Table of Contents




Title: PhotoShop 7
by  Jeff Blye


Photoshop 7.0 is the outstanding new flagship product from Adobe Systems Incorporated that is a must have upgrade for every graphic artist and serious digital photographer.  Itís a feature packed application which stands out among all other graphic programs when it comes to creating images for print or web design.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop




 Previous users will feel quite at home working within the Photoshop 7 environment.  As a matter of fact, a quick glance at the interface doesnít reveal much of a difference between this and earlier versions.  However, digging a little deeper reveals some new and innovative tools which will certainly enhance your creativity. 

 For me, the most obvious addition to Photoshopís well-known toolbox is the new Healing Brush.  At first glance it may appear that this innovative tool works just like the familiar Clone Tool.  However, there is a difference.  When applied, the Healing Brush will clone from one area of your image to another while preserving the underlying shading, lighting and textures.  This imparts a more natural and appealing appearance to your picture and is an excellent aid for touching up digital photos.

Within the same fly-out as the Healing Brush, we find Photoshopís new Patch Tool.  This device is similar in action to the Healing Brush but works somewhat differently.  Unlike the Healing Brush which clones from one area to another, the Patch Tool works by means of creating a selection area.  The idea is to select a good area of your image with any of the available selection tools (as well as quick masks and channels) and then drag the selection over a poorer quality area.  Photoshop then automatically corrects the shading and toning within this selected area.  Itís quite remarkable to see.

Another exciting feature found within Photoshop 7 is the new File Browser.  Imagine searching for your files visually rather than just by file name.  Itís a breeze with File Browser.  Scroll through thumbnail images of all your graphic files.  Locate them.  Organize them.  Even rotate them before bringing them into the Photoshop workspace.    The viewer is customizable.   The default view shows four panes.  (1) The tree view is used to navigate folders and files on your hard disks or CDs.  (2) The thumbnail pane displays thumbnails of the image files within a selected folder or disk.  (3) The preview pane displays a selected image larger than the thumbnail pane view.  (4) The metadata pane provides information about a selected image beyond whatís displayed in the thumbnail pane.  The metadata pane shows keywords associated with a selected image as well as captions, resolution, and bit depth.  The metadata pane also displays EXIF information about images created with digital cameras such as creation date, exposure settings, image size, and resolution.  Managing graphic files in Photoshop has never been easier.

 Customizing Photoshop is a dream.  New within Photoshop 7.0 is the ability to let you customize any tool and save your preferred settings as a new, unique tool for easy recall. For instance, you can create your own unique brushes and save them as tool presets. Access your presets instantly from the Tool options bar or from the new tool Presets palette, which lets you conveniently view presets for all your tools in one place.   The new Workspace option in Photoshop 7.0 lets you create a personalized desktop with a preferred layout of palettes and save it as a workspace for future use.

Other improvements abound.  Photoshop has always been an industry leader with its color correction tools. With Photoshop 7.0, you have a new option, the Auto Color Command, which provides even more reliable color correction.  A new painting engine lets you create exceptional imagery that you couldnít achieve before in Photoshop.  Simulate traditional painting techniques (including pastels and charcoal) with dry and wet brush effects and use brushes to add special effects, such as grass and leaves.  Scan paper or canvas materials to create your own distinctive Photoshop canvases or use the canvas textures that ship with Photoshop.  In addition to delivering entirely new creative possibilities, the Photoshop painting engine gives you more precise controls.  Using the Brushes palette, you can adjust dozens of settings for shape, tilt, spacing, scatter, jitter, diameter, texture, shading, and other attributes and save those settings as custom brush presets.  A limitless number of painting effects can be created by combining two different brushes.

With the new Pattern Maker plug-in, you can create patterns simply by selecting a section of an image.  The enhanced Liquify plug-in provides enhanced image warping control with zoom, pan, and multiple undo.  The new, built-in spell checker allows you to search and replace text; check spelling in multiple languages within the same file; and correct spelling on one text layer or across all text layers in the same document. 

Included within the Photoshop 7.0 package is a new feature rich ImageReady 7.0, an application for creating high quality web graphics.  Both applications give Photoshop 7.0 the most comprehensive toolset on the market with new capabilities to meet any creative demand and the ability to handle the widest variety of image-editing tasks in the most efficient way.

Jeff Blye is the Co-Chairman of the PhotoShop SIG of the The Long Island PC Users Group. There meetings are held at the Bethpage Public Library, Bethpage NY, just west of Rt. 135 at the Powel Ave exit. Meetings are on the seconded Wednesday of each month at 7:30 PM


Last Update:06/26/2007


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