Getting Content into Photoshop


► Use the Open Command to Bring an Existing Bitmap File into Photoshop 66

► Use the File Browser to Preview and Sort Images 68

► Rank Images in the File Browser for Customized Sorting 70

► Export Cache from the File Browser for Speedy Image Previews 72

► Dealing with Mismatching Color Profiles When Opening Images 72

► Create a New File in Photoshop 74

► Import a File into Photoshop Using the TWAIN Interface 76

► Capture Images Larger than You Plan to Use in Photoshop 78 Adjust an Image's Resolution in Photoshop 79

► Use the Clipboard to Transfer Files Between Applications 80

► Use the Open Command to Open an Existing Vector File in Photoshop 81

► Use the Place Command to Import an Existing Vector File into Another File in Photoshop 82

► Trim Away White Space Around an Image 84

This chapter opens with a discussion of ways to use external content in Photoshop (such as scans and digital photos) and moves on to describe how to actually go about bringing external content into Photoshop and what settings to use.

Ways to Bring Content into Photoshop

While Photoshop is often used to create digital art from scratch, it is also commonly used to edit existing graphics or perhaps to merge existing graphics with new designs. In either case, the existing graphics must be brought into Photoshop in some way.

Perhaps the most popular ways of bringing content into Photoshop involve the use of scanners and digital cameras. In addition, you can open existing digital files in Photoshop, such as JPEGs you downloaded from the Internet or received via e-mail.


There are a large variety of scanners available, ranging from sheet-fed scanners to flatbed scanners and film scanners. The type of scanner you use depends primarily on the items you plan to scan. For example, if you only plan to scan business documents and are looking for a scanner that will automatically scan large stacks of single-sheet documents, then the sheet-fed scanner is good for you.

On the other hand, if you're a professional photographer looking to scan not only prints but also film, then you need to invest in a good film scanner. For everyone else, a flatbed scanner is the most popular scanner on the market. Table 3-1 gives a brief synopsis of these three basic types of scanners.

Type of Scanner


Price Range


Flat "box" with a glass window where item to be scanned is placed; sensors behind the glass "read" the image. Can scan virtually anything that can lie flat on the glass.

$50-$150 for the lower-resolution scanners (approx. 600 dpi)

$150+ for the higher-resolution scanners (approx. 1,200 dpi)


Often bundled with a fax and printer in multipurpose machines. Can scan items no thicker than a single sheet of paper.

$50-$150 for individual sheet-fed scanners $400+ for the multipurpose machines with fax, print, and scan capabilities


Can scan film, often in addition to paper-based items. Capable of scanning at very high resolutions, such as 2,400 dpi.


Table 3-1 Brief Synopsis of Most Common Types of Scanners

Table 3-1 Brief Synopsis of Most Common Types of Scanners

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