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Hacking Preferences and Documents part 2

Specifying Default Resolution for New Preset Documents

When you create a new preset for a custom document size in the File>New dialog box, Photoshop uses the resolution values set in the Units & Rulers screen in the Preferences dialog box. The default resolution is 300 ppi for print and 72 ppi for screen. These settings affect all presets that you select from the Preset pop-up menu in the New dialog box. If you find yourself constantly changing the resolution, you can customize the settings. To take advantage of this opportunity, open the Preference dialog box to the Units & Rulers screen and then in the New Document Preset Resolutions section, specify a resolution for Print and/or Screen. For example, if the current setting of 300 ppi is too high or too low for your desktop printer, change it to 240 or 360 ppi, or whatever. This will change the resolution of all your presets for documents destined for print, such as Letter, A4, and so forth. It won’t affect the document presets destined for the screen, such as 640 Ч 480, NTSC DV 720 Ч 480,HDV 1280 Ч 720, or D4, unless, of course, you change the default 72 ppi.

Specifying Document Width in Columns

When you need to create a new document or resize an existing one to fit within the columns in a page layout program, such as InDesign or QuarkXPress, you can do it on a case-by-case basis in Photoshop. The New document, Image Size, and Canvas Size dialog boxes all support columns as a unit of measurement. This feature can prove very useful when you’re creating documents for publications that use columns as their general width measurement and you need to fit images to a given column width. To set the column size, open Preferences and then in the Units & Rulers screen, under Column Size, enter new values for Width and Gutter (the space between the columns).

Matching New Document to Existing Document

If you have a document open in Photoshop and you need to create another document with the same dimensions and color mode, you have a couple of ways of automating the process. One, choose File>New and then, from the Window menu, select the opened document whose dimensions and color mode you want to match. Two, create the new document and then from the Preset pop-up menu in the New document dialog box, select the document that you want to match. It should be noted that although the color mode of the new document is matched to the opened document, the color space is not; instead, the current working color space is assigned to the new document. To assign another color space, click the Advanced button in the dialog box and then choose a profile from the Color Profile pop-up menu. You might be tempted to choose a profile for a printer or a scanner. Resist the temptation and select a working space profile, such as Adobe RGB (1998), ColorMatch RGB, ProPhoto RGB, sRGB, and so forth. The working spaces are linearized and suitable for editing, whereas the other color spaces are more suited to converting to as a final step or for soft proofing.

Finding the Center of a Document

How many times have you needed to find the center of a document and had to resort to the calculator to find it? Here are three ways, and none requires any math:  – Make sure that the Rulers are showing and then click Select>All followed by Edit>Free Transform, bring in a horizontal and a vertical guide (click a Ruler and drag into the document) so that they cross in the center, and then press Escape. The center of your document will be where the two guides cross (Figure 5-3).
 – Although there’s nothing wrong with the preceding method, the following is slightly quicker if the current layer is filled completely. First, make sure that the Rulers are showing and that View>Snap is turned on. Next, slowly drag in a horizontal guide to the center and then a vertical guide, letting go when you feel them snap to the center of the document.Where the two guides cross will be the center of your document. You can include the preceding steps in an action, assign a keyboard function key, and find the center of any document, regardless of its dimensions, at the press of a key. Just make sure that before you start recording, or even during the recording, the unit of measure for the Rulers is set to read in percentages and not fixed units, such as pixels. To change the units, right-click (Windows), Ctrl-click (Mac OS) on a Ruler and choose Percentages from the contextual menu.
 – This third method doesn’t require the rulers to be visible: Choose View>New Guide. In the New Guide dialog box, select the Horizontal radio button, enter 50% in the Position text field, and then click OK. Enter the dialog box a second time, select the Vertical radio button, enter 50% in the Position text field, and click the OK button. As with the previous method, you can record the steps as an action and assign a function key for quick access.

Hacking Documents Photoshop CS2

FIGURE 5-3: One method for finding the center of a document involves Selecting All, invoking the Free Transform command, bringing in vertical and horizontal guides, and then dismissing the transform.