The floating palettes

In addition to the Options bar, Photoshop 6 sports two new text-related palettes, the Character and Paragraph palettes. These two palettes don't display automatically when you first launch Photoshop; you must choose Show Character or Show Paragraph from the Window menu or click the Palettes button on the Options bar while the type tool is active. Other than that, these new palettes look and behave just like the other palettes, which look and behave much like they have since Version 3. Each palette contains most or all of the elements labeled in Figure 2-6. Some palettes lack scroll bars, others lack size boxes, but that's just to keep you from getting too stodgy.

Collapse box

Palette tab Untitled title bar Close box

Palette menu

Palette tab Untitled title bar Close box

Palette menu

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Figure 2-6: Most palettes include the same basic elements as the Layers palette, shown here.

Many palette elements are miniature versions of the elements that accompany any window. For example, the close button and title bar work identically to their image-window counterparts. The title bar lacks a title — I have a lobbyist in Washington working on getting the name changed to "untitled bar" as we speak — but you can still drag it to move the palette to a different location on screen.

Tip Photoshop automatically snaps palettes into alignment with other palettes. To snap a

. \ palette to the edge of the screen, Shift click its title bar. You can also Shift drag the title bar to move the palette around the perimeter of the screen, or to snap the palette from one edge of the screen to the other. (This tip also works with the toolbox.)

Four elements are unique to floating palettes:

♦ Palette options: Each floating palette offers its own collection of options. These options may include icons, pop-up menus, slider bars, you name it.

♦ Palette menu: Click the right-pointing arrowhead to display a menu of commands specific to the palette. These commands enable you to manipulate the palette options and adjust preference settings.

♦ Palette tabs: Click a palette tab to move it to the front of the palette group. (You can also select the palette commands from the Window menu, but it's more convenient to click a tab.)

♦ Collapse button: Click the collapse button to decrease the amount of space consumed by the palette. If you previously enlarged the palette by dragging the size box, your first click reduces the palette back to its default size. After that, clicking the collapse button hides all but the most essential palette options.

In most cases, collapsing a palette hides all options and leaves only the tabs visible. But in the case of the Color and Layers palettes, clicking the collapse button leaves a sliver of palette options intact, as demonstrated in the middle example of Figure 2-7. To eliminate all options — as in the last example — Alt-click the collapse button. You can also double-click one of the tabs or in the empty area to the right of the tabs. These tricks work even if you've enlarged the palette by dragging the size box.

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Figure 2-7: The Color palette shown at full size (top), partially collapsed (middle), and fully collapsed (bottom)

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Figure 2-7: The Color palette shown at full size (top), partially collapsed (middle), and fully collapsed (bottom)

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Photoshop Secrets

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