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Chapter One. Where to Start > Tools & Functions

Tools & Functions

If a tool or a function (transformation, filters, etc.) doesn't work properly, there are a number of possible reasons. To help narrow down the possible problems, I think it's worth mentioning that there are two types of functions in Photoshop: document--specific and application-specific. What does that mean, and how does it relate to problem-solving? I'm glad you asked!

A document-specific function is something that changes with each document, such as layers, channels, document size, resolution, and mode. Application-specific functions refer to something that you set in Photoshop that doesn't change regardless of the document, such as tool settings, default preferences, and colors in the Swatches palette. As we'll see later, some issues can be ruled out simply by creating a new document. If the problem goes away once a new document is created, you know that it's most likely a document-specific issue, such as something in the Layers palette. If the problem persists in the new document, it's likely that an application setting is the issue.


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