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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
One the most frequent interface pieces that you'll be working with in Photoshop of course are the panels. That's where a lot other functionality is stored. If you take a look at the Window menu you'll see there is the list of all the available panels you have at your disposal. You'll see some of them are already open. The ones that are open have checkmarks next to them. There are some additional panels under the Extensions sub-menu here, so the things like Mini Bridge. But for the most part, most of the panels are listed here in alphabetical order. If there is a panel that you want to open that you don't see on your screen already, go to the Window menu and see and look for it.
Let's say I want the Character panel to open. I'll go ahead and choose that panel. That now popped-up on my screen. You'll see that panels actually have different states that they can be in at any given time. So here on the right, I have some some panels that are expanded completely. I have some panels that are in Icon mode or iconic mode. The Character panel is opened as a drawer. If I click on the word Character or the icon of the Character panel, it collapses that panel back into its icon. So, these open and close as drawers. If on a panel dock, that's a group of panels that are docked together here in a series of icons or over here in expanded mode as well, I can resize the panel dock by putting my mouse on an edge of the dock and if I start clicking-and-dragging to the left, you'll see I actually revealed the names of the panels.
So, this is an Icon plus Label mode. These still work as drawers. So, if I click on the word Mini Bridge, you'll see it pops open as a drawer. Click on History. It pops open as a drawer, and so forth. Over time, if you don't need to see the names of the panels when they are collapsed down like this, that's why you have the ability to drag this back to the right until they snap down all the way just to Iconic mode, just to save screen real estate. If you want to expand a complete dock to all the open panels, there is a little Double Chevron at the top of the dock and that will open that panel dock up as a series of expanded panels just like the one you see here on the right.
I'll go ahead and collapse that back down by clicking the Double Chevron again. That takes us back down to the Collapsed Icon mode. You'll see panels are also on what we call panel groups. So, you see these two panels. Character and Paragraph are in a group, there is a little dotted line here at the top of the group, where you can use to drag that group around, you can either change the stacking order of that and move groups around within a panel dock or you can actually grab that gripper and move it completely out of a dock so that it's now a floating panel group. If I want to expand that, click the Double Chevron and it's now just a regular floating panel like you might expect.
We can go ahead and close the panel by clicking this little Close box in the upper left-hand corner. If I just want to close one panel within a group, you'll see there is no close box for that, there is no little X, so you would need to right-click. So, if I want to close Character, right-click on the tab and choose Close from the pop-up menu. And now we are just left with that one panel. Now, what I want to reopen Character and group it back with the Paragraph panels. So, if I go back to Window and choose Character, You will see it remembers the last time it was opened that it was grouped with the Paragraph panel.
So, it remembers to go back and regroup itself with that. Okay, we'll go ahead and close that panel group by clicking its Close box. One other level of adjustment here, you can actually rearrange the panels within a group as well. So, right now Adjustments in this panel group is the first panel on the left followed by Masks. If I wanted Masks to be on the left, just click on the tab and drag it. You'll see you can rearrange the order of the panels within a particular panel group. So, that's kind of cool. One other adjustment that I kind of like to do is to hide my panels, not close them from being usable, but actually just to hide them from view.
This is an Adobe standard keyboard shortcut. It works in all the Adobe apps. If I hit the Tab key, that just collapses the panels off to the side. Now, they are not technically closed. They are just hidden. They've been kind of put into this Drawer mode. So, if I mouse over to the left of the screen on one of these little panel groups. That little thick board that you saw on the left screen, the Tools panel will pop back open temporarily. Then I can go and mouse through and get the tool that I want. And then, when I mouse out of that panel dock, it recollapses itself. So, if go back over to the right and mouse over to the right edge, you'll see that that panel group will pop open.
I can do whatever I want within this particular panel group in panel dock. As, I move out of that panel dock, it again will collapse itself. So, if want to reopen all the panels back, so that they are in their expanded state, hit the Tab key again, hit the toggle. Now, they will stay open and won't do this auto-collapse behavior. If I ever want to turn that back on again, you just simply press the Tab key. You've got the best of both worlds. So, lots of different ways to manage and customize and rearrange and interact with your panels. One last thing. If you want to collapse a panel just to its tab so it's still open and one click away, but you don't want to have it open on your screen taking up all the screen real estate, Adjustments is a good example of this, just double-click on the word Adjustments and you'll see that collapses it down just to the name of the tab here.
So, you have it. Lots of flexibility. You'll ultimately customize the workspace to fit your needs. Everyone kind of has their own style of setting up the shop, so to speak. Once you figure it out, you can then of course save that as a workspace and give it a name. So, you have a one click way to get back to your particular configuration, if you end up messing it up or so forth. So for instance, if I click on the word Design, this takes me back to the pre-configured Design workspace. If I click back on the word Essentials, Photoshop actually remembers all the adjustments I've done to this specific workspace.
If I wanted to save this off and have it separate from the original default definition of the Essentials workspace. Then I could simply choose from the workspace menu, a New Workspace and give it a name. I am simply going to choose Reset Essentials to get it back to the default version of that Essentials workspace.
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