Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Navigator panel, part of Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
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You often want precise control over the display of your image, which is tough, because when you switch to a Full Screen Mode, you lose the image window along with this custom zoom value down here in the lower left-hand corner. Notice the first mode goes ahead and hides the value, and of course, the second mode ends up hiding everything, and we reveal this large area of pasteboard along the left and right-hand sides of the image. That's where the Navigator panel comes in. I'll start by introducing you to the panel and then I'll show you how to use it in the Full Screen Mode.
So I'm going to press the F key in order to switch back to the Standard Screen Mode. And then I'll go up to the Window menu and choose the Navigator command to bring up the Navigator panel. As you may recall, I've docked the panel in this column of icons over to the right of the image, and it's important that you do so as well if you want to use the panel on the Full Screen Mode. Now as you can see the, Navigator features a very small preview of the image, but you can make it larger just by dragging a corner of the panel in order to expand it.
This red rectangle represents your view into the image. So if I press Ctrl++ or Command++ on the Mac, the rectangle grows progressively smaller because after all, I can see less of the image at a time. You can change which part of the image you're viewing by dragging the rectangle, and as you can see, that goes ahead and pans the image on the fly. Another option is to press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, which gets you the Zoom tool and then you drag inside the image in order to define the area of your zoom.
Down here at the bottom of the panel, you have a zoom slider which allows you to zoom in and out incrementally. You can also click on the big mountain to zoom in or the little mountain to zoom out. Problem is, neither the little mountain icons nor that slider give you all that much control. The control comes in the zoom value that appears in the lower-left corner of the panel just as it does on the lower left corner of the image window. And it works just like that value as well. So if I press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom all the way out, and then I go ahead and hide the Navigator panel.
I'll press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen Mode. And then if I press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac, I have more screen real estate to work with. So I zoom a little farther in, however, I still have all this pasteboard. If I want to zoom into that exact ratio that's going to hide the pasteboard but show me as much as possible of the image. When I hover against the right-hand side of the screen to bring up those right-hand panels, I click on the Navigator icon to bring up the Navigator panel, and then I use it just as I do that value in the lower-left corner of the image window.
Now you have to take care, by the way, to keep your cursor inside the panel or everything is going to disappear like so. All right, I'll go ahead and bring things back up and I'll select that value. And let's say I dial in a value like 40% and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. I can see that's too far away. So I have a couple of options available to me. One is to highlight the value and then press the Down arrow key a few times and press Shift+Enter or Shift+Return on the Mac in order to zoom out and keep the value active.
I can also press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and then go ahead and scrub the value in order to zoom to that exact percentage that's going to work. And for me, it happens to be 32%. Once you find a value that works for you then go ahead and move your cursor away from the panels and all you'll see on your screen is image, and that's how you work with the simple but remarkably powerful Navigator panel.
- Opening an image from Photoshop, Bridge, or Camera Raw
- Navigating, zooming, panning, and rotating the canvas
- Adding, deleting, and merging layers
- Saving your progress and understanding file formats
- Cropping and straightening
- Adjusting brightness and contrast
- Identifying and correcting a color cast
- Making and editing selections
- Enhancing portraits by retouching skin, teeth, and eyes