Learn how to navigate and use the Adobe Photoshop workspace. Use preset workspaces, or create custom work-spaces by moving and manipulating windows and panels.
You create and manipulate your documents and files using various elements, such as panels, bars, and windows. Any arrangement of these elements is called a workspace. (The workspaces of different Adobe creative applications share similar appearances so that you can move between the applications easily.) You can adapt Photoshop to the way you work by selecting from several preset workspaces or by creating one of your own.
The Start workspace in Photoshop gives you quick access to your recent files, libraries, and presets. Depending on your subscription status, the Start workspace may also display content tailored for your requirements. You can also look for the right Adobe Stock asset for your project directly from within the Start workspace.
Photoshop displays the Start workspace at launch or whenever no documents are open.
Work with the Start workspace
Toggle between tile and list views
Click the Tile icon () or the List icon ().
Find a stock asset
Enter a keyword in the Search Stock field. Photoshop displays the search results from Adobe Stock in a new browser window.
Access your assets
Open a recently-opened file or a library. Else, create a new document using a preset.
A first look at the Photoshop working area
A: Tools panel | B: History panel | C: Color panel | D: Creative Cloud Libraries panel | E: Layers panel
Interactive image | Click the highlighted areas in the image to view more information about them
- The Application bar across the top contains a workspace switcher, menus (Windows only), and other application controls. On the Mac for certain products, you can show or hide it using the Window menu.
- The Tools panel contains tools for creating and editing images, artwork, page elements, and so on. Related tools are grouped.
- The Options bar Control panel displays options for the currently selected tool.
- The Document window displays the file you’re working on. Document windows can be tabbed and, in certain cases, grouped and docked.
- Panels help you monitor and modify your work. Panels can be grouped, stacked, or docked.
- On-image displays: Stay informed as you use your favorite tools. On-image displays show selection dimensions, transformation angles, and more. To change the placement of the displays, choose an option from the Show Transformation Values in the Interface preferences.
- Maximized screen space: Click the button at the bottom of the toolbar to switch between Standard and Fullscreen display modes.
- Set UX color: You can customize the interface to sport one of the following color themes: Black, Dark Gray, Medium Gray and Light Gray.To do this, follow these steps:
- Choose Edit > Preferences > Interface.
- Choose the desired color theme.The Application frame groups all the workspace elements in a single, integrated window that lets you treat the application as a single unit. When you move or resize the Application frame or any of its elements, all the elements within it respond to each other so none overlap. Panels don’t disappear when you switch applications or when you accidentally click out of the application. If you work with two or more applications, you can position each application side by side on the screen or on multiple monitors.If you are using a Mac and prefer the traditional, free-form user interface, you can turn off the Application frame.
The Photoshop workspace is easy to use and includes a number of usability features:
- Different brightness levels: Choose Edit > Preference (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences (Mac OS) and select a Color Theme swatch in the Interface section.
To quickly decrease brightness, press Shift + 1; to increase brightness, press Shift + 2. (On Mac OS, it’s necessary to also press the FN key.)