Adobe Photoshop Tutorial. Copyright Michael B. Karbo.

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    3. Setting up Photoshop

    You can easily use Photoshop with the default settings. But we recommend to change a couple of the settings. Do that now, then Photoshop simply works better (in our opinion):

    1.   Select the menu item Edit --> Preferences --> General … Remove the checkmark at ”Use Shift Key for Tool Switch”. Add checkmarks at items ”Keyboard Zoom Resizes Windows” and ”Auto-update open documents”:

    Among other things this makes it easier for you to choose tools with the keyboard (without using the Shift-key).

    2.   Click on Edit --> Preferences --> Units & Rulers. It is easiest to work with pixels, so select that unit:

    3.   Click on OK. The third adjustment governs memory management:


    4.   In Photoshop you can control the amount of RAM set aside for the program. By default Photoshop occupies 50% RAM, but if you have a minimum of 128 MB installed in your PC, we recommend that you increase the percentage to 80% – We use that here:

    Figure 3. Photoshop can use a lot of RAM, so you can easily assign the program 80% of the pc’s storage.

    Exercises and pictures from a web site

    We have some pictures from a home page, which you need to know to get the most out of the booklet. The address is: Homepage to get files for exercises.

    You might as well retrieve all the pictures from that home page the first time you are there. The exercises are the central focal point in this booklet. The final product is not important – many of the pictures can probably be con­structed in other and better ways. But the point is that you get to know a heck of a lot tools and procedures while you do the exercises. And that is important!

    File names

    In this book we work with many image files, and all file names are written in lower case, both name and suffix. We recommend that you let Windows show both name and suffix. It is a great relief, especially when you work with graphics files, where it is convenient to quickly recognize the file format. You can readmore about this subject in the booklet ”Windows XP – teach yourself”.

    Select menu item View --> Folder Options in Windows Explorer. Then remove the checkmark by ”Hide file extensions for known file types” as shown below:

    Figure 4. It is a good idea to let Windows show file type names (suffixes) when you work with graphics files. Otherwise the file types can only by be recognized by their icons.

    Only RGB colors

    In this booklet we only deal with RGB colors. That is the color system that is used on computer screens, where each color is created from a mix of red, green and blue. You can read a thorough description of the RGB colors in the booklet ”Web graphics – teach yourself.” There are other color systems like CMYK, which is used for four color print, and which Photoshop can also work with, but that is beyond the scope of this booklet.

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