What if Photoshop had a separate
tool for every variation of every option? What if there was one
Crop tool to create 4x6 inch images at 240 dpi, another Crop tool
for 8x10 at 300 dpi, another for 800x600 pixels at 72 dpi, and
so on. The Toolbox would be pretty crowded. Photoshop 7 offers
the convenience of pre-set tools without the clutter of a giant
The Options Bar (and prior to Photoshop 6, the Options
palette) gives us the capability of customizing a tool for a specific
purpose. We can set the size of a crop, pick a font for the Type
tool, choose feathering for a selection tool, and much more. In
Photoshop 7, you can actually save those sets of options as Tool
Presets. In effect, you're creating a whole set of customized
variations of a single tool.
The Tool Presets palette can display presets for
a specific tool or all of the saved presets for all of the tools.
As you can see, the Tool Presets palette can be
opened through the Options Bar or as a palette. By default, the
Tool Presets palette is docked with the History and Actions palettes.
To create a tool preset:
1. Select the tool in the Toolbox or press the keyboard shortcut
for the specific tool.
2. In the Options Bar, configure the tool's capabilities as you'd
like to save them. (Any variable in the Options Bar can be saved
with a preset.)
3. Click the New Tool Preset button at the bottom of the Tool
4. That opens the New Tool Presets options dialog
box, in which you can give the new preset a name. Names can be
up to 64 characters long.
SPECIAL NOTE: As with all of the palettes in which
you can name an entry, you can re-name a tool preset by double-clicking
the preset in the palette and simply typing the new name. (This
includes the Layers Palette, which eliminates the Photoshop 6
confusion over opening Layer Options or Layer Styles when double-clicking.)
In addition to the default Small List view already
shown, the Tool Presets palette can display its contents in a
Large List view (top) and a Text Only view (bottom).
Note that in the two list views, the tool icon is
visible. That allows you to skip the tool name in the preset name.
(You don't really need to include "Type Tool" in the
preset name when the icon is visible.) If you'll be using Text
Only view, you may need the preset name to differentiate among,
for example, the selection tools.
The Tool Presets menu, accessed through the triangle
in the upper-right corner of the palette, gives you even greater
control over this powerful capability.
· Dock to Palette Well--When the monitor
is set to a screen resolution of over 800x600 pixels, the Palette
Well is found at the right end of the Options Bar. Palettes placed
in the well are easily accessible, yet out of the way.
· New Tool Preset/Rename Tool Preset/Delete Tool Preset--These
three commands duplicate things that can be done directly in the
palette. At the bottom of the palette are buttons that allow you
to create a new preset (left) and delete a selected preset (right).
To rename a preset, simply double-click its name in the palette
· Sort By Tool--When a checkmark appears next to this command
and the palette is not set to Current Tool Only, the presets will
be grouped according to tool. When unchecked, new tool presets
are added to the bottom of the palette.
· Show All Tool Presets/Show Current Tool Presets--This
pair of commands duplicates the checkbox in the bottom-left corner
of the palette. One or the other will have a checkmark to the
left, indicating the current content of the palette (which is
also rather apparent from looking at the content of the palette.)
· Text Only/Small List/ Large List--You can change the
appearance of the content of the palette by selecting one of these
· Reset Tool/Reset All Tools--Resetting the selected tool
or all of the tools returns it or them to their default values.
These commands have no effect on saved presets.
· Preset Manager--Photoshop's Preset Manager is used to
determine what content will be loaded into which palettes at startup.
It can also be opened through the Edit menu.
· Reset/Load/Save/Replace Tool Presets--Like several other
palettes, the content of the Tool Presets palette can be saved.
Set it up how you want it, then use the palette menu command Save
Tool Presets. At any time later, you can use the Load Tool Presets
to restore the settings. You can also rest the palette to its
default content, and replace the existing content with any saved
set of presets.
· At the bottom of the Tool Presets palette menu you'll
find all sets of presets saved in the folder Presets, Tools folder.
This list isn't updated until you quit and restart Photoshop.
The Tool Presets can be incredible time-savers,
especially for complex tools that are used regularly. For example,
rather than selecting the Type tool, then changing the font, then
changing the font size, then changing the leading, then changing
the tracking...well, making all the changes you need to make...instead
you simply click once on a tool preset that's been saved with
ALL of those options.
For many, Tool Presets will quickly become an indispensable
part of Photoshop, ranking with layers, editable type, and the
History palette as "can't-live-without" features.