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How This Book Is Organized

How This Book Is Organized

Working smart isn’t just about shortcuts. It involves looking at your entire workflow holistically, paying attention to everything from the hardware you use to your day-to-day work habits. This book is divided into four major parts, and each part addresses a different aspect of working smart:

  • Part I: Making Photoshop Your Own. Photoshop makes higher demands of your computer hardware than most other programs do, and raw CPU power is not the only factor that affects Photoshop performance. It pays to make sure that all of your computer’s subsystems—CPU, RAM, and hard disk—are configured for maximum Photoshop performance. The rest of this section helps you fit Photoshop to the requirements of your work by shaping your Photoshop workspace, developing efficient work habits, and creating presets for the tool configurations you use most often. If you lead a workgroup, you can create tutorials of your production standards and integrate the tutorials into the Help menu of Photoshop itself.

  • Part II: Saving Time While You Work. This part of the book focuses on specific tasks throughout an image-processing workflow, from opening files to printing. The book isn’t big enough for me to cover every last detail of every workflow, but in this section I target some of the areas that can make a large difference in your productivity, such as selecting, using layers, and using transparency.

  • Part III: Processing Images Automatically. If you know what steps you require to process your images, and you know what settings you require for those steps, it seems natural that you should be able to make the computer remember all that for you. Photoshop gives you the power to do exactly that, by letting you condense and compress multiple-step sequences into a single step through actions (which are like macros), droplets, scripts, variables, and task-specific automation features such as the Image Processor.

  • Part IV: Making Photoshop a Great Team Player. Photoshop is often not the end of the line for an image. Images frequently move on to Web site programs, video-editing programs, or page-layout programs for print. This part provides workflow tips for using Photoshop documents with other programs, especially the Adobe Creative Suite.

Photoshop is both wide and deep. Many Photoshop books attempt to cover all areas of Photoshop in some detail. Other books focus on specific areas of Photoshop, such as compositing or color correction. This book doesn’t fall squarely into either of those categories; instead, in this book I look at one aspect of the Photoshop workflow—efficiency—and how it works across the entire program. I hope you find this book to be successful in that way.

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