Make Photoshop more Managable

How to Make Photoshop Manageable

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with Photoshop, but when it is broken down to the bare essentials, it becomes far less intimidating and easy to navigate.  Photoshop is a vast toolbox that can manage all kinds of tasks, but you probably don’t need to use all the tools at once.  To make Photoshop more manageable, take out only the tools you need for your specific project. 

Here’s a quick tour of Photoshop essentials:

  1. Toolbox.  Located on the far left of your screen, it has the paintbrush, clone stamp tool, healing brush, and a couple dozen other tools.
  2. Options Bar.  Located above the frame, the options bar allows you to select options for each tool.  The options will change based on the tool selected.
  3. Menu Bar.  At the very top of the screen is the menu bar, where you can select different menu items.
  4. Panels.  On the right side of the screen are the panels, individual windows with various features based on the tools and tasks you have in front of you.

The toolbox, options bar, and menu bar are pretty important, so we’ll leave them in place.  The panels, however, can be shown or hidden based on your needs.  Simply select the panel name under the Window menu to show or hide it.

The most effective way to organize your screen is using Workspaces.  A workspace is a collection of panels saved in a layout that is convenient for you.  It allows you to select only the tools you need for the task at hand.

To use Workspaces:

  1. Go to the upper right hand corner of your screen and click on the drop-down menu.  This gives you access to a set of predefined workspaces for specific tasks, like 3D, Motion Graphics, Painting, Photography, and Typography.
  2. Select a predefined workspace.  This will rearrange the panels on your screen to what you are likely to need for that task.
  3. If you’re new to Photoshop, select the Essentials workspace.  This opens only the most commonly used panels.

To create a custom workspace:

  1. Close any open panels.  On the left side of your screen, find the open panels.  Click on the top bar of the panel and drag it to the center of the screen.  Then close it by clicking the small x in the upper left corner.
  2. Go to the Windows menu to open the panels you want to use.   Drag those panels to the right side of the screen.  Place them where you want to use them.
  3. Go to the Workspace menu at the top right of the screen and select New Workspace.  Name your new custom workspace and save it. 

Workspaces are an easy way to take out only the tools you need for the specific task at hand.  It helps make Photoshop much less intimidating and much more manageable.

Watch the tutorial below to see this process in action.