Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Managing your memory for optimization, part of Photoshop CS4: Color Correction.
In this section we are going to continue with setting preferences and setting up Photoshop, so you can get Photoshop to perform quickly and accurately in the same way all the time. We are going to go right to Photoshop Preferences. Remember the keyboard shortcut for Photoshop Preferences or any Creative Suite Preferences, Command+K on the Macintosh, or Ctrl+K on Windows. And of course, you remember the character K because of the character K in the word Preference. Yeah, don't ask me why they used K instead of something else. I don't know.
But if you spell preference with a K then you'll remember it. That's what I do. All right, in the previous section we ended up here talking about these particular preferences. And I mentioned the Enable Floating Document Window Docking and Tabs. Let me just show you what that is. We are going to click OK here, we are going to move over to the Window menu and come down here and choose Application Frame. When we turn that on, notice you get this frame that goes in the background. This is so nice. Now if you are a Windows user you are used to seeing this because Windows applications automatically have frames in the background.
This is kind of new for Macintosh users, but if you are working like we are with Bridge in the background, it's a fairly complex background. It's nice to be able to have that frame around your image all the time. It kind of cleans up the screen for you. So that's pretty nice. So you can turn on that frame, and then in that Preferences on the Interface where it says Open Documents as Tabs and Enable Document Floating Window, whenever you open up another document, for instance, let's go into Bridge and open up the second one. Notice it will open up and you'll be in Tabs if you want it to be, and then if you want to, you can pull them off and have them in individual windows as well.
So you can turn that on or off depending upon your particular preference. I'd like to have the choice of those two most of the time. Sometimes I turn it off. All right, in this next section I'm going to talk about File Handling and basically this is controlling how we handle our files particularly as how we save them out and move them around. My suggestion here is to choose Always Save and then Icon, Macintosh, and Windows Thumbnails. If you are working in print predominantly or you are working in lots of different media, it's nice to have Image Previews.
If you're just working for the web, however, what you might want to do is turn that off and never save with previews. If you are working back and forth between print and web then you can do an ask when saving. The reason why you don't want thumbnails for web-based images is that browsers don't use thumbnails. They just use the whole image. But if you are working in mixed media, it's nice to be able to have the thumbnails. What do you do want to turn for sure is the always append the three character extension. Might as well let Photoshop do the heavy -lifting here with this nuts and bolts stuff of adding the .TIFF or .PSD, whatever the three character extension is, because it automatically then makes your document or image cross platform and allows your operating systems to easily recognize what the file format is and therefore which application, in this case Photoshop, will be used to open those images.
Down here near the bottom Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files, really, really good idea. A little bit later on we are going to talk about when to use TIFF, when to use JPEG and when to use .PSD files. As a general rule, we are going to want to use or I'm going to recommend that you use TIFF for flattened and simplified files that you use for print. Which means that you typically don't want to save layered TIFF files. On my recommendations it's going to be if you've got layers or alpha channels or mask or vector mask or editable type, you want to save those in .PSD file rather than a TIFF.
So go ahead and check that on so that if you ever go to save a TIFF and you've got some complexity in there, Photoshop will let you know. The other thing I recommend here is Maximize .PSD and .PSB and for those of you who are not familiar with .PSB, that's the large document file format that now Photoshop supports. When you want to go up to over 35,000 pixels, when you print in very large dimensions, wide format printing devices for instance. My suggestion is to always save this. It's a minimal increase in the file size and guarantees more forward and backward compatibility as you move into the future with new versions of Photoshop.
So that's how I set up this particular dialog box and then finally here the main preference to pay attention to is Performance and there are a couple of things you want to pay attention to here. One, if you are working on a newer computer, over here you will see a GPU Setting. Make sure that Enable OpenGL Drawing, all those zooming flick pan things that we have in Photoshop CS4 are enabled by this little checkbox right here. This is not available in some of the older versions of Macs and PCs. But it is just checkable, go ahead and turn it on.
The other thing I want to pay attention to here is how much RAM you're going to allow to Photoshop. My first recommendation is you want at least 2 gigabytes of RAM and four, if you can afford it, and then the default here is to let Photoshop use 70% of that. I think that's a good choice. Typically don't go above that because your operating system needs plenty of RAM to work with. So go about 70%. I like that. But do pay attention to this down here. If you've got two different hard drives that you can access, take your boot drive and put it second, and you move these by clicking here and then, there is the Macintosh Boot Drive and I'm going to move the Data Drive up here, make it first.
So that's going to be the first drive that Photoshop will use for swapping data back and forth through Virtual Memory, and that way your operating system is going to use the Boot Drive, in Photoshop we'll use this other drive, so they won't run into each other and conflict. All right, so there we go, there is setting of File Handling and Performance, and those are two important parts of the preferences to take a look at. Cursors, let me just zip through here a couple of these and show you what I do. I'd like to use a full brush size so I can see both the 100% as well as the outside of the brush and I'd like to see a crosshair and that crosshair shows you exactly where the middle of the brush is, which is nice when you are using large brushes.
Transparency & Gamut, leave that the way it is. Same thing with Units & Rulers. I like the defaults. Grids, Guides and Slices really don't have much of an impact on us. Keep them the way they are, set up with nice colors. Plug-ins, just the way they were as a default. The only thing you might want to do here if you are setting type in your images, set your Font Preview Size, and this is of course is age-based. This is if you are under 16, 16-21, 21-35, 35-50, and if you are ancient, we'll go Huge. Okay, so set this up however you like to view your menus and particularly your type in your menus.
Do you want to use Smart Quotes? Yes or no. It's just a preference for you. I typically turn mine off and I use my keyboard shortcut, use my open and closed double and single curly quotes, so I can have access to my inch and feet marks from my keyboard. All right, so there is the preferences for setting up Photoshop and also for accessing one of the new features in CS4, the application frame.
- Fundamentals of digital color: Understanding bit depth, channels, resolution, grey scale and color
- Exploring the difference between color correction and image adjustment
- Choosing and using the best tools for color correction
- Exploring RGB vs. CMYK corrections
- Evaluating the histogram’s display of color
- Using Adjustment layers to affect editable corrections
- Saving time using keyboard shortcuts
- Preparing color images for output on various devices