Friday, September 11, 2009

Optimizing Photoshop

I spend a lot of time in photoshop. Blog posts take me all day. It's lame, but my perfectionist side gets the better of me with most images and there goes the day. It's not all my fault though... i start up a process or an action or a filter or whatever- switching between applications even throws mud into the cogs of the computer system- and photoshop takes it's sweet time to do as it's told. mud? cogs? i dunno. anyway, i don't know why it took me so long to get around to doing this, but i've gotten into a bit of PS optimization today. Here's a couple whats, whys and hows:

1. Disable palletes you don't use, especially the histogram - Ever notice how the histogram jumps around as an action runs? ya, me too. Guess it eats memory as it does so. All those other pallets eat up the mems, as well. Who knew? I had like 57 of them running, none of which i ever really used. Go through and click the little X's on whatever windows you dont use. I narrowed it down to just 3- History, Actions, and Layers. Then, under Window > Workspace > Keyboard Shortcuts & Windows, i made F6 show/hide the Histogram palette.

2. Disable clipboard export - PS automatically exports your most recent PS copy command every time you switch apps. ew. Choose Photoshop > Preferences > General. Deselect Export Clipboard. Click OK.

3. Purge histories, clip boards, undo - sometimes i'll edit multiple images at once, to make sure they work together. the problem with this is i'll end up with history caches and what not for multiple, full-res files. ewwwww. i went back into my shortcuts and set F5 to purge ALL.

4. Eable Bigger Tiles plug-in - ...i dunno why, but i guess it's a rad thing to do...

"The Bigger Tiles plug-in, which is located in the Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS3/Plug-Ins/Extensions/Bigger Tiles folder, is disabled by default. When you enable it by removing the tilde (~) from the file name, then you increase the image tile size in Photoshop. You should only enable the plug-in if you have more than 1 GB of RAM installed.

If you enable the plug-in, then Photoshop redraws more data at a time because each tile is larger, and each tile is drawn, complete at one time. Photoshop takes less time to redraw fewer tiles that are larger than it takes to draw more tiles that are smaller. Because Photoshop redraws more data at one time, each tile takes longer to be redrawn; so bigger tiles can look like they are redrawing more slowly, but they are actually redrawing more quickly than if the image had more smaller tiles."

So there you go. A couple quickies that might speed you up a bit.


  1. Thanks Hugh, for again vindicating the Click with actual stimulating content. I feel sufficiently punished, and yes, I will go to my room and do my PS homework now.

  2. When's our next Click meeting? We need to talk about this stuff in person too. Nice post Hugh, thanks for sharing.

  3. Great post, Hugh. I've NEVER thought to optimize PS. Thanks for the legwork.