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Section: ONE Be Your Own Help Desk

Section ONE: Be Your Own Help Desk

I start every day with a plan. I make to-do lists, I have long-term goals that I revisit every 6 months, and I religiously update my calendar. My desk is incredibly organized, as is my computer—there are no files on my desktop, and every document is carefully saved in the correct location, with a very descriptive file name. Okay, that snickering you're hearing is from my co-workers who've seen my desk and have watched me try to find files that I know are on my computer. My wife Marlene will get a good laugh from this since she's lived with my cluttered desk and my unorganized ways for more than 20 years. (In college I actually had a small poster beside my desk that read “a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.”)

Strangely enough, I am a stickler when it comes to planning my use of Photoshop. I have some key tactics that I use to save time, to avoid problems, and to create documents that allow me to change my mind. That's what this section is all about: strategies you can use to be your own “help desk.” You'll see how to track down the type of problem you've encountered, and some things to check to determine the cause—and solution—of your difficulties. That same checklist concept is perhaps one of the key components of this book, as remembering to “check first” can really help us avoid many of the roadblocks we face in Photoshop.

As you read through this section, I encourage you to adapt the concepts to fit with the way you use Photoshop. Okay, that introduction took 17 minutes to write. According to my daily plan, I now have 13 minutes to read through it and run Spell Check before my next task.



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