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Because Photoshop has so many different options, when you're just starting out, it can seem a little bit overwhelming. For example, look at the number of panels that you can display on the right-hand side--and this isn't all the panels. If we go under the Window menu, you can see that there are a lot of other panels that aren't being displayed. Now the panels that have the check marks next to them, those are actually the panels that are on top and are visible. So for example the Adjustments panel, we can see right here; if we look at the Color panel, that's on top; and if we come down to Layers, that's in this bottom grouping.
If I were to select a different one of those panels--for example if I come over here and actually click on Channels to bring that to the top--then when we return back to the Window menu, you can see that Channels has the check mark next to it and Layers no longer does. But if I select Layers, it will bring that to the foreground, or to the top of the stack of panels. If I use the Window menu again and we select at panel that's not showing or is not nested even--for example the Info panel--then Photoshop will go ahead and nest that in this second group of panels right here.
In order to close this or collapse it, we can click on the two arrows right there. You can see that the panels have multiple different states that they can be in. In this row, we can see the icon state. And if we position our cursor on top of any of the panels, we will get a tool- tip telling us what panel that is. If I want to expand these panels, I just need to click on the double arrow. If I want to collapse them, I'll click again. Now if I want to see the icon plus the name of the panel, I can drag this slider out until I see both the icon, as well as the name of it.
Sometimes I have a hard time figuring out which panel is which by just looking at the icon, so it's nice to see this icon plus label mode. Then if I want to expand it again, just click on the double arrow. Click again in order to collapse it. Let's go ahead and bring these back down to just the icon view. If I click on a single panel's icon, it will bring out or display that panel to the left as if it's almost like a set of drawers. Then I can click on the arrows again in order to collapse them.
If you have multiple panels docked together, like the Colors and the Swatches here, if you want to just close one of the panels, you can right-mouse-click and then select Close. If you wanted to close both the Swatches and the Color panel at the same time, then you would close the tab group. For now I'll leave them open. In order to rearrange your panels, you can simply click and drag and now the swatches are to the left of the color. To rearrange again, simply click and drag.
You can also move panels from one group to another. Click on the tab and just drag down. When you position your cursor on top of another group, you will notice that there is a blue rectangle going all the way around the group. When you let go of the cursor, Photoshop will nest that panel together. If you drag just down to between two sets of panels, you'll notice that I don't get the full rectangle; I just get a solid blue line. If I release the mouse now, I've actually created a new grouping of panels.
If you want to quickly hide all of the panels in the interface, you can tap the Tab key. In order to bring them back, tap the Tab key again. If you only want to hide the panels but leave the tools on the left-hand side, as well as the options across the top, then you add the Shift key. So Shift+Tab will hide only the panels. Now, when the panels are hidden, if you position your cursor over to the right-hand side, they'll actually pop up so that you could select something in a panel, and then when you move your cursor out of the panel area, they will automatically hide again.
In order to bring them back, we'll hold down the Shift key, tap the Tab to toggle them back into view. If you want to minimize a panel because you don't want to see the contents yet, you don't want to close it, the easiest thing to do is just double-click on the name of the panel. So here I'll collapse the Color panel and the Styles panel. If I want to reveal them again, all I need to do is double-click to expand them. Most of the panels also have a flyout menu in the upper right-hand corner and if you select that, you get additional options.
For example, if I go to the Panel Options for the Layers panel, I can actually change the thumbnail size or the thumbnail contents and additional options. For now, I'll just click Cancel to keep them at their defaults, but you should know that there are many, many ways to customize the panels. All right, I am going to set these back to their default. You'll notice that I've got the Essentials workspace still targeted. Selecting it again won't actually reset the panels, but if you choose Reset Essentials then Photoshop will put all the panels back to their default locations so they will all be in the same place.
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