Photoshop for Beginners: How to Customize Palettes and Appearance | Lesson | Photo, video, optics


Photoshop is a huge program with endless possibilities. Because of this, beginners are often afraid to approach it, and, having opened it, they get lost. If you customize the editor for yourself, make it more customized, and — therefore — convenient, then the work will go faster. The saying “order outside, order inside” is appropriate here. There will be no chaos and heaps of unnecessary tools in the workspace, and everything you need will be at hand.

We tell you how to set up palettes in Photoshop and what they are, as well as how to make the program visually more pleasing to you.

Palettes help the user quickly get to the right tools and program features, thereby greatly speeding up the work / Photo: Elizaveta Chechevitsa

What are palettes in Adobe Photoshop?
Where to find palettes in Photoshop?
How to add a palette to the screen in Photoshop?
How to attach a palette to the screen?
How to merge multiple palettes in Photoshop?
How to collapse palettes?
How to close the palette?
How to change theme color in Photoshop 2022?

What are Palettes in Adobe Photoshop

In Photoshop palette is a panel with quick access to the editor’s features. For example, in the palette Brush Settings you can change the shape and way of drawing with this tool, and in the palette Gradients / Gradients you can quickly select a suitable downloaded or pre-installed gradient for tinting.

Palettes are added to the workspace (or workspace) — the area where the work with the image takes place. This speeds up processing, as all the necessary and frequently used functions are at hand.

Under the number 1 is the working environment or workspace; under the number 2 — palettes / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Fotosklad.Expert

Where to Find Palettes in Photoshop

All palettes that only exist in the program are in the menu Window / Window. The only exception is the palette Plugins / Pluginswhich is opened through the corresponding menu.

Palettes that are currently active, that is, those that are in the workspace, are indicated by a black tick opposite their name / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Photosklad.Expert

How to add a palette to the screen in Photoshop

1. To add a palette to the screen, to the working environment, just click on it. And in the same way, you can remove it.

2. If you expand the menu Windowyou will see that opposite the five palettes — Operations / Actions, Brush Settings , Color / Color, Info / Info and Layers / Layers — the keys are written on the right. These are hotkeys for quick access to these palettes. Adobe developers have assigned them to what they consider to be the most frequently used and important panels. Of these, there is only one unconditional «must have» — ​​the Layers palette. The other four are more situational. For example, if you are an artist who paints in Photoshop, then you will definitely need Color and Brush Settings. But for a photographer, they are not needed at all or are needed extremely rarely.

You can assign any hotkeys to any number of palettes. To do this, go to Window / Window Workspaces /Workspace — Keyboard shortcuts and menu. There in the tab Keyboard shortcuts find the drop down menu Window / Window. You will see all palettes. To assign or change a hot key for a palette, click opposite the palette name and enter the hot key in the window that appears.

But it’s better not to do this — you will most likely knock down hot keys from other commands, and in training videos and articles, authors often operate only with hot keys, without even explaining what they are doing.

How to attach a palette to the screen

As soon as you click on the palette, it will appear in the middle of the workspace and will «float» in the air. This is inconvenient, since each time you have to move it to gain access to the area that it covers. And okay, if there is only one palette. What if there are five or ten?

To do this, the developers have provided the ability to attach the palette to the left, bottom or right side of the screen. There she will remain motionless and will not interfere.

The blue line indicates where exactly the palette will attach / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

To attach a palette in Photoshop, grab it by its name and drag it to the edge of the screen until you see a blue line. As soon as it appears, release the palette — it will fall into place by itself.

As a rule, everyone attaches palettes to the right side of the screen. This is done to visually balance the interface — there is already a toolbar on the left, and at the bottom of the palette they will “bite off” too much of the screen area.

How to Merge Multiple Palettes in Photoshop

Palettes can be attached to each other in various ways and combined:

  • put side by side. It is convenient that they are at hand, but a significant disadvantage is that they take up a lot of space on the screen.
  • stack on top of each other. This arrangement greatly saves space, but, as practice shows, it is inconvenient to put more than 3-4 palettes on top of each other. The more palettes stacked on top of each other, the smaller the visible working area of ​​the palette.
  • «put» the palette one into another. Visually, it looks like a book with bookmarks sticking out of it. You see the cover — the main palette — and the names of the other palettes behind it.
The screenshot combines all three methods: palettes are nested inside each other; the most important ones (Layers and Properties) stand on top of each other in the first row; vertical icons pinned to the left also give quick access to rarely used palettes / Illustration: Elizaveta Chechevitsa, Fotosklad.Expert

To quickly open a secondary palette, you just need to click on it. It is important not to push back a frequently used panel, otherwise you will have to constantly rush between palettes, which is inconvenient. Fortunately, you can easily keep track of whether you use a particular palette often or rarely, and change their location at any time.

How to collapse palettes

You can collapse palettes to increase your workspace and reduce the space they take up. To do this, click on the icon with two arrows pointing to the right.

By clicking in this way once, the palettes collapse to the level of pictograms — icons. But, if it is inconvenient to navigate through them, and you perceive the text better than abstract drawings, move the cursor over the palettes until you see a white double-sided arrow. After that, grab the palettes by the edge and pull to the left. So you can move them apart until the names appear.

Now, to quickly expand the palette, just click on it, and the rest of the space around it will be free.

Icons that allow you to collapse or expand palettes / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

How to close the palette

To remove a palette from the workspace, grab it by its name and drag it to the side until it detaches from the rest. After that, click on the cross in the upper right corner of the palette.

A cross that allows you to close the palette / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

How to Change Theme Color in Photoshop 2022

one. Editing / Edit — Settings / Preferences — Interface / Interface.

The path to the menu that allows you to change the color scheme of Photoshop / Illustration: Elizaveta Lentchevicha, Photosklad.Expert

2. In the column Appearance choose one of four Color Themes / Color Theme.

Photoshop offers four themes to choose from — from the darkest, black, to almost white. Which is better to choose?

  • For everyday work, it is better to take one of the central ones. Best of all — the one that is lighter. Visually, it looks simpler and not so aesthetically pleasing, but the eyes are less tired.
  • If you work at night and without lights, switch to the darkest theme. In the dark, it will give the least strain on the eyes.
  • Choose the lightest theme if you are working on a sunny day. Of course, in such conditions it is better to refrain from work altogether, to curtain the windows or go into the shade, but such a theme will be the most vivid and noticeable in such conditions.

As you can see, you can and should switch between topics. But on a permanent basis it is better to take the penultimate, light gray theme — it protects the user’s eyes.

3. By clicking on the square with the theme of the desired color, click OK to apply the setting. The program will remember your choice and the next time you start, you will start with the theme that you selected earlier.


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