Toolbox - Adobe Photoshop

I’m not going to provide an exhaustive detail of each and every tool. (Boring!) Rather, I want to familiarize you with the names and shortcuts and help you conjecture how to use each tool. If you want to look further into a particular tool, Adobe has plenty of help in the form of its user manual and online help, but this book should cover everything you need to the capacity that you need it for VFX work.

To select a tool, click it. If the tool button contains a small triangle in the lowerright corner, additional hidden tools or alternate versions of the current tool exist in a flyout menu. To access this menu, click and hold the tool; you don’t have to click the tiny triangle, but you can try if you’re into that kind of thing. If you have a two-button mouse, you can just rightclick to get the flyout menu. Drag through the flyout menu to select one of the additional tools. Positioning your pointer over a tool displays the tooltip with the tool’s name and keyboard shortcut. The flyout menu also contains this information.

Both the tooltip and flyout menu contain he tool’s name and keyboard shortcut.

Both the tooltip and flyout menu contain he tool’s name and keyboard shortcut.

The toolbox is arranged into loose categories:tools, swatches, and modes.You can select a tool by clicking it or access the tool via its shortcut(by pressing the letter indicated in the flyout menu). For example, pressing R selects the Blur tool. Holding Shift and pressing the shortcut key cycles through the hidden tools. Repeatedly pressing Shift+R cycles between the Blur, Sharpen, and Smudge tools.

Beneath the tools are the color, masking, screen mode, and ImageReady choices, respectively. Some tools, such as Paintbrush, use the foreground color. Some tools, such as Gradient, use both the foreground and background colors. To switch between the back ground and foreground color swatches, click the curved arrow icon to the upper right of the swatches. Click the Default Colors icon on the lower left to reset the colors to the default of pure black and pure white. When you click the bottommost icon, you launch Photoshop’s sister program, ImageReady.

Toolbox Arrangement

Toolbox Arrangement

Toolbox Arrangement

Keep a copy of this handy.

Keep a copy of this handy.

More about Mask and Screen Modes

The Mask mode buttons are for editing in standard or quick-mask modes. The left button is the Edit in Standard Mode button, and the right button is the Edit in Quick Mask Mode button. Quick Mask offers a way to view, make, and edit a selection using a painting technique. This is hard to explain without an example, so leave the mode set to Standard right now.

From left to right, here are your screen modes, which affect the way you see the work area:

  • Standard Screen mode.This default setting shows your entire photoshop desktop, with menu bars, scrollbars, and other screen elements.
  • Full Screen mode with menu bar.This mode hides your desktop background and other open images, enlarges your view of the image, and keeps the menu bar in view.
  • Full Screen mode.Use this mode to hide your desktop background, any open images, and the menu bar. In addition, the Photoshop window turns to black.(You can now move an image even when it is in Full Screen mode.)

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