Sometimes when working in Photoshop, the lack of free space on the screen for image processing can be a real problem for you, especially if you are not among the lucky ones who have a dual-screen monitor. All sorts of tools, windows, menus, parameters, panels that make up the program interface can greatly clutter the screen and significantly limit the space available for working with images. Add to this the ever-increasing size of images as digital technology develops, and you will understand how important it sometimes becomes to find ways to increase the working area on the screen to the maximum.
Fortunately, when working with Photoshop to overcome the problem of lack of working space is quite easy, thanks to the presence of different modes of screen display. The on-screen display mode determines which part of the interface should be displayed on the screen, and varies from the standard mode, which displays the entire interface, to full-screen mode, which shows only the image itself. In this tutorial, we will look at the three screen modes in detail and how to switch between them. I will also show you some useful keyboard shortcuts for working with screen modes. I will use the version of Photoshop CS6, but this lesson is also suitable for the version of Photoshop CC.
1. Standard screen mode
Below is an image that is open on my screen at the moment (photo of a woman in a mask from a photobank Shutterstock):
This image is open in my standard screen mode set by the program by default. This mode displays the entire program interface, including the toolbar on the left, the control panel on the right, the menu bar at the top, various options, scroll bars, and other information about the document window. Since the standard screen mode gives us quick and easy access to all the necessary elements, it also occupies the largest area on the screen.
Maybe now we don’t see how the interface can make it difficult to work with the image, since at the moment I have the option Fit on Screen, which means placing the image on the screen in such a way that it can be seen completely. To get a visual idea of the benefits of various screen modes, I press the Ctrl + 1 / Command + 1 key combination to quickly switch to 100% image scale (you can read all about resizing an image in Photoshop in our lessons in “Basic zoom” and “Tips and hotkeys for scaling “).
At 100% scale, the picture is too large and does not fit on the screen completely. In this case, the display of the entire interface can be a problem for us, since the viewing area of the image is blocked by all sorts of panels, especially if we work on small monitors with a small resolution:
2. Fullscreen mode with menu bar (Full Screen Mode With Menu Bar)
If you want to increase the size of the working area, you can switch to the second of three screen modes, which is called “Fullscreen with menu bar”. This can be done in several ways. First, you can select the “View” section in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then the “Screen Mode” and “Full Screen Mode with Menu Bar” (View> Screen Mode> Full Screen Mode With Menu Bar):
A faster way to switch between screen modes in Photoshop is to click on the screen mode change icon at the bottom of the toolbar and keep the icon pressed for a while, resulting in a pop-up window with three screen modes. From the list that appears, select “Fullscreen with menu bar”:
When you select a full-screen mode with a menu bar, all interface elements that were part of the document itself become hidden: the document name at the top, the minimize, maximize and close buttons, the scroll bars on the right and bottom, the zoom button and other information related to by the document itself, usually located in the lower left area of the window. Also, if you have several images open in separate windows, only the selected document is visible. At the same time, we continue to see all the other interface elements (the toolbar on the left, the control panel on the right, the menu bar above):
3. Full Screen Display Mode (Full Screen Mode)
In order to maximize the size of the working area, switch to the third screen display mode, which is simply called “Full Screen Mode”. You can select it either by going to the “View” section in the menu bar at the top of the screen, then “Screen Mode” and “Full Screen Mode” (View> Screen Mode> Full Screen Mode), or simply by pressing and holding the mode change icon the screen at the bottom of the toolbar and selecting from the list that appears, “Fullscreen mode”:
When you select the full-screen mode for the first time, a dialog box will appear in the program, which will briefly describe how this mode works. If you do not want to see this message every time you switch to full screen mode, tick the box in Don’t show again and then click on the Full Screen button:
When you select full-screen mode, the entire interface becomes invisible, except for the image itself, and the screen turns into the working area:
It seems incredible, but the image is still open in Photoshop. Fullscreen mode hides the entire interface.
Work with interface
1. Working with interface panels at the edges of the screen
You might think: “All this, of course, is wonderful, but how should I work with an interface that is not visible?” On the one hand, you can always rely on keyboard shortcuts and use them, provided that you remember the right combination on keyboard. But in reality, you do not need to be an “outstanding user” to work with full screen mode. There is an easy way to make the interface visible if necessary. To temporarily return the toolbar and select the desired tool in full screen mode, simply move the mouse cursor to the left edge of the screen. Once you select the desired tool, move the mouse away from the edge and the toolbar disappears:
To view the panels that normally appear on the screen on the right, move the mouse cursor to the right edge of the screen. After working with the panels, move the mouse away from the edge, and the panels will disappear:
2. Showing and hiding keyboard panels from the keyboard
You can also temporarily hide and display panels by pressing certain key combinations, and this applies not only to full-screen mode. These key combinations work in any of the three screen display modes and make it possible, if necessary, to enlarge the working area. In any screen mode, press the tab key (Tab) to hide or display the toolbar on the left, the menu bar at the top, and the panel on the right. In my case, I pressed the key while in full screen mode, but you can also try using the key in standard mode and in full screen mode with the menu bar:
To display and hide panels that are located only on the right side of the screen, press Shift + Tab. And again, I will use this combination for full-screen mode, but this combination also works in other screen modes:
We looked at how you can switch between screen modes using the menu bar with the “View” section and the screen mode icon on the toolbar. But the fastest way to switch is by pressing the F key on the keyboard. By pressing the F key a few times, you will switch from the standard screen mode to full screen mode with the menu bar, then to full screen mode and back to the standard one.
If you want to switch modes in reverse order, press Shift + F. Finally, in full-screen mode, you can press the Esc key to exit the mode and return to the standard screen display mode (pressing the F key will produce the same result).
And so we did it! We looked at how to clean up the screen in Photoshop and increase the size of the workspace using different screen modes and useful keyboard shortcuts! For further study of the program, visit our section “Basics of Photoshop” or go to the lessons that you may be interested in!