There are many graphic design programs out there. Except for the few big ones, we can’t really find tutorials for the rest. In fact there are many niche programs which only perform one specific task, such as designing a logo.

Since these niche programs are mostly freewares and don’t capture a serious market share, nobody makes tutorials for them, not even we.

But we don’t want to leave anything out and you might have noticed that I have been sharing many kinds of resources which were never shared here before,  such as Adobe Photoshop Actions. So let’s carry on with the mission, today you will learn some basic fundamentals of learning a new graphic design program.

‘Help’ command is available in every software program but the fact is that help is usually designed as reference book, not something to learn the basics from.


This article might not be helpful, if you don’t know anything about graphic design yet. This article is intended for the people who are acquainted with at least one the graphic design of any niche of designing, such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Adobe Photoshop, Corel DRAW, Google Sketchup… I think you got the point.

The Basics

As you know, there are only two types of graphics in computer:

  • bitmap
  • vector

The kind of tools I’m talking about are usually vector based graphics tools, such as I mentioned, programs for designing logos or creating icon sets.

Everyone knows about Help, but no one likes it, that is only the last resort. So here are some basic rules that will help you understand the basics of any software program, in just a glance and a few clicks.

The Tools

Wrench Screw Driver

Every graphic design program is destined to have a tool bar. And most of the times, this bar can be found either on the left edge of the screen or on the top side below the menus.

The irony is that usually all these programs comprise a different terminology – but functions they perform are same. For example, in Adobe Programs a tool is called Gradient Tool, but in Corel DRAW that same tool is called Fountain Fill Tool.

If you are able to learn the tools, then you will be able to perform the functions that program was actually made for.

Now how to learn it. Well, I have discovered a few tricks, and now I’m describing them:

  • Read All the Tool Tips: when you drag your mouse pointer over a tool, in a moment a “tip” emerges with yellow background and black text written over it. This tool tip will tell you a lot about the tool.
  • Select the Tool and Observe the Properties: in many programs, you fill the “find a properties” bar. This bar contains some extra options for performing advanced actions related to one particular tool. Just glance through this properties bar of every tool.

The Menu Bars


You should already know the basic functions which are available in all programs, such as save, copy, paste etc. there is absolutely no need to know anything further.

The options in these menus are advanced level commands which you will not understand, or at least have a hard time understanding until you are familiar with the terminology and the working patterns of the program.

That means that you should only consider going into menus when the programs works great and you have decided to learn that it deeply, otherwise, the menus can confuse you.


Here’s a checklist:

  1. Check the tooltip of all the tools.
  2. Observe the properties bar of every tool.
  3. Start working with the program.
  4. (If the program is useful) Learn the menus.
  5. Have Fun!
Image Courtesy: clker
Thumb Courtesy: College Crunch
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