The Legacy New Document Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
- 1 The Legacy New Document Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
- 2 The Legacy New Document Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
- 3 The New And Improved Image Size Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
- 4 Buttons at the Top of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
- 5 Tools at the Right Side of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
- 6 Buttons in the Lower-Left Corner of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
- 7 Buttons Below the Preview Image in the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
- 8 Buttons at the Bottom of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
- 9 Upgrading to a New Version
- 10 What’s New in Version 7
- 11 New Darker Dialog Boxes In Photoshop CC 2015
- 12 A Little History
- 13 The Darker Dialog Boxes in Photoshop CC 2015
- 14 Changing The Color Theme
- 15 Changing the Color Theme From The Keyboard
- 16 Where to go next.
The Legacy New Document Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
In a previous tutorial, we learned all about the completely redesigned New Document dialog box in Photoshop CC 2017 and how to use it to create new Photoshop documents. While many of us will see the redesign as an improvement, not everyone will agree.
Long-time Photoshop users may prefer the smaller, more compact layout of the original New Document dialog box. Even if you’re new to Photoshop, you may want to try both versions (the redesign and the original) to see which one you like best.
Thankfully, the original New Document dialog box is still around in Photoshop CC 2017. Adobe now calls it the “legacy” New Document dialog box, and in this tutorial, we’ll learn how to easily switch between the redesigned version and the legacy version. We’ll also take a quick look at how the legacy version works. Let’s get started!
The New And Improved Image Size Dialog Box In Photoshop CC
In this series of tutorials, we’ll learn how to resize images in Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). We’ll start here with a quick overview of Photoshop CC’s newly redesigned Image Size dialog box, a welcome improvement over previous versions. Then, in the next tutorials, we’ll learn how to both resize and resample images, as well as the important difference between the two.
We’ll also look at Photoshop CC’s image interpolation options, including a brand new one designed to keep our images looking crisp and sharp when we enlarge them, something previous versions of Photoshop have really struggled with.
Again, this tutorial, as well as the others in this series, are for Photoshop CC which requires a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you’re using Photoshop CS6 or earlier, you’ll want to read our original How To Resize Images In Photoshop tutorial, as well as the other image resizing tutorials found in our Digital Photo Essentials section.
Here’s an image I currently have open on my screen (woman in autumn field photo from Shutterstock):
Opening The Image Size Dialog Box
To resize images in Photoshop CC, just like in earlier versions of Photoshop, we use the Image Size dialog box which we can get to by going up to the Image menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen and choosing Image Size. We can also access the Image Size dialog box directly from the keyboard by pressing Ctrl+Alt+I (Win) / Command+Option+I (Mac):
The Preview Window
This opens the Image Size dialog box which has been streamlined and improved in Photoshop CC. The biggest change from previous versions is that we now have a preview window on the left where we can see a live preview of what the image will look like based on the settings we’ve chosen. The settings themselves are located along the right:
Moving The Image Inside The Preview Window
Notice that my preview window is currently centered on an area of the image that isn’t very useful as far as previews go. You can move the image around inside the preview window by clicking inside it, keeping your mouse button held down, and dragging the image with your mouse:
We can also jump to a new area of the image in the preview window by clicking on the image itself (in the document window). As you move your mouse over the image, you’ll see that your cursor looks like a small square which represents the preview window. Click on the image, and the spot you clicked on becomes centered in the preview window:
Zooming In And Out Of The Preview Window
By default, the preview window shows us the image at the 100% zoom level, but if you move your mouse cursor over the preview window, zoom options will appear in a bar long the bottom. Press the plus icon ( + ) to zoom further into the image or the minus icon ( – ) to zoom out. The current zoom level is displayed in the center of the bar. There’s also a handy keyboard shortcut for zooming in and out. Press and hold your Ctrl (Win) / Command (Mac) key and click with your mouse inside the preview window to zoom in, or the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key and click to zoom out:
Resizing The Preview Window
Finally, we can make the preview window itself even larger by making the entire Image Size dialog box larger. Move your mouse cursor over any of the four corners of the dialog box, then click and with your mouse button held down, drag the corner outward. The larger you make the dialog box, the larger the preview window becomes. Here, I’m dragging the bottom right corner of the dialog box, allowing me to see much more of the image in the preview window:
The Current File Size And Dimensions
To the right of the preview window is where we find the various controls and options for resizing our images, as well as some general information about the image. At the very top is where we find its current file size and dimensions. Image Size shows us the size of the image in megabytes (which is what the “M” stands for). Dimensions shows us the current dimensions of the image in pixels (px):
By default, the dimensions of the image are displayed in pixels, but if we click on the box with the down-pointing arrow in it:
A menu with additional measurement types appears, like Percent, Inches, and so on. In most cases, you’ll want to leave this set to Pixels:
Selecting Preset Image Sizes
Directly below the Image Size and Dimensions information is an option called Fit To, which by default is set to Original Size:
If we click on the words Original Size, a menu appears with various preset image sizes and resolutions we can choose from. Some of the presets are designed for print, others for the web (or on-screen viewing in general). There’s also options for saving and loading our own presets. There’s some potential problems and pitfalls you can run into when choosing preset image sizes, though, like the fact that some presets have different aspect ratios than others, so we’ll look more closely at this option in another tutorial:
The Image Resizing Options
Below the Fit To option, we find three very important options – Width, Height and Resolution – that together make up the main image resizing section of the dialog box:
We can enter new values into the Width and Height boxes. When we change the value in one of them, Photoshop automatically changes the other to preserve the original aspect ratio of the image. By default, the measurement type for both the Width and Height is set to Inches, but if you click on the measurement type selection box for either option, a menu will appear with other measurement types to choose from. Notice that at the moment, the Pixels type is grayed out and unavailable. We’ll learn why that is in another tutorial when we look at the difference between resizing and resampling an image:
The Resolution option works the same way. We can enter a new value, and we can click on the measurement type selection box to choose between either Pixels/Inch (the default) or Pixels/Centimeter. Pixels/Inch is the standard measurement type for image resolution and there’s usually no reason to change it:
I’ll cover everything you need to know about image resizing in the next tutorial, but briefly, the term resizing simply means changing the size at which the image will print, without changing the actual number of pixels in the image. For example, currently the Dimensions section at the top of the dialog box is showing that my image has pixel dimensions of 5616 x 3744. At the current resolution of 300 pixels/inch, this image will print at a width of 18.72 inches and a height of 12.48 inches. That’s because we’ll be fitting 300 of the image’s pixels from top to bottom and 300 pixels from left to right inside every inch of paper:
If I increase the resolution from 300 to, say, 360 pixels/inch, we see that the image still has the same pixel dimensions (5616 x 3744), but because we’re now packing more of those pixels (360 as opposed to 300) from top to bottom and from left to right inside every inch of paper, the image will now print at a smaller size (15.6 inches wide by 10.4 inches tall). Again, this is just a brief overview of image resizing. We’ll cover it in more detail in the next tutorial:
The Resample Option
Below the Resolution option is the Resample option which can be enabled or disabled by clicking inside its checkbox. Up until now, it’s been disabled, so I’ll go ahead and enable it:
The Resample option changes the behavior of the Image Size dialog box. The term resampling means changing the actual number of pixels in the image, not just its print size, to make the image itself larger or smaller. With this option enabled, the Width and Height options can now display the width and height of the image in pixels (unlike earlier when the pixels measurement type was unavailable):
We can now change the actual number of pixels in the image by entering new values into the Width and Height boxes. By default, Photoshop again keeps the original aspect ratio the same, so if I enter a new value of, say, 2000 pixels for the width, Photoshop automatically changes the height to 1333 pixels to match the original ratio. If we look up at the top of the dialog box, we see that the Dimensions section is also showing my new image size of 2000 px x 1333 px, and above it, the Image Size section is telling me that the file size, in megabytes, has dropped from its original 60.2M down to just 7.63M:
The Constrain Proportions Option
Also with the Resample option enabled, you’ll find a clickable link icon between the Width and Height options. This is the Constrain Proportions option, and it’s enabled by default. This is what tells Photoshop to keep the original aspect ratio of the image intact by automatically entering the correct height value when we change the width (or vice versa). In most cases, you’ll want to keep this option enabled, but disabling it will allow you to enter separate values for both the width and height at the risk of changing the aspect ratio and distorting the look and shape of the image:
The Image Interpolation Options
Another very important option that only becomes available with the Resample option enabled is Image Interpolation, which refers to the method Photoshop uses for adding or removing pixels in the image. The interpolation method we select can have a dramatic impact on the quality and appearance of your image after it’s been downsampled (made smaller) or upsampled (made larger).
The interpolation option is located directly to the right of the Resample option. It doesn’t actually say “Image Interpolation” anywhere, but it’s the option that, by default, is set to Automatic:
Clicking on the word Automatic will open a list of interpolation methods to choose from, including a brand new one in Photoshop CC, Preserve Details, designed to keep our images looking crisp and sharp when enlarging them. In fact, if we leave the interpolation option set to Automatic, Photoshop will automatically select Preserve Details when it detects that we’re enlarging the image. When downsampling (reducing) the size of an image, the Automatic option will choose Bicubic Sharper for the best results. The preview window will update to show you what the image will look like as you select different interpolation methods. We’ll look at these options in more detail in the full image resampling tutorial, but for now, leaving this option set to Automatic is a safe choice:
The Scale Styles Option
If you’re using any layer effects (styles) in your document, like drop shadows, strokes, bevel and emboss, and so on, you’ll most likely want the effects to scale in size along with the image. Click the small gear icon in the top right corner of the Image Size dialog box:
This will display the Scale Styles option which can be clicked on to enable or disable it. A checkmark to the left of the option means it’s currently enabled:
OK, Cancel And Reset
When you’re ready to resize or resample your image, click the OK button in the bottom right corner to close out of the dialog box, at which point Photoshop goes ahead and resizes, upsamples or downsamples the image. To simply cancel out of the Image Size dialog box without making any changes to the image, click the Cancel button:
To reset the Image Size dialog box back to its original settings, press and hold the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard. This will change the Cancel button into the Reset button. Click the Reset button to reset the dialog box:
And there we have it! That’s a quick tour of the newly redesigned Image Size dialog box in Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud)!
After opening a camera raw file for processing in the Photo Editor, it opens within the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements. The Camera Raw dialog box contains the tools and settings used to import and process the camera raw data. The layout of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements changes for Photoshop Elements 2022. This lesson shows you the tool and button locations in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022.
Buttons at the Top of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
At the top of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the Title Bar, which shows the version of Camera Raw installed. Below that is a bar that shows the camera raw file name and camera used to take the photo. At the right end of this bar are the “Convert and save image,” “Open preferences dialog,” and “Toggle full screen mode” buttons.
You can click the “Convert and save image” button to open the “Save Options” dialog box, which you can use to save a copy of the camera raw image as a DNG file with the settings you specify. This will be discussed in a separate lesson. However, note that you can hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Convert and save image” button to save and convert a copy of the image but bypass the “Save Options” dialog box, if desired.
Clicking the “Open preferences dialog” button opens the “Camera Raw Preferences” dialog box, which is also discussed in a separate lesson. You can click the “Cancel” button in this dialog box to close it, if needed. Finally, clicking the “Toggle full screen mode” button toggles the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements between a full screen and smaller version of the dialog box.
Tools at the Right Side of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
At the far-right side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the toolbar of the Camera Raw dialog box. The toolbar contains buttons that let you edit and correct the image while processing it. The buttons are, from top to bottom: “Edit,” “Crop & Rotate,” “Red Eye Removal,” “More image settings,” and, at the bottom, the “Zoom Tool” and the “Hand Tool” buttons. At the right side of the dialog box are tabbed panels for the “Edit,” “Crop & Rotate,” or “Red Eye Removal” tool, depending on which tool is selected in the toolbar.
In the upper-right corner of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the current image’s histogram, showing the tonal range of the image at its current settings. As you make editing adjustments in the tabs in the Edit Panel when using the “Edit” settings, the data in the histogram automatically updates.
In the upper-left and upper-right corners of the histogram are two buttons you can click to toggle clipping warnings on and off in the preview image to the left. When enabled, clipping warnings appear as shaded red or blue areas in the preview image. These areas indicate where clipping of the highlights or shadows in the image will occur, according to the current settings. The left button is the “Shadow clipping warning” and the right button is the “Highlight clipping warning.”
Above and below the histogram is the RGB and image information. You can move your pointer over the preview image to see the corresponding RGB information at the top of the histogram for whichever point in the image preview over which your pointer hovers. Below the histogram is the basic image information.
A picture of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022 showing the locations of its tools and buttons.
When the “Edit” tool is selected in the toolbar of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, then three collapsible and expandable tabs appear at the right side of the dialog box in an Edit Panel. You can click these tabs to show or hide the tab’s associated settings and sliders. The tabs, from top to bottom, are named the “Basic,” “Detail,” and “Calibration” tabs.
Buttons in the Lower-Left Corner of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
Below the preview image at the left side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, in the lower-left corner, is the “Fit in view” button, the “Zoom to specified level” button, and the “Select zoom level” drop-down. To fit the image in the preview window, click the “Fit in view” button. Alternatively, to fit the preview image in the window, double-click the “Zoom tool” button in the toolbar at the right side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements.
To set the magnification level to use when you click the preview image with the Zoom Tool, select a choice from the “Select zoom level” drop-down. Alternatively, to set the magnification by clicking and dragging when the Zoom Tool is selected, hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and then click and drag over the area in the preview image to magnify.
The Zoom Tool is the default tool in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements when the “Edit” button is selected in the toolbar. To zoom when it is selected, hold your pointer over the preview image and click to zoom in to the area at which you click. To zoom out to fit the image in the preview area again, click again. To zoom in or out when the Zoom Tool is not selected, directly click the “Fit in view” or “Zoom to specified level” button.
Buttons Below the Preview Image in the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
Directly below the preview image in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is a 5-star scale. You can click or click and drag in this scale to set a star rating for the current photo. To toggle the photo as being marked for deletion, click the “Toggle mark for deletion” button to the right of the stars, which looks like a trash can icon.
Further to the right in this same bar is the “Cycles between Before/After views” button. You can click this button to cycle the preview of the camera raw image between the five “Before/After” views to choose the way changes you make to the camera raw file appear in the preview area. Alternatively, click and hold down the button to show a pop-up menu of these view choices, instead. Then click the name of the “Before/After” view to apply in the menu that appears.
If you select one of the “Before/After” views and then change the image, you can then click the adjacent “Swap Before/After settings” button to swap the settings between the two photo versions or click the “Copy current settings to Before” button to copy the changes to the “Before” image. You can click the “Toggle to default/current settings” button to toggle between applying the current or default settings to the “After” version of the photo.
Buttons at the Bottom of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:
To open a web page about using the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, click the “Help” button at the left end of the bar at the bottom of the dialog box. To the right of that, you can use the “Bit Depth Settings” drop-down to choose the desired bit depth to use for the camera raw image file.
To apply any process settings changes to the selected camera raw image and close this dialog box without opening the image in the Photo Editor, click the “Done” button in the lower-right corner. Alternatively, to cancel your changes and close this dialog box, click the “Cancel” button. Alternatively, to reset this dialog box, if needed, hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Reset” button that replaces the “Cancel” button.
To both apply your changes by updating the image’s metadata and open the image in the Photo Editor, click the “Open” button. Alternatively, to open the selected image in the Photo Editor without updating the image’s metadata, hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Open Copy” button that replaces the “Open” button.
Upgrading to a New Version
There are few things as inevitable as death, taxes, and upgrading your software. Some people upgrade as soon as the box hits the proverbial shelf; others take years, buying a new version only after their service bureau or printer refuses to take their old files anymore. Sooner or later, though, you’ll be faced with new features, new challenges, and a new bottle of aspirin.
What’s New in Version 7
Those of you familiar with Photoshop 6 will be pleased with most of the interface changes in version 7, though some might throw you off a little at first. Fortunately, Adobe has left Photoshop’s color management features alone this time around. If you really understood Photoshop’s Color Settings and Proof Setup dialog box in version 6, then you’re set with version 7. However, if you still have misgivings about Photoshop’s somewhat mysterious color engine, we strongly urge you to take the time to work through Chapter 5, Color Settings. Without a thorough understanding of the Color Settings dialog box, you’ll be lost before too long (and you may not even know how lost you are).
Here are a few important changes in version 7 (again, we’re not listing every new feature in Photoshop 7 here, just the ones you’d better know about before jumping into the rest of the book).
New tools. There are two new tools in Photoshop 7. The most important one is the Healing Brush tool, which acts like the Clone tool but is much better at preserving the underlying grain of your images. The Patch tool (which is “under” the Healing Brush tool in the Tool palette) is a combination of the Healing Brush tool and the Lasso tool. These tools are lifesavers when it comes to retouching or cleaning up images. We discuss them both in Chapter 14, Essential Image Techniques.
One tool, the Airbrush tool, has disappeared from the Tool palette. Instead, the Airbrush tool has become part of the regular painting tools. When you select any of the painting tools (Brush, History Brush, Eraser, Clone tool, and so on), you can turn on the Airbrush button in the Options bar. When this option is on, that tool acts like an airbrushthat is, when the Flow control (also in the Options bar) is set to something lower than 100 percent, the longer you hold the active brush in one area of the image, the more “paint” is laid down.
OS X native. As we mentioned in the last chapter, the Macintosh version of Photoshop 7 has been carbonized for Mac OS X, which means it can run as a native application and take advantage of protected, dynamic memory, the new Aqua interface, and other Mac OS X features. However, there is one reason why you might not want to run Photoshop 7 in native mode. Old plug-ins won’t work (or even show up) until they have been rewritten to run natively under OS X. If you’re running Mac OS X and you need to use old plug-ins, you can select the Photoshop application on the desktop, choose Get Info from the File menu, and turn on the “Open in the Classic environment” checkbox to make Photoshop launch in Classic mode. But you’ll lose most of the benefits of OS X, and if you try to allocate more than 400 MB of RAM to Photoshop, it will crash, so it’s only a stopgap solution.
File Browser. One of the coolest features in Photoshop Elements (Photoshop’s younger consumer-grade sibling) is the File Browser, which is like the Open dialog box on steroids. Fortunately, the File Browser has now finally come to Photoshop. This great tool usually lives as a palette in the palette well (in the Options bar), and lets you browse through all the images on your disk, see information about each file (a thumbnail, image resolution data, and so on), and then open. It’ll even let you rotate images before opening them. We cover the File Browser in more depth later in this chapter.
Workspaces. For years we’ve asked for a quick way to hide all the palettes except the info palette. This time, the Photoshop team gave us much more than we asked for. Photoshop 7 lets you save tool presets and palette arrangements (“workspaces”) so that you can quickly switch among them. For example, you might save a 30-pixel soft-edged brush for your high-resolution images and a 5-pixel hard-edged brush for your low-resolution images; you can switch between them quickly from the Tool Presets palette or the Tool Presets popup menu in the Options bar. You can save different palette arrangements as workspaces, and recall them quickly from the Workspace submenu in the Window menu. We’ll explore these features in more depth later in this chapter.
Scripting. You won’t hear much from Adobe’s marketing department about one of the most awesome features in Photoshop 7: the ability to script Photoshop. It’s not that the marketing folks don’t want you to know about it; it’s just that most of them don’t know why it’s so amazing. Scripting lets you automate Photoshop from behind the scenes. For instance, you could set up a database program (like FileMaker Pro) to automate Photoshop using information in your database. You could create a workflow that automates both Photoshop and QuarkXPress (or InDesign, which is also scriptable) to create an entire catalog in minutes.
Brush palette. After removing the Brush palette entirely in Photoshop 6, Adobe has reinstated it in version 7. However, this time, the Brush palette has become three times as big and five times as powerful. We’ll cover this new palette later in this chapter.
Photoshop 7 has all kinds of other new features, too, from a funky new look in the Tool palette (including rollover effects when you move the cursor over a tool), to the ability to tile or cascade your document windows, to the ability for the Eyedropper tool to pick up a color from anywhere on the screen, even outside of Photoshop. We cover these features throughout the book.
New Darker Dialog Boxes In Photoshop CC 2015
In the November 2015 Creative Cloud updates, Adobe made a few important changes to the interface in Photoshop CC. One of these changes, and perhaps the biggest one, was the introduction of the new Start screen and Recent Files panel, both of which were designed to make opening files and creating new documents in Photoshop easier than ever.
Another change, and the one we’ll look at in this tutorial, was the introduction of new darker dialog boxes in Photoshop. Back in Photoshop CS6, Adobe took the traditionally lighter interface and made it significantly darker, with the idea being that the darker interface would be less distracting to us as we worked on our images. Yet while the main interface was darkened, the individual dialog boxes remained just as light as they had been in previous versions.
In the most recent version of Photoshop CC 2015, Adobe has finally brought the dialog boxes in line with the rest of the interface, and while this change is purely cosmetic, I think you’ll agree that the darker look is a welcome improvement. And if you don’t happen to agree, that’s okay because the color of the dialog boxes can now be adjusted along with the rest of the interface in Photoshop’s Preferences! Let’s see how it all works.
A Little History
Throughout most of Photoshop’s history, the interface was much lighter than it is today. Here’s what it looked like back in Photoshop CS5, which is pretty much how it had looked since Photoshop was first released more than two decades ago. There was nothing terribly wrong with the interface back then, but its lighter tone meant that the image was always competing for attention with the interface elements surrounding it (black and white portrait photo from Shutterstock):
In Photoshop CS6, Adobe surprised everyone by making the interface darker. After the initial shock wore off, most Photoshop users agreed that the darker tone was a change for the better, making it easier to focus on the image while the interface sat quietly in the background:
Yet while the main interface was now darker, the same was not true of the individual dialog boxes in Photoshop CS6. For whatever reason, Adobe chose to leave them with their original lighter tone. For example, here’s the Smart Sharpen dialog box from Photoshop CS6. I’m using this specific dialog box as an example, but all dialog boxes in CS6 shared the same overall look. Notice how light the dialog box was compared with the image in its preview window, as if the dialog box itself was more important:
When viewed along with the rest of the interface in Photoshop CS6, it looked like the dialog box was separate from everything else:
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The Darker Dialog Boxes in Photoshop CC 2015
This disconnect between Photoshop’s main interface and its dialog boxes continued with the initial release of Photoshop CC and even into CC 2015. But with the November 2015 Creative Cloud updates, Adobe has finally brought everything together, giving the dialog boxes the same darker tone as the rest of the interface. Here’s what the Smart Sharpen dialog box now looks like in Photoshop CC 2015. Again, I’m using this one dialog box as an example, but all dialog boxes in CC 2015 now share the same darker look. Notice how much easier it is to focus on the image in the preview window now that the dialog box itself is darker:
Here’s how it appears with the rest of the interface in Photoshop CC 2015, with everything now sharing a consistent look:
Changing The Color Theme
When Adobe first introduced the darker interface in Photoshop CS6, they knew that not everyone would be happy with it, so they also introduced color themes in Photoshop’s Preferences. Color themes let us easily change the color (the brightness level) of the interface, and there’s four different ones to choose from ranging from very dark to very light. The problem, though, was that these color themes had no effect on the dialog boxes; no matter how light or dark we set the main interface in CS6, the dialog boxes kept their original lighter tone. But as of the November 2015 Creative Cloud updates, that’s no longer the case. We can now use color themes to change the brightness of the entire interface, including the dialog boxes.
To get to the color themes, on a Windows PC, go up to the Edit menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen, choose Preferences, and then choose Interface. On a Mac, go up to the Photoshop menu, choose Preferences, and then choose Interface:
This opens the Preferences dialog box set to the Interface options. Notice that even the Preferences dialog box itself is now darker. The four color themes for the interface are found along the top, ranging from the darkest theme on the left to the lightest theme on the right. By default, the second theme from the left is selected:
To change the brightness of the interface, simply choose a different theme. For example, to bring back the original lighter tone from Photoshop CS5 and earlier, select the theme furthest to the right. Notice that as soon as I select the new theme, the color of the Preferences dialog box changes:
I’ll click OK to close out of the Preferences dialog box, and here’s what the interface now looks like. I’ve opened the Levels dialog box this time rather than Smart Sharpen just so we can see that, sure enough, all the dialog boxes in Photoshop are now affected by the color theme:
I’ll re-open my Preferences dialog box by going back up to Edit > Preferences > Interface (Win) / Photoshop > Preferences > Interface (Mac), then I’ll choose a different color theme. This time, I’ll select the first one on the left, which is even darker than the default theme. Notice once again that as soon as I select the new theme, the Preferences dialog box updates to the new brightness level:
I’ll click OK to close out of the Preferences dialog box, and here’s what the darkest theme looks like, this time with the Curves dialog box open:
Personally, I find this one a bit too dark, so to switch back to the default color theme, I’ll simply re-open my Preferences dialog box to the Interface options and I’ll select the second theme from the left:
And now the main interface and the dialog boxes are back to the default brightness level once again:
Changing the Color Theme From The Keyboard
We’ve seen how we can change the color theme from within the Preferences dialog box, but you can actually change it directly from your keyboard. Just press and hold your Shift key, then press the F1 key repeatedly to cycle backwards through the four color themes (in other words, from lighter to darker), or press the F2 key repeatedly to cycle forward (from darker to lighter). One thing to note, though, is that any dialog box that’s currently open as you’re changing the theme from the keyboard will not update to the new theme until you’ve closed the dialog box and re-opened it.
Where to go next.
And there we have it! That’s a quick look at the new darker dialog boxes in Photoshop CC, one of several recent changes that Adobe has made to Photoshop’s interface as part of the November 2015 Creative Cloud updates! Visit our Photoshop Basics section to learn more about Photoshop!
Photoshop has a “toolbar” that you can access by right-clicking on the top left corner of the Photoshop window and selecting “Properties.” In the “Toolbars” tab, you’ll see a list of all the tools that are currently installed in Photoshop. You can select one of these tools by clicking on it and then clicking on the “Uninstall” button at the bottom.
There are a few ways to get your menu bar back in Photoshop. One way is to open the “Window” menu and choose “Reset Menu Bar.” Another way is to open the “File” menu and choose “Open With…” and then select ” Photoshop .