How to Use the Preset Manager in Photoshop CS6

Many of the panels and tools Photoshop CS6 works with can use settings that you store on your hard drive as presets. For example, you can create custom colors and brush tips, build your own gradients, create a library of shapes, or compile a set of styles to apply to layers.

You want to become familiar with the Preset Manager, which provides a central management tool for all the options that are individually available from the panels and tools themselves. Just like with the tools, you can select, edit, and delete presets.

The only thing you can’t do with the Preset Manager is actually create a preset. You must do this with the Tool Preset Picker, Tool Presets panel, Gradient Editor, Brushes panel, and other locations. Here are some tips on using the Preset Manager:

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  • To show the Preset Manager, choose Edit→Preset Manager. To hide it, click Done.

  • To select a specific type of preset to work with, select it from the Preset Type drop-down menu.

  • To load an existing set of presets from your hard drive, click the Load button and navigate to the presets you want to access. You can also select a preset library listed on the pop-up menu of each preset type.

  • To store a new or modified group of settings, click the Save Set button and type a name.

  • To give a particular preset a new name, select the preset in the dialog box, click the Rename button, type the new name, and click OK.

    You can rename multiple presets consecutively by clicking and Ctrl-clicking (Command-clicking) the items that you want to rename, and then clicking the Rename button. Photoshop asks you to supply a new name for each, in turn.

  • To quickly load the default preset library for any tool or panel, select Reset [Preset] from the Preset Manager pop-up menu. You can also replace your current preset library with another.

  • Different preset display options are available on the Preset Manager pop-up menu.

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