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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.
All right, let's burn through the rest of the Preference settings here. I've gone ahead and zoomed in on my image. That's why we can't see so much pasteboard. I'm going to press Ctrl+K, or Cmd+K on the Mac, to bring back the Preferences dialog box. By the way, if you're familiar with previous versions of Photoshop, and you're looking at this going, what's the HUD Color Picker? When we discuss brushes, I will show you how the heads-up display Color Picker works. It's basically this Color Picker that's always where your cursor is. So it's sort of like those heads-up displays that pilots have, where they're looking at the window, and they can look at the Control panel at the same time as they're looking outside.
But not nearly that cool, but anyway, that's what it is. We'll see it later. I'm going to jump down here to File Handling. I want you to note this option. This is a new option in CS5, this Save As to Original Folder. I recommend you leave it turned on. The idea is that every time you open an image and then you want to save the changes, and you do a Save As, for example, it's going to take you to that same folder that contained the original image. However, what if you're opening, like, one image after another image, making changes to them, and then you're trying to save all the results to a very specific folder.
Then if you turn this check box off, Photoshop will remember that folder, the Save As folder, and will keep coming back to it over and over again. So, that's good when you're doing those kinds of batch jobs, where you have to manually work your way through it, and you want to put everything in a single location. That would mean, turn it off. But it's the kind of thing we're going to have to come in to Preferences, turn it on for a while, come in to Preferences, turn it off for a while, that kind of thing. Anyway, I'm going to leave it on. Down here, Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files, leave that turned on.
That way if you do save layers with your TIFF files, you'll see that there are layers inside of the image. Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility, I hate this function. Basically, what it does is it takes a layered Photoshop file, and along with that layered Photoshop file, it throws in a flat version of the file as well. Well, if you want that, you can save a TIFF file, because TIFF does that automatically. But when you're saving PSDs, layered PSD files, you typically do not want a flat version of the file cluttering up that image, because it just makes it bigger on disk.
It makes it a third to half bigger again, unless you're working directly with Lightroom, Premiere also requires it, but otherwise, Illustrator doesn't. InDesign doesn't. I suggest that you set this to Never. And that's how I've saved all the PSD files that are included with this series. All right. Now I'm going to move down to Performance here. We get into some kind of tough territory. Basically, this is all about, if Photoshop starts running sluggishly on you, then how do you solve the problems here inside this dialog box? First of all, you should see that you have a detected video card that is capable of OpenGL, that supports OpenGL, and you should have OpenGL enabled.
The only reason this stuff would be turned off is because Photoshop can't figure out that you have an OpenGL card, which might mean you don't. Some very inexpensive computers don't have OpenGL, but you really want it where Photoshop is concerned. Most computers have it. Because, it gives you much better, smoother, more fluid navigation, so you can zoom in and pan around really nicely. Scratch Disks is all about what happens when Photoshop hits the ceiling inside of your RAM. So RAM is your memory that Photoshop uses continually in order to process the images.
Then it has to go to the hard drive, which is your storage, only, hopefully, on rare occasions, when it runs out of room in memory. So, it's always creating Scratch Disk files, but it hopefully doesn't have to make that much use of them. However, if you're working with really super ginormous files, you may find that you have to adjust your Scratch Disks. Then you may want to turn on your other internal drives. So if you have a couple of drives on your Mac, for example, you might want to turn them both on. You can even change the order of the drives if you want to, so it hits D before C. The problem with doing this on the PC is permissions.
Windows is just onerous about its permissions, especially under Vista. So under Vista, if you go turn it on the D-drive, what can happen is the next time you start up Photoshop, it can't initialize that Scratch Disk file, and you can't get the program to launch, in which case, you have to reset your Preferences. I'll show you that later. But it's a big pain in the neck obviously and it sometimes - unless you've got an IT guy handy, if you're working with Vista, I don't recommend you turn D on. I find it to be a little dangerous under Windows 7 as well. All right.
Anyway, History & Cache, over here, now, these options affect the number of history states, the cache levels, the cache tile size, not going to go into too much detail about what those mean. But basically, what Photoshop does when it's redrawing an image, it redraws it in big chunks, which are the tiles. History States is just how many history states, that is, how many Undos you have in each open image. I recommend you leave that set to 20. Now, these buttons up here just affect levels and tile size, and they come up with, basically, predefined values.
The idea is if everything is going okay, leave it alone. That would be your default settings. That's how it's set, by default. But if you're having problems and things are really getting slowed down, and you fall into one of two camps, Tall and Thin, or Big and Flat, and I don't mean your personal body type. I mean the style of image - by that, tall and thin means not very big images, so you're working with Web images, essentially. But you've got gobs of layers, like hundreds of layers on a regular basis. Then you click Tall and Thin, and theoretically, your performance will get better inside of Photoshop.
However, if you work with big huge files, and notice, if I hover over here, it's saying, Best for larger documents (hundreds of megapixels). That's larger, all right. So, if you've got hundreds of megapixels, you're doing just ginormous poster work, or billboard work, something along those lines, but you don't use that many layers, like less than ten layers in a typical image, then click on Big and Flat. That's going to adjust the Cache Levels and Tile Size accordingly, according to what Adobe thinks is best.
You might want to give it a try and see if it helps. All right. But that's just if things are staring to seize up on you. You can also restart the program if that happens, and that will clear out the RAM, and it'll make it behave much better typically. I'm going to switch over to Cursors. What I like is this guy, Show Crosshair in Brush Tip. I'm going to turn it on. I recommend you do as well. We don't need to go with Precise, because you get precise cursors at any time just by pressing the Caps Lock key. That's all I do here. Then I'll move down to Units & Rulers. This is very important.
Go up to Rulers right there and change it from inches to pixels. That will give us better control over our images. We'll be able to see exactly how many pixels are at work. If we want to expand the Canvas Size, we can work in pixels and so on. Inches is just for output, pixels is for everything. So anyway, I'll go ahead and choose pixels. Pixels is also better than centimeters, by the way. It's better than anything that's inherently a print unit. Now, that's it. We don't care about the Guides. We don't care about Plug-Ins. We don't care about Type. You can investigate that stuff on your own, if you think you might care.
3D only appears inside the extended version of the software, which is what I'm using. You're not going to see it in the standard version. I'm going to click OK in order to accept my changes, and we are done with the Preferences command here inside Photoshop CS5.
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