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Real World Photoshop CS5 for Photographers: Presenting Your Photos

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This excerpt from Real World Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers shows you how to make your image library more presentable than it is in the Content or Preview panel.

Whether you're showing images to a client or reviewing what you've shot, Bridge provides several ways to make your image library more presentable than it is in the Content or Preview panel. Some viewing modes were covered in detail in "Evaluating and Comparing Images" earlier in this chapter.

Slideshow. Choose View > Slideshow to present selected images as a slideshow; you can also enter the slideshow by pressing Command-L (Mac) or Ctrl-L (Windows). While you're in the slideshow, you can rate, rotate, and zoom the image while enjoying the benefits of a large image preview. Press H (with no modifier) to display all the keyboard shortcuts that apply in the slideshow (see Figure 5-99).

Figure 5-99

Figure 5-99 A full-screen slideshow with the Slideshow Commands help screen (press H while in the slideshow) and the Slideshow Options dialog (press L in the slideshow)

Choose View > Slideshow Options to adjust how the slideshow displays, such as how the image fits on the screen and whether to display its caption. It's easier to use the Slideshow Options dialog (see Figure 5-93) while the slideshow is running (in the slideshow, press L) because you will see the effects of your changes interactively.

Full Screen Preview. If you want full-screen display but don't need the features of a self-running slideshow (such as transitions), choose View > Full Screen Preview. Full Screen Preview can be better if you need to switch frequently between it and the Bridge window, because it opens and closes faster than the Slideshow—just press the spacebar.

Review Mode. To see multiple images in a full-screen display, select them and choose View > Review Mode (see "Evaluating and Comparing Images" earlier in this chapter).

Preview Panel. If you want to see images larger than you can in the Content panel while being able to continue to work in other panels, you might prefer the Preview panel (see "Evaluating and Comparing Images" earlier in this chapter) instead of a full-screen view. The Preview panel is especially useful when placed in a second synchronized window on another monitor. To do this, choose Window > New Synchronized Window, move the new window to another monitor, and fill it with just the Preview panel. As you select images in the Content panel in the first Bridge window, they'll fill the Preview panel in the second window.

PDF Contact Sheets. In Bridge CS5 and Photoshop CS5 you generate contact sheets from the Output panel in Bridge. To display the Output panel, click Output in the workspace strip at the top of a Bridge window. It's important to note that changes don't appear in real time; you must click Refresh Preview to update the Output Preview panel (or to make the Output Preview panel appear if it isn't already there), and no file is generated until you click Save at the bottom of the Output panel.

Start by clicking PDF and choosing a template on which to base your design (see Figure 5-100), then work your way down the panes in the Output panel. The options are easier to understand if you've created documents using Adobe Acrobat, because most of them map directly to standard PDF options. I go over the options that need the most explanation below.

  • Document pane. Choosing a Page Preset sets the Size, Width, Height, and orientation of the page for your contact sheet. Quality controls the compression level of the images you include in the PDF. Setting the Open password will cause a PDF reader to ask for a password when the PDF document is opened, while setting the Permissions Password affects whether the PDF reader lets the recipient edit the document.
  • Layout. Specify the rows and columns of the contact sheet itself. Rotate for Best Fit means that, for example, if your contact sheet cells are tall but an image is wide, the wide image will be rotated 90 degrees to make the best use of the cell space.
  • Overlays. Add filenames, filename extensions, and page numbers.
  • Playback. Control automatic playback in a PDF reader, based on the playback options you'd find in Acrobat; for example, for a PDF slideshow.
  • Watermark. Add a watermark at the center of the page or over each image. You can enter text or use a watermark image you've already got.
Figure 5-100

Figure 5-100 The Output panel for PDF in the right pane, and the Output Preview panel simulating output in the middle pane

Web Galleries. Click Web Gallery and choose a template on which to base your design (see Figure 5-101). Most of the templates are based on Adobe Flash; if you prefer HTML, choose the HTML Gallery template. Finally, work your way down the panes in the Output panel to set the options below:

  • Site Info. Enter the information you'd like to display on the Web pages.
  • Color Palette. Change colors if you want them to vary from the template.
  • Appearance. Specify presentation options for the Web gallery.
  • Create Gallery. Set options for the gallery files you save. These options don't affect the visible content of the Web gallery pages in your browser; they set the names of the paths, folders, and files you export.

    To keep the Web gallery on your machine, first click Browse to set the folder location on disk, then click Save at the bottom of the panel.

    To send the Web gallery to your Web site using FTP, fill out the server options and then click Upload. The Gallery Name is actually the name of the folder to be created on the FTP server, so enter a server-friendly name (for example, no spaces or punctuation). In the Folder field, enter the path to the gallery on the server—but be sure to leave out the FTP server domain name and the gallery name, because they have their own fields. Right below the Upload button is a pop-up menu and two buttons; these control FTP presets. To add the current settings to the preset pop-up menu, click the Save Preset Name button. To delete the preset currently selected in the menu, click the trash can icon.

Figure 5-101

Figure 5-101 The Output panel for Web in the right pane, and the Output Preview panel simulating the Web site in the middle pane

Output Panel Preferences. If you use the Output panel, you may want to customize its settings. In the Bridge Preferences dialog, click Output and adjust the following options as needed:

  • Use Solo Mode for Output Panel Behavior. By default this option is off, which means you can freely open or close any of the panes in the Output panel. If you turn this option on, opening a pane closes the pane that was previously open so that you see only one pane at a time. The advantage of this mode is that the other pane names remain visible more often, so you don't have to scroll as much.
  • Convert Multi-Byte Filenames to Full ASCII. If you're uploading the output to a server that doesn't deal well with multibyte filenames (for example, one using accents), this option lets you work with that server.
  • Preserve Embedded Color Profile. By default this option is off, which means the Output panel converts all images to sRGB. For most Web galleries and common PDF presentations, this is fine. But if your originals have embedded profiles other than sRGB profiles and you don't want the Output panel to convert them to sRGB, turn this option on.

Saving Template Styles. You can save Output panel settings for later use by clicking the Save Style button next to the Style pop-up menu. Each style is available only when its parent template is selected; for example, if you saved a style based on the Left Filmstrip Web Gallery template you'll have to choose Left Filmstrip before you see your style listed.

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