How to Use Photoshop CS6’s Info Panel

By Barbara Obermeier

Photoshop CS6’s Info panel, accessible under the Window menu, displays a variety of information, depending on what tool you’re using. To specify which status info options you want displayed, or whether you want Tool Hints shown, select Panel Options from the Info panel pop-up menu.

For example, if you’re using the Ruler tool, the information in the Info panel duplicates the measurements shown on the Options bar. Selecting other tools modifies the Info panel’s appearance to reflect the functions of that tool. Here’s some of the information you can find out by keeping the Info panel visible on your desktop:


  • When using most tools, the Info panel displays the X and Y coordinates of the cursor, as well as the color values of the pixel directly beneath the cursor.

  • When making a selection with the marquee tools, the Info panel shows both the X and Y coordinates of the cursor, as well as the width (W) and height (H) of the selection.

  • When dragging with the Crop or Zoom tools, the Info panel shows the width and height of the marquee used to define the cropping or zoom borders. The Crop tool’s current angle of rotation (A) is also displayed.

  • With the Line, Pen, and Gradient tools, the Info panel shows the X and Y coordinates of the starting position for the line, path, or gradient you’re defining, as well as the distance (L) of the line you’ve dragged, the change in X and Y directions (Delta X and Delta Y), and the angle (A).

  • When you use a transformation command, the Info panel displays the percentage change in the Width, Height, Angle, Angle of Horizontal Skew (H), and Angle of Vertical Skew (V).

  • When you use a color adjustment, such as Levels, and that adjustment dialog box or adjustment layer is active, the Info panel displays before and after color values beneath the mouse cursor.

  • After you make a selection with the Lasso or Magic Wand tools, the Info panel shows the Width and Height of the selection’s bounding rectangle.

  • Select Panel Options from the Info panel’s pop-up menu. In the Info Panel Options dialog box that appears, you can define a second color readout, in addition to the default readout, using a different color model if you want.

    In addition to the regular color modes, the default Actual Color option displays values in the current mode of the document. Proof Color displays values based on the setting chosen in View→Proof Setup. The Total Ink option displays the percentage CMYK ink under the cursor based on the settings in the CMYK Setup dialog box in the Color Settings (Advanced).

    You can also define a measurement increment for the mouse cursor (in inches, pixels, millimeters, and so forth) independently of the increment you’ve selected in Preferences. You can also choose to display other types of information about your file.