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When you first open Photoshop, one of the things that might be a little strange if you're on the Mac is that Photoshop takes over the whole screen. You can't see through Photoshop to the desktop or to any other open applications behind it. I actually really like this feature because while I'm in Photoshop, I don't want anything else distracting me. But if you wanted to turn off the feature, you could go under the Window menu and then select Application Frame. Now, this is a feature that's only on the Mac, because on Windows, it's just common practice for the application to take up the full screen.
But again, if you're on the Mac and you want to turn this off, that's how you do it. See what I mean about how distracting it can be, especially if you have another application open behind Photoshop? I'm really not sure here what interface belongs to Bridge and what interface belongs to Photoshop. So I'm going to go ahead and choose Window again and then turn on my Application Frame. The other reason that I really like the Application Frame is it allows me to resize Photoshop all as one unit.
So if I wanted to make this smaller-- let's say I had a really large monitor and I wanted to set Bridge and Photoshop next to each other--I can resize the two applications so that they sit side by side. Or if I had two monitors, I can actually stretch out the Photoshop application so that it expanded across both of my screens. The other thing that you've probably noticed, especially if you have used Photoshop in the past, is the updated interface of Photoshop CS6. It's a much darker interface.
If you prefer a lighter interface or if you even want to take this one step darker, you can choose Photoshop and then Preferences and then Interface. On Windows, you would go under the Edit menu and choose Preferences and then Interface. Right at the top, you can choose the different color themes for your appearance. You can go darker. This is the default. You can go one step lighter, or you can have a very, very light interface. For now, I'm going to leave this to the darker interface.
I'll go ahead and click OK, and then let's move over to Bridge because I just want to show you that you have the same option underneath your Preferences. Underneath General, you can change the color theme for Bridge as well so that they match. Let's return back to Photoshop where I want to show you one last tip. In order to do this, we need to actually open up just any document. So I'll just select File and then New and accept the default settings.
What I want to show you is that this area that surrounds your image is also customizable. If I right-mouse-click in that area, or if you hold down the Ctrl key and right-mouse-click, you notice that you can change the color of the area behind your image. So I'm just right-mouse-clicking and selecting from one of the options on the list. I'll go ahead and set it back to the dark gray for now, but it's nice to know that that's also customizable. The other thing that I've noticed is with the darker interface, it seems to be a little bit easier on my eyes to work long hours on computer.
So even though it's a little shocking when you first update to Photoshop CS6, I would highly recommend that you kind of leave the darker interface for a few days and see if you adjust to it, and I think you'll actually find that you like it better.
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