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Setting Preferences, Customizing, and Optimizing Photoshop CS

Gary Bouton teaches you to customize your installation of Photoshop CS, detailing the various options and settings that you can use to make Photoshop CS work for you.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Chapter 3: Setting Preferences, Customizing, and Optimizing Photoshop CS

In this chapter, you'll learn

  • How to set Photoshop CS General preferences

  • How to set Photoshop's File Handling preferences

  • How to customize Display & Cursor settings

  • How to choose Transparency & Gamut settings

  • How to choose Units & Rulers settings

  • How to set Guides, Grid & Slices preferences

  • How to determine which screen elements will be hidden

  • How to customize and allocate system resource usage

  • How to use the Preset Manager

  • How to group palettes

  • How to customize the Shapes feature

  • How to set up and use Brush presets

  • How to copy and rename layers

  • How to use the Tool Presets palette

  • How to customize the assignment of keyboard shortcuts

  • How to set Selection and Mask modes

  • How to set up Photoshop's spell-checking feature

  • How to use the Palette Well

Okay, so you needed a new set of wheels and you picked this century's hottest car, the BMW Mini Cooper S. This popular auto mixes a little bit of the past and a little of today's car style and engineering. But wait, as long as you're spending half your trust fund, you might as well add a pair of fake fur cheetah fuzzy dice to the mirror. And your MP3 file collection on CDs deserves a Blaupunkt stereo system with JBL speakers.

Then you wake up. "What have I done?" you ask. The answer lies in this chapter's title (clever segue, huh?). You've just customized and specified preferences to an awesome piece of machinery. In this chapter, you learn to make the same kinds of "tweaks" to your installation of Photoshop CS. We're going to show you how to customize Photoshop so you can work with it more quickly (and with better results) than if you simply drove Photoshop CS right off the lot.

Photoshop CS has so many preferences from which to choose, you might want to set aside a whole afternoon with PS CS and this chapter.

Accessing Photoshop's Preferences Settings

The good news is that there's an entire menu of preferences in Photoshop; all you need to do to display it is press Ctrl()+K. The not-so-good news, however, is that some of the useful stuff on the Preferences menu is "logically opaque" (in other words, unfathomable) to beginners and even some intermediate users. So our best advice is to follow our lead about which preferences to select. We'll show you examples and perhaps a mini-tutorial or two, and then you can decide for yourself what you're going to hold and what you're going to fold.

In Photoshop, press Ctrl()+K now so you can get started on the following section.

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