Learn how to set your personal preferences in this Adobe Photoshop CS2 Advanced training video.
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Now for the sake of demonstration, I have a beautiful image open here, and its called Prologue_file.jpg. And it is included in the zero Prologue folder, which is inside the Project files pscs2 advanced folder that I am confident you have installed by now. Now this image comes to us from Les Garnier by way of www.iStockphoto.com, in case you are interested, and you can open up this image if you want to, or you can go ahead and open up some other image. We are not actually going to be modifying this image, instead we are going to be visiting some basic setup functions inside Photoshop just to make sure that you and I are on the same page.
And I want you to start off by pressing Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box here. Now what we are seeing in front of us right now are the default preference settings inside Photoshop CS2. And one of the default settings are pretty darn good, they are by no means in my opinion perfect. So I would like you to change some of these settings ever so slightly. For example, I would like you to go ahead and turn off Export Clipboard. Unless you have a reason for doing so, for exporting the clipboard from one application to another, r you want to have this option turned off so that you do not have big enormous delays every time you switch applications, or you don't get errors on screen when the program tries to jettison its clipboard to a different program.
I would also like you on the PC to turn on Zoom Resizes Windows. On the Mac that should already be turned on. And that will go ahead and resize the window when you zoom in and out from an image. That is ultimately a personal preference of you like not having your windows zoom, or anything else that I am about to do. You can leave the option set off, but I am just showing you the recommended settings in my opinion, and after years and years of course of using this program, I would advice you to turn off Use Shift key for Tool Switch as well. So you can switch tools more easily just by pressing a letter key on the keyboard, without also pressing the shift key. And this is an interesting one inside Photoshop CS2; you can zoom with the Scroll Wheel if you want. If you leave this option turned off, and you have a mouse with the Scroll Wheel and you use it, then why you will actually scroll the image up and down with that scroll wheel. You may find it often nifty to zoom with that scroll wheel. So when you move the scroll wheel down, it zooms in, when you move it up, it zooms out.
Alright, I am going to the next set of Preference options now. This takes us to the File Handling options inside the Preferences dialog box. Now notice there is this option right here, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. By default this is set to Ask. So that when you save a layered Photoshop file, Layered native Photoshop document, Photoshop asks you if you want to create a flattened version of the image as well, which makes it compatible, makes that file compatible with a wider range of programs. Now if you are working with a video editing application or DVA application, such as After Effects for example, or Premiere, you'll probably want to leave this option set to Ask, so that you create larger files. Larger more compatible files, extensibly more compatible. If you are placing a lot of Photoshop, lot of layered Photoshop files into InDesign, you may want to leave this set to Ask as well. If you however are just creating your layered files for use inside Photoshop only, and you don't intend to take them into other applications, or those applications are fully capable of supporting fully layered files, and you want to minimize this size of your images, particularly when you're getting into huge images like a 100 Meg layered files, and so on. Then I recommend that you set this to Never, so that you aren't constantly and insensibly bugged by this little dialog box that comes up and asks you if you want to save the flattened version of the file or not. This is up to you ultimately, but I say when in doubt set Never, unless you are a DV professional.
I am going to click the Next button. In order to go to the Display & Cursors portion of the Preferences dialog box, and I am going to turn on a new function inside of Photoshop CS2, which is Show Crosshair in Brush Tip. For those of you who are doing a lot of brush work inside the application, you will find it not only useful to see the outer rim of your brush, but to also see across here right in the center. So it's kind of the best of both worlds, that is the best of the Precision cursor world, where you have a cross right there at the center, and the best of the Brush Tip world as well. So you can really see what your brush is going to look like.
Full Size Brush Tip, note this little preview here, will make the brush bigger, it will expand the brush to include the soft edge of the brush as well, in case you want to see every effected pixel as you brush over it. I am happy with Normal Brush Tip however. I am going to click the Next button a couple of times to advance to the Units & Rulers area of this dialog box. Notice by default Rulers are still set to inches inside the American version at least of Photoshop. I prefer to work in the absolute unit of measurement, which is a worldwide unit of measurement where images are concerned, and that is pixels, because pixels are also device independent. So whether you are going to the web, or whether you are going to a printer, you care about how many pixels are inside of your image.
Click Next a couple of times to advance to the Plug-ins & Scratch disks, for those of you who have multiple hard drives installed in your system, or a multiple partitions associated with those hard drives, you want to set up your scratch disks to take advantage of all of those hard drives. So I recommend that you set your first scratch disk to something other than the Startup drive, such as your D Drive or E Drive or what have you, anything but that C Drive on the PC, anything but that Startup Drive on the Mac. If you have multiple hard drives once again, and then set the secondary drive to some other drive, you might as well take full advantage of as many drives as you have, so that you can open as many images as you want, and so that you can work with very large images inside the program.
Now this isn't all the preference settings inside of Photoshop. There are a couple of more panels of settings inside this dialog box, but this is as many as we need to visit for now. Go ahead and click OK, in order to accept these choices.