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Chapter 15. Interface Design > Creating Interface Elements

Creating Interface Elements

OK, you've got a veritable treasure trove of knowledge. You understand monitor size and screen resolution and how to deal with color. Now, using what we know, it's time to start learning how to create user interface elements. Bear in mind that there are literally hundreds of interface elements that can be created (as evidenced by a five-minute surf on the Web), and that this book can only dedicate so many pages to this subject. You can consider this chapter your starter kit. Try out my techniques, and then go off-leash and create your own interface masterpieces.

The Shape Tools

Photoshop 6.0's new shape tools are perfect for creating interface elements because you can makes changes to the elements later without lowering the quality of your imagery. We took a brief look at the shape tools in Chapter 1, but there's a lot more to know that will serve you well when creating interface elements. Before using the shape tools, be sure to check out the settings in the Options bar. You should see three choices in the far left of the bar (Figure 15.13). The leftmost choice is what you want; it's the one that creates a shape layer. Shape layers are special because you can scale, rotate, and manipulate them without degrading the quality of your image. If you find that the shape layer choice isn't available, then you are most likely already working on a shape layer, and Photoshop is assuming you would like to add to that layer. If that's the case, then press Return or Enter to tell Photoshop that you are done working on that shape layer and would like to start another one.


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