Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Saving your workspace, part of Photoshop CS2 Actions and Automation.
- [Instructor] Now the final bit of customization I want to show you is the workspace. Inside of Photoshop CS2, a workspace saves three things. It saves the physical manifestation of the palettes, and the toolbox, and the options bar, and how the palettes are clustered, all that jazz, on screen. So what your palettes look like, that's number one. It can also save your keyboard shortcuts. And finally, it can save your menu configuration. And that's all up to you. You can turn those on and off, and decide exactly what a workspace saves. But it's more important than anything else, even more important than how to use a workspace, is that you know that workspaces exist because that alone will really just completely liberate you when you're working inside of Photoshop.
Let me show you why. Let's say you do the typical thing you do when you're working inside of Photoshop. You decide that you want to be able to see the channels and the layers at the same time, and the typical thing is not so much that you want to see layers and channels at the same time, but that you want to change your palettes around on screen as you're working. You want to be able to see a wider layers palette so you can actually see the word Saturation there. You want to see a longer history palette so that you can see every, single step that you do, every, single one of these history states as you're working along inside the program.
You want to perhaps see a larger histogram so that you can see all 256 levels at a time. Maybe you want to see the all channels view so that you can see everything. And that's when it dawns on you that you don't really have enough room on screen in order to see these palettes without having them overlap, so you start moving the palettes apart from each other, and that's about the time it dawns on you, you're really not going to get much work done because you can't really see the image very well. Alright, so let's say you get at this sort of typical view. After you've been working in the program for maybe half an hour, an hour, you've made a big mess of the screen, and you want to get things back to where they belong.
And by the way, one additional thing that I want to show you. You can move the options bar. Notice this little dot dot dot pattern right there? If you drag it, you can actually create a floating options bar, and if you really like working differently, you can take the options bar and lock it to the bottom of the screen, so dock it down here instead of at the top. It's really up to you. You could even move the toolbox around. You get the idea. You can hide palettes, just get rid of them. About this time, if you're trying to get things tidy, I think the natural inclination because we were taught to put things away, right? Put your toys away.
The natural inclination is to just go ahead and tidy things up manually. I'll switch this back to the compact view, and put it back up there. Don't do that. Just leave it. Leave it a complete mess, and let Photoshop clean things up for you because when you first installed Photoshop, Photoshop installed the factory default workspace. I'm going to go up to the Window menu, Workspace command right there, and notice right there is the Default Workspace. It will get you back to the absolutely pure as driven snow Photoshop, minus the preference settings.
This does not control preference settings, by the way, and tools settings. It just controls palette configuration, keyboard shortcuts, and menus, but it will restore all three of those items to their factory defaults, which is why you should wait a second, pause before you choose that command. Do you really want to not only restore your palette locations, but also your keyboard shortcuts and your menus? So in other words, Default Workspace is all three of these reset commands blended together. In my case, I don't want to wipe out my keyboard shortcuts or my menus. I like my keyboard shortcuts set to Deke Key's PC, and I like my menus, in this case because I'm on the PC, set to lean and mean PC.
I just want to restore the palette locations. Choose this command and they all go back to where they were supposed to be, all go back right to where they belong. It doesn't change the window. Notice this, the image window. If you're working on a very small image window or a very large image window, that is left in place. So the workspace does not track the size of the image window, just all the palettes around it, including the toolbox and the options bar. At this point, of course, you'd like to create your own custom workspace, I imagine. I hope you would because it's a really great thing to be able to do.
For example, look at this structure right here, the palettes. I like the fact that they're all tidy, they're out of the way, they're all on the right-hand side of the screen. That's great. I really think that's a smart idea. However, I don't really like which palettes are showing up by default. The navigator palette, for example, I'll drag its tab. Notice I'm dragging the tab out, so I separate it from the other palettes in the cluster. I didn't drag the title bar. The navigator palette, at this size, I don't really care for it. When I have a second monitor, when I'm working on a second monitor, this is a palette, I like to keep it really big, and then I can zoom into the image.
Notice here, in the background, I've just got this little bit of cheek showing, but I wouldn't know where I was, and I'd have to sit there and scroll around to try to find... Like say I want to go up to the eye, and then it dawns on me, no, I want to go to the other eye, well if I have the navigator palette open really big like this on a second screen, I can just click to go to that eye in order to see it on screen here in the larger image window, so that's really cool. Thing is, it's not so cool when it's little. I don't like the navigator palette when it's little. Up to you if you agree with me, but I'm going to go ahead and close this palette. And I'm going to press Control + Alt + Zero, Command + Option + Zero on a Mac, to restore my 100% view, and then let's say I like having info with histogram, that's okay, but I like the color palette to up be there with it, and I like to get rid of the swatches palette, close it, drag the styles palette up to this grouping here, move this palette right to this location, drag up history, give myself some more room to work in the history palette.
Give myself some more room in the layers palette as well. And notice this, sometimes you'll see the palettes switch back and forth a little. Notice if I click on channels, well, sometimes it'll switch. Let me see if I can get this configured properly. Sometimes it'll switch back and forth like that. Did you see that little switch right there? And I'll switch the actions and history palette, and I'll switch these guys too so they're in exactly the right locations. Alright, now let's say this is the way I like to see my palettes arranged. I can go ahead and save this workspace. It'll also save which palettes are up here in the dock. So if you don't want a palette in the dock, just grab it, drag it out, close it, and so on.
I just want layer, comps, and styles, let's say. Then I'll go up to the Window menu. I'll choose Workspace, and I'll choose Save Workspace. And I'll name it whatever I want to call it. (typing) So I'm going to call this Preferred workspace, spelled properly. It's going to say my palette locations, keyboard shortcuts, and menus by default. If all three of these checkboxes are on, it's going to go ahead and save all three of those properties. If you don't want to save those properties, turn them off. For example, let's say I want to be able to switch to these palette locations, but I don't want to have to switch this keyboard shortcuts and the menus.
I don't want to have to switch those as well. I just go ahead and save just the palette locations, and then click Save. Another thing I want to note, I'm not saving to a location. Notice, unlike with keyboard shortcuts and menus, I didn't bring up a Save dialog box. I can't specify the location for my workspace. That's because the workspace is not a transferable file. I can't back it up? Too bad, huh? I can't move it over to the Mac from the PC, or over to a different machine. It's only going to be on this machine, and it's embedded inside one of the many preference files that Photoshop saves.
That's just the way it is. I'm going to click the Save button in order to save that workspace. Now if I make a big mess of things, maybe a little messier here, and go to my all channels view, my big all channels view, and drag out the layers palette, and make it big, and so on, now if I want to restore my workspace, all I have to do is go to Window menu, choose Workspace, and choose down here in the bottom area, I'm going to see my custom workspaces. Preferred workspace, by the way, is the one I just saved. That does not include keyboard shortcuts or menus.
I'll go ahead and switch back to my Preferred workspace, which did not include the keyboard shortcuts or the menus, and it went ahead and switched all my palettes back to where they were before. It went ahead and restored my Preferred workspace, which is really an awesome thing. Had I also saved keyboard shortcuts and menus, which I did in another workspace that I saved prior, this one here, dekeSpace, this one also not only includes the palette locations, but also includes keyboard shortcuts and menus, and if I choose it, Photoshop is going to actually warn me about this.
It's going to tell me, you're going to restore your keyboard shortcuts and/or your menu as well. Is that really something you want to do? And it's just an fyi, you have the option of saying no. I'm going to say don't show again, and you can do that with me if you like. Go ahead and say don't show again so that this warning doesn't come up every time, and then I'll just click yes, and it's only a slightly different configuration than I showed you a moment ago. Now, I want to show you one more thing here. I am going to go ahead and make my screen a little smaller. Notice my application window here on the PC, this is a special PC thing, my application window is maximized, so it's taking up the entire screen, I'm going to restore it to a smaller screen, and I can actually make the application window smaller here so it takes up less room, and I'll go and zoom out for my image a little bit so that it's not taking up as much room either, and watch something.
This is something that's specific to the Default Workspace. I'll just go ahead and reset the palette locations. Notice that the palette locations are always reset with the Default Workspace with respect to how big the application window is. And go ahead and compare that to your own workspace, something like dekeSpace here, which always hardwires those palettes into place. Your own, custom workspaces, in other words, are not sensitive to the application window on the PC, whereas Photoshop's, which has a little bit of an unfair advantage over yours, Photoshop's default palette locations are actually smart enough to accommodate the application window size.
So I'll go ahead and maximize it again, choose that exact same function, and notice that the palettes get back exactly into place. So there you have it. That's how you space a workspace at. Don't be putting things away. Remember that. Next time you start putting something away, use one hand to slap the other hand. Instead, go up to the Window menu, either choose your saved workspace if you're really smart about it, and planned in advance, or choose Reset Palette Locations to put those palettes where they belong.