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Introduction

Introduction

Inside The Photoshop CS2 Help Desk Book

In some books it seems pointless to have a “how-to-use-this-book” section, since, well, you just read the book. In this case, I feel compelled to share with you my idea of how this book can best be used: (a) read it, and (b) tell your friends to buy it and read it. Sorry, I couldn't resist. Seriously though, let's take a quick look at the way this book is put together. First, there are some pages designed for people who haven't yet installed the Photoshop CS2 upgrade but are planning to. It goes through some steps for you to transfer all your valuable custom settings from Photoshop CS into CS2. This section also includes a short summary of some of the key changes in Photoshop CS2—not all the new features but things that have changed in CS2, such as keyboard shortcuts.

Section includes chapters on where to start when problems occur; a checklist that can help narrow down the reason for a problem (or how to avoid it to begin with); a visual index of the most common warning messages and how to fix them; and how to create flexible documents that can help avoid many problems. In this section you'll find problem-solving strategies, workflow approaches and some step-by-step tutorials thrown in for good measure. This is the section you want to “study up on” before problems arise, so you'll be ready to solve your own problems and create documents that are easier to edit if problems (or changes) come up.

Section is the Q&A part of the book; look in these chapters when you run into a specific problem. Even if you don't find your specific question, chances are you'll find one that's similar enough to help you come up with a solution. To help find your answer, we've put together a very comprehensive table of contents that not only breaks things down by topic, but also includes every single question. (It may well be the longest table of contents in the history of books under 300 pages!) The main goal of this section is to provide quick answers to typical questions—not to provide lengthy technical explanations. I want you to get the answer you need so you can take it from there. If you want to get more detailed information from other sources, such as the Help files in Photoshop, go for it!

The final section focuses on ways that you can customize Photoshop CS2 to “make it your own,” including actions and batch processing; how to make your own brushes, shapes, swatch collections, etc.; and customizing everything from shortcuts to menus.

In some ways, I hope that you read the chapters that cover the checklist and flexible documents and, as a result, find the rest of the chapters are unnecessary. I know it's unlikely that will happen, but I really do believe that those two chapters are incredibly important and definitely could reduce the number of times you have to look for answers to problematic Photoshop questions.

There, I feel better now that I've offered my advice for how to use this book. Now let's move on to step two, tell a friend….

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