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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to customize your workspace, which is basically a matter of bringing up panels and changing their locations so that you have access to Photoshop's most essential features. Then we'll save out that workspace, so that you and I are on the same page throughout this One-on-One series. So for starters, I'd like you to make sure that the word Essentials is active in the upper-right corner of the interface. Essentials, Design, Painting, and the others all represent predefined workspaces that ship along with Photoshop, and each one of them brings up a different collection of panels.
So go ahead and click on Essentials. And then, just so that you're seeing the same Essentials I am because these various workspaces have a tendency to update on the fly, I want you to click this double- right-pointing arrowhead there. And you'll see, in addition to a handful of other workspaces that are available to you, some of which, like 3D, only ship with the extended version of the program and not the standard version. You'll see this command right there, Reset Essentials. I'd like you to go ahead and chose that command in order to reset the panels to the way they appeared when you first launched the program.
Now, notice that I'm seeing a group of panels right at the top: Color, Swatches, and Styles. That's all very well and good. I'm also seeing Adjustments and Masks listed next. And the Adjustments panel is so very larger and my screen size is very small that the Layers panel is getting crushed down here at the bottom. So what'd I'd like to do is collapse the Adjustments panel and expand the Layers panel. And you can collapse and expand panels inside of Photoshop CS5 by double-clicking in this empty gray area to the right of the final panel tab.
So this used to be a single click in CS4 and earlier; now, it's a double-click. Anyway, I'll go ahead and double- click in this location to collapse the Adjustments panel, and then I'll double-click here to the right of the word Paths to expand the Layers panel. All right, so in addition to this far-right column of panels, we have a neighboring column right next door that includes a couple of icons by default. First, we're seeing this Mini Bridge icon. And the Mini Bridge is a miniature version of the Bridge that allows you to browse through your photographs and other digital assets on your hard drive.
And the Mini Bridge is also included not only in Photoshop CS5, but inside InDesign CS5 as well. Next, we've got the History panel that allows you to access the most recently performed operations inside Photoshop, and you can undo or redo those operations as you so desire. However, there's a bunch of other panels I'd like to get to. Every single one of them is listed under the Window menu. And so here's what I'd like you to do. I'd like you to chose the Actions command in order to bring up the Actions panel. And then, in order to close that panel, just go ahead and click on the same icon you used to show it.
So click on an icon to show a panel, click on an icon to hide a panel as well. Then I'll go back to the Window menu, and I'll choose the Info command. Notice it has a keyboard shortcut of F8. And the reason I mention this is if you care to memorize these keyboard shortcuts--some of which are default Photoshop shortcuts, some of which I added with my dekeKeys shortcuts-- all of them, however, are toggles. So F8 is one of Photoshop's defaults, and it works inside some of the other Creative Suite applications as well. If I click on this I, the Info panel, and all the others that are grouped with it--including the histogram and navigator--they'll all go away.
If I want to bring the Info panel back, I just have to press the F8 key again, if I decide to memorize that keyboard shortcut. Then to make it go away again, I press F8 again. So again, each one of those keyboard shortcuts is a toggle for showing and hiding that panel. I'll now return to the Window menu, and I'll choose Brush. And not only does that bring up the big Brush panel, but also Brush Presets and Clone Source. Then I'll return to Window, and I'll chose the Character panel, which allows me to format type inside the program. That brings up both Character and Paragraph, as you can see.
I'll go up to the Window menu and choose Layer Comps, which allow me to say which layers are visible and which layers aren't, in addition to other composition attributes. And we're going to see all of these panels--at least the ones that actually will make a difference to you-- over the course of the many chapters that lay in wait for you. And that brings up Notes as well, as you can see. And finally, I'll go the Window menu and I'll choose Tool Presets. That not only brings up the Tool Presets panel, but also the 3D panel, which is available exclusively in the Extended version of the program.
Throughout Fundamentals, Advanced, and Mastery, we're focusing on functions that are available in both the Standard and Extended versions of the program. So I'm going to go ahead and drag the 3D tab out into the image window, drop it into place there, and then close that panel. Now, I'll drag the Tool Presets Icon, and I'll drop it between Layer Comps and Nodes, right there. Now, as I was saying, we've got two columns of panels, one of which is revealed and the other of which have been collapsed to these icons. You can go ahead and expand that column of icons by clicking on the double-arrow icon, and that displays the Mini Bridge, as you can see here.
Actions is revealed for me, and then I don't have any more room for the other panels. If I want to hide these panels again, I'd double-click on that double arrow icon again. Next, I also have the option of collapsing these far-right-side panels by clicking on that double-arrow icon. Notice this time though, I not only see the icons, but I see the names of the panels as well. It doesn't have to be that way. You can collapse these panels to just the icons by dragging this vertical line to the left of the icons, like so. And you can also expand these icons to reveal their panel names--if you've got enough room on-screen--by dragging this vertical line to the left.
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and leave my icons as icons only, because as I've been saying, I don't have much screen real estate here. And I'm going to reveal these far-right-side panels because they're the ones that we'll be using on a regular basis. This represents at least the beginning of a workspace that I'll be using throughout this series, so I want to save it off in case I want to come back to it later. So I'll click on this double-right- pointing arrowhead in the upper-right corner of the interface, and I'll choose New Workspace. I'd like you to do this as well, if you've been working along with me.
And then go ahead and name your new workspace "One-on-One," and that way you can come back to it anytime you like over the course of working through the One-on-One series. Also, if you loaded my dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts, then I recommend that you turn on the Keyboard Shortcuts check box, so that you're associating my shortcuts with this workspace. You can also save off customized menus if you want to. I don't recommend that options, so I'd leave this check box off. And then click the Save button in order to save off your new One-on-One workspace. It will appear at the beginning of the list, as we're seeing right there.
I'm going to go ahead and expand my list of workspaces a little bit by dragging this double-vertical bar over slightly to the left. You can move the workspace to a different location if you want, however, I'm going to leave it right up front. And at any point in time in the future, you can now come back to that workspace. If it ends up looking different than the way it's looking now, for example, you can always reset the One-on-One workspace by clicking on this double-arrow icon and choosing Reset One-on-One, and that will return the workspace to the way you saved it.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you to further modify your workspace and update your changes.
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