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Customizing the Workspace in Adobe Photoshop CS5


  1. Customizing the workspace

Article Description

This excerpt from Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book shows you how to customize your workspace, controlling which panels, tools, and menus are available at any time.

Note: This excerpt does not include the lesson files. The lesson files are available with purchase of the book.

It’s great that Photoshop offers so many ways to control the display and location of the options bar and its many panels, but it can be time-consuming to drag panels around the screen so that you can see some panels for certain projects and other panels for other projects. That’s why Photoshop lets you customize your workspace, controlling which panels, tools, and menus are available at any time. In fact, it comes with a few preset workspaces suitable for different types of workflows—tone and color correction, painting and retouching, and so on. You’ll experiment with them.

  1. Choose Window > Workspace > Painting. If prompted, click Yes to apply the workspace.

    If you’ve been experimenting with opening, closing, and moving panels, you’ll notice that Photoshop closes some panels, opens others, and stacks them neatly in the dock along the right edge of the workspace.

  2. Choose Window > Workspace > Design. If prompted, click Yes to apply the workspace. Different panels are open in the dock.
  3. Click the Workspace Switcher in the Application bar, and choose Essentials. Photoshop returns to the default workspace.

    You can choose workspaces from the Window menu or from the pop-up menu in the Application bar.

    For times when presets don’t suit your purposes, you can customize the workspace to your specific needs. Say, for example, that you do lots of web design, but no digital video work. You can specify which menu items to display in the workspace.

  4. Click the View menu, and choose Pixel Aspect Ratio to see the submenu.

    This submenu includes several DV formats that many print and web designers don’t need to use.

  5. Choose Window > Workspace > Keyboard Shortcuts And Menus.

    The Keyboard Shortcuts And Menus dialog box lets you control which application and panel menu commands are available, as well as create custom keyboard shortcuts for menus, panels, and tools. You can hide commands that you use infrequently, or highlight commonly used commands to make them easier to see.

  6. Click the Menus tab in the Keyboard Shortcuts And Menus dialog box, and then choose Application Menus from the Menu For pop-up menu.
  7. Expand the View menu commands by clicking the triangle next to View.

    Photoshop displays the View menu commands and subcommands.

  8. Scroll down to Pixel Aspect Ratio, and click the eye icon to turn off visibility for all of the DV and video formats—there are seven of them, beginning with D1/DV NTSC (0.91) and ending with DVCPro HD 1080 (1.5). Photoshop removes them from the menu for this workspace.
  9. Expand the Image menu commands.
  10. Scroll down to the Image > Mode > RGB Color command, and click None in the Color column. Choose Red from the pop-up menu to highlight this command in red.
  11. Click OK to close the Keyboard Shortcuts And Menus dialog box.
  12. Choose Image > Mode. RGB Color is now highlighted in red.
  13. Choose View > Pixel Aspect Ratio. The DV and video formats are no longer included in this submenu.
  14. To save a workspace, choose Window > Workspace > New Workspace. In the New Workspace dialog box, give your workspace a name, select the Menus and Keyboard Shortcuts options, and then click Save.

    The custom workspace you save is listed in the Window > Workspace submenu and in the Workspace Switcher on the Application bar.

    For now, return to the default workspace configuration.

  15. Choose Essentials from the Workspace pop-up menu on the Application bar. Don’t save the changes in the current workspace.

    Congratulations again; you’ve finished Lesson 1.

    Now that you’re acquainted with the basics of the Photoshop work area, you can begin learning how to create and edit images. Once you know the basics, you can complete the Adobe Photoshop CS5 Classroom in a Book lessons either in sequential order or according to the subjects you find most interesting.