Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Customizing the interface in Photoshop, part of Photoshop CC Essential Training (2013).
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When you first open Photoshop, one of the things that might throw you if you're on a Mac, is that you can't see behind the application to the desktop. On launch, you'll notice that Photoshop takes up the whole screen. While this is normal behavior on Windows, it's a very different behavior on the Macintosh. If you go under the window menu you'll notice there is option called Application Frame on the Macintosh. If you want to have Photoshop behave like other applications where you can actual see the desktop then you can uncheck this.
But, as you can see right now I had Bridge running as well. And so when I turn off the Application Frame, for me, this is very confusing to see Bridge behind Photoshop. So I prefer to go into the Window menu and make sure that the application frame is toggled on. The other advantage that the Application Frame has is that it allows me to resize Photoshop as a unit. So for example, if I had a really large monitor, I could go ahead and resize Photoshop so that maybe it takes up only a portion of the screen.
And then I could do the same for Bridge. So I could scoot this over and I could look and view both of these applications at one time. In addition if I click back onto Photoshop if I had two monitors I could actually extend the Application Frame beyond this first monitor onto the secondary monitor. Another way to customize Photoshop is to change the color theme of the interface. Here I'll go to Photoshop preferences and then I'll chose interface of course if you're on Windows you'll go to the Edit menu and then chose Preferences Interface we can see under appearance there are four different color themes to chose from.
There's a very dark color theme the default color theme and then two lighter color themes. Now I prefer the default color theme or even the darker color theme, just because if you are working on your computer screen all day, it can be a little bit tiring if you're working on a really bright monitor. So I prefer to work on one of these two of the darker options. Now you can also choose different colors and borders when you move into your standard screen mode, your full screen with menus or your full screen.
And you would do that by just selecting whatever color you want. For now, I'll go ahead and leave all of these at their default. One last little shortcut that I just want to show you, it's just kind of fun. If you hold down the Cmd, Optn, and Shift key, or the Ctrl, Alt, Shift key on Windows, and you click on any of these color themes, it'll actually toggle you to either these four different kinds of coffee. Or if we click again it goes back to the swatches, click it once more and actually gives us different kinds of bread or toast.
And clicking again brings back to the color theme. Really not very useful, just kind of amusing that it's hidden in there. Let's go ahead and cancel here. And I'm going to go ahead and use the keyboard shortcut, Cmd+Shift+O in order to return back to bridge because I want to point out that you can also customize the Bridge Interface by going here to Preferences under General of course on Windows that would be under the Edit menu. And you can see that we have those same color themes under appearance that I can choose from.
But in addition, Bridge has the option to change the user interface brightness, and we can use the slider, and as we do this, we can watch it be updated behind us in the application. So you can see that basically everything is changing with the slider Except for the background color behind the images, so here in the content area, and here in the preview area. If we want to change that, we'll use the image backdrop setting. Now if we want to reset this all we need to do is chose a color theme and it would reset it to their defaults.
I'll go ahead and click OK, and let's return back to Photoshop in order to show you one last way to customize the interface. In order to do this I need to have a document open, so I'm going to use the keyboard short cut Cmd+N or Ctrl+N just to open up a new document. I'll go ahead and leave the default settings and click OK, and what I want to show you is this area that surrounds the open document. If you are on a Mac, you can hold the Ctrl key and click in order to access your context sensitive menus, or you can right mouse click and select from the Context Sensitive menu.
And this allows us to change the value that surrounds your image when you're viewing it in Photoshop. I'll go ahead and right mouse click again, and then just choose default. Of course you can choose whatever interface options you want, however I would recommend one of the darker interfaces, because it is so much easier on the eyes. And if you're working long hours, I think you'll actually find that you like the dark interface better.
- Using Bridge to batch rename files and add keywords and metadata to photos
- Viewing, rating, filtering, and creating collections to isolate your best work
- Comparing raw and JPEG file formats
- Retouching and automating workflow with Camera Raw
- Navigating documents and the Photoshop interface
- Understanding file formats, resolution, canvas size, and print size
- Cropping, straightening, transforming, warping, scaling, and resizing images
- Selecting, stacking, aligning, and grouping layers
- Making precise selections using the Marquee, Lasso, and Brush tools
- Using Refine Edge, Quick Selection, and layer masks to isolate soft edge objects
- Improving tone, contrast, and color selectively
- Converting to black and white and tinting images
- Retouching blemishes, smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and brightening eyes
- Retouching with the Liquify, Content-Aware Fill, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
- Merging multiple exposures
- Making nondestructive changes with Smart Filters
- Adding texture, edge effects, and drop shadows with blend modes
- Working with type
- Creating, modifying, and combining shapes using the Shape tools
- Adding layer effects
- Saving and sharing images via contact sheets, web galleries, and Save For Web
- Editing video and audio clips
- Panning and zooming still photos