Here you will learn how to reduce your launch time, optimize preferences, make the most of your RAM, choose between 16-bits/channel and 8-bits/channel, streamline file saving, and switch between apps faster.
The hourglass in Windows and the watch and spinning beach ball in Mac OS are icons that most people would prefer not to see when working in Photoshop. Although eliminating them is not always possible, you can go some way toward doing that. You can do this by managing your resources wisely. To that end, it's worth spending a few minutes fine-tuning Photoshop to squeeze the maximum performance out of it.
Reducing Startup Time
What better place to start fine-tuning than by reducing the time it takes to launch Photoshop? The following sections show you several ways to launch Photoshop more quickly.
Each time you launch Photoshop, it loads plug-ins and presets into memory. The problem is that you may or may not need many of the plug-ins during the course of a session, but they eat into the memory allocation regardless. So, how do you alleviate this problem? Well, if you find there are some plug-ins that you use rarely, if ever, during your Photoshop sessions, you can disable them temporarily and enable them on the rare occasions when you do need them. The tradeoff in faster loading and more free memory may be worth the odd occasion when you may need to quit Photoshop, enable the plug-in, and relaunch Photoshop.
To disable a plug-in, navigate to the Plug-Ins folder inside the Photoshop install folder and then insert a ~ (tilde) in front of the plug-in name, folder, or directory. For example, a good candidate to start with is the Digimarc plug-in, used to read and write watermarks. If your workflow never makes use of watermarking, loading it into memory each time you launch Photoshop is pointless.
You can also install or move the infrequently used plug-ins out of the plug-ins folder and into a new folder (it cannot be a subfolder because Photoshop will still see it and load into memory any plug-ins that it finds). Plug-ins are easier to move around on Mac OS than they are on the PC (though some do require an install or simply their serial number to be entered after they are launched).
If you do move the infrequently used plug-ins into this secondary folder, you can load them all in one go, as you need them; doing so, however, still requires a relaunch of Photoshop, unfortunately. To load a plug-in, hold down Ctrl+Shift (Windows), cmd+Shift (Mac OS) immediately
after you launch Photoshop and then specify the additional plug-ins folder when asked.
While you're in the Plug-Ins folder, you can safely disable some of the files in the File Formats folder that have been gathering dust because you have rarely, if ever, used them since you installed Photoshop. Some of the prime candidates to consider are as follows:
- FilmStrip—Animation file format used by Adobe Premiere and After Effects
- PCX—PC Paintbrush file developed by Zsoft
- PhotoCD—A file format developed by Kodak for storing images on a CD
- Pixar—A file format designed specifically for exchanging files with PIXAR image computers
- Targa—Used widely by high-end paint programs and ray tracing packages