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The Targeted Adjustment Tool

The idea behind the Targeted Adjustment tool (TAT) is simple: Instead of having to control an image from inside a dialog box or panel, you use gestures to manipulate the image itself. This can be faster and more intuitive than trying to figure out which control will result in the edit you want. The Targeted Adjustment tool is basically an intelligent shortcut for visually manipulating specific options in the Camera Raw dialog. For example, instead of having to figure out which slider to drag in the Parametric Curve tab, just position the TAT over the tone you want to adjust, and drag. The TAT figures out which slider corresponds to the tone you dragged, and moves that slider for you (see Figure 1). To reduce an option's value by dragging the TAT, drag left or down. To increase an option's value, drag up or right. For example, if you mouse down on a very bright area of the image and drag down, the TAT selects the Highlights slider and reduces its value.

Figure 1

Figure 1 The Targeted Adjustment tool.

Camera Raw lets you adjust several different options groups using the Targeted Adjustment tool:

  • The Parametric Curve sliders in the Tone Curve tab
  • The Hue, Saturation, or Lightness sliders in the HSL/Grayscale tab
  • The Grayscale Mix sliders in the HSL/Grayscale tab

To set which options you want to control using the TAT, hold down the mouse on the Targeted Adjustment tool and choose the options group from the pop-up menu that appears (see Figure 2). You can also set the options group by pressing one of the keyboard shortcuts listed on the Targeted Adjustment tool menu. When you change the options group, the tab that contains the sliders for those options automatically appears at the right side of the Camera Raw dialog. The TAT affects only one of the options groups at a time.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Hold down the mouse button on the Targeted Adjustment tool to choose the options group you want to edit, and to see their shortcuts.

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