Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video The dark vs. the light interface, part of Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
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For those of you who have worked in Photoshop in the past, the most obvious change will be this dark interface with the text and icons set in white. Now, I happen to like the dark interface. I feel like it allows me to focus in on my image without being distracted by the interface. However, you don't have to accept it if you don't want it. So in this movie, I'll show you how to set the interface to another shade of gray. If you're working on the PC, you go to the Edit menu. On a Mac, you go to the Photoshop menu in the upper left-hand corner, and then you drop down to the Preferences command--this command isn't that far down the menu on the Mac, and then choose Interface from the submenu.
And that will bring up the Preferences dialog box which allows you to select from four different color schemes. So I could go ahead and select the next scheme lighter in order to mimic the brightness of the old interface and now I will click OK. Notice now the text and icons are set in black. You also have a keyboard shortcut by the way, to either brighten or darken the interface. If you press Shift+F2, you'll advance to the next brighter interface. If you press Shift+F1, you'll go back to a darker interface, and you can actually go two shades darker than this. This is the darkest interface there is, and again, the text and icons are reversed out in white.
All right, I'm going to press Shift+F2 in order to restore the default interface. You also have control over this pasteboard color. This area of gray outside of the image when you're zoomed out from it. So if you're not seeing it, just go ahead and press Ctrl+- or Command+- on the Mac to back out a little bit. To change that pasteboard, just right- click inside of it and then choose your preferred shade of gray. For example, I could go with light gray or I could right-click inside the image window and I could choose Select Custom Color. Now I like to work with the Hue, Saturation and Brightness values.
You definitely want Hue and Saturation set to 0%, unless you want to end up with a distracting, colorful pasteboard. Presuming that you want to stick with gray, however, you would just modify this brightness value, 20% is the default setting, which is pretty darn dark, so I might go ahead and take it up to 35%, for example, and then click OK. And I'd end up with a pasteboard that more or less matches the brightness of the interface itself. One other little trick that you may want to know about here, I'm going to my Color panel, which I can get to by going to the Window menu and choosing the Color command, but in my case, it's already up on screen, so I don't need to choose the command.
And I'm going to click on the Panel flyout menu icon in the upper right-hand corner, and I'm going to switch to HSB sliders, which gives me control over Hue, Saturation and Brightness. And we'll talk about how those work in more detail in future chapters. But for now I'm just going to change the Brightness value, let's say to 25%, just so we get a different effect. And now, I'm going to drop down to the Gradient tool, click and hold on it and choose the Paint Bucket tool. Then you press the Shift Key and click in the background in order to assign the foreground color to that pasteboard.
So again, it's there if you want to take advantage of it. Don't worry about it if not. And now, I'm going to reset things to their defaults by right-clicking inside that pasteboard and choosing dark gray. And that's how you modify the brightness of the otherwise dark interface, here in Photoshop CS6.
- 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