Photoshop 6 Shop Manual
by Donnie O’Quinn
Webster’s New World Books
ISBN 0-7357-1130-5, 1074 pages
$39.99 US, $59.95 CAN
When I am working on a car, I love to have the shop repair manual close by for reference. As we all know, each automobile is very different from every other types of car or truck. What may work to repair a Chevy may not fix a problem on a Ford. That is what the shop repair manual is for. To tell you how to fix something quickly and more easily, saving you time in the process.
Photoshop 6 Shop Manual really won’t show you how to fix Photoshop, but it will teach you how to use the programs myriad functions. Every aspect of Photoshop is covered by writer Donnie O’Quinn. Want to learn how to use the Distort filter? It’s in there on page 470-486. How about creating a 1-bit halftone? Yup, on page 783-785.
Photoshop 6 Shop Manual does not take a beginners route, however. The author assumes you already know your way around Adobe Photoshop 6 somewhat. This is a good thing, as there are many other “how-to for beginner” Photoshop books on the market, but far too few advanced guides. This book is definitely for a moderate to advance user, although even a new Photoshop user will be able to get a LOT from the book.
Donnie O’Quinn generously uses photos and screen snapshots (all using the Mac version!) to illustrate what he is writing about throughout the book. This is very handy, but never does he go overboard with the pictures. At over a thousand pages long, you may think that much of the space is pictures, acting as filler. It is not. The author goes very in-depth in each and every aspect of Photoshop.
One of the very best aspects of the book is “Issues to Consider” Here, the book will give you very helpful tips on the subject you just read. These can be either tips or tricks, or helpful ideas on the subject. They read like an old pro giving you advice, and are very enlightening.
Why would you need this book, when it is a well known fact that Adobe products ship with very good documentation and manuals? Simple. Donnie O’Quinn is a ten year Adobe Photoshop veteran, and he sprinkles the book with real-world scenarios and such. As I said, it is very much like an old pro standing behind you, giving advice when you most need it.
You will not find any tutorials in this book. Time is money, as the author states in the book. When your using this book to look up an answer or solution to a problem, you don’t need any witticisms, you need a quick answer. Photoshop 6 Shop Manual gives you those answer, quickly and easily understood, along with the above mentioned “Things to Consider” bonus.
Any book of this size needs both a well written listing of chapters, as well as a very detailed index. Neither are absent here. Both are very thorough, and I find that the index pages of my copy has seen the most use. I am constantly using the 65 page index to find the information I need.
All in all, Photoshop 6 Shop Manual is one of the very best books on Adobe Photoshop 6 I have. When Adobe moves the program over to version 7, or to Mac OS X, I know that I will be looking for the next version of this book as well.
At US$39.99, the book is not cheap. But neither is the advice or solutions provided in the book. If you make your money using Photoshop, this would be a wise investment. (And you can save money by buying the book at Amazon.com, where I have seen it for as little as $27.99, a true steal!)
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5