Posts tagged "Interface"

February 20, 2019

Different Default Workspace in Photoshop CC

The default configuration of panels in Photoshop (the Essentials Workspace) is different depending on the resolution of the monitor. On higher resolution monitors, Photoshop displays two columns of panels.  On lower resolution monitors, Photoshop only displays one column. This difference might not seem like a big deal for most people, but in a teaching environment, I wanted to point out that your students might not all be looking at the same default interface. 

Photoshop’s default Workspace on a lower resolution monitor.


Photoshop’s default Workspace on a higher resolution monitor.

As I noted in yesterday’s post, I prefer to rearrange my panels and save them as a custom workspace. This free video (Switching and Saving Workspaces) from Learning demonstrates how. 

5:03 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 19, 2019

Creating a Custom Workspace in Photoshop CC

Most people typically use a subset of the many panels that Photoshop has to offer at any given time. For example, if you are color correcting an image, then you may want the Info, Histogram and Layers panels showing but if you are recording actions to help automate tasks, you might want the Actions, History and Layers panels open. The easiest way to switch between the sets of panels that you might need for different tasks is to save them as Workspaces. 

To create your own custom Workspace, rearrange the panels that works best for your workflow, and use the Workspace Picker (on the right of the Options bar) to choose New Workspace. Give it a name, and save the Workspace. (Workspaces can also be saved via Window > Workspace > Save Workspace.) Your workspace (as well as the default workspaces that ship with Photoshop) will appear at the top of the list in the Workspace Picker.


To see a step-by-step of how to create, save, and delete workspace, view this free video (Switching and Saving Workspaces) from Learning.

FYWIW -Just because Photoshop ships with the Toolbar on the left and the Panels on the right of the display, it doesn’t mean that they have to stay that way! When working at home, I prefer to dock my panels to the Toolbar on the left side of the screen.  This saves a significant time over the course of the day by eliminating the need to travel back and forth across my monitor to select different panel options, tools, and tool options.  (see screenshot below). Notice that I have also placed the Properties panel below the Layers panel so that when I add an adjustment layer, my cursor is automatically above the options for that layer. 

Foe added flexibility, Workspaces can also contain custom Keyboard Shortcuts and Menu items. And, when using more than one monitor, you can distribute Photoshop’s panels to multiple monitors and save them as workspaces.

5:07 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 8, 2019

Cycle Through Open (Tabbed) Documents in Photoshop CC

Use either of these shortcuts to cycle through open, tabbed documents in Photoshop:

Command + ~ (tilda)  (Mac) | Control + ~ (tilda)  (Win) 

Command + Tab  (this is the same shortcut for both platforms). 

Adding the Shift key to either shortcut will reverse direction. 

8:04 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 5, 2019

Resetting Tool Options in Photoshop CC

Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) the tool icon in the Options bar (officially called the Tool Preset Picker) and choose Reset Tool or Reset All Tools to set the tool options (found in the Options bar) to their default state.  This shortcut is a great way to trouble-shoot a tool when it’s not working as you think it should (perhaps the tool’s blend mode, feather, or other option was changed the last time you used it, and you didn’t reset it).  

Note: this shortcut doesn’t reset the visibility or grouping of the tools, only their options.  

5:01 AM Permalink
January 24, 2019

Increasing Photoshop CC’s Font Size 

To change the font size for Photoshop’s interface, choose Preference > Interface > UI Font size and enable Scale UI To Font.

UI Font size set to Small.


UI Font size set to Large.

You can also increase the size of the tabs (which can be handy when working on touch screen devices), or enable a narrow Options bar (for smaller monitors), by selecting Preferences > Workspace.

Note: changes won’t take effect until the next time you restart Photoshop.

5:08 AM Permalink
January 23, 2019

Choosing a Color Theme in Photoshop CC

There are four “Color Themes” or levels of brightness that you can choose to display Photoshop’s interface. By default, the second-to-most dark theme is selected. You can change the theme by clicking on the color swatches in Preferences > Interface > Appearance, or use the shortcut Shift + F2 to move to a lighter color theme or Shift + F1 to cycle to a darker theme. Note: depending on your keyboard, you might have to add the function (fn) key). 

I prefer the default interface as it allows me to focus more on the image and not the interface. Plus, it’s easier on the eyes to look at a darker screen all day.  

My free video from LinkedIn Learning (Customizing the Photoshop Interface), steps through changing the Color Theme (starting at 1:35).

5:04 AM Permalink
January 22, 2019

Customize the Appearance of Screen Modes in Photoshop CC

Tapping the F key cycles through Photoshop’s three screen modes: Standard Screen Mode, Full Screen with Menu Bar and Full Screen Mode.  To change the background color in any of the screen modes do any of the following:

  • Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) in the area surrounding your image and choose a color option from the context sensitive menu.

  • Select Preferences > Interface and customize the Appearance menus. Note; the Border can also be customized to Drop Shadow, None, or Line. 

  • Use the nostalgic (I had to walk uphill in the snow – both ways!) legacy method: select your desired color as the foreground swatch and Shift-click in the area surrounding your image with the Paint Bucket tool.  : )
5:03 AM Permalink
January 21, 2019

Quick Access to Document Information in Photoshop CC

By default, Photoshop displays the Document Size at the bottom of the document window in the Status Bar.

Click the arrow to the right of the Status bar to choose from additional options to display (such as Document Profile, Document Dimensions etc.).

Click and hold in the information area to display the documents width, height, channels and resolution (except while a Save is in progress). 

5:01 AM Permalink
January 18, 2019

Lightroom Classic – Import: Compact View

In the Import dialog, tap the Backslash (\)  key to display the window in it’s “Compact” format for ease of use on subsequent imports. Tap it again to toggle to Expanded View or, click the small triangle in the lower left of the Import window.

The Import dialog’s default “Expanded” view.


The Import dialog’s streamlined  “Compact” view.

5:01 AM Permalink
January 17, 2019

Lightroom Classic – Single -Click Expand / Collapse All Panels

Command -click (Mac) | Control -click (Win) a panel header to expand/collapse all panels with a single click. Or, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any panel header and choose Expand All / Collapse All from the list.

Note, the Navigator, Histogram, and Preview panels are exceptions to this rule. 

5:04 AM Permalink
January 15, 2019

Lightroom Classic – Hiding Unused Panels 

To toggle the visibility of a panel, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the panel header and select/deselect them from the list.

There are a few panels that can’t be hidden ((although their contents can still be collapsed using the disclosure triangle). The exceptions are: 

• Library and Develop Modules: Navigator and Histogram Panels

• Map Module: Navigator and Metadata Panels

• Book, Slideshow, Print, and Web Modules: Preview Panel

In the Develop Module, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any panel header on the right of the screen (except the Histogram panel), and select Customize Panels Option to toggle visibility as well as reorder the panels.


Drag the grabber handle to reorder panels. Use the checkbox to toggle visibility.

5:09 AM Permalink
January 14, 2019

Lightroom Classic – Working with Panels: Solo Mode

To only display the options for one panel at a time, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any panel header and select Solo Mode. While in Solo Mode, clicking on a panel header expands the contents of that panel while collapsing any other open panels (which can be especially useful when working on a laptop or smaller display as it eliminates the need to scroll through several open panels to access options). 

You can also Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the disclosure triangle on the panel header to quickly toggle Solo Mode. Note: the disclosure triangle icon is solid gray when Solo Mode is disabled and changes to dots when enabled).

To display more than one panel while still in Solo Mode, Shift -click an additional panel’s header. 

5:10 AM Permalink
January 11, 2019

Resetting Dialog Boxes in Photoshop CC

Holding the Option key (Mac) | Alt key (Win) while in a dialog box will change the Cancel button to Reset for a quick way to reset all of the values.


In dialogs that have a Done button (Save for Web, for example),  holding the Option key (Mac) | Alt key (Win) will change the Done button to Remember (click Remember to save the current setting as your default).

5:06 AM Permalink
January 9, 2019

Entering Values and Navigating Text Edit Field in Photoshop CC

After selecting a tool, tap the Return key to quickly highlight the first text edit field in the Options bar. For example, selecting the Brush tool and then tapping the enter key will select the Opacity option.


When working with panels, dialog boxes, and the Options bar, clicking on the icon or text next to the desired text edit field will highlight it (which can be easier than clicking and swiping within the text edit field to select the value).


Once a text edit field is active, tap the Tab key to move between fields. For example, with the Brush tool selected, in the Options bar, tap the Tab key to move between Opacity, Flow, and Smoothing. Shift + Tab moves in the opposite direction.  


In addition, once the contents of a text edit field is highlighted, the up/down arrow keys increase/decrease the selected value by one unit. Add the Shift key to increase/decrease the value by 10 units. 

5:00 AM Permalink
January 8, 2019

Photoshop CC’s Application Frame

By default, the Application Frame in Photoshop is enabled. On the Mac, it can be toggled off by selecting  Window > Application Frame, but I prefer  to leave it enabled for three reasons:

  • First, with it enabled, Photoshop hides other applications that you have open making your work area less cluttered. Because you will not be able to see other open applications, use the shortcut Command + Tab to quickly switch between applications.
  • Second, if you want Photoshop to be displayed on a smaller portion of the screen (in order to view Photoshop and another application simultaneously for example), position your cursor along the edge of the application (the cursor will change to a double headed arrow), and drag. The application – including any docked panels conveniently resize as a single unit). 
  • Third, you can easily move Photoshop to a second monitor by dragging the Application Bar (at the top of the application) to the desired monitor.

This free movie on (Customizing the interface in Photoshop) demonstrates how to resize the application frame.


5:00 AM Permalink