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Real World Photoshop 6

Real World Photoshop 6
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Real World Photoshop 6
by David Blatner, Bruce Fraser
Paperback - 787 pages 1 edition (March 26, 2001)
Peachpit Press
ISBN: 0201721996
Dimensions (in inches): 1.47 x 9.20 x 7.54

Although this cornucopia of tips, tricks, explanations, and experienced wisdom would be useful to any Photoshop user, those most likely to benefit, and benefit a lot, are graphic designers and others working on prepress production. From bit depth to monitor settings, gamut warnings, and file formats, the Real World Photoshop 6 faces all those nasty problems that designers often want the service bureau or printer to fix, but really should handle themselves (if they want to have the most control over how their artwork prints).

The first chapters deal with hardware (platform, RAM), what's new in version 6, tools, palettes and dialog boxes, and resolution and color issues (including the complex area of color profiles and monitor calibration). Then there's tonal correction (using histograms and levels), RGB vs. CMYK, adjustment layers, sharpening, spot colors and duotones, working in black and white, and scanning. The last chapters explore selections (paths, masks, and channels), storage options and file formats, output methods (halftones, saving for use in Quark, PageMaker, or InDesign), and even preparing images for onscreen viewing.

This is not a book for beginners who don't yet know basics like opening, saving, and creating artwork. It's good for intermediate and advanced users needing to fill out gaps in their Photoshop knowledge and as a reference--ideal for skipping around, accessing information that's helpful when problems occur. Look up, for example, "drop shadows" and you find five lengthy tips on how to go beyond simply fiddling with the sliders in the dialog box. One lengthy tip even dissects what makes consistent and realistic shadows (where's the light source?). The writing is conversational and occasionally humorous, making reading enjoyable.

The tips are the pot of gold here; there's a whole chapter devoted to them (even Easter eggs). One example shows you how to crop a sliver off the edge of an image without being thwarted by the annoying snap-to-edge--by holding down the Control key while dragging the cropping rectangle. These tricks won't make you a showoff; they are essential time-savers and enhancements to your arsenal of techniques. -- Angelynn Grant

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