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Photoshop Elements 2 Dodge Tool

Photoshop Elements 2 Dodge Tool


Used to lighten tones
Found at #10 in the Toolbar diagram at left


[Please note that in Elements 1 the dodge tool is at the #24 position on the toolbar, grouped with the burn tool.]
The dodge tool will lighten the pixels dragged over according to the percentage chosen in the tool’s options bar [see below]. You can choose to lighten highlights, midtones, or shadows. Each must be worked on separately; the tool does not work on all three at once.

To use the dodge tool, select it in the toolbox, choose your settings in the options bar, pick a brush from the pop-up palette, and drag in the image to lighten the chosen tones. This tool has an effect on click, but does not do any additional work until it’s moved. However, repeated stroking over the same area does have a cumulative effect.

A shortcut for changing brush size while using this tool is to press the left bracket [ to decrease brush size, and the right bracket ] to choose a larger brush.

When editing an image with any tool that uses brushes, you can right click on the image and the brushes pop-up palette will appear right next to your cursor. Press Enter or click on the document’s blue title bar to close the pop-up palette after choosing your brush.

Note that these tools cannot be used on 1 bit Bitmap mode, or Indexed color mode images.

The keyboard shortcut for the dodge tool is the letter O. You can toggle to the burn tool by holding down the Alt key (the burn tool does the reverse of what the dodge tool does).

The illustration below, is the dodge tool’s options bar. To choose a brush size, and type, click on the brush thumbnail. A pop-up palette of available brushes will appear. For more information on brushes, please see the Brushes page.

The Exposure value can be set by typing a value into the text box, or by dragging a slider. To find the slider, click on the little arrow to the right of the percentage value. The Exposure setting determines how fast the image is lightened where you drag over it with this tool. I recommend using a low setting of 10 % or less and stroking repeatedly to reach the effect you want.

The Range drop down menu features three choices. You can work on only one at at time. If Shadows is selected, only dark areas will be lightened. Dragging the tool over bright, highlight areas will have no effect, and vice versa when Highlights is selected.
range menu


If you have doodled with a tool’s options and want to get back to the default settings, click that tool’s icon at the far left end of its options bar. Choose either Reset Tool to reset only the current tool, or Reset All Tools to restore default settings to every tool.

Please note that all descriptions, and illustrations featured refer to files which are in Photoshop’s .psd format, and which are in RGB color mode. Other file formats, and color modes may generate different options. Some Photoshop features are not available for images not in .psd format, or RGB color mode. To find what color mode your image is in, choose Image > Mode.