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Step-by-Step QuickPro Guide to Using Palettes in Photoshop CS3

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Before tackling advanced Photoshop topics, authors Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas take you through a few Photoshop fundamentals that you'll need to master before moving on to anything more complicated.
This chapter is from the book

In this Chapter

Using the palettes


Hiding and showing palettes


Changing screen modes


Tools on the Tools palette


Changing the image size


Choosing a file format


Choosing a bits/channel mode


Cropping an image


Rotating an image


Choosing colors


Using the Swatches palette


Using the Layers palette


Using fill and adjustment layers


Choosing a mode for the History palette


Making snapshots of History states


Working with nonlinear histories


Using presets


Streamlining your workflow


This chapter begins with a summary of fundamental Photoshop features. Topics include using the palettes A and screen modes; changing the image size, file format, and bits/channel mode; cropping and rotating images; choosing and saving colors; using the Layers and History palettes; and creating and managing presets.

Using the palettes

Most edits made in Photoshop require the use of one or more palettes. Photoshop CS3 has a clever system for storing and accessing palettes so they’re easily expandable and collapsible and don’t intrude on the document window when you’re not using them. As expected, with enhanced flexibility, you also get greater complexity.

By default, some of the most commonly used palettes are grouped into vertical docks (dark gray areas) on the far right side of your screen A—except for the Tools palette, which occupies its own dock on the left side. Each dock can hold as many or as few palettes or palette groups as you wish. We’ll show you how to reconfigure the docks to suit your working style.

Show or hide a palette: To show a palette, choose the palette name from the Window menu. The palette will display either in its default group and dock or in its last location. To bring a palette to the front of its group, click the tab (palette name). Some palettes can also be shown or hidden via a keyboard shortcut (look for them on the Window menu).

Show or hide a palette (that’s in icon form): Click the palette icon or name. If Auto-Collapse Icon Palettes is checked in Preferences > Interface and you open a palette from an icon, it will collapse back to the icon when you click away from it. With the preference off, the palette will stay expanded. To collapse it, click the collapse/expand button double.jpgon the palette bar, or the palette tab or icon.

Expand or collapse a palette (non-icon) or group vertically: Double-click the palette tab; or click the light gray bar (above the palette tabs); or click the palette or group minimize/maximize button.max_min.jpg

Use a palette menu: Click the palette_menu.jpgicon to open a menu for the frontmost palette in the group.

Close a palette or group: To close (but not collapse) a palette, click the close button x.jpgon its tab, as in x_on.jpg. To close a palette group, click the x.jpgon the gray bar. To close a group that’s an icon, expand the dock first by clicking the collapse/expand button, double.jpgthen click the x.jpg.

Collapse or expand a whole dock into icons with names: Click the collapse/expand button double.jpgor the dark gray bar at the top of the dock. B To further collapse the dock to just icons (no names), drag the vertical edge of the dock inward horizontally; C or to expand it, do the reverse.

Widen or narrow a dock and palettes (non-icon): Position the mouse over the vertical edge of the dock (left-right.jpgcursor), then drag sideways.

Lengthen or shorten a palette, group, or dock: Position the mouse over the dark gray line at the bottom of the palette or dock (up_down.jpg cursor), then drag upward or downward. Palettes and palette groups in the dock will scale accordingly.

Move a palette to a different slot, same group: Drag the palette tab (name) horizontally.

Move a palette to a different group: Drag the palette tab over the bar of the desired group, and release the mouse when the blue drop zone border appears. A

Move a palette group upward or downward in a dock: Drag the gray bar, and release the mouse when the blue drop zone line appears in the desired location. B

Create a new dock: Drag a palette tab or gray bar sideways over the vertical edge of the dock, C and release the mouse when the blue vertical drop zone bar appears.

Make a palette or group freestanding: Drag the palette tab, icon, or group bar out of the dock. To move a freestanding group, drag the group bar.

Reconfigure a dock (icon): Drag the group bar over the edge of a dock to create a new dock; drag it between groups to restack it; or drag it over another gray bar to add it to that group. The blue drop zone will indicate the new location for the palette or group.

  • When you open a palette from the Window menu, it appears either as a freestanding palette or in a dock, depending on its last location.
  • To reset the palettes to their default locations and show/hide states, choose Default Workspace from the Workspace menu on the Options bar. To reset just the palette locations, choose Window > Workspace > Reset Palette Locations.
  • To create a custom workspace that remembers palette locations and which palettes are showing or hidden, choose Save Workspace from the Workspace menu on the Options bar.
  • For any tool that uses a brush, you can click the Toggle Palette button toggle_palette.jpgon the Options bar to show/hide the Brushes palette. For the Type tool, this button displays the Character palette.
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