Photoshop CC tutorial | Customizing the interface in Photoshop

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

When you first open Photoshop one of the things that might throw you if you're on the Mac is that you can't see behind the application to the desktop. On launch Photoshop takes up the whole screen not while this is normal behavior on Windows it is a very different behavior on the Macintosh. If you go under the window menu you can toggle off the application frame if you do want to see the applications behind Photoshop. But when I select that now I'm seeing Bridge behind Photoshop and it's very confusing. So while I'm in Photoshop I prefer to leave the application frame on by choosing window and then application frame. The other advantage that the application frame has is that it allows me to scale or resize Photoshop as a unit. I can see here that if I open a file the file would be contained within this area right here.

Photoshop CC tutorial | Customizing the interface in Photoshop
Photoshop CC tutorial | Customizing the interface in Photoshop

So if I had a really large display I could actually run photoshop on the left hand side and maybe bridge on the right hand side to make the most use of my monitors or if I wanted to expand Photoshop to extend over more than one monitor I can actually stretch this beyond a single Monitor and spread out Photoshop over two monitors. Another way that we can customize Photoshop is to change the interface by changing the color theme. So under the Photoshop menu I’ll select preferences and then interface. If you're on Windows you would select the Edit menu and then preferences and then interface here. We can see that I can select from one of four different color themes a really dark interface, a medium dark, a lighter interface and a really bright interface.

Photoshop CC tutorial | Customizing the interface in Photoshop
Customizing the interface in Photoshop | Photoshop CC tutorial

I prefer to stick with one of the two darker interfaces just because I find that if I'm on the computer all day the darker interface is really a lot easier on my eyes. We can also change the interface options for bridge. I'll click Ok and then choose file browse in bridge and once I'm in bridge. I'll use the bridge menu on the Mac or you would use the Edit menu on Windows and select Preferences. Here in the general preferences I can change that same color theme using a really dark interface ranging to a bright interface. Again I'm going to pick one that is quite dark it's just going to be easier on my eyes. In addition we can use the image backdrop slider in order to change the background that is behind the content area and the preview area. I will just move this out of the way for a minute and we can see the difference between a very dark interface behind our photographs and a very light interface.

Customizing the interface in Photoshop Mac OC

I'm going to leave this set down fairly dark in addition I can change the background for the user interface using this slider going from white to dark. So those are two independent sliders if I want to revert back to a specific color theme all I need to do is click on that option. All right I'll go ahead and cancel out of here and then we're going to open up an image into Photoshop by double clicking on it in bridge because I want to show you that if you hold down the control key on the Mac and click in this area here that surrounds an open document.

You can select a different color for that background as well so if I wanted to see a light gray behind there or a medium gray, we can select those from the list. In fact we can even select the custom color. Course if you're on Windows that would just be a right mouse click and then you can choose the background that you want. I'll go ahead and set it back to the default for now. Of course you can choose whatever interface options you want but I really would recommend the darker interface because it is easier on the eyes and if you work long hours I think that you'll find that you actually like the dark interface better.

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