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Photoshop 101: Basic Functions

The Photoshop A popular high-end image editor for the Macintosh and Windows from Adobe. The original Mac versions were the first to bring affordable image editing down to the personal computer level in the late 1980s. Since then, Photoshop has become the de facto standard in image editing.  CS2 (version 9.0) for Windows work area is designed to help you maximize your workspace and give you easy access to tools, options, and palettes. In the default work area, the toolbox See toolkit and toolbar.  is located on the left, the menu bar and options bar at the top, and the palettes on the right.

Your work area may look different if you opened Photoshop previously and made changes to your workspace. Photoshop remembers the changes you make to the work area, dialog boxes A movable window that is displayed on screen in response to the user selecting a menu option. It provides the current status and available options for a particular feature in the program. , and tool options. You can easily change everything back to the program defaults, if necessary.

To see how it's done, let's reset all the program defaults at once:
  1. If Photoshop is open, close the program.
  2. Press and hold Shift+Ctrl+Alt while starting Photoshop from the Start menu. A dialog box opens asking if you want to delete To remove an item of data from a file or to remove a file from the disk. See file wipe, trash and undelete.

    1. (operating system) delete - (Or "erase") To make a file inaccessible.
     the Adobe Photoshop See Photoshop.  Settings File.
  3. Click Yes.
  4. If a dialog box opens asking if you want to customize color settings, click No.

Now you're ready to learn more about the elements of the work area and how they work.

Exploring Basic Photoshop Functions

You can control the options bar, palettes, and toolbox as follows:
  • To move and float the options bar, point to the vertical dotted line along the left edge, which is called the gripper bar. Drag and drop A graphical user interface (GUI) capability that lets you perform operations by moving the icon of an object with the mouse into another window or onto another icon. For example, files can be copied or moved by dragging them from one folder to another.  the options bar into the work area. You can also place it along the bottom of the work area. You may find that this location works better if you tend to focus your attention on the middle and lower half of the screen as you work. To return the options bar to its default position, simply drag and drop it back into place just below the menu bar.
  • To reset all of the settings in the options bar back to the original defaults, right-click the dashed-square icon on the options bar, and then select either Reset Tool or Reset All Tools.
  • You can collapse the options bar, toolbox, or any of the palettes by double-clicking the top or left edge of the bar. To expand them, simply double-click the bar.
  • Press Tab to hide the options bar, toolbox, and palettes. Press Tab again to make them visible.

You can also access the options bar, toolbox, and palettes from the Window menu, as follows:
  • Press Shift+Tab to hide the palettes in the work area. Press Shift+Tab again to make the palettes visible.
  • To move the palette (1) In computer graphics, a range of colors used for display and printing. See color palette.

    (2) A collection of on-screen painting tools.

    (3) A toolbar that contains a set of functions for any kind of application.

    palette - colour palette
     groups in the work area, press and drag the top bar of the group. To move back to the original location, select Window > Workspace > Reset Palette Locations.
  • To separate a palette from its group, select the name of the palette or click anywhere on the tab and drag it outside of the group. To place it back, drag the tab and drop it in the group. You can use the Reset Palette Locations command to put all of the palettes back in the group at once and in the default order.
  • You can store individual palettes (not as a group) in the palette well. Simply point to the name of the palette or anywhere on the tab, and then drag and drop it into the palette well. You can also select the menu option Dock to Palette Well from the palette shortcut (1) In Windows, a shortcut is an icon that points to a program or data file. Shortcuts can be placed on the desktop or stored in other folders, and double clicking a shortcut is the same as double clicking the original file.  menu.

To access the shortcut menu, click the palette menu (arrow) button in the upper-right part of the palette. The Reset Palette Locations command puts everything back to its original location and space. If you cannot see the palette well, expand the Photoshop window to full screen and make sure your monitor resolution is set to 1024 x 768 or greater.

As you become comfortable with the operation of the program and establish your own workflow The automatic routing of documents to the users responsible for working on them. Workflow is concerned with providing the information required to support each step of the business cycle. , you can create and save a customized work area.

Setting Photoshop Preferences

An overview of Photoshop basics would not be complete without mentioning the preferences. The Preferences dialog box gives you the opportunity to change settings to customize the program to suit your personal workflow. These settings include such things as display, cursor (1) The symbol used to point to some element on screen. On Windows, Mac and other graphics-based screens, it is also called a "pointer," and it changes shape as it is moved with the mouse into different areas of the application. , and transparency (1) The quality of being able to see through a material. The terms transparency and translucency are often used synonymously; however, transparent would technically mean "seeing through clear glass," while translucent would mean "seeing through frosted glass." See alpha blending.  options.

It's a good practice to be familiar with the preference settings of any program. You may not understand the terminology and all of the settings right now because you're just learning the program. You'll find that the default settings in the preferences also give you an insight in the general operation of the program.

Let's look at the general preferences and make a simple change that affects cycling through the tools groups. You may, for example, find it awkward to press and hold Shift while you press the additional shortcut for a group. To remove this requirement, do the following:
  1. Select Edit > Preferences > General.
  2. Clear the Use Shift Key for Tool Switch checkbox and then click OK.
  3. Try the new change for the Lasso tool group. Each time you press L, you'll cycle through the group.

Note: The preference settings are stored in a file that sometimes can become corrupt. If you reset settings back to the defaults when starting Photoshop, a new preference file is generated that replaces the old one. As a result, you lose any new preference settings.

Now that you understand the fundamentals of Photoshop, you're ready to imagine fun and creative ways to work with images from many sources, and even create your own. You'll find an abundance Abundance
See also Fertility.


horn horn of Zeus’s nurse-goat which became a cornucopia. [Gk. Myth.: Walsh Classical, 19]


conical receptacle which symbolizes abundance. [Rom. Myth.
 of image resources at your fingertips "Fingertips" is a 1963 number-one hit single recorded live by "Little" Stevie Wonder for Motown's Tamla label. Wonder's first hit single, "Fingertips" was the first live, non-studio recording to reach number-one on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the United States. , including digital photographs, scanned photographs, images from other computer programs, and images from the Internet Internet

Publicly accessible computer network connecting many smaller networks from around the world. It grew out of a U.S. Defense Department program called ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), established in 1969 with connections between computers at the
. Open up your workspace and start experimenting!
Copyright 2007 eSchool - Digital Photography
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

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Author:eSchool, inc.
Publication:eSchool - Digital Photography
Date:May 2, 2007
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