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The Navigator Palette

Photoshop Elements Basics Lesson 2: Working with Documents

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The navigator palette offers another way to pan and zoom around your documents.
The Navigator Palette

The navigator palette offers another way to pan and zoom around your documents.

If the navigator palette is not showing, display it now by choosing it from the Window menu. You'll also need to open a document. Anything you want to open will do.

In the center of the Navigator palette, you'll see a small thumbnail representation of your image, surrounded by a red outline representing the visible area of your document. If your entire image is visible, the outline surrounds the entire thumbnail. If you look at the palette menu, you can choose palette options to change the color of the outline.

Abobe the thumbnail, we find more controls for zooming. The text entry field lets you type in any magnification number, and the slider lets you adjust magnification up and down, and the two buttons on either side of the slider allow you to zoom in and out by set intervals.

If you move the slider all the way to the right, you'll see the maximum zoom level is 1600%. Move the slider back and forth a few times slowly and observe the red outline in the Navigator preview. As you can see, it gives you a visual clue as to what part of your image you are viewing. Click anywhere outside of the red outline in the Navigator preview to move the focus to that area of the image. Click and drag the red outline in the preview to pan around your document.

Remember, you can drag the edges of the navigator palette to change its size. The preview will increase as you increase the palette size.

With the shortcuts you learned in lesson one for panning and zooming, there is very little reason to use the navigator palette, but it can come in handy when your hand is already on the mouse and you don't have a free hand for the keyboard shortcuts. If you prefer to work with keyboard shortcuts, you can free up some screen space by closing the navigator palette if you wish.

Tip: At any time while working, when you need the most accurate representation of what you're working on, you should set the magnification to 100%. At any other magnification, there is going to be some level of distortion. Remember the current magnification level will always be displayed in the status bar, the navigator palette, or in the title bar of the document window.

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