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Adobe Photoshop Basics
Lesson 1b: Status Bar

Let's continue our exploration of the Photoshop workspace. There are four main counterparts to the Photoshop workspace: the menu bar, the status bar, the toolbox, and the palettes. We looked at the menu bars in the first section. In this lesson we'll be learning about the status bar.

Adobe Photoshop Basics
Read This First!
Course Outline
Menu Bar
• Status Bar

Interactive Classroom
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-Get Help with Lesson 1

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The Status Bar
The Status bar
Now take a look at the status bar along the bottom edge of the Photoshop workspace. The status bar is often taken for granted or overlooked entirely, but it can be a valuable tool. You'll need an open document before the status bar will display any information, so let's open one now.

Go to the File menu and choose Open, locate an image file and open it now. If you don't have an image file handy, you can find several in the Stockart folder of the Photoshop application CD. Ctrl-O/Cmd-O is the keyboard shortcut to open a file. This is the same shortcut used by most applications, so it should be an easy one to remember. If you are a Windows user, you can quickly open a file by double clicking on the application background. (Since there is no application background on the Mac OS, there is not a Macintosh equivalent to this shortcut.)

Magnification levelTo the far left of the status bar you will see the magnification level of the active document. You can swipe your cursor in this area and type in a new number to change the magnification of your document. Go ahead and try it now.

Zoom ToolTo return your document to 100% magnification, locate the zoom tool in the toolbox and double click the button. The keyboard equivalent to this shortcut is Ctrl-Alt-0/Cmd-Option-0. (We'll explore more of the toolbar a bit later.)

Document Sizes displayTo the left of the magnification display on the status bar, you will see a display of document sizes. The number on the left displays the uncompressed size of the image if it were to have all layers flattened. The number on the right displays the uncompressed size of the document including all layers and channels. It's important to know that both of these numbers will usually be larger than the final file size of the saved document. For more on the Document Sizes display, look up Document Sizes option in the online Help file.

Status Bar display optionsNext to the Document sizes display there is a small black arrow that pops up a menu. You'll find this arrow other places in the Photoshop workspace, so when you see it, remember that there is a menu hiding there. In this case, the menu allows you to change what is displayed in this area of the status bar. In addition to Document Sizes, you can optionally choose to display Scratch Sizes, Efficiency, Timing, or the current tool. You can look up each of these items in Photoshop's online Help for more information.

Next in the status bar, you can see useful information about the tool you have selected. If you still have the zoom tool selected, your status bar should say "Zoom In" if you are outside of the document area. Move the cursor into the document area and you will see the status bar display instructions for using that tool. Now hold down the Alt/Option key and the status bar will show "Zoom Out" and the cursor will change to a minus sign. Next try the Ctrl/Command key in conjunction with the zoom tool and observe the tips displayed in the status bar. Try the other key combinations such as Ctrl-Shift/Cmd-Shift, or Ctrl-Alt/Cmd-Option while observing the status bar instructions.

Let's review each of the zoom tool options:
No modifier key = click to zoom in; click and drag to zoom into a specific area
Double click = zoom to 100% magnification
Ctrl-Alt-0/Cmd-Option-0 = zoom to 100% magnification
Alt/Option = click to zoom out
Ctrl/Cmd = temporarily toggles to the move tool

Here are a few more zoom shortcuts we have not yet covered:
Double click the Hand Tool Hand tool = zoom to fit the screen
Ctrl-0/Cmd-0 = zoom to fit the screen
Ctrl- /Cmd- (plus sign) = zoom in
Ctrl--/Cmd-- (minus sign) = zoom out

Next > The Toolbox

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