■ Click Next to get the Memory & Image Cache dialog box.

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Cache Levels in the Memory and Image Cache dialog box has to do with how Photoshop 7 saves (or doesn't save) images in RAM to facilitate the display of images on the screen. When Cache Levels is on (that is, it has a value of one or more), Photoshop 7 saves one or more lower resolution versions of the image so that your screen updates more quickly when zooming in or out to see more or less of an image. Besides taking up extra RAM, Cache Levels also takes up some extra scratch disk space as well. If you routinely work on large images and you have sufficient RAM and hard drive space, this feature is indispensable — use it!

So how do you decide on the number of cache levels to use? You need one cache level for each incremental zoom setting you plan on using. You can view the various zoom settings by clicking the Zoom tool in Navigator starting from the one just below 100% to get: 66.67%, 50%, 33.33%, 25%, 16.67%, 12.5%, 8.33%, and so on to numbers that are less than 1%. Obviously, you need a very large image to find much use in zooming to these lower levels, but they are available should you need them. For example, assume that we will zoom to 12.5%. In this case set Cache Levels to 6.

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■ If you have lots of RAM and hard drive space relative to the size of images that you typically edit, then set Cache Levels to the appropriate number of zoom levels you expect to use.

■ If you don't have much RAM and you normally edit large images, then set Cache Levels to 0 and have patience as Photoshop 7 down- or up-samples the images to display.

■ Make sure that the Use cache for histograms feature is turned off as it ensures that your histograms are accurate relative to the image file — not the displayed image.

■ While the optimal percentage to use in the Physical Memory Usage box is dependent on whether you use a PC or Mac, and which operating system you use, and the amount of RAM you have, you are safe setting it to no more than 80% if you have 128MBs or more of RAM.

■ Click OK to close the Preferences dialog box. That's it! We covered all eight of the preferences dialog boxes and Photoshop 7 is now configured for you. However, you haven't saved your settings yet. To save them, you must close Photoshop 7, which causes your newly created preferences file to be written to your hard drive. So, close Photoshop 7 now to make sure your settings get saved.

STEP 6: RESET TOOLS AND PALETTES

While we are on the topic of resetting things to default settings, I would be remiss to not cover the Preset Manager, which allows you to reset libraries of preset: Brushes (Ctrl+1), Swatches (Ctrl+2), Gradients (Ctrl+3), Styles (Ctrl+4), Patterns (Ctrl+5), Contours (Ctrl+6), Custom Shapes (Ctrl+7), and Tools (Ctrl+8).

■ To reset any of the preset libraries, choose Edit ^ Preset Manager to get the Preset Manager dialog box shown in Figure 1.13. Click the Preset Manager menu button (the tiny triangle just to the right of Preset Type box) to get a menu; then select Reset [the name of the tool]. You then get a dialog box asking if you want to replace the library to the default library. Click OK. ■ After you have reset all the tools you want to reset, click Done to close the Preset Manager.

STEP 7: ORGANIZE AND CONTROL YOUR PALETTES

The key to working efficiently in a woodworking shop, an artist's studio, or any creative environment including Photoshop 7 — is having an organized workspace — one where every tool can be found easily and yet is not in the way of your getting your work done. Photoshop 7 palettes contain many of the most used features in Photoshop 7, and while their use is essential, they can, if you allow them, take up most of your desktop and block your view of the image that you are editing.

The clever Adobe Photoshop 7 interface designers have, if you can believe it, come up with six different ways to help you manage palettes! Palettes collapse to the size of a dialog box title bar, they can be docked in the palette well, they all can be turned on and off with the Tab key, they can automatically be arranged in either a default or a predefined layout, and they can be grouped and even stacked.

If you are inclined to either skip or just read the next few steps that show you how to manage palettes, I urge you to grab your mouse and move a few palettes around your desktop. The time and effort you take now to learn about palettes can save you much time and aggravation in the future.

■ Once again, open the iris.jpg file, if it is not open, so that you have an image displayed.

■ Use Navigator and the Info palettes to practice controlling palettes. If either the Navigator or Info palettes are not showing, choose Window ^ Navigator or Window ^ Info to display them.

■ To make the Navigator palette use as little space as possible without closing it, double-click the Navigator tab bar and it collapses to just the Navigator tab bar and dialog box, as shown in Figure 1.14. To expand it, once again double-click the Navigator tab bar and it displays full-size.

If you are using a display setting larger than 800 pixels wide, the Options bar shown just below main menu bar features a palette well for holding palettes such as the Navigator palette.

■ To dock the Navigator palette in the palette well, click the Navigator tab and drag and drop it into the palette well, as shown in Figure 1.15.You can remove it by clicking on the Navigator tab and dragging and dropping it back onto the workspace.

Alternatively, you can dock palettes by clicking the menu button (the tiny triangle) in the palette and choosing Dock to Palette Well from the menu.

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The advantage to docking a palette is that it makes it easy to access — one click and it is accessible. The disadvantage is that any palette that is docked in the palette well closes as soon as any other tool is selected or when clicking an open image. For this reason, docking is excellent for those palettes that you don't need to view when using other tools, such as the Brushes or Color palettes. You click to open them, and then choose the color or brush you want. As soon as you use another tool, they close automatically leaving you with more visible desktop space or image.

■ Palettes may also be stacked. To stack the Navigator palette with the Info palette, click the Info tab and drag it onto the Navigator tab to get the stacked palette shown in Figure 1.16.To separate them, click one of the tabs and then drag and drop the palette back on the desktop.

■ Now group the Navigator with the Info palette into a single palette. I do this frequently as I often use the Navigator and I am always using the Info palette. Click the Info tab and drag it slowly to the bottom of the Navigator palette. If you drag slowly, you'll see a dark line appear at the bottom

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of the Navigator palette. Release the mouse button and they are grouped, as shown in Figure 1.17.

■ At this point you should have at least two palettes open. I suggest you open up a few more along with the Tools palette by selecting Window and any palette that does not have a check mark next to it.

■ To hide all these palettes, press Tab and they all disappear. Press Tab again and they return to the desktop where they were before you first pressed Tab .You may notice that this switch also hides the Options bar, too. This is a very valuable shortcut that results in a clear workspace.

■ To hide all but the Tools palette and Options bar, press Shift+Tab.

That covers four of the six ways to organize palettes that I mentioned earlier. The last two ways are covered in the next step where you discover how to personalize your workspace.

STEP 8: PERSONALIZE YOUR WORKSPACE

As you grow more familiar with Photoshop 7 and you begin to learn how you work most effectively, you're likely to want to personalize your workspace. Photoshop 7 allows you to reset palettes to a default workspace by selecting Windows ^ Workspace ^ Reset Palette Locations. Previously in Step 5, you learned how to set Photoshop 7 to open with the palettes in the same location as they were when it was last closed by using Preferences. You can also customize and save your own workspaces and set them up with a simple click of a menu.

Over time, I have learned how I work most efficiently. Sometimes I like to use a 1280 x 1024 screen setting and other times I like to use the 1024 x 768 setting. Depending on the screen resolution that I am using and if I am working on digital photographs or images for Web pages, I like to change my workspace. Every now and then I use a Wacom pen tablet and make digital paintings. At other times, I split my desktop between my word-processor and Photoshop 7 when writing content for books, magazines, or Web pages. In each of these cases, I use different workspaces. You can see the many variations that I use in Figure 1.18, which shows the Window ^ Workspace menu as I have customized it.

My most often-used workspace, shown in Figure 1.19, is for a 1280 x 1024 pixel display. As I always seem to have the Navigator open and I frequently use the Info palette, I group them. The History palette is open because I am very much a trial and error kind of Photoshop person, so using Snapshots is invaluable. Layers and Channels are stacked as I only need to see one at a time. Finally, I like having the Browser, Brushes, and Color palettes tucked neatly away in the palette well. This lets me get to them in a click and after I select the file, brush, or color I need, the palette closes automatically.

Save Workspace,,. Delete Workspace...

Reset Palette Locations

800x600 _1280 Basic _Default _Digital Painting _half-screen _Web development _Writing

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■ To set up a workspace, arrange the palettes and the Tools palette where you want them to be. Then choose Window ^ Workspace ^ Save Workspace to get the Save Workspace dialog box. Type in the name that you want to show up on the menu and click Save — that's it!

Next time you want to use a customized workspace, just choose Window ^ Workspace and then click your customized setting.

Besides using customized workspace settings, Adobe has created a default setting for you. To use this default setting, choose Window ^ Workspace ^ Reset Palette Locations to get a workspace like the one shown in Figure 1.20, which is shown in a 1024 x 768 pixel desktop.

I should mention that you may occasionally lose a palette. After you select the Window menu, you see a check mark next to the palette that you want to display, but it is not viewable on your desktop. The reason is that it's been moved off the desktop. This frequently happens when you resize your desktop. To make all the palettes and the Tools palette viewable,

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choose Window ^ Workspace ^ Reset Locations.

Palette

STEP 9: SELECT STATUS BAR TYPE

Useful information about the image, the active tool, image processing speeds and efficiency, and so forth may be displayed at the bottom of the Photoshop 7 application window. This information is displayed in the Status bar. If you have the Status bar turned on, you will find it at the very bottom of the Photoshop 7 application window (Windows) as shown in Figure 1.21. If you don't see it, choose Window ^ Status Bar to display it.

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■ The Status bar can be set to show document sizes, document profile, document dimensions, scratch sizes, efficiency, timing, or current tool. To select the information that you want to display, click the menu button (the triangle icon) in the Status bar to get the menu shown in Figure 1.22.

I frequently set my Status bar to either Scratch Sizes to keep an eye on how large my images are getting or on Efficiency to see if it starts dropping, meaning I am running low on RAM. If you want to learn more about these settings, consult the Photoshop 7 Help or the printed User Guide.

Document 5izes Document Profile

Document Dimensions

Scratch 5izes

Efficiency

Timing

Current Tool

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Document 5izes Document Profile

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