Join Ted LoCascio for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and saving a custom workspace, part of Photoshop CS3 for Designers.
In this movie, I would like to talk about creating and saving custom Workspaces in Photoshop CS3. Now, if you are not familiar with the term Workspace, all that's referring to is your current palette arrangement, what you have visible on your screen surrounding the image that you are working with. I currently have the ship.TIF image open, that's in your Chapter 2 folder, in your exercise files. So if you would like to open that up to follow along with me, you are more than welcome to. You will notice that I currently have the default Workspace displayed. If you do not, you can go into the Window menu and choose Workspace, Default Workspace.
This is the palette arrangement that Photoshop always displays when you first launch the application. However, I think it's more than you actually need. For using Photoshop for design, you are probably not going to need all of these things open at once, and I think they are just taking up too much screen real state; when we want to focus on editing our image, not on all of these different palettes and tools. So what I am going to do is I am going to leave the Tools palette the way it is, in the single column format over here, and the dock on the left. That's working out great, not getting in the way at all. But off on the right, we have got a little bit too much going on over here, so I am going to click this Expand icon at the top of the outer dock. Notice you displayed all those palettes, and look at that, look at how much room it's taking.
That's just ridiculous, we don't need all this. So we are going to close all this stuff up by clicking these close palette markers in the upper right corner for each one of those guys. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those palettes, they are all useful tools, but we just don't need them for our basic all-purpose Workspace, which is what we are creating right now. I don't think I need the Navigator open. I do like having the Histogram and Info palettes open, because those are tools that I refer to pretty much all the time as I am working. I am going to close this middle group, Colors, Swatches and Styles, and I am going to keep Layers, Channels, and Paths open.
Layers is especially important, something you are probably going to use all the time, so I like to keep it open all the time. I actually like to see these guys, rather than grouped together, I like to separate them out; put the Histogram in the middle, the Info at the top. Now, there is also Info Palette Options which are available by clicking the palette menu button, choose Palette Options. You will see a thing that says Show Tool Hints, and that's usually on by default, but you'll want to turn that off, because that tends to take up a little bit too much room at the bottom of the palette, and it's really something that only maybe a beginner would need.
Since I know you guys are all intermediate to advanced users, we probably don't need that on, so we are going to turn that off. You don't need to take up extra space. Notice that it says Status Information, and that's what's displayed here at the very bottom of the Info palette. Currently you have Document Sizes displayed, but that's also displayed at the bottom of the Document Window, down here. So we might want to choose something else, if anything at all, and I think Document Profile might be more useful. I am going to go ahead and choose that instead of Document Sizes, and then click OK. So now we have got what our profile is and what our document size is down here; different information.
No sense in having the same information in two places on our screen. When I am in the heat of editing, I like to keep these guys expanded; the way you are seeing it right now, however, in certain instances, I may want to close these guys up by clicking the Collapse icon, and then even scrunch them up like so. So now we have really got a lot of room in here. If we know we want to work with the Layers palette, we can click on the icon to fly it out, maybe open this up some as we are adding layers, and then when we close it, it goes back into its little icon over there, and we are back to focusing on the image.
So let's say this is our preferred way to work, or maybe we will expand this out, maybe this is our first preferred way to work. Under Window, we can go under Workspace, and choose Save Workspace. We are going to give it a name, let's say Ted's design, and we are going to save the Palette Locations. If you have edited any keyboard shortcuts, or changed the colors that are highlighting in the menus, you can save those as well, however in this instance we are just focusing on the palette locations on the screen.
So I am going to click Save, add that to my Workspace menu. Now let's say I go ahead and minimize this guy up, and let's choose another one, Workspace, save another one, and we will save Ted's design wkspace 2, or we could even be more descriptive, maybe minimized, maybe we will just say Ted's wkspace minimized; that's not so long, something like that, click Save. Alright, now if I want to go back to the default Workspace at anytime or any other Workspace that I have saved for that matter, by choosing it from here we are back to where we started.
Let's say somebody else actually maybe came and used our computer, changed it to the Default Workspace or a Workspace that they have saved, but then when you come to use the machine, you want it back the way you want, without having to go through all that work and closing all those palettes. So you can go back in here, choose Workspace, and at the very bottom of the menu, we have our two Workspaces. So we will choose Ted's design wkspace, and bang, we are back to our favorite palette arrangement. We don't have to go through all that work of opening and closing and moving things around on screen, which is the best way to work. I know that you are going to have different situations and different scenarios.
Sometimes you are going to want to work with Brushes, sometimes you are going to want to work with Type, sometimes you are going to want to work with several other things. Well, what you can do is save a Workspace for each different scenario. So for instance, if I want to see say Brushes or something like that, it automatically opens up here in an outer dock. That's actually not a bad way to work. What if I go ahead and collapse this, and let's collapse them both. So now we have Brushes and the Clone Source palette. Let's say we are going to close the Clone Source palette- oops, that was a mistake, sorry.
We will go back to Brushes, here it is. We wanted to close just the Clone Source palette, not the entire group, click on this little icon, and now we just have Brushes. So I am going to go ahead and minimize that. So now we just have Brushes out here in the outer dock, which is kind of nice, rather than in the group here, because that way we can go like this, and if we want to select just a Brush, we can fly this out, pick one, and then collapse it back in, and then go back. A nice way to work. Let's go ahead and save this as a Brush Workspace, Ted's brushes wkspace, click Save.
So now we can return to that at any time. You can do the same thing for every type of design scenario, and every type of work that you are doing. Open the palettes that you are going to use, save them as a Workspace, and then return to them at any time. So that's creating and saving custom Workspaces here in Photoshop CS3.
- Setting up the workspace Understanding resolution Using the selection tools Working with brushes Applying, replacing, and removing color Combining layers Making tonal and color corrections Using layer styles and filter effects Reducing noise and sharpening Using automation features