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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.
Now let's turn our attention to a few Preference settings inside Photoshop. So, if you're still working inside the Bridge, go ahead and click that boomerang to return to Photoshop here. I'm not going to explain all the Preference settings in Photoshop. There are an alarming number of Preference settings, most of which are best left alone. However, I will explain the ones that I think you're better off changing. And there are few that are actually, fairly important to change as you'll see. So here I am working in Photoshop. I'm going to go up to the Edit menu here on the PC and drop down to the Preferences command.
On the Mac, you go to the Photoshop menu, which is right next door to the Apple icon menu. And then you choose Preferences. It's not nearly so far down the list. It's quite high, actually. A then you go to the General command in that Preferences submenu, both on the Mac and the PC. You've also got a keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+K on the PC and Cmd+K on the Mac. And that's a universal keyboard shortcut across most of the Adobe applications. These other commands you don't have to worry about too much. They just take you to other panels that you can already get to inside of the larger Preferences dialog box.
So Ctrl+K is really all you need to know, Cmd+K on the Mac, brings up the Preferences here. Now, most of these options are just fine as is. Here's the one I really recommend you turn off inside of this panel. That's Export Clipboard, really ought to be off, by default. So the idea is if you copy a really big image inside of Photoshop, which sometimes happens, and then you switch applications, if Export Clipboard is turned on, then Photoshop is required to pass along the contents of its clipboard that you copied, over to the operating system.
And the operating system is sometimes ill-suited to ginormous images. It can grind things to a halt. You can get an error message. It can make you wait. It can even crash your system in the worse of situations. So, when in doubt, leave Export Clipboard off. The only reason you want it on is you're sitting there copying little images that you're then going to paste into Microsoft Word, or maybe you're making album covers to paste into iTunes or something along those lines. But it's probably going to be some little personal activity.
In that case, then you want to turn Export Clipboard on, because you're actually copying from Photoshop and pasting into another program. But unless you intend to do that, leave it turned off. The other ones are simpler to understand. Use Shift Key for Tool Switch. I recommend you turn this off. And the idea here is that you can select tools from the clipboard. For example, if you press the O key, you'll select the Dodge tool. And if you press Shift+O, you would switch to the next tool on the list, which is the Burn tool. The next tool on the list for that slot, that is to say. However, if you turned Use Shift Key for Tool Switch off, then you can just press the O key to switch back and forth.
And that's what I recommend doing. That's the assumption I'm going to make when we're working through this series. So I'll just be telling you to press the O key to switch back and forth. And if you've got this turned on, then you'll have to press the Shift key as well. If you prefer to work that way, just make a mental note, so you're prepared for what happens in the future here. Zoom Resizes Windows is turned on, by default, on the Mac, and off, by default, on Windows. I want you to turn it off in any case. And, the thing there, once upon a time, I recommended you turn it on in any case, because it used to be a really great feature until they messed it up in CS4.
And now zooming from the keyboard by pressing Ctrl+Plus and Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Plus and Cmd+Minus on the Mac is linked to the behavior of the Zoom tool as well, which you really don't want to have resizing your windows. So it's better to have this option off. There is still a way to do it from the keyboard successfully. And I'll tell you what that is when we discuss navigation. Zoom with Scroll Wheel is a cool feature, but there's no reason to turn it on, because you can already zoom with the Scroll Wheel by pressing the Alt or Option key. And the rest of the stuff is just fine as is. Now, let's switch down to Interface.
And incidentally, you can switch between these panels if you want to from the keyboard by pressing, for example, Ctrl +2 or Cmd+2 for that second panel, and Ctrl+3 or Cmd+3 for that third panel. Of course, Ctrl+1 or Cmd+1 is going to take you back to General. Anyway, so I'm going to move to Interface, however you want to do it. And these two options here are worth noting, especially if you're coming from Photoshop CS3. So basically, what happened with CS4 is we got these tabbed windows, in which all the images appear.
And by default, Photoshop wants to open things in tabs. Now, you Macintosh people may not cotton to this. You may not like that. And you may prefer to go ahead and open each image in an independent window, in which case you want to turn this check box off. For all that, you PC people might want to work that way as well. But if you want independent windows, for all of your images, then turn this check box off so that they don't open inside the tabs, by default. You might also want to turn this off, if you really hate the whole tab thing. If you find yourself really disliking it, then you may want to turn off this check box too to prevent windows, when you're moving an image window, from dropping into another, which happens on a pretty regular basis when you're working with floating windows.
Now me, I'm going to leave both these check boxes turned on. I just want you to know about them. Otherwise, the other thing that we're going to do here is we are going to turn around, and we're going to change the color of the pasteboard, which is the area that's outside the image, so inside the window but outside the image, that light gray area. I'm going to show you a couple of different ways to do it in the next exercise.
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