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1.1 The Photoshop CS6 Interface

This video covers the basics of the Photoshop interface, from changing the interface’s color, finding the Tools bar, the Options bar and exploring Photoshop’s panels.

1.1 The Photoshop CS6 Interface

Photoshop is one of those programs, that when you open it for the first time, you immediately say to yourself, what the heck is all this? There are tools everywhere. Panels on top of panels. And more menu options than McDonald's. The question always comes up, is where do I start? I think the best starting point is to get familiar with what you can see. The interface of Photoshop. If you've used Photoshop before, one of the first things that you're gonna notice when you launch Photoshop CS6 are the changes to the user interface. Adobe has finally given users choice, providing four color schemes to choose from. These new color choices can be accessed in Photoshop's preferences. On the Mac, head up to the Photoshop menu, down to Preferences and then Interface. On Windows it's under Edit > Preferences > Interface. Once you're in Photoshop's Interface Preferences, you can preview and choose any one of the four choices. I've personally found that designing against a darker workspace allows me to focus more on the project that I'm working on, but every user will have different tastes. And just like in previous versions of Photoshop, you can separately change the canvas color by right-clicking anywhere outside of your current document. In this release, you can choose from any one of the four basic colors, or you can bring up the color picker and set a custom color of your choice. Now, there are several main elements to Photoshop's workspace. On the left hand side we have our tools. This is typically where you're gonna go to create new elements for your document, access your brushes and create selections. You may notice that some of the tools have a small arrow on the bottom right-hand corner. This indicates to us that there are tools within the tools. Holding down your mouse button on any of these tools will reveal what's underneath. You may also notice that there are letters to the right of the flyout menu. These are our shortcut keys. As you get familiar with Photoshop's features, you're gonna slowly start to learn the hundreds of shortcut keys, that are gonna boost your workflow tremendously. Throughout this course, i'm gonna be throwing out different shortcuts left, right, and center, for all of you to learn. And moving up our workspace, we have our options bar. This bar plays off of our tools. You might notice that as I select different tools, the options bar changes. For instance, pressing the letter B on your keyboard to select our brush tool, we can further define what kind of brush we want to use in our options bar. Things like the size of the brush, the hardness, and even the type of brush can be changed in this drop-down menu. Over to the right a bit, we can change the way the brush interacts with the layers underneath it by changing our blending mode. And of course we can increase or decrease the opacity and the flow of that brush. As we look deeper into these tools later on, we're gonna discover the sub-options that come along with them. Now, moving to the right side of our workspace sit our lovely panels. If you're opening up Photoshop for the first time, your panels will look fairly similar to mine. But what you're very soon gonna discover is that they're fully customizable. We're going to cover many of these panels in this course, but as a beginner, the main panels to take note of are layers, adjustments, history, and the new properties panel. At any point you can't find a certain panel, they can be added or removed through the Window menu at the top. For example, if I wanted to display the History panel, which is currently not visible, I can activate it by going up to the Window menu and then choosing History. This will pop our panel right beside our current panels. From here I can click and drag it anywhere I please, either as a floating window or I can attach it as part of a current panel group. But it doesn't stop there, right-clicking on a tab gives us more customization options. Here we have the ability to remove individual panels, remove the whole group, or minimize the group to save space. Finally, right smack in the middle of Photoshop is the canvas. This will house all of your documents you're gonna be working on. If you have multiple documents open at once, your documents will now arrange themselves nicely in tabs across the top of your screen. This sure beats floating documents which tends to get very messy. At any point you can drag the tabs left or right to keep your documents organized. And you can even use the Cmd or Ctrl+tilde key to cycle through the tab documents. Now, if you're actively working on several documents at once which you need to reference, under the Window menu at the top, there's an Arrange sub menu, which allows you to display several documents on your screen at once. For example, if you have three documents open at once, you can display them horizontally, vertically, or stacked. So that's it for the workspace right? Nope, I saved the best for last. I don't know about you, but when I get my workspace just the way I like it, the last thing I want to do is mistakenly close a few panels or even revert to the default workspace. Well, Photoshop has a solution. Heading back up to the Window menu, there's a Workspace sub-menu which gives us the ability to create a new workspace. This will save our workspace in its exact state in case we make a few wrongful changes, or we switch to one of the other workspaces. Having this option really allows us to get quite comfortable with Photoshop which will really boost our workflow. And that's an introduction to the interface in Photoshop CS6.