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There are a couple of panel related changes in Photoshop CS5, including some useful additions to the Adjustment panel menu. In CS4, you have the ability to perform On Image Editing for three kinds of adjustment layers, for Curves, for Hue/Saturation and for Conversion to Black & White. So for example, if I were to create a new Curves adjustment layer, I then could click and drag directly in the image to modify the curve by first enabling On Image Adjustment by clicking this icon, and then moving into the image and clicking to set a point on the curve, which I could then drag from directly in the image.
So, On Image Editing was useful in CS4, but it did involve this extra step of having to enable On Image Editing by clicking this icon. I am going to disable that for a moment. Now, what you can do in CS5 is to automatically enable On Image Editing for all three kinds of adjustment layers that honor it, and that will save you the trouble of having to click this On Image button every time you want to use On Image Editing. So how can I set that up? With anyone of the Curves, Hue/ Saturation or Black & White conversion adjustments active in the Adjustments panel, I can go to the panel menu and I can choose Auto-Select Targeted Adjustment tool.
So that's kind of a mouthful, but what it means is that if I select this, from now on in the Curves adjustment panel and the Hue/Saturation adjustments panel and in the Black & White adjustments panel, On Image Editing will automatically be enabled. I won't have to click this icon. All I have to do is go into the image and drag. There is one more addition to adjustments that will save you a bit of time and that is new ways to put focus on the first field in the controls for any adjustment layer in the adjustments panel. So, let's say that I add another adjustment layer here.
I'll add a Levels adjustments layer. I'd liked to be able to go right to this first field and type a value there. I guess I could do that in the previous version of Photoshop by moving my mouse here and clicking in this field and highlighting this value and then typing my own value. But an easier way to get that done across all adjustment layers is with any of the adjustment layers active in the Adjustments panel to go up to the panel menu and to choose Auto-Select Parameter. Now, if I go and add an adjustment layer of any kind, say a Vibrance adjustment layer, that focus will be on that first text field and the value will be highlighted, waiting for me to type it in.
Now, if for some reason you don't want this to happen across all your adjustment layers, you can disable that by toggling the command off. Then if you add an adjustment layer of any kind, say a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and you want to focus on that first field, you can just press the keyboard shortcut Shift+Return or Enter on your keyboard and now you are ready to type in a value there. Now, I'd like to go to the Actions panel, to show you a bit of new content that's been added to that panel. So, I'll open the Actions panel from the Window menu and I'm going to expand it a bit.
You can see here all of the actions in the Default Actions set. I'll collapse that Actions Set and I'm going to add a new action set that contains an interesting new action for converting a color photo to black & white in the LAB Color Space. I'll click the Actions panel menu and I will go down and choose LAB - Black & White Technique. That adds the LAB - Black & White Technique Action Set containing a single action, the Photo Toner Technique action and these are the various steps of that action.
So, if I want to run this action on this photo. I am going to scroll down in the Layers panel and select the Photo layer, and then, I'm going to select the Photo Toner Technique in the Actions panel and I'll click Play. What's interesting about this action is that it allows you to interact with it, by stopping and giving you the opportunity to adjust hue and saturation, so that you can control the color tint of the image. So I am going to click Continue here and that brings up the Hue/Saturation dialog box. I am going to move that over, so you can see the image. Now, what I can do here is to choose my own Hue, to choose my own Saturation and my own Lightness, and when I am done, I'll click OK.
The image has been converted to black and white in the LAB Color Space, which does a great job of preserving the luminosity in the image and I've had the opportunity to interact with that action and choose a color tint for that black & white image. So, those are a couple of new features to explore in the Adjustments panel and the Actions panel in Photoshop CS5.
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