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Author Topic: What does your Photoshop layout look like?  (Read 2891 times)
rob marz-hall
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« on: July 04, 2012, 10:48:33 AM »
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Anyone else have a notable panel layout?

I'm not sure why all Photoshop tutorial videos show the panels on the right of the screen. And although my eyesight is pretty good I was geting fed up with squinting from one side of the screen to another with Photoshop. I  loaded CS6 this week and thought I'd change all the working panels to the left. Why?  Because I'm right handed and I tend to sit more to the left of the  screen, which means I have to squint across to the right side of my wide monitor to see the edit panels. I have successfully set up a  profile with the panels on the left, and find it much easier to use (see  below). I thought it better to have all panels together, rather than the tool panel on one side, and all the other panels on the other side. Why have them on opposite sides of the screen, especially when the tool bar is so narrow anyway?

The screen grab is of my entire monitor area. I set up a new workspace profile and moved and docked the panels on the left, including the tool panel. I set up a properties panel with all the other panels (actions, swatches, etc.) inside it so I can quickly access them on fly-out just by clicking them on/off (see example in the screen grab).

With the panels on the left the document window (with the image in) will be partly covered with the newly positioned panels. So, you have to move the left edge of the doc window across to the right so it sits just next to the right edge of the properties panels. If you have a wide screen (mine is 24in) then you still have lots of room for editing. I've been using this layout for a few days, and it's a huge improvement over what I was using before.

The actions menu is shown in fly-out mode just to show what it looks like. Normally it would be collapsed in the properties panel like the others shown. You can adjust the size of all the fly-out panels by dragging them out.



If you want the user interface font larger you just need to go to preferences (CTRL/K in Photoshop) and select Interface. Change the UI font size to medium or large (large is better) to get a much more comfortab;e view. You need to restart Photoshop to see the changes.



Finally, on appearance of panels - if you have a problem seeing the font previews clearly as they are so small, you can select TYPE/FONT PREVIEW SIZE from the menu and select a larger size, which makes it much more readable. See below.



and that looks like this...

« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 10:50:23 AM by rob marz-hall » Logged

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leuallen
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 10:00:44 PM »
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Two monitors. This is on the right monitor (22"). Only the standard toolbar is on the left monitor at the right (26"). Covers 90% of what I do without going into menus. The center piece that makes it work is a custom Configurator panel named Universal. It is augmented by programed keypad near my left hand. It does things like make adjustment layers, undo/redo, size brushes, etc, and and an arrow keypad (so I don't have to reach across the keyboard with the left hand or leave the mouse with the right). I hate contorted keyboard shortcuts and switching from mouse to keyboard with right hand.

Probably not everyone's cup of tea but I do spend a lot of time there so want it as comfortable for me as possible. In fact, I think I like processing images more than taking them. It was the same thirty years ago with B/W film-the joy was pulling the first print.

Larry
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 03:39:16 AM »
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I'm often working with other peoples computers so I tend to leave the UI more or less alone (just the palettes I use) this makes it easier when swopping from one computer to another. 
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 11:01:08 PM »
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Here's mine, on a 24" monitor.  The 27" just has my toolbar.  Most of the time those layer and history palettes are full.  The palette on the left is one I built in Configurator to include my most common tools that I don't have keyboard shortcuts for in a single button approach.  I rarely use the menu bar, because of that.
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rob marz-hall
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 01:24:26 AM »
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Here's mine, on a 24" monitor.  The 27" just has my toolbar.  Most of the time those layer and history palettes are full.  The palette on the left is one I built in Configurator to include my most common tools that I don't have keyboard shortcuts for in a single button approach.  I rarely use the menu bar, because of that.

I'm surprised that several people have two monitors. I would have thought that would take up a lot of desk space and also cause some problems swapping back and forth between the two. How do you find that? I have a spare monitor - perhaps I should try it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2012, 01:30:29 AM »
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I've done it this way for long enough now that it feels like second nature, but with today's compact monitors, you can have the screens 2" apart, or less, and use one unified desktop.  I drag things back and forth, and can even have stuff temporarily span both monitors, if I want.  I use a graphics tablet and trackpad to navigate.  It might be more cumbersome with a mouse, but the advantages of never opening and closing palettes is tremendous, and you always have your image full screen.
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2012, 02:55:55 AM »
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2 (or more) monitors generally rock.  There's a heap of studies into to (Google away) and a lot of them even show benefits over more monitors versus just one really large one (obviously in photography there are benefits to a very large main monitor for viewing images).

Once you get used to it, you will be frustrated when you don't have it.
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rob marz-hall
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« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2012, 03:41:00 AM »
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2 (or more) monitors generally rock.  There's a heap of studies into to (Google away) and a lot of them even show benefits over more monitors versus just one really large one (obviously in photography there are benefits to a very large main monitor for viewing images).

Once you get used to it, you will be frustrated when you don't have it.

Can I check I have this right. You are using two monitors. On the first one is all your edit palettes  etc, on the other is the document window with the shot you are editing, and perhaps just the tool bar on one side. If you need to go back to the palettes, from the edit monitor, you move back to the first monitor. Wouldn't it be better if you could have Photoshop configured with two screen views one with the edit and the other with the palettes, and have a hot-key to quickly flip between the two, on the same physical monitor screen? Or are there advantages to having them physically separate?  

And wouldn't it be better to have a very wide monitor and have my arrangement, but on a wider screen?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 03:42:35 AM by rob marz-hall » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2012, 06:18:42 AM »
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"Better" depends on what your workflow is and how you like to work.

For me (and others may vary), I have my image, with nothing else, on the main monitor.  I have a Wacom tablet, too.  On the other monitor, are all the other bits of PS or LR (LR has a built in 2 monitor mode).  I use a lot of keyboard short cuts (I have a Logitech G15 and all the things I want to regularly do are just bound to the additional function keys - 1 press, no finger gymastics required).

I don't have to "jump" to the other screen, but I can see information there (OK - of course sometimes I need to jump to the other screen, but not very often).

So for me it gives me an image without clutter and it gives me the maximum real estate on that screen for my image.  It also gives me maxium real estate on the other screen for all the other bits and pieces.

When it's not photo editing, it could be web page design where I have one screen showing me the current page and how it looks and one page with my CMS open or perhaps some code or whatever else I'm wanting to look at.

When I'm researching something, I can have my document/slash notes open on one page and research material or website or whatever on the other.

The list goes on.

The advantage of two different screens is the ability to have applications automatically open on one or the other and to have the screen at the side slightly angled and to provide a visual reference break between the two (or at times three, actually) which helps with organisation.

Personally, I don't want to be flipping between things - it takes time and concentration (or breaks concentration) and detracts from the task at hand.  One really large screen can work - Eizo actually make a great screen slicer application that lets you treat it like multiple screens (which helps with window placement and focus control and other things), but it usually costs more for the real estate and you tend to get extra height that you don't always want relative to the total width (for some, of course, the height is great).  The other advantage of multiple screens (which relates to the point I just made) is that you dont' have to have the primary one in a landscape orientation.  If I'm working in portrait orientation or reading a document that's long or whatever it may be that benefits from portrait orientation, then I can just rotate it and use it that way, but keep the other monitor in landscape.  You can't do that (have both at once) with a single monitor.

Oh, and whilst I said I don't like flipping between things - there can be an advantage and it's where I use a thing call Desktops (it's a tiny, tiny little Windows app from the Sys Internals guy - Mark Russinovich.  This allows me to "flip" from two screens with PS to two screens with Bridge, or two screens with Directory Opus, so I can go from file management to photo management to photo editing at the press of a key and each time take advantage of the two screens configured as I prefer with working away.
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rob marz-hall
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« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2012, 06:36:05 AM »
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When it's not photo editing, it could be web page design where I have one screen showing me the current page and how it looks and one page with my CMS open or perhaps some code or whatever else I'm wanting to look at.

Yes, I can see that would be very useful. In fact, it would be good to have Bridge (which I use a lot) open on a small monitor and PS on a larger monitor, even just using my layout of edit and palettes combined on one screen. It would save a lot of swapping.

Thanks for your posts. Very interesting.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 10:15:07 AM »
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Can I check I have this right. You are using two monitors. On the first one is all your edit palettes  etc, on the other is the document window with the shot you are editing, and perhaps just the tool bar on one side. If you need to go back to the palettes, from the edit monitor, you move back to the first monitor. Wouldn't it be better if you could have Photoshop configured with two screen views one with the edit and the other with the palettes, and have a hot-key to quickly flip between the two, on the same physical monitor screen? Or are there advantages to having them physically separate?  

And wouldn't it be better to have a very wide monitor and have my arrangement, but on a wider screen?

Two monitors works exactly like one very wide monitor, when configured as an "extended destktop". I have a 27" screen on the left side and a 24" screen on the right side. They are edge to edge together so as I move the cursor off the right side of the 27" screen it immediately appears on the left edge of the 24" screen. It's very fast to go back and forth between the palettes and the image, especially when using a Wacom pen tablet. All I have to do is move my hand a few inches and I can go from the far left all the way to the far right side of both monitors.

I use a center column monitor stand that clamps to the desk and supports both screens from behind. Very little clutter and leaves me lots of desk space still.

I couldn't imagine going back to just one screen.  Here's a screenshot of my photoshop layout (downsized, since it's 4k+ pixels wide normally) and a photo of my desk itself.



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rob marz-hall
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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 11:11:02 AM »
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Two monitors works exactly like one very wide monitor, when configured as an "extended destktop". I have a 27" screen on the left side and a 24" screen on the right side. They are edge to edge together so as I move the cursor off the right side of the 27" screen it immediately appears on the left edge of the 24" screen. It's very fast to go back and forth between the palettes and the image, especially when using a Wacom pen tablet. All I have to do is move my hand a few inches and I can go from the far left all the way to the far right side of both monitors.

Sheldon

Thanks for posting that - I can see now what is possible, and yes, it looks a very good setup. I didn't realize you could move so seamlessly from one screen to another with the mice. I'll have to try this - I have a spare monitor.

And what a very tidy desk you have! Smiley
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