Photoshop CS (8) Tips and Tricks


Photoshop CS offers two new interpolation algorithms for resizing images. Both are derived from the bicubic interpolation, but focus on keeping the image sharper or smoother. Typically, Bicubic Smoother works better on images you need to enlarge and removes the need for intermediate interpolation, while Bicubic Sharper is better for down sampling images when you want to hold as much sharpness as possible. Always test to see what works best for your images.

If you are upsizing a Raw image it is best to do the interpolation in the Camera Raw plug-in as opposed to Photoshop because the plug-in is working in a linear space as opposed to the gamma space of Photoshop.

Camera Raw Files:

I strongly advocate that if your camera offers the option to shoot in Raw mode you give it a try. The advantages of processing a Raw file compared to a jpeg or tiff are significant. When you are processing a Raw image via the Camera Raw plug-in you are working on an image that has enormous amounts of information, allowing you to make major adjustments without compromising the image quality. It is as if you were able to go back in time and change the camera settings to reflect a better outcome.

A helpful trick when processing files in Camera Raw is to select the eyedropper tool and select / click in an area of the image that should be neutral or white and the plug-in will automatically adjust the White Balance Temperature to the correct value – instant gray balance!

Healing Brush:

Now the Healing Brush allows you to paint on an empty layer. This means you don’t have to alter the original data – leaving more room for experimentation!

File Browser:

The File Browser is one of Photoshop’s real hidden charms. Once you start using it to search for files you will wonder how you lived without it. Also, the new browser is much faster – making it a practical option for finding files – quickly.

A few things you will want to change in the settings, to optimize its effectiveness:

1) Select View / Unreadable Files. This will allow you to view InDesign Files as well as Word, Excel, and many other file types.

2) Select Preferences / File Browser and check Render Vector Files, now you’ll be able to see thumbnails of Acrobat PDF and Illustrator CS files.

3) Did you know you could drop a folder into the File Browser to preview it? Didn’t think so. Try dragging a folder onto the preview section of the File Browser and viola; you can view its contents.

Where to find more Tips and Tricks:

Look into the Photoshop CS / Help folder for the file “Tips and Tricks.pdf”.