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Congratulations to Javier Sotomayor, November 2023 PFRE Photographer of the Month! The theme this month was "Open." Javier Sotomayor - Entry #879 Dave Koch - Entry #877 Peter Wingfield - Entry #874 Here's what Javier has to say: Hello First of all I wa ...



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How to Open an Image in Photoshop

Published: 02/06/2021

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To get started with Photoshop, the first task you have to do is to open up your required image on it. There are different ways of opening images, depending upon what you need to do. Understanding how to open an image in Photoshop using different ways will allow you to work more efficiently on Photoshop from the very beginning.

How to Open an Image in Photoshop 

Basically, there are two different methods to start with Photoshop. One is to create a new document, and the other is to open an existing file. When you create a Photoshop document, you have to import images into it. On the other hand, opening an image makes an existing file show up on the Photoshop editor.

Most Photoshop users tend to open up existing images, and that’s what this tutorial focuses on. I will give you a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guideline to opening images in Photoshop.  

Opening an Image From the Home Screen

First of all, let me look at and understand this recent addition to Photoshop, which is the Home Screen. Now, when you open up the program without opening any image, then you will see the following screen known as the Home Screen. You can now easily open up your images through this highly convenient feature.

Photoshop homescreen

Now, if you have opened Photoshop for the first time, your home screen will look like how it looks in the above image. However, if you’ve worked previously on Photoshop, then your recently used files or images will be visible as thumbnails on the home screen, as shown below.

Photoshop file thumbnails

So, if you want to reopen any of your recent files, you can simply click on its thumbnail, and it will reopen on your Photoshop editor.

However, if you are a new user and have just launched Photoshop on your device, then you will not see any thumbnails on your Home Screen. In such a case, follow the below procedure:

  1. Click the Open button present on the left column of your Home Screen.
Photoshop file explorer

2. This will open file explorer (in the case of Windows) or Finder (in the case of a Mac). Here, I are using Windows. Once you see the explorer, navigate to the image that you want to open and then double-click on it. Your desired image will open up in Photoshop:

Kitchen with an island countertop

Opening an Image From the File Menu

The other and more conventional method of opening an image in Photoshop is through the file menu. You can find the File button on the top left corner of your Photoshop interface. Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will open up, from which you have to press Open.

You can also press the keyboard shortcut, which is Ctrl+O (for Windows) and Command+O (for Mac). From here, the process is the same as before. Windows Explorer or the Finder will open up from where you can double-click on your desired image to open it in Photoshop Editor.

Opening Multiple Images in Photoshop

Now, you know how to open a single image in Photoshop. However, in some scenarios, you might want to open multiple images at the same time. Photoshop allows you to do that with ease and convenience. 

I had already seen how to open images through the Home Screen on Photoshop. You can switch back to the Home Screen any time you want by clicking on the Home Button. You can find this button in the upper left corner of your Photoshop Editor.

Opening multiple images in Photoshop

As you switch back to the Home Screen, you can repeat the procedure of opening an image through the home screen to select the second image. You can do this for as many images as you like to add.

All the images you open will have their own tab, which will all be visible on the top of your Photoshop editor. You can easily switch between the images by clicking on the tab of the image you require to be visible.

Tabs for multiple images in Photoshop

Frequently Asked Questions

Photoshop is a massive program, and when you get started with it, you may come across a few issues. Yet, once you familiarize yourself with it, you will be able to work effortlessly. To help you get going, here are a few of the common queries answered.

What To Do If The Home Button Is Missing?

In case you find the Home button is missing on the top left corner of your Photoshop CC interface, then you would have to check your Photoshop preferences. This will let you know if your Home screen is disabled or not. 

To do this, go to the Edit menu. From there, navigate to Preference >> General. You will then see a dialog box. Look for the option ‘Disable the Home Screen,’ and make sure that it is not selected. Then, click OK. You will have to restart Photoshop to apply the changes.

What Is The Difference Between Opening An Image And Creating An Image In Photoshop?

The difference between opening an image and creating an image in Photoshop is, when you open an image, you perform your editing on an image that already exists. On the other hand, when you create an image, you open a blank Photoshop Document. Once you create a document, you can then import the images. 

How to Open and Add an Image to an Existing Project?

You can open and add an image to an existing project, with the amazing layering feature of Photoshop. The new image will be opened and added in the form of a new layer. To do this, make sure that the respective project is already open.

Then, go to File from the menu bar at the top of the Photoshop screen. Select ‘Place Embedded’ from the drop-down menu. Navigate to the image you want to open and then select open. This will open up a new image onto your existing project as a new layer.


Opening an image is the most initial step of getting started with Photoshop. Getting a full grasp of how to open images the correct way will allow you to have a solid base of all your Photoshop editing workflow. I hope that this helps you in working efficiently on Photoshop.


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