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Setting up Photoshop for web work

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Setting up Photoshop for web work

Before we get started mocking anything up, we need to first make sure that Photoshop is set up properly for our web design workflow. This of course will be different for you because everyone has their own way of working, but for me there are some things that I need quick access to during my web design process that Photoshop simply doesn't give me right off the bat. The first thing I'm going to do is open up the Type panels. I use a lot of text in my designs and I'm constantly tweaking it, so I need access to both the Character and Paragraph panels in order to make those changes quickly. In order to open those up, we'll go up to the Window menu, and I am simply going to come down and choose Character.

Setting up Photoshop for web work

Before we get started mocking anything up, we need to first make sure that Photoshop is set up properly for our web design workflow. This of course will be different for you because everyone has their own way of working, but for me there are some things that I need quick access to during my web design process that Photoshop simply doesn't give me right off the bat. The first thing I'm going to do is open up the Type panels. I use a lot of text in my designs and I'm constantly tweaking it, so I need access to both the Character and Paragraph panels in order to make those changes quickly. In order to open those up, we'll go up to the Window menu, and I am simply going to come down and choose Character.

By choosing Character, it automatically opens up both the Character and Paragraph panels. I will collapse those by clicking this arrow so that they stay right here in my dock. Next, I want to bring up the Character and Paragraph Styles panel. These are new to Photoshop CS6, but they have already become a necessity for my workflow. Basically these panels allow you to create styles the same way you do in InDesign and then apply those styles to various text objects throughout your design. It's a really handy feature and it's really become one of my favorites.

Let's go ahead and open that up now. I'll go back up to the Window menu and I'll go down and I'll choose Character Styles. Again, choosing Character Styles automatically opens up Paragraph Styles as well, so now I have access to both of them. I will collapse those and they remain in my dock. Next up, I'm going to open the Web Color Spectrum in the Swatches panel. I do this for two reasons: one, it gives me a wide variety of web-safe colors to choose from, and two, when I hover over the swatches, it doesn't give me a generic name like Lime Green or Plum Purple.

It actually gives me the hex code value of the swatch that I'm hovering over, which for those of us who write CSS, is a very valuable tool. Let's go ahead and open those up now. I will go over to the Swatches panel. Inside the Swatches I am going to choose the Swatches panel dropdown menu. I will go down to the bottom and look for Web Spectrum. Once I find Web Spectrum, I am going to choose either Append or OK. Hitting Append means you are adding the web spectrum to the already existing colors inside of your Swatches panel.

If you hit OK, it will replace the current swatches there with the ones you are choosing. In this case I want to replace all of them so I'll hit OK. Once I have hit OK, all of the web spectrum colors show up here inside of the Swatches panel, and if I expand this down, you can see just how extensive this library is. Anytime I put my eyedropper over a color-- like, let's say, this lime-green color-- notice it doesn't say lime green. The pop-up actually says the Hex Code value that's associated with that swatch. Anytime I need this to hand out to a developer or to write in CSS, I just simply come over, hover over the color, and it will give me automatically the hex code value.

Now let's go ahead and shrink this back up because I don't need this to be displayed quite as large. And so the final thing that I want to make sure that I have are the layers and Paths panel prominently displayed somewhere in my workspace. If you're lucky enough to have two monitors, I would suggest throwing these panels over to your second screen so they get the full real estate that they deserve; otherwise you can use the built -in sizing handles to ensure that they are big enough for you to easily navigate and read. When you are working with web site and application mockups, you are going to deal with a ton of layers and a lot of paths as well.

You'll want easy access to these panels at all times. So what I am going to do here is I am going to come right here where it says Adjustments and Styles and I'm simply going to double-click on the word Adjustments. When I do that, the Layers panel automatically shifts up to give me more room. I can also adjust the height of this panel if I need to see more swatches or if I want to see less swatches, I will just drag it back up. I want to make sure that this is large and prominent so I can easily get to multiple layers at a time or multiple paths at a time. I'm also going to take the Paths panel and click and drag it to the left so that it's right next to layers.

I want to be able to easily switch between the two, especially when I am creating vector shapes. Now that I have my workspace all set up, I'm going to save this workspace by going up to the workspace jump menu. That's located right here. When I click on that, you'll notice that there are several workspaces already available to me. However, none of them are web-design-specific. So in this case, I'm going to create a new workspace and I am just going to call it Web Design. Underneath, in the Capture section, it will tell me here that panel locations will be saved in this workspace, but I can also include keyboard shortcuts and menus as well.

If I had customized either one of these, I would check the boxes. I haven't customized either one of those though, so I will go ahead and just hit Save. Once I have saved it, you will notice that Web Design now shows up inside of the jump menu up here at the top, so anytime that I was in a different workspace, like let's say I was doing something for Photography and I jumped into the photography workspace, I could easily get back to the Web Design workspace by just clicking and choosing Web Design. This is just my personal setup. Yours will inevitably be different, and that's okay.

When working in software applications like this, there is no right or wrong way; there's only your way. Right now you might not know what your way is, and that's okay. As we continue to go through this course, you'll find things out about yourself and about your workflow that will help you determine exactly what you're going to need at any given time, and hopefully now you know how to implement those changes going forward.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 49531 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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