March 12, 2008

Quick tips for your Photoshop work environment

The following tips are a tad esoteric, but I’m passing them along in case they’re of interest/use:

  • When you press F in Photoshop and enter Maximized or Full-Screen Mode with Menu Bar, the background surrounding the image goes to gray; press F again (taking you into Full-Screen Mode (no menu bar)) and the background will change to black.  Not long ago a customer who does retouching at a large magazine asked for the ability to change the background color in Photoshop windows.  In order not to pollute his color perception, he wanted to view images against a particular shade.

    It turns out the capability is already there: right-click (Win)/Ctrl-click (Mac) to set the background color to gray, black, or a color of your choosing; here’s a screenshot.  Alternatively, you can grab the Paint Bucket tool, then shift-click the background to make it take on whatever foreground color you have selected.  Each screen mode can have its own background color.  New to CS3 is the abilty to cycle through gray, black, and custom colors by pressing Shift-F.  This little trick gave rise to my CS3 Stupid Photoshop Trick: going "clubbing" in Photoshop by holding down ShiftSpace-F* while singing the "do-DE-do-DOO-do" riff from The System Is Down(Trust me, you’re not missing out.)

  • On the Mac OS you can drag the little "document proxy" icon in any document’s title bar (screenshot) in order to move the document around, provided you don’t have any unsaved changes.  Dave Girard from Ars Technica swears by this capability as a quick way to move files between Photoshop, Bridge, Maya, and other applications.  In this short video he shows a folder being revealed in Bridge, then documents being moved among apps without requiring a trip back to the Finder or Bridge.

*D’oh–sorry, I typed the wrong modifier; now fixed. I need to stop writing these things at 3am (no kidding).

Posted by John Nack at 8:32 PM on March 12, 2008
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