Thursday, November 4, 2010

Optimizing your tools

It has now come to the time to discuss how the toolbars can shorten your time when putting together a layout.

First things is to customize your toolbars to fit your needs. I don't recall exactly the basic toolbars, but I believe it is similar to below.

We will go to View>Toolbars and pick the web bar.

Go ahead and get the other two (Photo and Effects). We don't want the Script toolbar yet. Maybe, eventually, we will get to scripts. As you select them they appear on the workspace.

Now we have to move the Web bar below the toolbar as shown in the first image. It make take a few times to get it to dock, but once it is, by holding the dark bar on the left you can slide the bar to the left or right. Slide it over to the far left.

Move the Photo and Effect bars below the web bar, before we start on the customizing.

Go to View>Customize.

When the customize window opens, the left pane has the categories, the right shows the commands within the chosen category.

On the web bar, we are going to leave the jpg and png icons. One at a time, click, hold and drag one of the other icons to the customize window.

What comes hereafter is only a suggestion. Only you will know what will best suit you. Click on View in the customize window. Scroll down to Rulers; Grid; Guides; Snap to Guides and Change Grid, Guide, Snap Properties. Again, one at a time, click, hold and drag next to png icon on the web bar.

Now move to Image in the customize window. Grab Mirror, Flip and Free Rotate. Next get Crop to Selection, Canvas Size and Resize.

Under Selections you will want Modify, Invert and Promote Selection to Layer and from the Layer Palette get Promote Background Layer.

Now start taking the icons off the first toolbar below the web bar. We will be putting in commands to help adjust photos. From Adjust get Curves, Levels, Colorize, Hue/Saturation/Lightness, Gaussin Blur, Unsharp Mask. From Effects, grab Photo Effects. Take the icons off the next toolbar and get Drop Shadow, Inner Bevel and Image Effects from the Effects category. If you've been folloing along, your toolbars should now look similar to this:

Now go to File>Workspace>Save. I name it according to version and date, but you may have a better way of keeping track, so don't feel you have to do the same.

As you progress you will, no doubt, find that there will be some commands that you will want to use more often and put on one of the toolbars and some that are there now that you want to take off.

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