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Getting Information About Your Image

The Info palette displays measurement and color information as you move a tool over an image in the image window. In combination with the Eyedropper tool, you can use it to view the RGB (red/green/blue), Grayscale, and HSB (hue/saturation/brightness) values of your image. The Info palette is a very handy tool if you want to sample and then enter specific color values in the Color Picker (covered in detail in Chapter 3, "Changing and Adjusting Colors"). When an area is selected, this palette shows the position, angle of rotation, and scale, allowing you to control the precise placement and movement of selections.

The status bar displays file and image information, and in addition, the Windows version provides instructions on how to use any selected tool.

To use the Info palette:

  1. To show the Info palette, click the Info palette tab or choose Window > Info (Figure 2.26).

    Figure 2.26Figure 2.26 To view the Info palette, choose View > Show Info (as shown here) or click the Info palette tab.

    The Info Palette opens in the palette well (Figure 2.27).

    Figure 2.27Figure 2.27 The Info palette opens from its position in the palette well.

  2. To work in an image and view its information simultaneously, move the Info palette out of the palette well.

  3. Select the desired tool and then move the pointer over the image. Depending on the tool you are using, the following types of information appear:

    • The numeric values for the color beneath the pointer. You can view any two sets of color modes at the same time (Figure 2.28). Information for different color modes can be displayed at anytime by clicking either of the eyedropper cursor buttons in the Info palette (Figure 2.29).

      Figure 2.28Figure 2.28 Any two sets of color information (RGB, HSB, Web Color, or Grayscale) can be viewed at one time.

      Figure 2.29Figure 2.29 Color mode displays can be changed at any time from pop-up lists in the info palette.

    • The x and y coordinates of the pointer, and the starting x and y coordinates of a selection or layer, along with the change in distance as you move the pointer over your image (Figure 2.30).

      Figure 2.30Figure 2.30 The x and y coordinates of the pointer are shown in the Info palette.

    • The width and height of a selection or shape and the values relating to transformations, such as the percentage of scale, angle of rotation, and skew (which distorts a selection along the horizontal or vertical axis) (Figure 2.31).

      Figure 2.31Figure 2.31 Any change in the scale or transformation of a selection or layer is visible in the Info palette.

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      It can be quicker to change units of measure using the Info palette rather than by using the Preferences menu. Simply click the XY cursor icon (it looks like a plus sign) at the lower left of the palette to pick from a list of measurement options.

To use the status bar:

  1. On the status bar, click the triangle to open the drop-down menu (Figure 2.32).

    Figure 2.32Figure 2.32 Here's the Status bar as it appears in the Macintosh version of Photoshop Elements. When you select an information option, the status bar (at the left of the selection) automatically changes to show the new information.

  2. From the drop-down menu, choose an option.

You can view a variety of information options. Here are some of the most useful ones: Document Sizes displays information relating to the file's size. The first number represents the approximate size of the file if flattened (all layers combined into one) and saved. The second number represents the current file size, with layers. Document Profile displays the color mode of the image.

Document Dimensions displays the width and height of the image. Scratch Sizes displays the amount of memory needed to process the image. The first number represents the memory currently used to display all open images. The second number represents the total, available RAM. If you think you're running into memory problems and need to add RAM, viewing the information here will help you evaluate the problem. (See Appendix B for more information on memory and scratch disks.)

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Click the middle (blank) area of the status bar to quickly view a pop-up menu displaying the image dimensions, color mode, and resolution of your image.

The Windows version of the status bar provides instructions on how to use any active tool (Figure 2.33).

Figure 2.33Figure 2.33 The Windows version of the status bar also includes helpful instructions on any selected tool.

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