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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 am going to show you how to establish what I believe to be the best color settings inside of Photoshop and the other Creative Suite applications. Now color settings is Photoshop and Adobe's word, really, for color management policies inside the various programs. They help ensure that you achieve consistent prints so that what you see onscreen is more or less what you get from your printer. But even more important they help establish consistent color onscreen between the different applications and on the Web as well.
Now by default, these color settings are set up for consumers. Basically Adobe is using the consumer color space out there, which is sRGB. And I believe we can do better than that. We ought to set Photoshop up for working professionals and that's what we're going to do here. Now I have this file that I've provided for you called Best Workflow CS5.csf, and it's available as usual inside of that 00_setup folder right there. There it is, and you may see a prettier icon associated with it, but whatever.
What we need to do is copy it to a specific location on your hard drive. Now, these are the locations under Windows XP right here. This is the location. You go to your C drive; Documents and Settings; your username, which is your login name; Application Data, not AppData but Application Data; Adobe\Color\Settings. Each one of these is a separate folder separated by a backslash. Under Windows 7 and Vista, it's this path right there. It's AppData this time, not Application Data, roaming blah, blah, blah, blah however, here's the good news.
Under the PC this is a big pain in the neck. I know that doesn't sound like good news, and you have to turn on hidden files, and you have to have the folder options get angry at you and all this other weird stuff. Well, I've found a quicker way for you PC users than having to dig around your hard drive. You Macintosh users, on the other hand, you're going to have to dig around your hard drive. The good news is that it's not as hard on the Mac to dig around. And I'll come back to you PC people in a moment so just sit tight. So on the Mac, you go to the Finder level, the Desktop level of your computer. You choose Go > Home, and then that takes you to your user folder, which is either your name or the login name, what have you.
And you copy those color settings that we just saw a moment ago. You copy that file to this folder right here. So you have to go to the Library folder, and the Macintosh convention is to divide folder names with forward slashes, by the way. So you open up your Library folder. You open the Application Support folder. You open the Adobe folder, you open the Color folder, therein you will find a Settings folder. So each one of these is a different folder. This will probably be empty. There will probably be nothing there. And then though, you go ahead and take this file and copy it to that folder.
And then you join me for the rest of this exercise. If you're working on a PC, I want you to just go to that file, right-click on Best WorkflowCS5.csf and choose the Copy command. So we'll copy it and then we'll paste it into the right location. All right, now go to Photoshop. Everybody, whether you're working on a Mac or a PC, go to Photoshop go up to the Edit menu and choose the Color Settings command, or you've got a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Shift +K, Command+Shift+K on the Mac, and that brings up this dialog box right here.
Now by default, here in the States our settings are North American General Purpose 2. If you're in another country, you may see something different, but here's what I want you to do. I want to click on the Load button. With any luck, if you're on the Mac, it'll take you to this Settings folder, and you'll see Best WorkflowCS5.csf just sitting there, click on it, and then click on the Load button. That's all you should have to do on a Mac. On the PC, check this out. Inside this folder, which is currently empty, you'll right-click, and you'll choose Paste.
So you're just going to put the file in there, then once it's in there like so, you click on it. So Best Workflow CS5.csf, then you click Load, and Bob's your uncle, you're ready to go. You've got this darn thing loaded, and you can employ it here inside of Photoshop as well as inside the other Adobe applications. Now, in the next exercise, I'm going to go ahead and walk you through the options we changed. So those of you who are still having problems can just set things up manually and save out your own settings, and those of you who aren't having problems know what in the world we did. I'll go ahead and click OK, and wait for you to join me then.
Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals .
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A: These days, it's easier to assign the workflow settings manually. In Photoshop, choose Edit > Color Settings. Then change the first RGB setting to Adobe RGB, and click OK.
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