Saturday, August 21, 2010

Understanding the Tools in the Toolbox

The Toolbox, shown in Figure 2.13, provides easy access to all the tools that you use to interact directly with pixels in the document window. To enable or disable the Toolbox, select Window ➪ Tools from the main menu.
Most of the tools shown in the Toolbox expand by holding down the mouse button over them to reveal several other tools, as shown in Figure 2.13. From the expanded tool menus, you can select other tools. The icon of the currently selected tool is displayed in the Toolbox, and the cursor changes to reflect the current tool as well.

As you select different tools in the Toolbox, the tool option menu bar changes to reflect specific options for the new tool. The settings in the tool option menu define the behavior of the tool selected in the Toolbox and extend the capabilities of what you can do. The changes you make to the tools settings are the same the next time you return to the tool, so you can usually use multiple tools and keep the same settings when you return to the tool.
The purpose of this section is to familiarize you with the organization of the Toolbox and what kind of tools you can find there.

Photoshop provides several tool sets in the Toolbox, and the tool sets can be expanded to reveal additional tools.

A great feature in Photoshop is the ability to quickly select and even temporarily switch tools on the fly. In many of the tool sets, you see a letter on the right side of the tools. Pressing that letter on the keyboard selects that tool set. Holding down the Shift key while pressing the letter on the keyboard toggles through the different tools in the tool set. You can temporarily switch tools by holding down the letter key for the tool while you use it, and when you release the key, Photoshop reverts to the original tool. For example, if you hold down the V key when another tool is selected, Photoshop temporarily changes to the Move tool and you can move objects. When you are finished moving items, release the V key and the tool reverts to the original tool.

The following list describes each of the tool sets in the Toolbox briefly and where you can find more information about them in this book:
  • Move tool: Only one tool allows you to move items in the document window, and this is it. It allows you to move several items, including guides, objects and shapes in shape layers, and text objects.
  • Shape Selection tools: These tools allow you to quickly select areas of the document using rectangle, ellipse, row, and column shapes.
  • Lasso Selection tools: These tools allow you to quickly select areas of the document by using the mouse to draw a lasso around them.
  • Quick Selection tools: These tools can intelligently select areas of the document by detecting areas that are similar to those selected by the mouse.
  • Crop and Slice tools: The Crop tool lets you select an area of the document to keep and remove the area around it. The Slice tools are used for creating clickable hot areas for Web images.
  • Eye Dropper/Ruler/Note/Count tools: This tool set is a catchall. The Eyedropper tool is used to select foreground colors directly from pixels in the image. The Ruler tool is used to measure areas in an image. The Note tool allows you to add notes to an image that help you retain things such as to-do editing lists with the image. The Count tool allows you to count and log items in the image, which can be useful if you are working with medical images. The Ruler, Note, and Count tools were discussed earlier in the menus section of this tutorial.
  • Healing tools: The Healing tools provide quick ways to apply brush strokes that can heal areas of an image, from removing dust and scratches to removing red eye.
  • Brush tools: The Brush tools allow you to apply painting techniques to repair, enhance, and create images.
  • Stamp tools: The Clone Stamp tool allows you to select an area of the image and then stamp or brush that area into other parts of the image or even other documents. The Pattern Stamp tool allows you to apply a style pattern to an image using brush strokes.
  • Eraser tools: The Eraser tools allow you to quickly remove pixel data from an image.
  • History Brush tools: The History Brush tools are used to repair and enhance areas of an image by painting data from previous editing states of the image. For example, you couldchange the image to grayscale and then use brush strokes to add color to specific areas.
  • Blur/Sharpen/Smudge tools: The Blur and Sharpen tools allow you to use brush strokes to blur or sharpen specific areas of an image. The Smudge tool allows you to use brush strokes to smudge existing pixels into each other.
  • Gradient/Paint Bucket tools: The Gradient tool allows you to paint a gradient pattern onto an image. The Paint Bucket tool allows you to apply a paint color to sections of an image.
  • Dodge/Burn/Sponge tools: The Dodge and Burn tools allow you to use brush strokes to lighten or darken areas of an image. The Sponge tool allows you to use brush strokes to remove or add color saturation in areas of an image.
  • Path Creation tools: The Path Creation tools allow you to create vector paths by creating lines between anchor points.
  • Path Selection tools: The Path Selection tools allow you to select and manipulate vector paths by adjusting the anchor points.
  • Text tools: The Text tools allow you to add textual elements to images.
  • Shape tools: With the Shape tools, you can easily create and manipulate simple geometric vector shapes and lines as well as custom vector shapes.
  • 3D Object tools: These tools allow you to create and manipulate 3D objects.
  • 3D Camera tools: These tools let you to manipulate camera views when working with 3D elements. 
  • Hand/Rotate View tools: Using the Hand tool, you can grab onto the image and pan by dragging the mouse. This is available only when you are zoomed in on the image, but it’s very useful for navigating around your image. The Rotate View tool allows you to rotate the canvas in the document window by dragging with the mouse. If you hold down the Shift key while rotating the canvas, the rotation occurs in 15-degree increments. Rotating the canvas can be useful if you need to align elements in the image with the vertical or horizontal axis of the display screen for editing.
  • Zoom tool: The Zoom tool allows you to use the mouse to drag a specific rectangle to zoom in on the image. You also can zoom in at 100 percent increments by simply clicking the document with the mouse. You can zoom out at 100 percent increments by holding down the Shift key while clicking the document. The options menu for the Zoom tool provides several buttons to resize the document view based on actual pixels, print size, and screen size. If you have OpenGL Drawing enabled then you can use the Scrubby Zoom option in the Zoom tool options menu. When you enable Scrubby Zoom, then you can click and drag the mouse to the left and right on the image to zoom in and out.
  • Background/Foreground: The background/foreground area of the Toolbox allows you to see and modify the current background and foreground colors. The foreground color is used by several tools to paint onto the image. The background color is used by several tools when removing pixels from the image.(Tip: Pressing D on the keyboard resets the foreground and background colors to Black and White, respectively. Pressing X on the keyboard swaps the foreground and background colors.) The foreground is represented by the front square and the background by the back square. The color of each is changed by clicking the square to launch a color chooser. The two can be switched by clicking the curved line with arrows on each end. To revert to the default of black and white, click the small black and white icon.
  • Edit in Quick Mask mode: This toggles between Normal and Quick Mask mode. The Edit in Quick Mask mode option allows you to tweak selections using the brush tool to paint the exact shape.
You can activate the Quick Mask mode using the Q key whenever you have an active selection in the

In this tutorial:
  1. Photoshop Workspace 
  2. Workspace Overview 
  3. The Document Workspace 
  4. The Application Bar 
  5. The Workspace Presets 
  6. The Toolbox and Tool Options Bar 
  7. Cruising Main Menus 
  8. Understanding Panels 
  9. Understanding Tools in Toolbox 
  10. Using Presets 
  11. Setting Preferences 
  12. Interface Preferences 
  13. File Handling Preferences 
  14. Transparency Gamut Preferences 
  15. Customizing Shortcuts and Menus 

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