Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum Algonquin College Graphic Design Program Computer Graphics Course Curriculum

Set Up Photoshop

Apps Used: Adobe Creative Cloud Adobe Photoshop

Before we start to use Photoshop, we need to edit settings to make it work better for us.


In this unit, we’ll go through Photoshop’s settings to fine-tune them to suit our needs. We’ll also create a custom workspace to manage the application’s panels. We’ll get rid of that pesky Application Frame in the process.


We will also load a set of custom keyboard shortcuts. We’ll be learning these during the semester. They’ll greatly speed up our work, as we gain experience using Photoshop.

Download and un-compress the file. Navigate to and move the file to this folder. You may or may not need to quit and re-launch Photoshop to see the new set of keyboard shortcuts.



Download the support files for this page. There are a series of images of Photoshop Preferences panes. Match your settings to these.

Custom Workspace

Photoshop has many panels. You don’t need them all open at once. We always want to open only the panels we need for the job at hand. That’s what workspaces are for. They are simply saved sets of open panels.

Your best bet is to hit Shift-Tab on your keyboard. That will turn off all panels except for Tools and Control. Now we can start from scratch. Go Window > Application Frame then un-check it to turn it off.

Now turn on these panels from the Window:

Go Window > Workspace > New Workspace… then name it with your name. Uncheck all the checkboxes in the save dialogue. Once you’ve done this, it will be your default set of panels. My default workspace is simply called AL.

If you want to add or remove a panel from this set, all you do is make then change, then re-save a new set with the same name. This will over-write your old one.

If you find yourself needing a whole different set of panels for a specific type of work, go ahead and make new sets.