Copyright Scott Bourne 2005 - All Rights Reserved

I get lots of Photoshop questions and because I don’t use Photoshop as often as I used to, I’m much less the Photoshop wiz that I once was. That said, I do occasionally get some Photoshop questions I can answer. Here are five.

1. Do you work with more than one monitor when you use Photoshop and if so, what are the advantages of doing so?

Yes I work with two monitors. I work with my MacBookPro 17″ monitor and my Apple 24″ LED Cinema Display. I find the advantage is that I can view the image on the large display while putting all my pallets and other tools on the laptop display. This avoids clutter and makes it easier to study the photography without distraction.

2. How many times can I install Photoshop on my own personal computers?

Adobe allows two Photoshop installations per serial number. If you buy a new computer, it’s important to deactivate your Photoshop program before you sell your old computer. That way, you can reactivate Photoshop on the new computer without a lot of drama. Adobe will help you out if you forget but it’s better to do it the right way. If you need more than two copies running at the same time you’ll need another copy of Photoshop.

3. What is the Targeted Adjustment Tool used for?

The TAT is used to make tonal and color corrections by dragging directly on a photo, rather than by using sliders in the image adjustment tabs. You can correct things like Hue, Saturation, Luminance, or Grayscale Mix. This works better for people who are more visual and doesn’t work as well for numbers people.

4. What advantage is there to running Photoshop in 64 bit mode? Why does everyone think that is so cool?

64-bit mode produces some dramatic speed improvements in cases where you are working on complex image solutions or working with large data sets. In other words, it matters to Photoshop users working with large images or applying lots of layers to an image. To everyone else, not so much.

5. I was looking at my Photoshop preferences and saw a selection related to “Scratch Disks.” What is a Scratch Disk?

A scratch disk is any drive or a partition with free space. Photoshop uses this like a RAM disk to store overflow data. By default, Photoshop uses the hard drive that the operating system is installed on as its scratch disk.

You can change this and furthermore, designate additional scratch disks to be used when the primary disk is full.

Always make sure your main scratch disk is your fastest drive. It should be a different drive than the one that holds your image files. It should have as much unfragmented space as possible.

This post sponsored by X-Rite Color and the ColorChecker Passport