Create and Save Custom Tool Settings

The previous two tips discussed, in order, creating a custom brush tip and creating a custom brush. This tip takes that process one step further by showing you how to create a custom tool. While a custom brush can contain tip and other settings within the Brushes palette, it can't contain options set outside of the Brushes palette.

For example, suppose you wanted to create a string of daisies that scatter in a variety of sizes and opacities, as well as in specific colors and using the Multiple blending mode. Because the colors and blending mode of the Brush tool are set outside of the Brushes palette, those options won't be captured if you choose New Brush from the Brushes palette flyout menu. Instead, to capture settings made outside the Brushes palette—such as colors or blending modes—you save them as a tool preset.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, really. Consider creating a setting that automatically selects all the options needed to crop an image to 4x5 inches and 300 dpi with one click. Or, try using a tool preset to give one-click access to all of your favorite typographic settings—font family, style, weight, color, size, alignment, and so on. The possibilities really are limitless.

TRY IT To create a custom tool setting—in this case for the Brush tool—select the Brush tool from the toolbox. Choose Window I Brushes or click the Brushes palette button to the right of the Options bar. Select the brush tip you want to use and make any additional changes to the settings for that brush, such as the spacing and diameter.

Check and uncheck each of the other setting options along the left side of the Brushes palette, depending on which options you want saved with this brush. Make additional selections within the Options bar as needed. Finally, make sure any colors you want saved with these settings are currently located in the foreground and background color swatches.

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