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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

More Choices and More Control with the Preset Manager

Photoshop CS is just about everything to everyone. This means that whatever type of graphics you are interested in creating, Photoshop's got your number, so to speak. However (and this is a BIG "however"), Photoshop sort of keeps things you might or might not need hanging out there in the interface. Additionally, there's some quasi-hidden stuff with which you should acquaint yourself.

Let's start with the master control panel for Photoshop's collections of neat stuff. Technically, it's called the Preset Manager.

The Preset Manager (Edit, Preset Manager) is your "one-stop shop" for accessing exactly what you need when you pick up a tool (see Figure 3.21). After you have displayed the Preset Manager, click the drop-down list (item 1) for Preset Type, and then choose from categories by clicking that tiny arrow button (circled in Figure 3.21). As you can see, you also can choose how the members of a category are presented on palettes (we recommend, for example, Small Thumbnail for the Brushes collection, at least for the default brushes).

Figure 3.21Figure 3.21 The Preset Manager gives you complete control over eight creative elements found within Photoshop.

To briefly explain a fairly intuitive selection process, follow the bouncing bullets in Figure 3.21:

  1. Clicking the down button on the Preset Type field displays the eight types of palettes from which you can customize the appearance and choose from Photoshop's collection. Brushes have been chosen here.

  2. Clicking the encircled icon in Figure 3.21 opens the menu for the Preset Manager. For the default brushes, you can get away with a Small Thumbnail display on the Brushes palette, but for exotic stuff such as the Wet Media brushes, you will probably want a Stroke Thumbnail display.

  3. Here, you see the Reset Brushes and Replace Brushes. What's the diff'? Resetting the Brushes returns the Brushes palette to the "normal," round, hard, and soft-tipped brushes—ideal for image editing. Replacing the Brushes leads you to a directory box, where you must scout (needlessly) for a brushes palette file.

  4. The items bracketed here are the reason you really don't need to use Replace Brushes (marked by bullet 3). You can find all of Photoshop's brushes' collections here. Now, if you or someone else has created a Brushes palette, you would either want to put the file in with the other Brushes files (in the Adobe Photoshop CS\Presets\Brushes folder) or go through the hassle of tracking down the file every time you want to use it. The choice is obvious, eh?

You can perform the same customizing with Styles, Patterns, and so on—and you do it all the way we've shown you with the Brushes palette.

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