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Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Setting preferences


From:

Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Setting preferences

Photoshop's preferences control how some basic functions work under the hood. You can get right down in there, and change the preferences to your liking. Let me show you how to access preferences and suggest some preference settings that you might want to change in your copy of Photoshop. To open preferences, I'm going to go to the Photoshop menu on a Mac or the Edit menu on a PC, and I am going to choose Preferences and then I'll choose General. In the column on the left, there are categories of preferences. Let's take a look at the Interface Preferences here in the column on the left, and there is a preference that I sometimes change here.
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
7h 55m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Learning and customizing the interface and workspace
  • Utilizing various manual and guided selection techniques
  • Working with Adobe Camera Raw
  • Adding special effects with layer styles and Smart Filters
  • Creating Photomerge panoramas
  • Optimizing photos for the web and creating web galleries
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Jan Kabili

Setting preferences

Photoshop's preferences control how some basic functions work under the hood. You can get right down in there, and change the preferences to your liking. Let me show you how to access preferences and suggest some preference settings that you might want to change in your copy of Photoshop. To open preferences, I'm going to go to the Photoshop menu on a Mac or the Edit menu on a PC, and I am going to choose Preferences and then I'll choose General. In the column on the left, there are categories of preferences. Let's take a look at the Interface Preferences here in the column on the left, and there is a preference that I sometimes change here.

That's the one for showing tooltips. A tooltip is the little yellow box that pops up when you hover over a tool or a command. Tooltips can be useful when you're first learning Photoshop, but as you get better at the program, they sometimes interfere or distract. So you may want to turn them off by unchecking this field. And if you want to turn off the new docked tabs feature, you can uncheck these two check marks here, at the bottom of the Panels & Documents section. I'm going to go to the File Handling section of Preferences because I want to show you this preference, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility.

It's a long phrase, but basically what it means is when you go to save a document, do you want Photoshop to create a hidden composite layer that contains the contents of all the other layers in the file. That's generally a safe thing to do because it helps other programs and older versions of Photoshop read your Photoshop files. The default behavior here is Ask, which means that every time you go and save a file, Photoshop is going to ask you if you want to do that. I'd suggest changing this to Always so that the behavior always happens behind the scenes and you don't have to deal with it every time you save a file.

The next category of Preferences deals with Photoshop's performance. In Photoshop CS4, there are some new features based on OpenGL technology. I'll be showing you some of those features in the movie on panning and zooming. If you are not getting the kind of results that I show you in those movies, you might want to come here into this Performance category of Preferences, and take a look at the video card that Photoshop is detecting on your machine. I'm going to go to the Cursors category now and suggest that you change the way that the Brush Tip is displayed on your Painting Cursors.

If you leave this set to Normal Brush Tip and you use a soft edged or fussy brush, the round icon that represents the circumference of the brush won't really tell you everywhere that the brush is going to put down some pixels. So change that to Full Size Brush Tip to get a better sense of where your soft-edged brushes are going to be painting. And that applies not just to the Brush tool, but to other tools that use a brush tip, like the Dodge tool and the Burn tool, the Sharpen tool, the Healing Brush tools, the Clone Stamp tool and the Eraser tools.

The other thing that I like to do is check Show Crosshair in Brush Tip. And you can see in this little icon that now you'll get a crosshair indicating the center of every brush stroke. Over here on the right, you can change the way that your other kinds of cursors are displayed. If you like seeing a little icon of the particular tool you're using, leave this set to Standard. But if you want to see more precisely where your tool is going to do its work, you can change this to Precise and then you get this little target icon on every tool. I'm going to go back to Standard so that you can see what tool I'm using, as we work through the course.

I would like to show you one more preference, and that's in the Units & Rulers category here. By default the Rulers field is set to Inches, which means that the rulers that you can display at the top end side of your document window will measure in inches. But if you are a Web designer, you may want to come in and change the default unit of measurement in your rulers to pixels. If you only do Web design occasionally, you can leave this set to Inches and change your rulers on a case-by-case basis, as I showed you how to do in the interface overview movie.

When you're done making your changes in Preferences, you want to click OK. Some of the preferences will take effect right away, but a few of them require you to restart Photoshop before you notice any difference. So those were some suggestions for customizing Photoshop's preferences to personalize the program, so that it better serves the way that you work in Photoshop.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: How can artwork be transferred from Photoshop CS4 to Illustrator CS4 without the background?
A: Save the image in Photoshop’s native PSD format. The background in Photoshop must be transparent, meaning there should be no background layer. (To remove a background layer, move your artwork to a separate layer by selecting and copying the content, minus the background, to a new layer, and then delete the background layer. A checkboard pattern behind your image indicates transparent pixels.) 
 


In Illustrator, select File > Open, and select the PSD file. In Photoshop Import dialog box, select Convert Layers to Objects.

Q: How do I retouch an image I have of an old photograph I scanned?
A: There are a few courses that address image restoration. Check out the Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training course, and for problems dealing specifically with old photographs, watch the Restoration movies in chapter 15 of the Enhancing Digital Photography with Photoshop CS2. Additionally, learn how to research and date photos with our Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree course.
Q: A client has asked for artwork to be delivered as JPEGs or BMP files in 16-bit format. In Photoshop CS4, there does not appear to be an option to save an image as a 16-bit JPEG. Is there a way to save JPEG files as 16-bit in Photoshop?
A: Unfortunately, JPEGs cannot be saved in 16 bit. JPEGs, by nature, are 8-bit. So if you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS4, you will see no option in any of the save dialog boxes to save the file as a JPEG. You would first have to convert the image to 8 bit (by choosing Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel) and then save it as an 8-bit JPEG. If you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS5, you will see the option to save it as a JPEG in the Save, Save As, and Save for Web dialog boxes.  But the JPEG will not be saved as 16-bit. Instead, Photoshop will downsample it to 8-bit for you  before saving it as JPEG.
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