The toolbox controls
Well, that pretty much wraps it up for the Photoshop 6 tools. It was a breathtakingly dull tale, but one that had to be told. But the excitement isn't over yet. Gather the kittens and hold onto your mittens as we explore the ten controls that grace the lower portion of the toolbox:
g] Foreground color: Click the foreground color icon to bring up the Color
Picker dialog box. Select a color and press Enter to change the fore ground color, which is used by the pencil, paintbrush, airbrush, gradient, and shape tools.
I'm not sure why, but many users make the mistake of double-clicking the foreground or background color icons when they first start using Photoshop. A single click is all that's needed. Experienced users don't even bother with the Color Picker — they stick to the more convenient Color palette.
| | Background color: Click the background color icon to display the Color Picker and change the background color, which is used by the eraser and gradient tools. Photoshop also uses the background color to fill a selected area on the background layer when you press the Backspace or Delete key.
Switch colors: Click the switch colors icon to exchange the foreground and background colors.
Default colors: Click this icon to return to the default foreground and background colors — black and white, respectively.
At any time, you can quickly make the foreground color white by clicking the default colors icon and then clicking the switch colors icon. Or just press D (for default colors) and then X (for switch colors).
| Q | Marching ants: Click this icon to exit Photoshop's quick mask mode and view selection outlines as animated dotted lines that look like marching ants, hence the name. (Adobe calls this the "standard" mode, but I think marching ants mode better describes how it works.)
|r*. | Quick mask: Click here to enter the quick mask mode, which enables you to edit selection boundaries using painting tools. The marching ants van ish and the image appears half covered by a translucent layer of red, like a rubylith in traditional paste-up. The red layer covers the deselected — or masked — portions of the image. Paint with black to extend the masked areas, thereby subtracting from the selection. Paint with white to erase the mask, thereby adding to the selection.
The quick mask mode is too complex a topic to sum up in a few sentences. If you can't wait to find out what it's all about, check out Chapter 9.
Standard window: Click this icon to display the foreground image in a standard window, as shown earlier in Figure 2 3. Every image appears in the standard window mode when you first open it.
|==| Full screen with menu bar: If you can't see enough of your image inside a standard window, click this icon. The title bar and scroll bars disap pear, as do all background windows and the Windows taskbar, but the menu bar and palettes remain visible, as shown in Figure 2-5. (You can still access other open images by choosing their names from the Window menu.) A light gray background fills any empty area around the image.
Note This is similar to the effect that you get when you click the maximize button in the upper right corner of the image window. However, you probably want to avoid maximizing images; use the toolbox controls instead. Photoshop has a habit of resizing a maximized window whenever you zoom with the commands under the View menu. If you use the toolbox controls, you don't have that problem.
Tip When the image doesn't consume the entire image window, the empty portion of the window appears gray when you're working in the standard window or full screen with menu bar modes. To change it to a different color — such as black — select a color and Shift-click in the gray area with the paint bucket tool.
| | Absolute full screen: If you still can't see enough of your image, click the rightmost of the image window controls to see the photo set against a neu tral black background. (You can't change the color of this backdrop — it's always black.) The menu bar disappears, limiting your access to commands, but you can still access many commands using keyboard shortcuts. Only the toolbox and palettes remain visible.
If you need access to a menu command when working in the absolute full screen mode, press Shift+F to display the menu bar. Press Shift+F again to hide it.
Tip If Photoshop's screen elements interfere with your view of an image, you can hide all palettes — including the toolbox and Options bar — by pressing the Tab key. To * bring the hidden palettes back into view, press Tab again.
Ij-1 You can hide the palettes but leave the toolbox and Options bar on screen by press ing Shift+Tab. Press Shift+Tab again to bring the palettes back. (Pressing Tab while the standard palettes are gone hides the toolbox and Options bar.) If the rulers are turned on, they remain visible at all times. Press Ctrl+R to toggle the ruler display off and on.
Tip Here's one more tip for good measure: Shift click the icon for absolute full screen to switch the display mode for all open images. Then press Ctrl+Tab to cycle through jF the open images. This same trick works for the standard and full screen with menu bar modes.