When it comes to customizing Photoshop, hotkeys are only one approach. Did you know you’re able to create entirely custom tool palettes? This week we’ll explore the rarely mentioned “Adobe Configurator”.
To begin, you’ll need to download a small piece of Adobe software called the Configurator: (visit Adobe labs to download your copy). Once installed, you’re presented with a blank canvas - but this canvas is for creating User Interface elements, not paintings. The best part about this software is that it doesn’t require any knowledge of code. Want to make a palette that includes three different marquee tools? Just drag and drop. Once you’ve reached the desired result, export the palette as a plugin, and put it in your Photoshop directory. That’s it! Zero lines of code later, Photoshop now includes your custom palette in the “Window” menu.
Artists set up their physical work-spaces in dramatically different ways, yet Photoshop is pretty limited in it’s options for digital painters. If you’ve been underwhelmed by the stoock interface, remember that Configurator allows you to experiment with unusual dimensions and icon layouts. Consider making a long, wide, tray for the bottom of your screen. What about a square grid of icons? It’s worth experimenting with no-obvious layouts… you might like them!
Hidden Tool Variations
If you frequently use the gradient tool, you know that it’s hidden underneath the paint bucket. Configurator allows you to create a tool panel that exposes the gradient tool at the top level (or any hidden tool for that matter). This might not seem like a big deal, but saving a couple clicks really adds up with routine usage. I see this as an opportuinty to make your dream palette, and to omit the buttons you never use. What does your dream palette look like? Go make it!