In my last post, I covered how to go about customizing some of the colors in our Photoshop workspace as well as a bit of how to choose and utilize a few of the various preset workspaces Adobe has created for us. While that was, in my opinion, a well rounded and informative post, I did leave off some valuable information.
If you’re a Photoshop power user, you’ve undoubtedly encountered situations that left you frustrated because one of the pre-created workspaces didn’t suit your needs. I’m sure you would’ve preferred to rearrange a few panels to create an environment that would be more conducive to your workflow. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s entirely possible to, not only move a few panels, but to move and set them to a wide variety of locations within Photoshop. And when you’re finished arranging things the way you see fit, you can save their locations as a workspace preset. On top of that, you can delete any presets you don’t use as well.
In this post, I’m going to cover what I just wrote about above by creating an example workspace preset, saving it and then deleting it. I’ll attempt to be as descriptive as possible and I’ll enhance things by including oodles of screenshots. If you’re left with any questions or concerns by the time you finish reading, please leave those in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
Adding Panels To Workspace
The very first task we need to complete in our example workspace is to choose which panels we’d like to work with. Now, if you use Photoshop often, you already know which ones you need. For the example below, I’m merely going to pick random panels and place them in various locations throughout my workspace.
No matter which workspace you’re currently using, there are already panels open. You can most likely see them on the right side of your workspace. In my case, I’m using “Essentials.”
NOTE: If you’d like a larger view of any example image in this post, simply right click on it and choose “Open Image In New Tab.”
As you can see, I’ve already got the Color, Swatches, Layers, Channels and other panels out and available to me. If I wanted to take advantage of a few more panels, I can simply head up to the top menu and click on “Window.” From there, I can click on any panel name I would like to have appear in my workspace.
In my case, I’d like to use the “3D,” “Brush” and “Character” panels. If you’re following along, notice how these additional panels appear as icons in my vertical iconic bar.
Deleting Panels From Workspace
Now that I’ve got all the panels I’d like to use out in my workspace, I’m going to go ahead and delete the ones I don’t really use. If you’ve got a huge monitor and space isn’t an issue, please feel free to keep as many panels exposed as you can fit. For everyone else, I suggest you use your monitor real estate wisely and keep a tidy area.
I covered how to delete panels in my recent post about customizing your workspace in Photoshop. If you’re interested in learning how to go about doing this, you can either click through to read that post or you can continue on below. I’ll touch on it here.
If you’d like to delete a panel that’s being used by one of Photoshop’s preset workspaces, all you need to do is to right click on the name (tab) of the panel and click “Close.” That will remove the panel. For my example, I’m going to get rid of “Paths,” “Channels” and “Swatches.” My new workspace is below. You will most likely have to look very closely, as the changes aren’t obvious.
Pulling Remaining Panels Out of Position
The way things are, I can’t think. My panels are too orderly and since I know I’d like to move them every which way, I need to pull each panel out from its current position and leave them floating in my workspace. From there, I’ll go about placing them where I need them. First though, let’s get them out and floating.
To pull a panel out of its current position, all I need to do is to click on its tab (name) and drag it out into the middle of my workspace. If your panels are collapsed inside an icon, simply click the icon to expand the panel and then click and drag the panel out. After I did this, my orderly workspace looked somewhat messy.
Combining Panels Into Groups
Like I said, this is a mess. I need to tidy my area up a bit. The first step I’m going to take is to combine a few of these related panels. FYI – I could have left some of these as groups, but I wanted to show you that you can pull everything apart and put it back together again. It’s fun to experiment.
To combine panels into groups, I’m going to click on the panel name again and drag that panel into the panel box that I’m interested in combining it with (right next to the existing panel’s name). The way I know I’m in the correct position is to look for a cyan outline. Once it’s in place, let go of the mouse and drop the panel.
If I wanted to create a group of panels that are stacked as opposed to side-by-side, instead of dragging the panel name over next to the existing panel name, I would’ve dragged it right above the existing panel name. The difference here is that, instead of a cyan “box,” my indicator would’ve been a cyan “line.”
In my case, I’m fine with having some panels side-by-side and some stacked.
Now comes the fun part. It’s sort of like rearranging furniture in a bedroom. You can do anything you like and get as creative as you wish.
Basically, we’re allowed to put panels a wide variety of locations in the workspace. As you drag your panels around, look for the cyan line to appear. When it does, it’s safe to let go of your mouse to drop your panel. This will take a bit of practice, but once you understand the general idea, things will get easier. Here is an example of what the cyan line looks like right next to the primary toolbar.
Take a look at what I did with my workspace. I moved panels all over the place. I put some over at the left side, at the bottom and at the right. I even grabbed the primary toolbar and moved it to the right. Like I said, you can do a lot here and really customize things.
Now, I want to quickly mention something. Because we’re in experimentation mode, things can get out of hand quickly. If we make too much of a mess and would like to go back to the beginning, all we need to do is head back up to the “Window” menu, roll over “Workspace” and then click “Reset…” (whichever workspace we’re currently using).
Saving a Custom Workspace
If you didn’t make a mess and if you’d like to keep your panels the way they are and save their arrangement as a workspace, all you need to do is head back up to the “Window” menu, roll over “Workspace” and then click “New Workspace…” Once you do that, you should see a dialog box appear. Go ahead and type your desired workspace name inside the box and hit “Save.”
Now, if you go back to the “Window” menu and roll over “Workspace,” you should see your new workspace in the list.
BONUS TIP: You may have already gone into the workspace menu and clicked back to the workspace you initially began with. Remember, I used the “Essentials” one. If you click into the old workspace, you’ll notice nothing happens. The panels are the same as your new workspace. That’s because you rearranged the old one. If you want to bring it back to it’s original glory and neatness, simply go to the “Window” menu and then roll over “Workspace,” but this time, click “Reset…(whichever workspace you’re in)” In my case, I would click “Reset Essentials.” Once that’s finished, you should see everything snap back to the way it once was.
Deleting a Workspace
Okay, way back in the beginning of this post, I told you I was setting up an example workspace. I never intended to keep it. I merely created it for this demonstration. I now want it gone.
In order to delete a workspace, I need to go back up to the “Window” menu, roll over “Workspace” and then click “Delete Workspace…” If I do that, I should see a dialog drop-down box appear that holds all my available workspaces.
You’ve probably already guessed what needs to happen next. Yup, in order to delete a workspace, simply choose the workspace you’d like to remove and then click “Delete.” A confirmation box will appear. Just click “OK” and it’ll be gone forever. It’s that easy.
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