Join Taz Tally for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting color workflow preferences, part of Photoshop CS4: Color Correction.
Welcome back to Color Correction. In this chapter, we are going to talk about setting up Preferences in Photoshop and Photoshop's tools and menus and panels, and get them working real slick, so you can work quickly and accurately inside of Photoshop. To get started we are going to go to Bridge and we are going to open up our images through Bridge. We've got a whole section to talk about Bridge later on in more detail, but suffice it to say that Bridge is a digital asset management application as part of the Creative Suite that we use for accessing and managing our images. So let's just double-click on this image and it opens up inside of Photoshop as you see here.
And one of the first things we are going to start setting up Photoshop is look at our Preferences. If you are working on a Macintosh, you access your Preferences by going underneath the application menu here, Photoshop, and choosing Preferences and then General. If you are working on Windows, you generally go to Edit menu and go to Preferences and then General. And you'll notice in either case that the keyboard shortcut is the same. It's Command+K on the Mac or Ctrl+K on Windows. This is a good preference to remember because Command or Ctrl+K works throughout the Creative Suite on both Mac and Windows for accessing Preferences.
All right, so let's choose that and bring up our first set of preferences here underneath General. First thing we are going to look at is Image Interpolation and if you haven't look to this in couple of versions of Photoshop you'll notice that there are couple of new ones up here. Bicubic Smoother and Bicubic Sharper, if you're doing a lot of enlargement or a lot of reduction. But for general settings purposes go ahead and just use it on general Bicubic. But for working with high-quality color images you want to ignore the first two. All right, so we'll start with that and typically that's the default preference anyway, but just give it a check to make sure.
All right, what you see here on the left -hand side is there are a couple of key preferences to take a look at. The Auto-Update Documents should be turned on by default, but just make sure that it is. Two of the preferences, you want to make sure you turn off or the Export Clipboard and the Use Shift Key for Tool Switch. The reason why you want to turn off the Export for Clipboard is if you are working in Photoshop and you want to move to another application, that can be a very slow process as you have been copying and pasting objects inside of Photoshop like in the Layers panel from one layer to another one.
When you switch to another application, all that data that you've been copying and pasting has to be moved to the next application and typically we don't copy out of Photoshop to other applications, but we may copy into Photoshop. So you're pretty safe turning that off unless you do need to copy out. Now this Use Shift Key for Tool Switch, really important one to turn off. Let me show you why. This is going to help speed you up. Let's bring up our Tool panel that we have here in Photoshop and by clicking off that particular preference, I can access any tool here with just an alpha key.
For instance, if I want to go to the Lasso tool, L, and notice the keyboard shortcut for that when you click and hold is right there in the menu. If I want to go to another tool such as the Crop tool, which you see right there, just hit C for Crop tool, or M for Marquee and so forth. By not having to hold down that Shift key you can just use the single alpha key keyboard shortcut to access your tools. Resize Image During Paste/Place, yes, leave that turned on. That's a default. Over on the right-hand side we have some new things in CS4. Animated Zoom, you want to turn that on, and also Zoom Resizes Window.
Watch what happens when that is not turned on. If I go Command+Minus, Minus, see how the window goes down but the frame doesn't, whereas if we turn that on, Zoom Resizes Window, and then we go Command+Minus, Minus, or Plus, Plus, notice how the frame goes along with the window. It's a nice one to have on. Zoom with Scroll Wheel. Well, if you want to use the scroll wheel for zoom, turn that on. Same thing for Zooming with Click Pointed to Center, you can click on an image and then zoom in or zoom out on what you click on. Those are both new in CS4. I don't use them and I'll show you why a little bit later. I use something that I think is much faster.
But if you like that feature you can go ahead and turn it on. Enable Flick Panning, that's pretty slick. Let's see what that does. Let's take this up and then just hold down the Spacebar to zoom around and notice I just move around with my hand, but I can also just kind of flick it with my wrist and notice the image keeps moving when I do that. That's the Flick Pan, which is kind of nice. So you can turn that on and leave that on. So the key things here, turn off the Export Clipboard, turn off the Shift key, make sure that you turned on the Zoom Resizes Window. And those all are going to help you work faster and easier. Now let's go to the second preference here which is the Interface.
Lots of new stuff in CS4. First in terms of your general screen modes, and there are three basic screen modes. This is Standard one, which is what we are in now, this is a Full Screen with Menus, and then a Full Screen. And those we have colors set here. Gray, there is a custom color which I would come to in just a second and then black. Let's click OK and we can access these here underneath the frame inside of CS4. Notice when you look at this menu, this is the Standard Screen Mode. The Full Screen Mode with the Menu Bar and then just the Full Screen Mode. Okay, the Screen Mode without anything is just the image and then all the panels and tools show up.
And then you can go to the Full Screen, which everything still shows up, but there is a background, or if you just want to go to Full Screen Mode where you just see the image. And by the way you can access all those very quickly and easily by just toggling on the F key as I'm doing here. But what you want to pay attention to is what that interface looks like. In here, we have gray for the first one, we have black and here we have a custom gray, which we access by choosing Select Custom Color, and then you can choose any color in this Color panel that you see here. My suggestion is keep it neutral.
You don't want to have any colors on your background because the human eye perception of color is controlled or affected by surrounding colors. So adjust the grayscale there if you want to make it lighter or darker, that's fine, and then click OK, and then you can turn this off, and then you'll have exactly the neutral background that you like for looking at your images. So that's nice to be able to control that quickly and easily through new Interface section. Couple of other important ones here. Show Channels in Color, leave that turned off because that's a lie. There is no such thing as working actually in color in Photoshop as we'll see. Show Tool Tips.
It's nice when you first get started in Photoshop where you are kind of looking around, but otherwise I'd like to turn that off. Down here Open Documents as Tabs and Enable Floating Document Window Docking. That's part of the new Tabs features inside of Photoshop, which we'll come to in a little bit later section of this chapter. My suggestion is to turn those on. It can give yourself flexibility of using them or not. The other thing I recommend is Remember Panel Locations. At the end of this chapter, we are going to be talking about setting up your whole color correction workspace, and that's going to be a nice important part of that so your panels are always using the same place when you go to do color correction.
Okay, so there we go. There is kind of the first two sets of preferences there are key for working in Photoshop quickly and accurately and getting Photoshop to be consistent in the way you want it to look.
- 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