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Arranging panels

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Arranging panels

Many of Photoshop's commands and features are located in its panels. There are many panels. And I think the best approach for you to take to panels is to think about the ones that you really need at the moment for the task that you're doing and close all of the rest of them so you don't have a bunch of clutter in front of you. Right now, we're looking at the default setup for panels here on the right. As you can see, the panels are arranged in groups. So for example, in the first group here, we've got three panels, and we can cycle among them by just clicking on their tabs in the group.

Arranging panels

Many of Photoshop's commands and features are located in its panels. There are many panels. And I think the best approach for you to take to panels is to think about the ones that you really need at the moment for the task that you're doing and close all of the rest of them so you don't have a bunch of clutter in front of you. Right now, we're looking at the default setup for panels here on the right. As you can see, the panels are arranged in groups. So for example, in the first group here, we've got three panels, and we can cycle among them by just clicking on their tabs in the group.

Now let's say we don't need any of these particular panels for the task that we're doing. We can close the entire group by going to this icon on the right side of the group. This is the panel menu icon and it's a really important one to know about, yet it's hard for many people to find and every panel group has one. If you click there, you'll find all kinds of commands and items related to the selected panel. And way at the bottom, you'll find commands to close the entire group or just to close the selected panel.

I am going to close this entire group. So that's how you close a panel or a panel group. How do you open a panel that's not showing. You go to the Window menu at the top of the screen, and you find the panel you want. I often work, for example, with the History panel open. We'll learn about the History panel in another movie, but basically it keeps track of all of the actions that you've taken in the order you've taken them. It allows you to go back and fix mistakes. When I open that panel, it appears in a second column here and it is flipped out so that it's ready to use.

If you want to collapse a panel to its column, you can click this double-pointed arrow, and that's a really good thing to do I think, because it gives you more room to work, and you have less distracting items on the screen. So sometimes if I have two columns of panels as I do now, I'll just click the double-pointed arrows on both to get them out of the way. When you close panels down to their icons, you can either see just the icons, or if you click-and-drag, you can see labels for the icons and those can prove helpful. The other thing you can do with your panels is to join them together so that you have the most important ones always together and you can move them around the screen and put them wherever you want.

So for example I'm going to open my Layers panel by clicking on its icon here, and I am going to drag it out of its panel group and out of these docked columns by clicking on its tab and dragging like this. Then I'm going to close the rest of these panels by clicking the double-pointed arrow. Now, I am going to get the other panel that's most important to me right now, the History panel. I'll click on it and I'll drag it out of its group and close its group. Now, I am going to join these two panels together by dragging the History panel by its tab and butting it up against the bottom of the Layers panel.

Now they are joined together. And if I click on this top bar here, I can drag and move them anywhere on my screen. I can also collapse them if I want to icons by clicking the double-pointed arrow, just like I can do with the docked columns of panels. A new feature in Photoshop CS4 is the ability to take this entire iconized column and drag it over to a second monitor so that you can devote your main monitor to your document and put all your panels over on a second monitor out of the way. Sometimes you are going to want to get all your panels out of view temporarily.

To do that, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and press the Tab key and all the panels disappear. To bring them back, you can toggle with the same shortcut, Shift+Tab. So those are some ways to handle the many panels that are available to you in Photoshop. The main idea is to figure out which panels you need at any given time. Close everything else and get the panels that you need arranged in the way that works best for you. Consider closing all the panels that you don't need and organizing and arranging those you do need so that they are most useful for you to accomplish your tasks.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67778 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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