First Look at Photoshop

These days, most computer applications speak a common graphical language, and Photoshop is no exception. It subscribes to the basic structure of on-screen nouns and verbs proposed and first spoken by the operating system. As a result, Photoshop may seem tolerably comprehensible the first time you meet it. Without any prior knowledge of its origins or behavior, you should be able to pick up a paintbrush and specify a color in a matter of a few seconds, simply based on the rudimentary vocabulary that you've picked up from other programs. After years of staring into cathode ray tubes, you can't help but get the picture.

But Photoshop has its own special dialect, one that differs from every other program out there. The dialect is so distinct that it's only peripherally understood by other applications, including those from Adobe, the very siblings that Photoshop grew up with. Photoshop has its own way of turning a phrase, it speaks its words in a different order than you might expect, and yes, it uses a lot of strange and sometimes unsettling jargon that it has picked up on the street. Photoshop is always and will forever be a foreigner unnaturally introduced to your hard drive. For all you may think you share in common, it doesn't know you and you don't know it.

Even you experienced users — you hearty few who have carried on more conversations with Photoshop than you have with most of your friends and family — may find yourselves stumbling when negotiating with Version 6. The program speaks differently every time it upgrades. In fact, it's wrong to think of Photoshop 6 as an older, wiser version of its former self. This is a completely new beast, bearing about as much resemblance to Photoshop 1.0 as you bear to a fellow human located on the exact opposite end of the earth.

In This Chapter

Getting comfortable with a brand-new Photoshop desktop

Finding your favorite tools and meeting a few new ones

Working with the Photoshop 6 Options bar

Zooming in 0.01-percent increments

Scrolling from the keyboard

Using the Navigator palette

Expanded coverage of Photoshop's preference settings ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

So in this chapter, I introduce to you the Sixth Beast, insubordinate child of its ancestors, spoiler of photographic traditions, and speaker of the new language that you now have to learn. These pages represent a low-level primer you need to ingest before you can utter so much as a coherent "gack!" Granted, it comes to you second hand — I am a non-native myself, with my own peculiar dialect as you'll discover—but given that Photoshop 6 itself is the only native speaker on the planet, this foreigner's perspective will have to do.

Learn Photoshop Now

Learn Photoshop Now

This first volume will guide you through the basics of Photoshop. Well start at the beginning and slowly be working our way through to the more advanced stuff but dont worry its all aimed at the total newbie.

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