- Optimizing Photoshop
- Setting General Preferences
- Setting File Handling Preferences
- Setting Interface Preferences
- Setting Cursors Preferences
- Controlling Transparency & Gamut Preferences
- Working with Units & Rulers
- Working with Guides, Grid & Slices
- Setting Plug-Ins Preferences
- Selecting Scratch Disks
- Allocating Memory & Image Cache
- Setting Type Preferences
- Managing Libraries with the Preset Manager
- Using and Customizing Workspaces
- Building Specialized Workspaces
- Creating a Customized User Interface
- Defining Shortcut Keys
No description of Adobe Photoshop would be complete without that well-known, but little utilized area called Preferences. Photoshop preferences serve several purposes. They help customize the program to your particular designing style, and they help you utilize available computer resources to increase the overall performance of the program.
By modifying File Handling preferences, such as appending a file extension on the file, or being asked when saving a layered TIFF file, you can streamline the file saving process. In addition, you can change the way your cursors look. For example, do you want your paintbrush to look like a paintbrush when you paint, do you prefer a precision crosshair or the actual brush size shape, or the shape with a crosshair?
As you use Photoshop, you’ll come to realize the importance of working with units and rulers. Precision is the name of the game when you are working with images. What about the color of your guides, grids, and slices? No big deal, you say. Well, if you’ve ever tried viewing a blue guide against a blue-sky image, you know exactly why guide color is important. By working through preferences such as Image Cache, Scratch Disks, and RAM (Random Access Memory), speed increases of up to 20% can be achieved.
In addition, customizing the program helps make you more comfortable, and studies show that the more comfortable you are as a designer, the better your designs. Plus, being comfortable allows you to work faster, and that means you’ll accomplish more in the same amount of time. What does setting up preferences do for you? They make Photoshop run faster (up to 20%), you work more efficiently, and your designs are better. That’s a pretty good combination. Photoshop doesn’t give you Preferences to confuse you, but to give you choices, and those choices give you control.