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How to Set up the Photoshop CS6 Status Bar

Each Photoshop CS6 image window comes equipped with a status bar. On the far left of the bar is a box that displays an active image’s current zoom level (such as 33.33%). Incidentally, the title bar of the document itself also shows the zoom level.

To display other types of information, click the right arrow in the status bar, choose Show, and select one of the following options from the menu that appears:

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Digitalproshots Image #3993036]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Digitalproshots Image #3993036
  • Adobe Drive: If you’re a Version Cue user, you can select this option, which enables you to connect to Version Cue servers. When you connect via Adobe Drive, you can open and save Version Cue files. Adobe has discontinued Version Cue, so the future of the Adobe Drive feature is unknown.

  • Document Sizes: When you select this option, Photoshop displays two numbers to approximate the size of the image. The first number shows you the size of the file if you were to flatten (combine) all the layers into one and save it to your hard drive in the native Photoshop file format.

    The number on the right shows the size of the file, including layers, channels, and other components, and how much data Photoshop has to juggle while you’re working on the file. You want this option active when you need to keep track of how large your image is.

  • Document Profile: When you select this option, the status bar displays the name of the color profile that the image uses, as well as the number of bits per channel. You probably won’t use this option unless you need to know the profiles of all the open documents while making complex color corrections.

  • Document Dimensions: When you select this option, the status bar shows you the size of the image by using the default measurement increment you’ve set in Photoshop’s Preferences (pixels, inches, picas, and so on). You might need this information to reference the physical dimensions of your open files.

  • Measurement Scale: Displays the scale of frequently used measurements You can set your own custom measurement scale by choosing Image→Analysis→Measurement Scale→Custom. For example, 1 inch=300 pixels.

  • Scratch Sizes: Scratch space is the virtual memory set aside on your hard drive to simulate RAM and make editing large files easier. Enabling this option shows two measurements for an active image. On the left, you see the amount of real memory and virtual memory that all open images are using. On the right, you see the total amount of RAM available for working with images.

    Photoshop needs a lot more memory and disk space to work on an image while that image is open, shown by the Scratch Sizes display, as opposed to the Document Size display that shows only the file size of the document.

  • Efficiency: This indicator helps you gauge whether you really have enough RAM to perform a task. It shows the percentage of time Photoshop spends actually working on an operation, compared to the time it must spend reading or writing image information to or from your hard disk.

    If the value dips below 100 percent most of the time, you need to allocate more memory to Photoshop (if you’re using a Windows PC).

  • Timing: This number shows you how long it took you to complete your most recent incredible feat.

  • Current Tool: This option shows you the name of the tool currently in use.

  • 32-Bit Exposure: This option is for adjusting the preview image for viewing 32-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) images. The slider control is available only if you have an HDR image open.

  • Save Progress: This option displays a progress bar at the bottom of your image window showing your percentage of saving as you choose File →Save or Save As. This feature is handy for large or complex files.

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