As you may have noticed by now, we’re huge fans of the Visual QuickStart series. But we’re not alone. Take Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas’s Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide. You’ll find earlier editions of this book pretty much anywhere you’ll find designers. Or students. Or teachers of graphic design software. In fact, it’s been the book of choice in thousands of classrooms. And not just in North America, either: These authors’ Visual QuickStart Guides have been translated into a dozen languages.
This edition’s the best yet. Not just clear, step-by-step instructions but great sample art from realistic projects (including a breathtaking 16-page full-color collection chosen from hundreds of images offered to the authors). Real insight, real tips and tricks. (For example: Want your filter effects to look less artificial? Often, it helps to use more than one. Before you go through the trouble of making custom Channel Mixer adjustments, try the presets buried deep in Adobe’s Goodies folder. To make it look like you’re painting on the back of the current layer, use Behind Mode.)
The Table of Contents flags everything that’s covered here that's new (or substantially changed) in Photoshop 7. It’s a long list. You’ll find loads of interface changes. There’s the new File Browser, of course, but also custom workspaces -- a super timesaver. (Instantly switch Photoshop to your favorite configuration of palettes and dialog boxes for whatever you’re doing now -- say, working with a text-intensive document or painting with the Brushes, Color, and Swatches palettes).
They cover big improvements like the File Browser -- and the Healing Brush and Patch Tool which, together, offer precise touchups you just couldn’t get with the Clone Stamp and Pattern Stamp. But they also cover loads of subtle changes that’ll make your day-to-day existence with Photoshop just a little more creative and productive.
For example, they point out a new way to rename layers. New shortcut keys that turn on the Snap feature. New PANTONE choices when you’re choosing a custom color. You’ll discover the new “Simulate Pressure” option that thins out your path strokes partway through, for greater realism. There are new anti-aliasing options for editable type layers. New recordable Actions.
Other folks might have missed some of these neat little tweaks, but Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas know Photoshop about as intimately as anyone outside Adobe.
You’ll find extensive new coverage of Photoshop painting, starting with “Brush Palette 101” -- all you need to know to customize tips for the Brush, Pencil, History Brush, Art History Brush, even Dodge, Burn, and Sponge (is that the name of a law firm?)
New on the “Web side of the house”: lots of little improvements in rollovers, as well as the handy Transparency Dither feature, which can eliminate those annoying image haloes. But wherever your image is going after it leaves Photoshop, this book will help you get it there.
Exporting to QuarkXPress or InDesign? After Effects or Illustrator? CorelDraw? Need a TIFF, or BMP, or PICT? An EPS file? Or maybe one of those newfangled DCS 2.0 files that pre-separate your image, providing related color files for each CMYK channel, plus one for the combined CMYK channel, all while preserving spot color? It’s all covered. And we’re not just talking about “open dialog box X, choose option Y, click Save: We’re talking about intelligent guidance.
Should you save your layered Photoshop images to After Effects as pre-composited images? Is it just you, or do some blending modes act really strange when you place a Photoshop image into Illustrator with the Link option checked? Are you sure you know whether your new QuarkXPress prepress house wants TIFF or EPS images?
Weinmann and Lourekas also point out improvements in creating contact sheets, converting multipage PDFs to Photoshop format, creating picture packages, and generating web galleries.
If you want fast answers -- but you don’t want to feel like someone’s glossed over the gotchas or left out what matters most -- you want Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh Visual Quickstart Guide. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.