identified for every task on a project plan? (Choose three.)

              A. cost
              B. owner
              C. software
              D. due date
              E. estimated hours
              Correct Answer: BDE

              PS 2.1

              What resolution will the image(s) be saved at when using the Save for Web option?

              A. 72 DPI
              B. 96 DPI
              C. 150 DPI
              D. 300 DPI
              Correct Answer: A

              PS 2.2

              Which two are related to the design principle of movement? (Choose two.)

              A. focus
              B. rhythm
              C. harmony
              D. symmetry
              E. repetition
              Correct Answer: BE

              PS 2.4

              Which three are best practices related to making color corrections with Photoshop? (Choose

              A. work in CMYK mode
              B. use adjustment layers
              C. work with a calibrated and profiled monitor
              D. downsample images to final resolution before color correction
              E. touch up an image (remove dust spots, scratches, etc.) before making color corrections
              Correct Answer: BCE

              PS 2.5

              What is one key feature to adjust when taking photos in environments with different lighting?

              A. zoom
              B. flash
              C. resolution
              D. megapixels
              Correct Answer: B

              PS 2.6

              What is another term for raster graphics?

              A. bitmap
              B. line work
              C. 3-D images
              D. vector image
              Correct Answer: A

              PS 3.4

              What is the most effective way to save snapshots of different versions of a graphic to show a client?

              A. use Layer Comps
              B. use Smart Filters
              C. use Save As for different versions of the same graphic
              D. export an animated GIF with the different versions of the graphic portrayed
              Correct Answer: A

              PS 3.5

              Which menu option is selected to change the color mode of an image?

              A. Color>Mode
              B. Print>Mode
              C. Image>Mode
              D. Image>Color
              Correct Answer: C


              (right-click or command-click on Mac and save .jpg files on your computer to work on them)


              PS 2.3

              Set the anti-aliasing for the text to Crisp.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Window > Character
              2. Click the drop-down menu for Anti-aliasing and set it to Crisp

              PS 3.1

              Using the mini-bridge, browse for items on the Desktop. (Note: Do not open any files.)

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Window > Extension > Minibridge
              2. Click Desktop
              3. Click Browse Files
              4. Click Desktop

              PS 3.2

              Create a mask using the selection on the layer named pet.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click the layer named pet
              2. Click Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection

              PS 3.3

              Convert the file to CMYK as a U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2 and then save it for print production as a TIFF with LZW compression, Per Channel Pixel Order and IBM PC Byte Order.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Edit > Convert to Profile
              2. Click the drop-down for Destination Space and select U.S. Sheetfed Coated v2
              3. Click OK
              4. Click File > Save As
              5. Click the dropdown for Format and select TIFF
              6. Click Save
              7. Click LZW
              8. Click the Per Channel button and click OK
              9. Click the IBM PC button
              10. Click OK

              PS 4.1


              Record the measurement of the width of the square on the stage.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Analysis > Ruler Tool
              2. Click and drag from edge to edge across the width of the square to measure
              3. Click Window > Measurement Log
              4. In the Measurement Log Panel click Record Measurements

              PS 4.3

              Apply HDR toning to the image using the Saturated Preset.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Image > Adjustments > HDR Toning
              2. Click the Preset drop-down menu and select Saturated
              3. Click OK

              PS 4.4

              Increase the contrast of the image using non-destructive editing and the Curves Preset Medium Contrast (RGB).

              Method of Completion:

              1. In the Adjustments Panel, click the Curves Presets arrow to expand the Curves Presets list
              2. Scroll down and click Medium Contrast (RGB)

              PS 4.5

              Duplicate the current layer, then set the new layer opacity to 60% and change it to a Hard Light Blending Mode.

              Method of Completion:

              1. Right-click the current layer and select Duplicate Layer
              2. Click OK
              3. Click in the Opacity text field and type 60%
              4. Click the drop-down menu for Blending Mode and select Hard Light

              PS 4.8

              Remove the Drop Shadow style from the type layer named Pasture and then add the Bevel and Emboss style, setting the Size to 10 px and the Soften to 15 px. (Note: Accept all other default settings.)

              Method of Completion:

              1. Double-click the type layer named Pasture
              2. In the Layer Style dialogue, uncheck Drop Shadow
              3. Click the Bevels and Emboss style
              4. Click and drag the Size slider to 10
              5. Click and drag the Soften slider to 15
              6. Click OK

              PS 5.1

              Resize the image, setting the width to 6 inches and the resolution to 200 pixels per inch. (Note: Accept all other default settings.)

              Method of Completion:

              1. Click Image > Image Size
              2. Under Document Size, click the drop-down for units and select inches
              3. Click in the text field for Width and Type 6
              4. Click in the text field for Resolution and type 200
              5. Click OK