Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Five pro-level Preferences settings, part of Photoshop CC 2017 One-on-One: Mastery.
- [Narrator] In this movie, we'll take a look at five preference settings that I think every professional image editor should know about. And we're going to start off with the history log. By now you've probably had experience with creating a really awesome effect one day and then two weeks later, not having any idea how you came up with it. And so the question becomes, wouldn't it be great if everything you're ever done to a file was captured in its metadata. And that is exactly the purpose of the history log.
To get to it, you press control K or command K on the Mac, to bring up the preferences dialogue box. And then you want to press control five or command five, to select the history log in this left hand list. Now turn it on. Now you might figure having the history log turned on would be a default setting, but the problem is that you may be sacrificing security because after all, from this point on, everything is going to be recorded. So, if you're comfortable with what you're doing and you want to remember it, then turn history log on.
If you don't, then leave it off. Next, what I suggest you do, is save your log items to metadata so it's part of the file. It's not going to take up much room so there's nothing to worry about there. And then, you want to decide how much information you want to save. Do you just want to save the open and close information? Do you want to save concise information? Which is, in my experience, is going to be just enough to drive you crazy. You're going to see that you performed certain operations but you're not going to see the settings, for example. Or do you want everything that Photoshop can capture? In which case, select detailed.
And then, click okay. All right, now I'm going to perform a few modifications here by once again creating a new saturation, which I can now do by pressing control shift U or command shift U on the Mac. And I'll just call this guy color shift, let's say. And then click okay. And now I'll just go ahead and make my panel a little taller right there and I'll select my targeted adjustment tool just by pressing the K key or, of course, I could click on it. And then, as opposed to dragging inside Sam's face, which is going to modify the saturation value, which I'm not really interested in doing, I'm going to press and hold the control key or the command key on the Mac and drag inside his face and that will allow me to modify the hue of the face and now I'll do the same thing to the background so that I have independent control of these two portions of the image.
And at a hue value of about plus 15, where the cyans are concerned, I think things are looking at least a lot different than they were looking before. Now notice, if I go ahead and grab the rectangular marquee tool, and I select a random portion of the image, that darn properties panel stays up on screen. Which is not really the way I like to work. I like this panel to disappear when I'm done with it. Now, by default, I have to click that double arrow icon to hide it. But as you might imagine, there is a preference setting for that. And I'll get to it by pressing control K or command K on the Mac.
And then, you want to press control three or command three on the Mac, in order to switch to the workspace item and now turn on auto-collapse iconic panels. And now notice if I were to click okay and then double click on this thumbnail for the color shift layer, to once again bring back up the properties panel, might make it a little wider as well. And now I'll select that targeted adjustment tool. It's not working right now and that's because the hue value is highlighted. So I'll press the escape key and then press the K key to select that tool.
And now I'll control drag once again in Sam's face and notice as soon as I do, that properties panel goes away. So I guess I'm demonstrating the down side right off the bat. Because what that means is now I need to double click again in order to bring up the properties panel. So, it's ideal if, for example, I went to the reds right here and I said you know what I want this value to be exactly plus 15 and then I want the saturation value to be restored to zero, and now, as soon as I click inside the image window, the panel disappears.
Well, that's the way I prefer to work. You might want to give it a try and see how it performs for you. All right, here's a fairly notorious one. Let's say I zoom out a little bit and then I press control A or command A on the Mac in order to select the entire image. And then I go up to the edit menu and choose copy merge or you can press control shift C or command shift C on the Mac. Now, that's great if what I want to is, for example, create a new image by pressing control N or command N on the Mac. And notice by default the image is set to the clipboard so I'll just go ahead and click create.
And then, I'll paste it by pressing control V or command V on the Mac. And I have a flat version of that image file. And so that's going to work beautifully inside Photoshop, but things can break down if you switch to a different application. At which point, Photoshop has to transfer its local clipboard to the OS level clipboard so that the operating system can then hand it off to that other application. And that sometimes bogs down the work, especially when you're working with extremely big image files.
So if you notice some kind of lag when you're switching applications or if you get a message saying that the clipboard failed to transfer, then what you want to do is press control K or command K on the Mac and turn off this check box, export clipboard. And that way you will have a much more seamless experience. Now the only reason to leave export clipboard on is if you routinely copy small images and then paste them in a, let's say, Microsoft Word or some other rinky-dink application that makes it easier to copy and paste than it does to save and place.
But again, for pro level purposes, export clipboard should be turned off. All right, now here's another time saver. Go ahead and press control four, command four on the Mac, or just click on tools right there. Then notice this check box use shift key for tool switch. So as you may recall, if you're working with the rectangular marquee and you want to switch to the elliptical marquee, you have to press shift M. If you don't want to press the shift key, you just want to press the M key, which for any purposes other than 3D inside Photoshop is a great way to work, then just turn this check box off.
At which point, I'll go ahead and click okay and now I'll demonstrate that if I press the M key I'll switch to the elliptical marquee. If I press M again, I'll switch to the rectangular one. If I press L, I'll switch to the lasso, press L again I get the polygonal lasso, press L a third time, I get the magnetic lasso, and then press L a fourth time and I'm back to the standard lasso tool. So, again, it's up to you how you work but that can save a little bit of time and effort. And then finally, I'll press control K or command K on the Mac and I'll press control nine or command nine for scratch disks.
And the scratch disk is Photoshops way of essentially backing up the RAM as you're working. And so you may have noticed that as you're working inside Photoshop that you start running out of room on your hard drive, especially if you have a lot of stuff on your portable machine. Well, if all you have is one internal drive then there's not much you can do about it. But if you have two or more drives that are readily available, then you ought to select the non-system drive and, hopefully, the one that has more free space. So notice my C drive is really running low at 17 gigs where my D drive have almost half a terabyte open.
And so what you can do to change the order of these drives, is select one and then click these little arrow icons. You can also turn a drive on or off by selecting the check box. And any changes you make incidentally, are going to manifest the next time you launch Photoshop. So, if you do make some changes you'll want to quit the program and then restart. In my case, I didn't, so I'm just going to go ahead and click okay. All right, now, if only for the sake of the history log, let's make a few additional modifications. Not to this flat, pasted image but rather to the original.
And so, I'll go ahead and zoom in here. I'll go up to the image menu, choose image rotation, choose 180 degrees, and let's say I don't really want him to be upside down, so I'll return to the image menu, choose image rotation, and choose flip canvas horizontal, which has a keyboard shortcut of all the modifiers H and notice that vertical is all the modifiers Y. This is thanks to D keys once again. So, I'll just go ahead and choose this command this time and then I'll press control shift alt Y, command shift option Y on the Mac, in order to flip the image vertically.
So, we're back to where we were before. And choose save as and then I'll call this guy young man with history, let's say, and click on the save button. I'm going to turn off maximize compatibility because generally speaking you don't need that unless you're going to take you images into light room. After which point I'll click okay. And, by the way, that check box dramatically increases file size. And now, to take a look at the history log, I'll go up to the file menu and choose file info, which itself has a default shortcut of control shift alt I or command shift option I on the Mac.
At which point, to see the history log, go ahead and switch to Photoshop. after which point, you'll see every single modification that you've made to that image, including this auto save, which happened sometime in the middle of recording this movie. And that friends, is my collection of five preference settings that are going to make a big difference to those of you who consider yourselves to be pro level Photoshop users.
- Top-secret tricks for shortcut enthusiasts
- Assigning and converting color profiles
- Turning a cityscape into a tiny planet
- Hunting down seams with the Offset filter
- Distorting an image with the Glass filter
- Using the Libraries Panel
- Batch-processing an entire folder of images
- Adding motion to text, or any other layer
- Adding soundtracks and voiceovers
- Actions and batch processing