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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
So I'm going to show you some tricks for a portion of the interface that a lot of people don't pay attention to and that's the Status bar down here at the bottom. By default, the Status bar in the document window shows you the file size of the document, both how big it is on disk and how big it is once it's opened in Photoshop. This Status bar appears regardless of the document is floating or if it's in a tabbed document. One trick is if you just click on the file size here, you actually get some additional information, so you can get the pixel dimensions and how many channels it has and the current resolution, so that's one bonus tip there.
But you can also change what's displayed in the Status bar. If you'll use the little fly-out menu, I'll show you a couple that are interesting in the Document Color Profile, you can see that and listed in the bottom as well, the Scratch Sizes if you're worried about running out of scratch disk space, this will tell you how much of it you're using and how much you have left. So that's nice information to have some times. And then this one, Efficiency, I look to pull this one out. A lot of people ask me how much RAM does Photoshop need and my joke answer is more than you have, by more it's achieved, but the real answer is when you turn on Efficiency, this let's you know when you're not in full application memory, you're not using your RAM chips anymore and you're going and using your Scratch Disk.
So typically what I tell people is just leave that On for a week, set it to Efficiency and if you constantly see yourself dipping below 100% over and over and over again, you might consider getting a RAM upgrade or buy more RAM because that will definitely make an impact on performance. Any time that you go outside of real memory and start using your scratch disk, Photoshop is going to have to performance set for that. So this is a way to just check your work and see what kind of performance you are getting setting it to Efficiency. Now we'll take this back down to Document Sizes, the default and there you go. So you might have some useful information that you didn't know was available.
You can switch that to whatever setting you would like.
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