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Photoshop CS4 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide: Workspaces

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Learn about new interface options, such as the Application bar and document tabs, how to arrange multiple document windows, change zoom levels, rotate the canvas view, change screen modes, configure panels, customize the menus, create and save custom workspaces, and use the Options bar.
This chapter is from the book

Now that you know how to create and open documents, you’re ready to customize your workspace. In this chapter, you’ll learn about new interface options, such as the Application bar and document tabs. You’ll also learn how to arrange multiple document windows, change zoom levels, rotate the canvas view, change screen modes, configure panels, customize the menus, create and save custom workspaces, and use the Options bar.

Using the Application frame ★

Photoshop CS4 lets you configure your workspace in various ways. Document windows can be docked as tabs inside one window (new) or left to float freely as in previous versions. In the Mac OS, if you opt for tabs, you can keep the document windows separate from the Application and Options bars or ensconce all the Photoshop features and your open documents neatly inside the Application frame. In Windows, the Application frame can’t be hidden.

To hide the application frame (Mac OS only):

Next, we’ll introduce you to the new interface options in Photoshop CS4.A After reviewing them, you’ll be ready to configure your workspace to best suit your workflow.

For Mac OS users, the most dramatic new feature is the movable Application frame, which houses the Application bar, Options bar, panels, and tabbed document windows. This gives the Mac OS a sort of—well, Microsoft Windows “feel.” Windows users: We will also refer to the Windows application window as the “Application frame.”

The Application frame conveniently blocks out the Desktop and displays the image against a neutral gray background, which is essential when performing color correction work. Without the frame, if your Desktop is cluttered (and whose isn’t?) or brightly colored, you’ll have to spend time enlarging your document windows to hide the visual noise. Another advantage to using the Application frame is that in Standard screen mode, the viewing area for your document resizes dynamically as you hide or show the panels or make the panel docks wider or narrower.

  • To minimize the Application frame in Windows, click the Minimize button; in the Mac OS, double-click the Application bar.

To show the Application frame (Mac OS only): ★

  • To display the Application frame, check Window > Application Frame. (To resize the frame, drag an edge or corner.)
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