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PHOTOSHOP PREFERENCES

Before you start working on your images in Photoshop, you need to configure the behind-the-scenes settings that control how different aspects of the program behave. I like to think of this routine as being similar to picking up a rental car at the airport. There are always a few things—positioning the mirrors, adjusting the seat, finding the headlight switch, checking the gas level, and choosing a decent radio station—that I like to do before I drive out of the parking lot and hit the open road.

Photoshop provides numerous ways for individual users to customize the program. From actions that record commonly performed tasks, to user-defined keyboard shortcuts and saved workspaces, there are different avenues to getting the program set up just the way you like it. The place you should start, however, is with the Preferences settings. On Mac OS X, Preferences are located in the Photoshop menu; on Windows systems, they can be found under the Edit menu. There are a lot of preferences, and many of them are specific to tasks and workflows that are more for graphic design and Web-related fields. So I won't discuss each one in minute detail. Instead, I'll address the most important preferences that pertain to the overall operation of the program in general, and more specifically, to those items that have the most impact on the type of work that digital artists and photographers are likely to do. The following text on preferences and color settings is excerpted with permission from my book, Real World Digital Photography.


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