14 Tricks & Tweaks to Speed Up Photoshop CS6 Performance

This is a discussion on 14 Tricks & Tweaks to Speed Up Photoshop CS6 Performance within the OS X How-To's, Tutorials, Tips & Tricks forums, part of the Mac OS X category; Photoshop CS6 is arguably the best release of the image manipulation app from Adobe in a very long time. It’s feature packed and generally quite ...

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    14 Tricks & Tweaks to Speed Up Photoshop CS6 Performance

    Photoshop CS6 is arguably the best release of the image manipulation app from Adobe in a very long time. It’s feature packed and generally quite fast, but not everyone is pleased with it’s performance on some hardware.

    With that in mind we’ve compiled a list of tweaks, adjustments, and tricks to speed up Photoshop. Some of these tips are gathered from a Google Docs file that was sent out on Twitter (hey follow OSXDaily there!) and we’ve added a few comments to those tricks and added some of our own performance recommendations as well. This list was aimed at Mac OS X but there’s no reason the tweaks wouldn’t benefit a Windows PC too if that’s what you’re stuck with at work.

    1) Watch the Efficiency Indicator – At the bottom of any open PS window you’ll see an “Efficiency” gauge, if this falls below 100% that means you are using the scratch disk (hard drive) for memory and Photoshop will become slower. Solve this by allocating more RAM or by having less open windows.

    2) Close Unused Document Windows – If you’re not actively using an image file, close it. Each open file can take up a significant amount of memory, which can quickly lead to slow downs.

    3) Reduce an Images Resolution – Working with higher resolution images and files uses more resources. If you’re going to be saving a relatively low quality version of an image anyway, reduce the image resolution to a tolerable level to gain a nice speed boost.

    4) Purge History & Clipboard – Edit > Purge > All. The history feature of photoshop is useful but it takes up a lot of memory. If you’re not using it, purging the contents of history and clipboard frees up resources.

    5) Set drawing mode to Basic – Preferences > Performance > Graphics Processor Settings > Advanced Settings > Drawing Mode > Basic

    6) Turn off Animated Zoom – Preferences > General > Animated Zoom > Uncheck

    7) Turn off Flick Panning – Preferences > General > Enabled Flick Panning > Uncheck

    8 ) Set Cache Levels to 1 – Preferences > Performance > History & Cache > Cache Levels > 1, note this can effect plugin and effect quality so use with caution. The default is 4 for a reason.

    9) Adjust Photoshops Memory Use – Preferences > Performance > Memory Usage, the Google Doc file referenced above suggested 40% which sounds remarkably low but try it out. In my experience, a higher percentage here is better, and the more memory PS has the merrier it runs. Instead of going with an arbitrary value it’s best to adjust this based on your physical memory capacity and individual needs.

    10) Disable anti-aliasing on guides and paths– Preferences > Performance > Graphics Processor Settings > Advanced Settings > Anti-alias Guides and Paths > Uncheck

    11) Turn off Image Previews – Preferences > File Handling > File Saving Options > Image Previews > Never Save

    12) Use less Video RAM for 3D stuff – Preferences > 3D > Available VRAM for 3D > 30%, this is particularly useful for anyone using a computer with a video card that shares VRAM with primary RAM, such as some MacBook, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini models.

    13) Run Photoshop in fullscreen mode – To get into fullscreen mode, hit the “F” key on your keyboard three times, then hit “TAB” to bring up the interface. This apparently makes panning faster, though I didn’t notice any changes.

    14) Change Photoshop CS6 Appearance – OK so this isn’t an application performance tip, but adjusting the CS6 appearance theme can have an effect on your personal productivity the same way that changing surrounding lighting and wallpaper can impact productivity. Choose a shade of grey that fits you by hitting Shift+Function+F1 or Shift+Function+F2 to darken and lighten the UI, or even adjust color scheme depending on the time of day.

    While the tips above are Photoshop related, don’t forget to focus on the OS as well. Things like closing unused apps and moving files off the desktop can make a big difference in performance because less resources are being used on other unrelated tasks. You can find a series of simple tips to speed up Macs here, and you’ll find they also speed up Photoshop for machines with limited hardware.

    Haven’t tried out CS6 yet? The recent beta has expired but anyone can download a free 30 day trial of CS6 directly from Adobe.



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  3. #2
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    Adobe to release Retina version of Photoshop CS6 on December 11th

    Adobe is teasing a new version of Photoshop CS6 with some “goodies” for their upcoming Create Now Live event in the YouTube video embedded above. Create Now Live will be a live streamed event that was originally scheduled for December 5th but was moved to December 11th in the last week or so.

    Macotakara notes that there are plenty of hints in the video of a Retina version of photoshop, not the least of which is the Retina MacBook Pro it is being displayed on. Here’s a screengrab of the Adobe video where it is pretty easy to see the Retina Photoshop elements in the next CS6.
    Adobe brought its Lightroom application to Retina specs just two weeks ago but it is really nice to see the flagship application getting the Retina display it deserves. More event details follow:

    At Create Now Live, you’ll:

    Be one of the first to hear what’s next in Adobe® Creative Cloud™.

    See what’s next in Adobe Photoshop®.

    Explore ways to take your design skills from print to online and mobile.
    Learn how teams can work better together with Creative Cloud.
    Learn from creative innovators.

    Kelby Media Group CEO Scott Kelby shows off hidden gems in Photoshop CS6.
    Iconic design agency Karlssonwilker talks about taking their unique design sensibility to the web.
    Go behind the scenes of “A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman” with Animation Director Justin Weyers.
    December 11, 2012


    10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. PST
    Jeffrey Veen, Vice President, Products, Adobe
    Meet the Pros and Adobe Evangelists
    11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST

    Scott Kelby, CEO, Kelby Media Group and President, National Association of Photoshop Professionals
    Justin Weyers, Producer, Made Visual Studio
    Karlssonwilker founders Hijalti Karlsson & Jan Wilker
    Cinthia Wen, founder and creative director, NOON and Chair, Graphic Design, California College of the Arts
    Adobe evangelists Rufus Deuchler, Jason Levine, Julieanne Kost, Paul Trani, and Terry White



  4. #3
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    Adobe shows off Photoshop camera shake-reduction tool

    Adobe has released a video showing a tool intended for the next version of Photoshop.

    In the video, Adobe’s senior Photoshop product manager Zorana Gee shows a a new tool aimed at photographers called Shake Reduction.

    Zorana says that this camera shake reduction tool allows photographers to de-blur an image, which she says works especially well with photos taken in low-light conditions or with a slow shutter speed.

    The Shake Reduction effects lives in Sharpen section of the Filter menu. Applying it brings up a large Lens Correction-style dialogue with the photo in it, plus a series of fine-tuning controls.
    Zorana demonstrates it on an photo of a plant, first selecting an area to work on and then letting it work its magic on bringing back detail into the image. As is usual with these demos, the results look amazing – though the final product’s milage may vary.

    More info on the next version of Photoshop will be released at Adobe’s Max 2013 conference in Los Angeles from 4 to 8 May . Those giving talks and presentations at the event include Sagmeister Walsh’s Jessica Walsh, Pentagram’s Paula Scher, VFX legend Rob Legato and EA chief creative officer Richard Hilleman.

    The release of the video follows sneak peeks at new versions of Flash Pro, After Effects, Premiere Pro, SpeedGrade, Prelude and Audition. More details on these also are expected at Max 2013.



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