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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Advanced preference changes for Adobe Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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This video is about changing some of your preferences to be a bit more helpful when you're using Photoshop. These are just my preferences, we're not going to cover them all. Just the ones that I feel are worth enough to spend some time changing. You'll have your own kind of quirks that you like. 

The biggest one here is this new thing that's appeared, it's called Rich Tooltips. They're kind of cool, right? You can see how they would be amazing for new people, explaining what all these tools do. They're a bit annoying eventually, you know, explaining them all. So to turn them off, it's up here, under Photoshop CC, in 'Preferences'. If you're on a PC, it's in a slightly different place. It's under 'Edit', down the bottom here is 'Preferences', but on my Mac, here they are, we're going to go to the one that says 'Tools'. And it's this one here, it says, use 'Rich Tooltips'. I turn that off. 

The other ones that I like are under 'File Handling'. No, not under File Handling, let's go to 'Performance'. This one here, 'History States'. By default it's 50, I like to crank it up to 100. It just means when I'm retouching, I can go 'Step Backwards' at least 100 times. You could go higher, but the higher this is the slower Photoshop can start running, if it's trying to record all these History States. 

Now if your machine is-- if your laptop is one of those-- I guess, the hand me down, and the fans come on every time you open up, I don't know, Chrome, it's probably not good to raise the History States, but mine's a pretty good laptop, like it's maybe a year and a half old now, and it was the top of the line, so it's pretty good. If you're using a big iMac or a new PC, and you've spent some money on it, then crank this up to 100, no problem. Try it. If you find everything's running a bit slow just drop it down to 50. This one here helps with my paranoia, where are you? File Handling. This one here, I set to 5 minutes, so this is Auto Recovery. 

So if Photoshop crashes it will have a copy every five minutes. So you've only lost five minutes of work, by default it's at 10. If you're finding your machine running really badly, like every time you hit-- like it'll just kind of-- I don't notice on my machine because it is pretty fast, and I'm not dealing with super huge files, so I don't notice that at all, so five minutes is perfect. If you're dealing with a slow computer and a really big file, you might change this because every kind of like five minutes, going to have a little bit of a flicker while it's saving in the background. I don't find it noticeable but-- Photoshop doesn't crash very often, so there we go. 

The last one in here in Preferences, is under Cursors. Now what I like to do is, when you're using the tips, let's have a look. I'm going to click 'OK'. So when I'm using, say the Brush Tool, you can see here, the brush is represented by a giant circle, and if I go, say I make something like my Eyedropper Tool, you can see, it's represented by the Eyedropper. And knowing which end of this to use, I guess, I know it's the bottom left, but I go through phases of not liking this, so I'm going to show you something that I do and I don't. Sometimes I turn it on and then I have to teach a class, and I go back to the regular one, and it doesn't seem to affect me as much, but if I was working just by myself, not having to teach, and kind of resetting everything, I'd make sure, I go to this one here, it says Show Crosshair in Brush Tip, which does this. 

Got my Brush Tool, can you see, the center of it now has a little target. Becomes really useful when you got a big brush, and a nice little small brush. It adds that little extra thing. You might be like, "Why are you bothering, Dan? I like it." The other thing is under 'Cursors', same sort of place, this thing here. So instead of the Eyedropper tool looking like that, it goes to Precise, it's a lot more of-- I feel like that's more scientific than it is like, with the other one. I'm going to switch it back just so that I don't freak people out in the rest of this course, but as soon as I'm finished I'm going to go turn it back. Now there are plenty of other ones. We'll do, like speeding up Photoshop in its own little window, but there's tons in here, and lots of them I just don't need to change. You might be more fussy than me, you can kind of work through them all. Let's click 'OK'. 

Another kind of preference is using the Crop tool. When you are using the Crop Tool, there's this one here people don't know you can do. So what they changed in Photoshop, by default, is when you crop things, right? Say I crop it here, and I remain it to be a PSD, if I make it bigger again you can see it's always still there, and that can be a bit of a pain if you just want to crop it off, and go away. I just don't want you there. It's this one here, it says Delete Cropped Pixels. So I hit 'return' now, and now I go back to 'Crop', and it's just gone forever. There's lots of times where I want that to happen, so you just got to turn that on and off. 

So here's the Crop tool, Deleted Cropped Pixels. Especially if you're dealing with-- file sizes kind of stressing your machine out, all this extra stuff can be just there for no good reason. There could be piles of it up there. Another thing that I do when I'm working is - I'm going to crop this - is with the Move tool is Auto Select. I make sure Auto Select is off. It's on by default, you might like that. And it's on Group by default. When I'm dealing with groups, which we'll do a bit more in this course, it tries to auto select the whole group. I like to have it on Layer if I'm using Auto Select, but most of the time I have it off. And the way I get around this is, if I make a new layer, actually let's add some text. so I've got my name here, just because. So I got two layers, instead of using Auto Select all I do is, hold down the 'Command' key on a Mac, and it changes the way that--

Can you see, Auto Select comes on when I hold down the 'Command' key on a Mac. It's 'Ctrl' key on a PC. So I have it off, and when I do want it on, I hold down 'Command' and click on 'Background Layer'. You see, it jumps over here. Click on Dan, jumps over here. So you can have a really big file, and just holding the Command key, and click on whatever layer you want, but when you're not, it means I can move Dan, you can see, over here, without being actually on it. Otherwise, with Auto Select on, it would be moving the background. 
Another thing that I want to show you is, it says 'Show Transform Controls'. This is pretty cool, because then it just stops you having to do the Command T or Ctrl T on a PC. They're always there. I show you that because lots of people need to turn them off, because I've accidentally turned them on. That can be a handy one. 

Another one I'm going to show you, it's not really a preference, I wasn't sure where to put it, and it kind of fits in with this. Let's say that you've got an image, let's say I'm going to open up an image. You found it on your machine or you're working for a client, or you're freelancing somewhere, and you're like, "I've got an image, I would like to use this image. Who owns it?" Photoshop allows you to, well some images at least, go to 'File' and go to 'File Info', there it is there. It allows you to kind of see things like the document title, just kind of like, its meta data, it's hidden in the background, it's stuff that the author of this image has added. Allows me to do things, like figure out who owns the copyright. 

If it was my own image I could add my stuff here as well as a photographer. It's a bit slow using Photoshop, you'd do something like Lightroom or Bridge to add this data to like big groups of images. Plus it has some weird stuff like, see the camera data here, it shows me the-- it's kind of not creepy, but it's like, I know that this photograph was taken on a Canon 5D. And here's a serial number. Crazy. I could actually track this down. I don't know what I'd do with that information, but this can be super useful if you're a photographer. It shows you things like, the Focal Length, Exposure, f/, ISO, all sorts of cool stuff. 

Sometimes there's more and more in here, it was from Jennifer Kingdom. Sometimes it doesn't have it, so this original image here from Unsplash, do the same thing. 'File', 'File Info', and there's nothing in here. One of the biggest ones I guess is to look in here under Basics, and look under the Copyright Notice. Whether it is public domain, copyrighted, it might be under the Creative Commons License, which means you could use it. That's enough of that, let's 'Cancel'. 

Couple of more preferences that I like to change. In your 'Layers Panel', hit the 'Burger menu', down the bottom, here's one called 'Panel Options'. Crank up this to at least the large size, like these things are tiny. I have a nice big screen, you might not have the luxury. Click 'OK', you can see, they're just more usable. You can go to the super large size, I'd probably do that. If I only worked on this big-- I got a big LG 4k monitor, and it's awesome. Often I'm working on the laptop that's plugged into it, they're just too big then. The reason I turn them down is just because they're Photoshop courses, I like to have everything looking like yours. 

One other thing that's really handy there, let's go to 'Panel Options'. This one here, I don't know why this drives me mad, 'Add Copy to Layers'. So normally when you duplicate a layer, you say I want this one, duplicate him. Ends up with Copy Afterwards, and that's fine, but if it annoys you like it annoys me just go and turn that off. 'Add Copy'. 

That's going to be it for the Preferences. We’ll look at some work flow tricks in a next video, but those are the kind of like, settings, tick boxes turn on, turn off things that I like to change. Plus we'll look in the next video how to speed up Photoshop if it's running a bit slow for you. All right, onwards.