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Adobe Digital Imaging How-to #52: Simplifying the Menus in Photoshop CS5


  1. #52 Simplifying the Menus

Article Description

In this excerpt from his book, Dan Moughamian shows you how to simplify the menus in Photoshop CS5, including how to customize the main menu and customize panel menus.

#52 Simplifying the Menus

One of the most useful customizations you can make to Photoshop's user interface is simplifying the keyboard shortcuts. Photoshop's menus are packed with dozens of commands, adjustments, and functions for image editing, but it's rare that any one user needs to use them all on a regular basis. To "revive" them anytime, you might need to look over the full menu.

Customizing the Main Menu

To customize the main menu in Photoshop, choose Edit > Menus. This opens the Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog box (Figure 52a). Here, the menu customization options for Photoshop CS5 Extended are shown; in Photoshop CS5 Standard, there is no Analysis or 3D menu.

Figure 52a

Figure 52a The Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus dialog box provides options for streamlining your workflow.

To customize your menus, click the disclosure triangle next to the word "File" (this represents the File menu), or whichever menu you want to start with. Once identified, click the eyeball icon next to each item you do not want to show in the menu (Figure 52b).

Figure 52b

Figure 52b Click the eyeball icon next to each command or function that you wish to hide in the menu being customized.

Here, the commands for Browse in Bridge, Browse in Mini Bridge, and Device Central have been hidden. The resulting menu is shown next to the default File menu in Figure 52c.

Figure 52c

Figure 52c Removing just a few commands or functions can make a menu easier to use.

Figure 52d shows two additional menus that were simplified. For example, the Check Spelling and Find and Replace Text commands have been hidden within the Edit menu, as well as the Define Pattern command. In the Image menu, Calculations, Variables, Apply Data Set, and Trap have all been hidden.

Figure 52d

Figure 52d Additional menu customizations can speed your workflow further. When finished, all the changes can be saved as a preset.

When you're finished customizing all the menus, click the Save button, adobeimaging_menusave.jpg , give your custom menu preset a name, and click OK. As you make additional changes, you can resave using the same name by just clicking the Save button again.

Customizing Panel Menus

If you want to customize a specific panel pop-up menu (for example, the Layers panel pop-up), you can do that by opening the Menu For pop-up menu, adobeimaging_menufor.jpg , and choosing Panel Menus. From there you can scroll through the list, find your panel, and follow the same steps for removing items and saving those changes as part of your preset (Figure 52e).

Figure 52e

Figure 52e Panel menus can be customized as well as the main menu. This can be very useful for complex menus like the Layers panel pop-up.