Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Who Wants So Many Palettes in a Group?

As you've noticed if you've worked much with Photoshop, palettes are grouped such that Adobe considers to be a practical and logical way to work. If you like this arrangement, leave it, but you are not limited to keeping the palettes grouped in this way, don'cha know.

Our recommendation for a happier, less cluttered desktop is shown in Figure 3.22.

Allow us to explain the construction work going on in this figure:

  • The History palette is useful, but if you remember Ctrl(Command)+Alt(Opt)+Z, this is the shortcut for a "History Backward" command. This means you don't really need the History palette in the Layers group; you can call it when you need it from the Window menu.

  • Figure 3.22Figure 3.22 For 99% of your daily palette needs, simply remember F6, F7, and F8.

    You click and hold on the title of a palette, and then drag to pull it free from a palette group. Conversely, you drop a palette on top of a group title bar to add it to the group.

  • Actions and Tool Presets seem to work well together, and you don't need them onscreen all the time, so why not group them together and close the palette? Besides, you can access the Tool Presets from the Options bar (more on them later in this chapter—it's a wonnnnnnn-derful feature).

  • The Navigator palette surely has to be about the least useful innovation as of Photoshop 4, but it's still around. Harsh criticism? No. You can use the Hand tool to bop around an image without the need for a palette, regardless of the image size. And you can zoom in and out, too...to replace what the Navigator palette does. Still, if you're attached to it, leave it together with the Info palette. I have the Info palette on my machine set up as a standalone group of one palette.

  • Similarly, the Color, Swatches, and Styles fit together nicely. This is the default configuration; we suggest you leave it this way.

Terrific! Now, no grouped palette has more than three members, and they are configured logically. Here are the magic keys to make your workspace even more user-friendly:

  • F6 toggles the Styles, Color, and Swatches palette on and off.

  • F7 toggles the Layers, Channels, and Paths palette on and off. You will probably want this palette in the workspace all the time, however. The Options bar and the Layers/Channels/Paths palette account for around 85% of my design work.

  • F8 toggles the Info palette on and off. This shortcut key is a very quick first step to changing the unit of measurement, as described earlier in this chapter. This palette can also be a very useful tool for RGB values while color correcting (see Chapter 12, "Curves and Adjustment Layers," for more examples of how this is done).

Wait. We're not done yet. More customizing ahead!

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account