Understanding Photoshop: Workspace




In order to edit any of your images, you must first know how to use Photoshop. When you first open it up it may look overwhelming and that’s exactly how I felt until I started messing around with it and figuring out what everything does.





The very first tip I’m going to give you is not one that I started using from the very beginning, I just actually did this about 6 months ago. This made my workflow so much easier and quicker.


I’m not sure if this was in previous versions but this is the first time I saw this. In the right hand corner of your Photoshop screen you will see a box with a drop down arrow that says Essentials.


Essentials Box


When you click on the arrow, you will see more choices (Essentials, Photography, Typography, etc…) those choices allow you to have different word spaces just a click away.


Profiles Menu


Let’s click on Photography since that’s what we’ll be doing in Photoshop. You should see the work space change around a bit, different boxes, different tabs, and stuff like that. Now the key is to move stuff around in a way that will make it easiest for you to use and only keeps those things that you use the most. Here is what my workspace looks like:




As you can see, I have a very simple workspace that only has a few things;


Tools Panel – This is a must for all types of work. This includes all the essential tools needed to do any editing in Photoshop.


Navigator – This is where you will see your image and the slider below it allows you to zoom in and out of your image, which you will be using a lot.


History – This shows all the changes that you have made within Photoshop and allows you to go back if you make a mistake.


Adjustments – This is where you will handle all of your adjustments (color balance, hue/saturation, exposure, etc…).


Actions – I use this every single time I’m batch editing. This is where I add my watermark to all images at once.


Layers – This is also a must have when you’re working. Every new layer will need to be visible so you can select it when working on it and the only way to do it is in “Layers.”



And that’s pretty much it, this will give me only the main things I use for Photoshop.


As you may also have noticed, all of my windows are to the left and that’s simply because it’s easier for me to have everything on one side. That may not be the case for you, so move them around and see what works for you. What works for one person might not work for another person so feel free to experiment.


Featured image credit: Ross Funnell
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