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Set General Preferences in Photoshop Elements 12

The first pane you see when you open the Preferences dialog box in Photoshop Elements is General preferences. (Refer to the figure.) In the General preferences pane on the right, you see drop-down lists and check boxes that relate to a variety of tool behaviors and the Elements user interface. The items in this pane (starting at the top) are

  • Color Picker: From the menu list, you can choose the Adobe Color Picker or your system color picker.

  • Step Back/Fwd: The default keyboard shortcut for stepping back (that is, undoing an edit) is Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z). To step forward (redo an edit), the default is Ctrl+Y (Cmd+Y). You can change the shortcuts by selecting other options from the drop-down list.

  • Show Tool Tips: Select this check box to show tooltips.

  • Use Shift Key for Tool Switch: You can press a key (such as the M key) to activate a tool (such as the Rectangular Marquee tool). Press M again, and you select the Elliptical Marquee tool. If this check box is selected, you change the default behavior so that you have to press Shift+a letter to switch tools.

  • Select Move Tool after Committing Text: In Elements, committing text refers to clicking the green check mark icon that appears after you type some text with the Text tool. Clicking the green check mark tells Elements that you’re ready to create that text on a new type layer.

    As you work in the Photo Editor, notice what you tend to do after you commit text: Do you keep editing your text with the Text tool or adjusting the placement of the text with the Move tool? Then you can set this preference accordingly to reflect the way you work.

  • Zoom with Scroll Wheel: Select this check box if you have a mouse with a scroll wheel and want to zoom in and out when rotating the wheel.

  • Allow Floating Documents in Expert Mode: By default, open photos in the image window appear as a row of tabs with filenames and Close buttons at the top of the window. You can choose to view documents in a more traditional Elements view in which multiple images appear as floating windows, and you can arrange the photos within the image window.

    When you select this check box and return to the Editor, click the Layout icon to open a drop-down menu and select the Float All Windows option.

  • Enable Soft Notifications: Soft notifications are reminders that appear in pop-up windows when you may be processing an event. If you want to hide these notifications, deselect the check box.

  • Enable Floating Document Window Docking: When windows are floating, you can dock them together across the top of the image window where the files appear as tabs. Select this box to permit floating windows to dock.

  • Reset Preferences on Next Launch: Resets preferences to defaults when you relaunch the program.

  • Reset All Warning Dialogs: A warning dialog box often contains check boxes that, if selected, let you dismiss the dialog box, safe in the knowledge that you never again have to bother with that particular one. If, however, you change your mind and want any warning dialog boxes that you’ve hidden to pop up again, click this button to reset all the dialog boxes to the default setting.

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