This chapter covers what you need to know about the group of ACA exam objectives about understanding Photoshop. And in this movie, Mike gives you a tour of the Photoshop user interface, including the menus, preferences, panels, workspaces, the toolbox, the image window, title bar, and the Options bar.
- [Instructor] Now, it's time to tackle the group of objectives about understanding Photoshop, and the best place to begin is with the user interface, since the ACA exam features many questions where you have to demonstrate your ability to use Photoshop's features and controls. So, let's do a quick tour, starting at the top of the screen with the menus. Here on the Mac, the Photoshop menu is where you can access preferences. On Windows, preferences can be accessed through the edit menu. The file menu is where you'll find commands for opening and closing documents, importing and exporting, as well as printing.
Edit is where you'll find common commands like cut, copy, and paste, undo, fill and stroke, transform, as well as the color management commands down near the bottom. The image menu is where you can go to change the color mode of an image, apply adjustments, change the image size or the canvas size. The layer menu is naturally where you'll find all the commands for working with layers. Likewise, type menu contains commands for working with text, and select has the commands for working with selections.
Then, we have the filter commands, 3D commands, and a view menu where you'll find commands for proofing, zooming, grids, rulers, guides and smart guides, and snapping. The window menu is where you can choose an arrangement for viewing open documents, you can open and close panels by choosing them from the list, and choose a workspace, which is a particular arrangement of panels suited to a particular task, like 3D, painting, photography, and so on.
On the left side of the window, by default, is the toolbox, and you should familiarize yourself with the functions of each of the tools here. Notice, as I select different tools, the display of controls in the options bar above the image changes, so you can always access the options for a tool up here. Click the tiny double arrows in the toolbox to toggle between one and two columns of tools. Below the tools, you have the foreground and background color, and clicking either will bring up a color picker where you can select a different color, and at the bottom of the toolbox, you can access various screen modes, including full screen.
At the top of the image window, you can see the file name, zoom percentage, the current layer, and the color space of the image. If I click on the background layer in the layers panel and press Command or Control + I to invert the colors of the image, you can see an asterisk appear to indicate there's an unsaved change right there. If I undo, I'll undo, and the asterisk disappears. I can zoom in or out with the controls in the view menu, or use the common keyboard shortcuts, Command or Control + Plus, or Command or Control + Minus, to zoom in or out.
I can right click outside the canvas area to choose a different color to be displayed around the image, like light gray, or switch back to the default. Below the image, I see the current magnification level, which I can change to zoom in or out. I'll click here and change it to 50%, and press return or enter, and there's also an info display down here with a pop up menu where I can choose from several options, like document size, color profile, document dimensions, and so on.
On the right side of the window are my panels, and again, these are all accessible via the window menu. I'll choose the default Essentials Workspace, and this gives me access to panels like color and swatches, libraries and adjustments, layers, channels, and paths, as well as the history panel, properties panel, and device preview. For the ACA, you should be able to open and close any panel, and be familiar with the panel controls, including the panel menus, which appear at the top right, and the buttons at the bottom of the panels for creating new items and deleting items.
So, for example, here's the layers panel menu, and, at the bottom, I can create a new layer or delete it. A basic familiarity with the Photoshop interface is the foundation on which you'll build your other skills, so take time to explore the image window, the tools and their options in the options bar, the menus, and the panels.
- Benefits of ACA certification
- Creating a study plan
- Planning a project
- Identifying design elements such as typography
- Using layers and masks
- Managing color
- Transforming images
- Drawing and painting
- Preparing images for print, web, and video
- Taking the test