If you're just starting out with Photoshop 6, and you're looking for the easiest guide you can possibly find, start your search with Easy Adobe Photoshop 6. It's aptly named, to put it mildly.
Kate Binder has identified some 180 of the most important tasks Photoshop users typically handle and offers stripped-down, one-step-at-a-time instructions. Every page is full-color, every page shows you the relevant dialogue boxes, palettes, even mouse-clicks and drags. Just follow along, and you'll get the results you're after. And since the cookbook approach isn't always quite enough, you'll find pithy tips and insights along the outside margins of each page.
Easy Photoshop 6 organizes its mammoth subject into 12 sections, beginning with "Getting Started" techniques that include both the obvious (such as changing an image's size or resolution) and the less obvious (making contact sheets, batch-processing multiple images). You'll learn techniques for making and saving selections, working with colors and patterns, painting and editing images, adjusting colors and tones, working with layers and type, creating special and artistic effects, and more. There's also a full chapter on web graphics -- from Photoshop 6's new integrated slicing tools to creating rollovers and image maps with the companion ImageReady 3.0.
We'd have liked to have seen more coverage of Photoshop 6's new vector drawing tools, but that's our only gripe. From the beginner's standpoint, Photoshop 6 remains profoundly nonintuitive, but with Easy Photoshop 6, you can clamber up the learning curve remarkably fast.