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Sharpness

I must confess that I almost never use the Sharpness slider because I prefer to sharpen my image as the final step right before I print. It's ideal if you sharpen an image after it has been scaled down to its final size, and the Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen filters give you much more control because they have multiple sliders to control sharpening instead of just one. But whatever you do, don't ignore this setting because the default sharpness amount is 25, not 0.

But, again, if you're in a hurry, recording an action, or feeling just plain lazy, there are merits to the Sharpness slider. You might find that moving the slider doesn't appear to do anything to your image. That usually happens when you're zoomed out so you can see the entire image. Before you start to sharpen your image, double-click on the Zoom tool in the upper left of the Camera Raw dialog box. That will get you to 100% view, where you'll be able to see exactly what the Sharpness slider is doing to your image. When you're done, you can always double-click on the Hand tool to get back to the view that shows your entire image. I won't say much about sharpening here because there is an entire chapter (Chapter 12, “Sharpening”) dedicated to the subject later in this book.


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