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Tips For a Good Tutorial Page.


Senior Member
This is just something I've been working on this afternoon, and wanted to post here to get feedback or suggestions. My thought was what are some things that make a good text and image tutorial. And the ones I mean are like you'd see laid out on a website page or multiple pages.

Video tutorials are a whole other thing though, and I'm not too familiar with them.:( Keep in mind that here, I'm targeting ones done in English since those are the ones I can read.:D Though I am sure there are tutorials written in languages all over the world. And really, these guidelines could apply to any creative software program like InDesign or Photoshop.

1.Beginner and Advanced: In many cases, both share the same criteria. But for advanced tutorials, you could probably make the instructions a little more involved for those using it who have more practice with the program. For beginners, it may be safe to assume that the user is possibly someone just starting out in using it, having never used anything like it before. The tutorial complexity should be adjusted accordingly I feel.

2.Image used: If you have a particular kind of image in mind for this tutorial, do offer it up. Users may find a similar image or they may want to experiment with a different kind, you can't know. For example if you feel your method tutorial is ideal for landscape shots, say so.

3.Clear and concise instructions: So many times I've seen tutorials with gramatical errors, and important details left out. As though maybe the text was written in a hurry and published fast as possible. In order to get your instructions understood, be concise with them. Take the time to make sure words are spelled correctly, that your sentances make sense so you don't confuse the user. After all this tutorial will possibly be seen by millions. When you're sharing something that could be used in a creative portfolio, do you really want to seem like an elementary school student?

4.Good screen shots: I've seen too many tutorials that just show the image being worked on in various stages, without a shot of what the palet should look like at which stage. This could possibly apply to beginner tutorials mostly. If a user is a beginner, they may not always know or be able to guess what you did to get the image to look a certain way. Ideal tutorials will have maybe a screen shot of the image in progress and maybe next to it a shot of the layers palet or whatever feature window is used at a given stage. Overall you want a neatly organized image and text layout.

5.Version of software used: Definitly indicate this. Example; CS2 layout and look is likely somewhat different then the latest version of CS4. Granted, much of Photoshop and other programs probably don't change all that much from version to version to keep users familar. Perhaps small changes here and there though do occur however. For example in CS4 the layout of the palets to the right are different, then older versions I remember using and the top menu bar is also different. This way if a tutorial was created with an older version of Photoshop, the user using the newer version will know if they need to look another place for a given funtion. (Might be helpful for advanced)

6. Correct Inconsistancies: I've come across tutorials before that tell you to do a certain action but was unable to because of the mechanics of the program. Example: there was one that told me to select the layer with the mask and use the brush tool in it, However you can't paint or draw over a masked layer. Try to make sure the command, feature or tool you indicate in the tutorial will actually do what you said it will.

Tom Sound

Active Member
Sounds like you've got everything covered Rhonda, if you do any tutorials post them on here for people to run through first to see if they work :up:


Senior Member
Thank you much Tom! :D Had a bit to think about it. Initially these points were going to be directed at anyone doing a tutorial, and I might post this to other places on the web too, where appropriate of course. I don't know if I'll ever have a Tut of anything but if I do I will take the tip and post it here for testing.;)