Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video The dark vs. the light interface, part of Photoshop CC 2013 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
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In this movie, I will introduce you to Photoshop's dark interface and I'll show you how to adjust its brightness to achieve the optimal user experience. Now, by default, you're going to see these bright letters and these bright icons reversed out against a dark background. If you'd like to switch things around so that you have dark text and icons against a brighter background, then here on a PC, you go up to the Edit menu, drop all the way down to the Preferences command and then choose Interface from the sub-menu.
On a Mac, go to the Photoshop menu, choose Preferences from the top of the menu and then choose Interface. Either way, you'll bring up the Interface panel of the Preferences dialogue box. And notice this color theme option right up here at the top. If I select this third color swatch over and then click OK, I achieve the dark text and icons set against a bright background. You also have a keyboard shortcut of Shift+F2 to brighten the interface or Shift+F1 to make the interface darker.
And notice that I can go darker still than the default setting to achieve this effect here. But I'm going to press Shift+F2 to restore the default dark interface. You also have the option of changing the darkness of this empty pasteboard that surrounds the image. If you can't see the pasteboard, then press Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Minus on the Mac in order to zoom out. Then, right-click in the pasteboard and choose a different shade of grey, such as light grey, in order to achieve this effect right here.
You can also customize the color of that pasteboard by right-clicking and choosing Select Custom Color. Chances are good that you'll see a shade of blue, but problem is, if you click OK, you're going to end up with a vividly colored background that competes with the photographic image itself, which is very likely not what you want. In which case, right-click again, choose Select Custom Color, and then dial in the shade of gray that you want using these H, S and B values.
They stand for hue, saturation and brightness, and we'll be learning all about them in a future chapter of this course. But for now, just go ahead and set the hue value to 0, which is a shade of red. To take it down to gray, press the Tab key to advance to the saturation value and reduce it to 0%. And then set the brightness value to anything you want. By default, the brightness of that pasteboard is 16% and notice that gives us quite a dark gray, as indicated by this new swatch right here.
If you want to match the darkness of the surrounding interface, then you want to replace that brightness value with 33% and then go ahead and click OK. And notice now we have an exact match between the pasteboard and the interface that surrounds it. Now, at this point, you know everything you need to know, but there is one more way to work using this hidden Paint Bucket tool. And so, what you do is you bring up the Color panel for starters, and you can get to that panel, which is located by default in the upper right corner of the screen, by going to the Window menu and choosing the Color command.
Don't choose a command, however, if it has a check mark in front of it because that'll hide that panel. You only need the command if you can't find the panel in the first place. Then, notice that you'll see this big color field by default and you can go ahead and drag this little circle inside the field. If you drag it over to the right, you're going to end up with a saturated color, as indicated by this foreground color swatch in the upper left corner of that Color panel. So, what you want to do in order to maintain a shade of gray is drag this guy all the way over to the far left side of the field, like so.
Then, to apply that color to the pasteboard, you drop down to the Gradient tool. So, this is something of a trick inside the software. Click and hold on the Gradient tool and then choose the Paint Bucket tool from the fly-out menu. Next, press the Shift key and click inside of that pasteboard to change its color. Now, let's say you want exact control over that shade of gray. Then you would return to the Color panel and click on this icon in the upper right corner of the panel, which brings up this fly-out menu here.
Then choose HSB sliders, which we'll be employing quite a bit throughout this course, and that'll bring up those hue, saturation, and brightness controls. Make sure both hue and saturation are set to 0 degrees and 0% respectively. And then I'm going to go ahead and return the brightness value to its default setting of 16 degrees and press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to accept that change. And then I'll Shift-click inside the Pasteboard once again in order to change its color.
Now, one last note. It's very possible when you launch Photoshop, especially here on the PC, that you'll see this enormous color field here inside the Color panel. Whether you're seeing a rainbow of colors or that red color field that we saw in the first place doesn't really so much. The problem is that it's so darn huge. If you run into this problem, then what you need to do is drop down to the bottom of the screen. Notice you'll see the Layers tab just sitting there by itself.
Go ahead and double-click on that Layers tab and you'll bring back the Layers panel and you'll shorten the height of the Color panel. If you want to make it shorter still, you can just drag this horizontal bar between the Color panel and the panel below. And that, friends, is everything you need to know about adjusting the brightness of the interface here inside Photoshop.
- What is color correction?
- Comparing RGB and CMYK color modes
- Using grayscales and neutrals for color correction
- Understanding pixels and bit depth
- Evaluating and correcting images with histograms
- Using nondestructive editing tools
- Removing a color cast
- Performing curve corrections in Camera Raw
- Affecting creative adjustments
- Retouching an image
- Sharpening images
- Preparing for print and web use