We’ve presented you with plenty of editing tips, tricks and tutorials for Photoshop. But this tutorial is about editing Photoshop itself. Scott Kelby gives you 5 practical and quick tips how to customize your copy of this editing software so it suits your needs and preferences. From layout, to shortcuts and commands, you can change it and tailor it as you wish.
Change the overall interface color
Hold Shift + F1 to make it darker, and Shift + F2 to make it lighter. There are black and three shades of gray and you can choose the one you like best. Another way to do this is going to Preferences > Interface (or Edit > Preferences > Interface in the older versions of Photoshop). Here you can click on the color you like.
Change the color behind the image
Right click on the area behind the image and choose the color you prefer. Again, you can change between black and three grays, but you can also click on “Select custom color” and choose any color you like. This will not change the entire interface, but only the color of the area behind the image.
Change the thumbnail size
You can choose the size of thumbnails in the “Layer”, “Channels” and “Path” panels. Right-click in the empty space in these panels and choose the size of thumbnails. You can make them small, medium and large, or turn them off completely.
Customize the toolbar
In the Toolbar, there are probably some tools you rarely or never use. You can remove them and make the toolbar less cluttered. Go to Edit > Toolbar. You’ll get a pop-up window with the tools you can arrange as you please. Drag the tools from the left into the space on the right. When you’re done, they’ll appear in a separate slot at the bottom of the toolbar. In case you’re using an older version of Photoshop, note that this may not be available. I’m using Photoshop 6, and this feature is available only as part of Photoshop Extended.
Adding your own keyboard shortcuts
Photoshop has a whole bunch of shortcuts, but there are still many features that don’t have one. The good news is that you can create one for the features you use a lot and which don’t have the shortcut.
Go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Choose “Application Menus” from the drop down menu. Then, find the feature you want, and type in the keyboard shortcut you like. Note that some of them may be taken, and you will have a notification which feature already has the same shortcut. If it belongs to something you rarely or never use, it’s okay to apply it to something you use much more often.
These were five quick and easy tips for making Photoshop suit your needs and style better. I believe that customizing any software can actually increase your speed and efficiency while working in it, and make the work more comfortable. What do you think? Did you customize your copy of Photoshop, or just left it as it was when you first installed it?
[5 Tips for Customizing Your Copy of Photoshop | Scott Kelby]