Photoshop 7 For Windows And Macintosh Visual QuickStart Guide
by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas

Peachpit Press
ISBN 0-201-88284-1, 556 pages
$24.99 US, $38.99 CN, £18.99 UK

When it comes to a Peachpit Press Visual QuickStart Guide, one can guarantee that a straightforward introduction to the subject matter is what they’ll get. That’s precisely the case with Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas.

This book is perfect for those readers uninitiated in the expanded depths offered by Photoshop 7, or for those who have never fired up any Photoshop software at all. Like other books in the Peachpit line, this is an excellent text for any classroom – since it starts quietly from scratch while building the proper mechanics for advanced Photoshop rigors.

Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh begins one’s journey with a strong grounding in recognizing how the world of P7 is presented to the user. This is accomplished with numerous graphical visuals detailing specific toolbars and palettes necessary for an essential understanding of the P7 universe (this graphical format holds throughout the book). All of the illustrations are screenshots from Mac OS X, and of course the perfunctory Windows shots are available to guide the user of the PC along in their chosen platform.

Graphics like these make it easy to follow along without resorting to one’s memory or computer screen. Every visual piece from beginning to end is laden with italicized descriptions to foster an instant understanding of what is described, giving the touted “QuickStart” moniker justification in Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh. Using OS 9.2 proved no difficulty in understanding the OS X cross-references. Additionally, all passages that deal with P7 exclusively exhibit a small “7.0!” graphic beside the text to clue the reader in on sections that are specific to P7 – making an immediate reference for those interested in P7-only features while the beginner continues an unobstructed path toward basic Photoshop understanding.

Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh goes slowly from the start; those seeking enlightenment will not find it in the first few chapters as they progress from the basics of startup, color management, and dimension and resolution. The fun starts in Chapter Seven where one is introduced to Layers and the nice subtleties that are introduced in the P7 palette. For those completely unfamiliar with Layers this chapter shows just what Layers are and can do in the world of photoediting (just practice with using them if you’re a Photoshop novice of any sort and very soon you’ll learn the beauty).

Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh continues with descriptions of the true essentials necessary for basic Photoshop competence such as Color Correction beginning in chapter 9 with highlights on certain tool refinements, such as those given to the dodge and burn tools, with the “7.0!” beside the passage. Chapter 17 is noteworthy for any Photoshop user given the expanded use of Typography functions in the P7 environment. Typography can now be utilized in myriad fashions offering much greater flexibility to the graphic designers of the world that needed a little extra push in Photoshop text handling capability.

Final chapters build up such advanced techniques as filter usage, specifically the P7 Pattern Maker Filter to create an assortment of pattern-making functions within a toolset, or the advanced settings of the Automation functions that now include security features in P7. Photoshop 7 for Windows and Macintosh doesn’t exclude chapters on how to apply the knowledge you’ve learned – it shows you how to put all this Photoshop power to use in print or for the web.

Finding the topic you want is made a bit easier for the chronic page flipper. Each page has a line of vertical type on the outer edge that gives a few words about the subject on that page; a wonderful thing if you can’t remember where the index resides. This book is beautiful for beginners, but as the complexity of Photoshop methods diversifies a well informed Photoshop user will find a perfect springboard into the realm of P7, although the advanced user will require more to make the most of it all.

MacMice Rating: 4 out of 5


Todd Long

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