This is a quick post about some of the things I have found to be most important when you initially set up your Photoshop preferfences.
I'll be making references to many keyboard shortcuts in my tutorials, and one of the easiest ways to become faster and more efficient with Photoshop is to make use of these shortcuts... One of the main advantages to using Photoshop in a photography or design project is that it will save you time, and thus money. Keyboard shortcuts can maximize this efficiency. Additionally, I find it more relaxing to use keyboard shortcuts to switch tools, since moving my mouse, and hence my eyes, away from the image to the toolbar interrupts my thought process. Finally, you'll be able to impress maybe one out of every 10 or 20 people by using keyboard shortcuts.
To look at how your keyboard shortcuts are set up, and to change them, go to
Edit » Keyboard Shortcuts...
Alt + Shift + Ctr + K ).
A useful way to look at all the shortcuts is to click on the Summarize button in the Keybaord Shortcuts and Menus panel. This will create an .htm page that you can save for reference with all the shortcuts on it.
You'll usually be interested in mostly the shortcuts for using the tools, and these can be in the drop down menu of Shortcuts For.
You can edit the existing shortcuts and create new ones by clicking on the Command you want to change. Make sure to save you changes as a .kys file. To do this click on the disc icon to the right of the Set drop down menu.
If you look through the shortcuts, one thing you’ll notice is that several tools can have the same shortcuts. Tools that
have the same shortcut can be toggled through by hitting the applicable shortcut key multiple times. You may find that
you cannot toggle through the tools in this manner. If this is true for you, try hitting Shift + the shortcut to toggle
through those tools. Whether you simply hit the shortcut key or have the hit Shift + shortcut to toggle through the
tools is a choice for you. You can change this setting by going to
Edit » Preferences » General… (
Ctr + K ). Use
Use Shift Key for Tool Switch option.
You want the color on the screen in Photo Shop to match the color the viewer sees. Whether the viewer is looking at your web site on a computer screen or at a photograph in a brochure or greeting card after it’s been printed.
Color setting are found under
Edit » Color Settings… (
Shift + Ctr + K ). Color management can become an involved
topic, especially if you are printing, but in general for web work you should use
sRGB and for printing
Adobe RGB (1998). If you use the wrong color space for making web graphics, you’ll notice that the colors you see on
the screen in Photoshop don’t match the colors you see on the screen when you look at the images on you website.
The Photoshop workspace is highly customizable. You can move the panels and tool bars around to configure things as you
like. You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. This is because you can save your current workspace as well as easily
revert to the default workspace Photoshop came with. After you’ve moved the panels around to your liking, you can save
your workspace by going to
Window » Workspace » Save Workspace.
If you want to revert to the default workspace just select
Window » Workspace » Default Workspace. Reverting to the
default workspace can be especially useful if you are following a tutorial or book and you cannot see a panel that is
While working with Photoshop you will sometimes create your own brushes, delete or modify existing brushes, or change
your choice of brushes in other ways. To get back to the default group of brushes Photoshop came with simple go to the
brushes panel ( F5 ) or Windows » Brushes. In the brushes panel click on the top right drop down menu and choose
You can reset many of the other panels in the exact same way.
The knowledge that you can easilly get back to the original configuration of Photoshop should allow you to experiment more with the settings.
There a many other ways to customize your Photoshop, but I wanted to review several of the methods that I have found the most useful and important.