Learnit Training

3. Managing your work area

3.1 Customise working area

You can fully customise the Photoshop work area. Let's look at the ability to move windows. Once you have opened Photoshop, we will start by creating a new blank image. You do this by clicking on "File" and then "New" in the upper left-hand menu bar. In the dialogue screen under "Presets" select "International Paper". Then make sure that "Size" shows the paper size "A4". Leave the other settings as they are and press the "OK" button. You now have a new window on your screen with a white area the size of an A4 sheet.

The new empty document has been given a tab. In this tab you can read that the name of the new document is "nameless-1". As soon as you save the document itself, this temporary name will be replaced by your chosen name. Behind the name in the tab is also a percentage. As it often happens that an image does not fit completely on the screen, it is useful to zoom out so that a complete image is created. The degree of zooming in and out is indicated by this percentage. It is useful to know that 100% is always the true size of the image. If the percentage is smaller than 100%, this indicates that you have zoomed out and that the actual document is larger than it fits on the screen.

You can now drag down the tab called "nameless-1" to create a separate window that you can place anywhere. When you try to drag the title bar of the new window (named "nameless-1") back to its original position you will notice that at some point a blue line appears while dragging it. When you see the blue line while you are dragging the window, it is best to release the (left) mouse button to stop moving. If all went well, the window will have rejoined the other sections of the screen and you will be back to where you started.

The action you have just performed can also be tried on all other windows/pallets. For example, you can move the "layers" palette by dragging only the tab of the palette named "layers" to the centre of the screen. Try it out.

3.2 Restoring the working area

As a result of moving all kinds of palettes and toolbars, it is possible that your screen is in a less orderly condition. It could also be possible, if other people use the same computer, that your predecessor has left the screen and therefore Photoshop like this. It would then be nice to know how you can restore Photoshop to its original state. The easiest way is to choose "Window" in the menu bar and then "Workspace" and finally choose "Reset Essential Elements". Photoshop will then return to the original situation.