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Preferences in Photoshop

  1. Photoshop User Guide
  2. Introduction to Photoshop
    1. Dream it. Make it.
    2. What's new in Photoshop
    3. Edit your first photo
    4. Create documents
    5. Photoshop | Common Questions
    6. Photoshop system requirements
    7. Migrate presets, actions, and settings
    8. Get to know Photoshop
  3. Photoshop and other Adobe products and services
    1. Work with Illustrator artwork in Photoshop
    2. Work with Photoshop files in InDesign
    3. Substance 3D Materials for Photoshop
    4. Photoshop and Adobe Stock
    5. Use the Capture in-app extension in Photoshop
    6. Creative Cloud Libraries
    7. Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop
    8. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    9. Grid and guides
    10. Creating actions
    11. Undo and history
  4. Photoshop on the iPad
    1. Photoshop on the iPad | Common questions
    2. Get to know the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the iPad
    4. Create, open, and export documents
    5. Add photos
    6. Work with layers
    7. Draw and paint with brushes
    8. Make selections and add masks
    9. Retouch your composites
    10. Work with adjustment layers
    11. Adjust the tonality of your composite with Curves
    12. Apply transform operations
    13. Crop and rotate your composites
    14. Rotate, pan, zoom, and reset the canvas
    15. Work with Type layers
    16. Work with Photoshop and Lightroom
    17. Get missing fonts in Photoshop on the iPad
    18. Japanese Text in Photoshop on the iPad
    19. Manage app settings
    20. Touch shortcuts and gestures
    21. Keyboard shortcuts
    22. Edit your image size
    23. Livestream as you create in Photoshop on the iPad
    24. Correct imperfections with the Healing Brush
    25. Create brushes in Capture and use them in Photoshop
    26. Work with Camera Raw files
    27. Create and work with Smart Objects
    28. Adjust exposure in your images with Dodge and Burn
  5. Photoshop on the web beta
    1. Common questions | Photoshop on the web beta 
    2. Introduction to the workspace
    3. System requirements | Photoshop on the web beta
    4. Keyboard shortcuts | Photoshop on the web beta
    5. Supported file types | Photoshop on the web beta
    6. Open and work with cloud documents
    7. Apply limited edits to your cloud documents
    8. Collaborate with stakeholders
  6. Cloud documents
    1. Photoshop cloud documents | Common questions
    2. Photoshop cloud documents | Workflow questions
    3. Manage and work with cloud documents in Photoshop
    4. Upgrade cloud storage for Photoshop
    5. Unable to create or save a cloud document
    6. Solve Photoshop cloud document errors
    7. Collect cloud document sync logs
    8. Share access and edit your cloud documents
    9. Share files and comment in-app
  7. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Preferences
    3. Learn faster with the Photoshop Discover Panel
    4. Create documents
    5. Place files
    6. Default keyboard shortcuts
    7. Customize keyboard shortcuts
    8. Tool galleries
    9. Performance preferences
    10. Use tools
    11. Presets
    12. Grid and guides
    13. Touch gestures
    14. Use the Touch Bar with Photoshop
    15. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    16. Technology previews
    17. Metadata and notes
    18. Touch capabilities and customizable workspaces
    19. Place Photoshop images in other applications
    20. Rulers
    21. Show or hide non-printing Extras
    22. Specify columns for an image
    23. Undo and history
    24. Panels and menus
    25. Position elements with snapping
    26. Position with the Ruler tool
  8. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  9. Image and color basics
    1. How to resize images
    2. Work with raster and vector images
    3. Image size and resolution
    4. Acquire images from cameras and scanners
    5. Create, open, and import images
    6. View images
    7. Invalid JPEG Marker error | Opening images
    8. Viewing multiple images
    9. Customize color pickers and swatches
    10. High dynamic range images
    11. Match colors in your image
    12. Convert between color modes
    13. Color modes
    14. Erase parts of an image
    15. Blending modes
    16. Choose colors
    17. Customize indexed color tables
    18. Image information
    19. Distort filters are unavailable
    20. About color
    21. Color and monochrome adjustments using channels
    22. Choose colors in the Color and Swatches panels
    23. Sample
    24. Color mode or Image mode
    25. Color cast
    26. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    27. Add swatches from HTML CSS and SVG
    28. Bit depth and preferences
  10. Layers
    1. Layer basics
    2. Nondestructive editing
    3. Create and manage layers and groups
    4. Select, group, and link layers
    5. Place images into frames
    6. Layer opacity and blending
    7. Mask layers
    8. Apply Smart Filters
    9. Layer comps
    10. Move, stack, and lock layers
    11. Mask layers with vector masks
    12. Manage layers and groups
    13. Layer effects and styles
    14. Edit layer masks
    15. Extract assets
    16. Reveal layers with clipping masks
    17. Generate image assets from layers
    18. Work with Smart Objects
    19. Blending modes
    20. Combine multiple images into a group portrait
    21. Combine images with Auto-Blend Layers
    22. Align and distribute layers
    23. Copy CSS from layers
    24. Load selections from a layer or layer mask's boundaries
    25. Knockout to reveal content from other layers
  11. Selections
    1. Get started with selections
    2. Make selections in your composite
    3. Select and Mask workspace
    4. Select with the marquee tools
    5. Select with the lasso tools
    6. Adjust pixel selections
    7. Move, copy, and delete selected pixels
    8. Create a temporary quick mask
    9. Select a color range in an image
    10. Convert between paths and selection borders
    11. Channel basics
    12. Save selections and alpha channel masks
    13. Select the image areas in focus
    14. Duplicate, split, and merge channels
    15. Channel calculations
  12. Image adjustments
    1. Replace object colors
    2. Perspective warp
    3. Reduce camera shake blurring
    4. Healing brush examples
    5. Export color lookup tables
    6. Adjust image sharpness and blur
    7. Understand color adjustments
    8. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment
    9. Adjust shadow and highlight detail
    10. Levels adjustment
    11. Adjust hue and saturation
    12. Adjust vibrance
    13. Adjust color saturation in image areas
    14. Make quick tonal adjustments
    15. Apply special color effects to images
    16. Enhance your image with color balance adjustments
    17. High dynamic range images
    18. View histograms and pixel values
    19. Match colors in your image
    20. Crop and straighten photos
    21. Convert a color image to black and white
    22. Adjustment and fill layers
    23. Curves adjustment
    24. Blending modes
    25. Target images for press
    26. Adjust color and tone with Levels and Curves eyedroppers
    27. Adjust HDR exposure and toning
    28. Dodge or burn image areas
    29. Make selective color adjustments
  13. Adobe Camera Raw
    1. Camera Raw system requirements
    2. What's new in Camera Raw
    3. Introduction to Camera Raw
    4. Create panoramas
    5. Supported lenses
    6. Vignette, grain, and dehaze effects in Camera Raw
    7. Default keyboard shortcuts
    8. Automatic perspective correction in Camera Raw
    9. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
    10. Manage Camera Raw settings
    11. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    12. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
    13. Rotate, crop, and adjust images
    14. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    15. Process versions in Camera Raw
    16. Make local adjustments in Camera Raw
  14. Image repair and restoration
    1. Remove objects from your photos with Content-Aware Fill
    2. Content-Aware Patch and Move
    3. Retouch and repair photos
    4. Correct image distortion and noise
    5. Basic troubleshooting steps to fix most issues
  15. Image enhancement and transformation
    1. Replace sky in your images
    2. Transform objects
    3. Adjust crop, rotation, and canvas size
    4. How to crop and straighten photos
    5. Create and edit panoramic images
    6. Warp images, shapes, and paths
    7. Vanishing Point
    8. Content-aware scaling
    9. Transform images, shapes, and paths
  16. Drawing and painting
    1. Paint symmetrical patterns
    2. Draw rectangles and modify stroke options
    3. About drawing
    4. Draw and edit shapes
    5. Painting tools
    6. Create and modify brushes
    7. Blending modes
    8. Add color to paths
    9. Edit paths
    10. Paint with the Mixer Brush
    11. Brush presets
    12. Gradients
    13. Gradient interpolation
    14. Fill and stroke selections, layers, and paths
    15. Draw with the Pen tools
    16. Create patterns
    17. Generate a pattern using the Pattern Maker
    18. Manage paths
    19. Manage pattern libraries and presets
    20. Draw or paint with a graphics tablet
    21. Create textured brushes
    22. Add dynamic elements to brushes
    23. Gradient
    24. Paint stylized strokes with the Art History Brush
    25. Paint with a pattern
    26. Sync presets on multiple devices
  17. Text
    1. Add and edit the text
    2. Unified Text Engine
    3. Work with OpenType SVG fonts
    4. Format characters
    5. Format paragraphs
    6. How to create type effects
    7. Edit text
    8. Line and character spacing
    9. Arabic and Hebrew type
    10. Fonts
    11. Troubleshoot fonts
    12. Asian type
    13. Create type
  18. Filters and effects
    1. Use the Liquify filter
    2. Use the Blur Gallery
    3. Filter basics
    4. Filter effects reference
    5. Add Lighting Effects
    6. Use the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
    7. Use the Oil Paint filter
    8. Use the Liquify filter
    9. Layer effects and styles
    10. Apply specific filters
    11. Smudge image areas
  19. Saving and exporting
    1. Save your files in Photoshop
    2. Export your files in Photoshop
    3. Supported file formats
    4. Save files in graphics formats
    5. Move designs between Photoshop and Illustrator
    6. Save and export video and animations
    7. Save PDF files
    8. Digimarc copyright protection
  20. Color Management
    1. Understanding color management
    2. Keeping colors consistent
    3. Color settings
    4. Duotones
    5. Work with color profiles
    6. Color-managing documents for online viewing
    7. Color-managing documents when printing
    8. Color-managing imported images
    9. Proofing colors
  21. Web, screen, and app design
    1. Photoshop for design
    2. Artboards
    3. Device Preview
    4. Copy CSS from layers
    5. Slice web pages
    6. HTML options for slices
    7. Modify slice layout
    8. Work with web graphics
    9. Create web photo galleries
  22. Video and animation
    1. Video editing in Photoshop
    2. Edit video and animation layers
    3. Video and animation overview
    4. Preview video and animations
    5. Paint frames in video layers
    6. Import video files and image sequences
    7. Create frame animations
    8. Creative Cloud 3D Animation (Preview)
    9. Create timeline animations
    10. Create images for video
  23. Printing
    1. Print 3D objects
    2. Print from Photoshop
    3. Print with color management
    4. Contact Sheets and PDF Presentations
    5. Print photos in a picture package layout
    6. Print spot colors
    7. Print images to a commercial printing press
    8. Improve color prints from Photoshop
    9. Troubleshoot printing problems | Photoshop
  24. Automation
    1. Creating actions
    2. Create data-driven graphics
    3. Scripting
    4. Process a batch of files
    5. Play and manage actions
    6. Add conditional actions
    7. About actions and the Actions panel
    8. Record tools in actions
    9. Add a conditional mode change to an action
    10. Photoshop UI toolkit for plug-ins and scripts
  25. Content authenticity
    1. Learn about content credentials
    2. Identity and provenance for NFTs
    3. Connect accounts for creative attribution
  26. Photoshop 3D
    1. Photoshop 3D | Common questions around discontinued 3D features

Learn how to access and modify Photoshop preferences and customize per your frequent workflows

Topics in the article:

Introduction to preferences in Photoshop

For Photoshop to run as smoothly as possible, customized for your particular workflow, you must set up your preferences to your liking.

Numerous program settings are stored in the Adobe Photoshop Preferences file, including general display options, file-saving options, performance options, cursor options, transparency options, type options, presets, and options for plug‑ins and scratch disks.

Most of these options are set in the Preferences dialog box. 

Preference settings are saved each time you quit Photoshop. If Photoshop crashes or is force quit, any changes to preferences, presets and your workspace will be lost.

Pro tipCurrently, preferences are not preserved when you do a rollback to a prior version/update. Prior to performing a rollback, make sure to back up your preferences.

Search and find your required Preferences

The new Preferences Search option offers relevant search and suggestions to help you find preferences in Photoshop.

With the August 2022 release of Photoshop 23.5, you can now easily locate what you're searching for using the preferences search capability within the Preferences dialog.

To access the search panel in the Preferences dialog box, follow these steps: 

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + K to launch the Preferences dialog.
  2. Now use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + F to use the search option in the Preferences dialog.

How to use the new Search bar

The new search bar is available near the upper-right corner of the Preferences dialog. Use the keyboard shortcut Cmd/Ctrl + F or click inside the box and type a keyword that you want to search within the preferences. 

A dropdown will appear with suggested search phrases, which are updated as you enter text in the search box. Once you've finished typing, hit Enter or select "See all results". The results will be displayed in a dropdown beneath the search field. Click your desired option to navigate to the corresponding section, which will appear with a temporary highlight that is dismissed after a few seconds.

Quick search using keywords in the Preferences search bar
Quick search using keywords in the Preferences search bar

Detailed search in the Preferences search bar
Detailed search in the Preferences search bar

Preference to Improve Selection Stability

With the October 2022 release of Photoshop 24.0, you can use a new preference setting to improve the stability of the Object Selection tool, Select Subject, and Sky Replacement for Windows users with an NVidia GPU.

Some Photoshop desktop users on Windows were experiencing slow performance, crashing, or unexpected selections due to NVidia Windows Display drivers. We have made changes to improve the app performance for Windows users who were facing such issues. Additionally, we have introduced a preference to help improve selection stability.

Selections preference toggle for better selection stability

To access the new preference on your Windows device, go to Preferences > Image Processing. Toggle the Selections Processing from Faster (default) to More Stable.

Use Preferences to set a neutral color scheme for Photoshop

Change the color of elements on the interface, such as the blue Share button, to a selected neutral color mode when in the editing mode.

To enable the neutral color mode, navigate to Preferences > Interface and select the checkbox under the Appearance section for Neutral Color Mode.

Choose the Neutral Color Mode in Preferences > Interface in Photoshop
Choose the Neutral Color Mode in Preferences > Interface

Adjust preferences in Photoshop

  1. Open the Preferences dialog and do one of the following:

    Windows: Choose Edit > Preferences and choose the desired preference set from the submenu.

    macOS: Choose Photoshop > Preferences and then choose the desired preference set from the submenu.

  2. To switch to a different preference set, do one of the following:

    • Choose the preference set from the menu at the left of the dialog box.
    • Click Next to display the next preference set in the list; click Prev to display the previous set.
Note:

Detailed information about specific preference settings appears in task-specific topics. For example, search Help for “Transparency preferences” to see those settings discussed in the context of related features such as layers.

Backup preferences

  1. Quit Photoshop.

  2. Navigate to Photoshop's Preferences folder.

    macOS: Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Windows 10: Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Note:

    The user Library folder is hidden by default on macOS. To access files in the hidden user Library folder, see How to access hidden user library files.

    Also, the AppData directory is hidden by default on WinARM.

  3. Drag the entire Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder to the desktop or somewhere safe for a back-up of your settings

Restore Photoshop preferences from a backup

Unexpected behavior may indicate damaged preferences. Restoring preferences to their default settings is a good idea when troubleshooting unexpected behaviors in Photoshop.

  1. Quit Photoshop.

  2. Navigate to Photoshop's Preferences folder.

    macOS: Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Windows 10: Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Note:

    The user Library folder is hidden by default on macOS. To access files in the hidden user Library folder, see How to access hidden user library files.

  3. Drag the current Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder to the desktop or somewhere safe for a back-up of your settings

  4. Drag the desired  version Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder from your backup location to the Preferences folder listed above. 

Reset Photoshop preferences

Before resetting your preferences, make sure to back up your preferences.

Using the keyboard shortcut or delete on quit preference to reset your preferences permanently deletes a subset of preferences files including settings from the preferences dialog, custom shortcuts, workspaces, and color settings. For a list of specific files that are deleted see these tables for preference file functions, names, and locations for macOS and Windows.

Manually restoring your preferences is a complete method for resetting Photoshop to its default state by ensuring plug-in preferences and any user presets causing a problem are not loaded.

Using a keyboard shortcut

  1. Quit Photoshop.

  2. Hold down the following keyboard shortcut and launch Photoshop:

    macOS: command + option + shift

    Windows: ctrl + alt + shift

  3. Open Photoshop.

  4. Click Yes in the dialog that asks "Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file?"

    New preferences files will be created in their original location.

    Delete Settings File

Using the Preferences dialog

  1. Open Photoshop's Preferences:

    macOS: Photoshop > Preferences > General

    Windows: Edit > Preferences > General

  2. Click Reset Preferences On Quit

    Reset Preferences on Quit.

  3. Click OK in the dialog that asks "Are you sure you want to reset preferences when quitting Photoshop?"

  4. Quit and relaunch Photoshop.

    New preferences files will be created in their original location.

Manually

Manually removing preferences files is the most complete method for restoring Photoshop to its default state. This method ensures all preferences and any user presets which may be causing a problem are not loaded.

  1. Quit Photoshop.

  2. Navigate to Photoshop's Preferences folder.

    macOS: Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Windows: Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version]/Adobe Photoshop [version] Settings

    Note:

    The user Library folder is hidden by default on macOS. To access files in the hidden user Library folder, see How to access hidden user library files.

  3. Drag the entire Adobe Photoshop [Version] Settings folder to the desktop or somewhere safe for a back-up of your settings

  4. Open Photoshop.

    New preferences files will be created in their original location.

Disable warning messages

Sometimes you will see messages containing warnings or prompts. You can suppress the display of these messages by selecting the Don’t Show Again option in the message. You can also globally redisplay all messages that have been suppressed.

  1. Do one of the following:

    Windows: Choose Edit > Preferences > General

    macOS: Choose Photoshop > Preferences > General

  2. Click Reset All Warning Dialogs, and click OK.

Other Preferences in Photoshop

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