Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop
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Using the Image Menu

Most basic Photoshop tasks involve the Image menu, which I showed you earlier. In this chapter of the tutorial, I’ll go a little deeper into what you can do with the Image menu. I'm skipping around a little here; this represents the most commonly used items on the Image menu.

  • Mode
    The first item on the Image menu is Mode. This is what you use to change the color mode and appearance on the entire image. I discussed RGB, the web mode, and CMYK, the print mode, earlier. You have some other choices here, including grayscale and duotone. Some modes’ availability depends on the pre-existing color mode.
    image and mode menus
    The Image and Mode menus


  • Adjust
    You can see that the adjust option on the Image menu gives you a lot of different tools for adjusting your image. The most basic types of adjustments you can make with Photoshop involve colors and brightness.

    The most simple is the contrast/brightness adjustment. When you select contrast/brightness, you are confronted with a dialog box with a slider for both brightness and contrast. Moving the sliders to the left makes the picture more murky or darker, and moving the sliders to the right brightens and increases the contrast between the dark and light colors in the image. You can play around with both sliders until you get a suitable mix; the change is previewed in the image. This tool is helpful for brightening pictures that were taken in low light.

    The other adjustments you can make with the options on the adjustments menu are a little more complex, and the best way to learn about them is just to experiment. Because Photoshop allows you to preview your adjustments, you can get a good feel for the adjustments without hurting your image.
    brightness/contrast dialog
    The Brightness/Contrast dialog


  • Image size
    Another common basic feature of Photoshop that lives on the Image menu is image size. You use this function to resize an image, and it’s pretty straightforward. When you select image size from the Image menu, a dialog box appears with some numbers corresponding to the current size.

    You'll notice that there are two sets of sizes, Pixel Dimensions and Document Size. Pixel Dimensions refers to the image's size on screen, and Document Size refers to the size at which the document will print.You'll notice that all the numbers change when you change one of them. This default setting preserves the original h/w ratio of your image when you make changes to it size. If you want to change only one dimension of the image, uncheck the "constrain proportions" checkbox at the bottom of the dialog.

    Notice that in the Documents size settings, you have the option to change the resolution (remember, things images will always be approximately 72 pixels/inch on screen). You can use this to change the resolution of your image, but remember, if you don't want the quality to decrease, you should only go from hi-res to low-res.
  • image size dialog
    The Image Size dialog


  • Canvas Size
    Canvas Size is similar to Image Size, but changes to an image's canvas size can provide you with more working area for your image, in case you want to annotate it, copy more images into it, or perform. any number of other graphic variations.
    canvas size dialog
    The Canvas Size dialog


  • Crop
    The Crop function in the image menu is fairly straightforward. Make a selection, go to Image and select crop, and then everyting outside your selection disappears. The image size reflects the change.

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© 2003 Patrick Williams| iSchool | UT Austin | webmaster