One of the keys to efficient, accurate work in Photoshop is using the right tool for the job. The Patch tool, for example, copies texture only. If you need to cover a spot on a client's face, you need the Clone Stamp tool rather than the Patch tool. (You can read about how the tools work throughout this book.)
You can ensure that you're using not only the correct tool but also the correct settings for that tool by creating tool presets, which store your settings from the Options bar. You select the preset tool (and, of course, that's where the catchy name comes from) from the Tool Presets palette or from the left end of the Options bar, as shown in Figure 3-11.
Although just about any tool is a good candidate for tool presets, some are just plain naturals. Consider, if you will, the Type tool. When you consider all the options for the Type tool in not only the Options bar but also in the Character and Paragraph palettes, there's quite a bit to select and track. To ensure consistent text from project to project, consider creating tool presets for each project, including (as appropriate) headline and body text, special effects and accent type, and even your copyright information.
Another logical candidate for tool presets is the Crop tool. As I explain in Chapter 4, a photo from a high-end digital camera has an aspect ratio (relationship between width and height of the image) of 2:3, and common print and frame aspect ratios include 4:5 (for 8 x 10 prints), 5:7, and 13:19 (for large prints). (Some lower-cost cameras shoot in different aspect ratios.) You'll often find a need to crop an image to a specific size to meet your printing requirements. And, don't forget resolution — printing in the correct size at the wrong resolution is simply a waste of paper and ink! Set up a number of Crop tool presets for your typical print sizes and relax, knowing that you'll always be cropping correctly.
Season to Taste: Photoshop's Settings
The program-level Preferences and the Color Settings flavor all your work in Photoshop. The options that you choose in Photoshop's Preferences (or simply the Prefs) control many facets of the program's basic behavior. Choices made in the Color Settings dialog box determine how your work looks, both onscreen and in print. And when you get down to brass tacks, that's what it's all about — the appearance of your artwork.
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