Photoshop 6: The Complete Reference

"A Very Thorough Instruction and Reference Book!"

| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product

Title: Photoshop 6: The Complete Reference
Adele Droblas Greenberg & Seth Greenberg
Osborne McGraw-Hill
Publication Date:
March 2001
791 with CD

Photoshop 6: The Complete Reference by Adele Droblas Greenberg and Seth Greenberg, can be used as an instruction book and a reference manual. It covers virtually every command and dialog box in the program from basic image manipulation to advanced layering and masking techniques--plus a special focus on Web graphics. The book is filled with instructions, hints, tips, step-by-step tutorials, and full-fledged Photoshop projects. You can re-create these projects with the images included on the CD-ROM that comes with the book. There is also a bonus chapter on color theory on the CD that takes a thorough look at the difference between the RGB and CMYK color models, as well as discussing the HSB and Lab color models.

User Level
Beginning to advanced computer users. The book is appropriate for everyone. This resource gives professionals detailed coverage of new features, while beginners and intermediate users can follow tutorials and step-by-step projects.

Inside you'll find information on the following:

  • Maneuver inside the Photoshop studio and color management system;
  • Incorporate substantial tool upgrades and Web graphics capabilities;
  • Perform image retouching and color correction;
  • Use actions and history palettes to locate and select your image's best iteration;
  • Import and export files, use masks and layers, and more;
  • Work with animations, rollovers, and other Web effects;
  • Learn painting techniques as a means of mastering image manipulation;
  • Prepare your images for print or Web publication with full instructions for using ImageReady;
  • CD-ROM includes Alien Skin filters, Adobe tryout software, and useable images.
Product Analysis

How The Book Is Organized

Photoshop 6: The Complete Reference consists of: an Introduction; 19 chapters (plus a bonus chapter on the CD); appendixes; and is divided into four parts.


Introduction: The book begins with a special Introduction which includes an overview of the book.

  Part I: Photoshop Basics

Chapters 1 through 5 are introductory chapters that guide you through the fundamental tools and basic features of the program.

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started in Photoshop: Introduces you into the world of Photoshop with a tour of the program's menus, palettes, options, and tools. It also discusses how to separate and dock palettes to customize your workspace.
  • Chapter 2: Using Photoshop's Color Management System: Provides a guide to Photoshop 6's Color Management System. This chapter helps ensure that your monitor is properly calibrated, and that when you start your Photoshop work, the colors on your screen are displayed as accurately as possible.
  • Chapter 3: Using Type in Photoshop and ImageReady: Introduces you to the type capabilities of Photoshop 6. It provides a detailed look at Photoshop's numerous type options and includes several tutorial exercises for creating type effects. It also looks at the new Type Warp command.
  • Chapter 4: Working with Selections: Gives you an overview of the selection tools and how you can use them to create montages, collages, and vignettes.
  • Chapter 5: Using the Painting and Eraser Tools: Covers Photoshop's painting tools. You find out how to create custom brushes and how to get the most out of Photoshop's different blending modes.
Part II: Image Editing Fundamentals

Chapters 6 through 10 focus on image editing to bring you to an intermediate level.

  • Chapter 6: Introduction to Image Editing: Offers an introductory look at image-editing techniques. You learn how to use the Blur/Sharpen, Dodge/Burn/Sponge, and Clone Stamp tools. You also get a chance to try out Photoshop 6's History palette and History brush.
  • Chapter 7: Digitizing and Changing Image Size: Covers the steps involved in digitizing images and understanding how to use Photoshop's Image Size dialog box. The chapter features an in-depth discussion of how to choose the correct resolution when creating and digitizing images.
  • Chapter 8: Cropping, Transforming, and Adjusting Images: Discusses how to transform images. It includes a discussion on cropping and rotating images. It also explains the Image>Rotate Canvas and Edit>Transform commands.
  • Chapter 9: Preparing Images for the Web with Photoshop and ImageReady: Provides an introduction to Web file formats, such as GIF, JPEG,a nd PNG. The focus is on preparing high-quality images for the Web, using both Photoshop and ImageReady.
  • Chapter 10: Creating Web Effects with Slices, Animation, and Rollovers: Focuses on the special effects you can create for the Web with ImageReady. Topics include: creating Web animation and learning to use rollovers, image maps, and image slices.
Part III: Applying Effects to Your Images

Chapter 11 through 19 provide more advanced techniques.

  • Chapter 11: Working with Actions and History States: Shows you how to use Photoshop's Actions and History palettes. The chapter also explains how to use the Photoshop 6 Batch command to apply actions to multiple files.
  • Chapter 12: Using Filters in Photoshop and ImageReady: Covers the filters that are available in Photoshop: Unsharp Mask, Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Lighting Effects, Emboss, and Spherize.
  • Chapter 13: Converting Modes for Printing, Multimedia, and the Web: Provides an in-depth discussion of switching modes--in particular, converting an RGB file to CMYK and converting from RGB mode to Grayscale mode. This chapter also leads you, step by step, through the processes of creating duotone and mezzotint images.
  • Chapter 14: Creating Paths and Masks with the Pen Tool: Introduces you to Photoshop's Pen tool. You try your hand at creating paths and Bezier curves. You also learn how to use the Magnetic Pen and Freeform Pen tools. The chapter concludes with step-by-step instructions for creating clipping paths, which allow you to silhouette images for use in other programs.
  • Chapter 15: Advanced Masking Techniques, Alpha Channels and Spot Colors: Details the processes of creating masks and using channels and introduces Photoshop's versatile Quick Mask feature. You learn how to save and load sections. The chapter concludes with step-by-step instructions for creating spot colors with Photoshop's Spot Color channels.
  • Chapter 16: Working with Layers: Provides a thorough look at Photoshop's powerful layering features and explains how to use the Layers palette. The techniques presented include creating, viewing, hiding, moving, linking, blending, merging, and flattening layers.
  • Chapter 17: Advanced Layer Techniques: Leads you through the more advanced features of layers, including creating shapes in layers and clipping groups. The chapter features a detailed discussion of Photoshop's powerful layer masks, which allow you to blend layers seamlessly. Also covered are Photoshop's adjustment layers, which let you undo and redo your color corrections as often as needed.
  • Chapter 18: Still More Special Effects: Show you how to create special effects with the Layer Style commands. Tutorials also show you how to create special effects using filters and layers.
  • Chapter 19: Retouching and Color Correction: Leads you through the processes of retouching and color correction. The exercises show you how to correct old and damaged photographs. You also learn how to use the Curves and Levels dialog boxes and the Color Sampler tools. The Channel Mixer is also covered.
  • Bonus Chapter on CD: Color Theory: Takes a thorough look at the difference between the RGB and CMYK color models, as well as discussing the HSB and Lab color models.

Part IV: Appendixes
  • Appendix A: Importing and Exporting Files: Provides a look at how to import into Photoshop and how to save files in different formats for use in other programs.
  • Appendix B: Calibration and Output: Covers printing and calibration. This appendix provides a detailed look at the options in the Print and Page Setup dialog boxes. It also includes a section on how to print using Photoshop 6's Color Management options.
  • Appendix C: On the CD-ROM: Lists the contents of the book CD-ROM.
Final Comments
Photoshop 6: The Complete Reference is very thorough, indeed and an excellent reference book, and having the work-along images on the CD is great.
System Requirements

For running Photoshop 6, you need:


Pentium or faster Intel processor;
Windows 98, Windows Millennium, Windows 2000 or Windows NT 4.01;
64 MB of RAM (128 MB required to run Photoshop and ImageReady concurrently);
125 MB of available hard-disk space;
Color monitor with 256 color (8-bit) or greater video card;
800x600 or greater monitor resolution;
CD-ROM drive.


PowerPC processor;
Mac OS software version 8.5, 8.6, or 9.0;
64 MB of RAM w/Virtual Memory on (128 MB required to run Photoshop and ImageReady);
125 MB of available hard-disk space;
Color monitor with 256 color (8-bit) or greater video card;
800x600 or greater monitor resolution;
CD-ROM drive.

Graphics: Adobe Photoshop 6.0
Web Page Design: Macromedia Dreamweaver 4.0
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