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Harness the Filter Gallery's power

Added on Wednesday 22nd of July 2009 05:29 am EST


Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3/CS4

Operating Systems:

Microsoft Windows/Macintosh

When you apply Photoshop filters, you probably do so through the Filter Gallery. But the Filter Gallery is more than a navigational tool to scroll through filters. We’ll show you the hidden benefit.


To utilize the Filter Gallery fully, we’ll:

     Show you the Filter Gallery and explain all the parts.

     Illustrate how to navigate through the Filter gallery.

     Show you how filter stacking order changes the way your final image looks.

     Demonstrate how to modify filters in the Filter Gallery.


We wouldn’t be able to get by without using Photoshop filters so we’re sure you’re no stranger to the Filter Gallery. But do you really utilize it for all that it offers? We’re guessing probably not. We’ll take you through the common and not-so-common features of the Filter Gallery so you can make sure you’re maximizing all of its features.


The Filter Gallery interface

Let’s look at the Filter Gallery dialog box and see what it has to offer. You can access the Filter Gallery, as shown in Figure A, in one of two ways.

        Choose Filter > Filter Gallery.

        Choose Filter and select any of the 47 gallery effects listed in the menu. Note: Not all of the filters in the filter menu are in the Filter Gallery.

The Filter Gallery displays a large preview area, a list of the filters to choose from, and then the respective filters’ options. There are also other options for changing the preview size as well as stacking filters. Let’s explore.




Preview the gallery

The left side of the Filter Gallery dialog box displays an oversized preview window. You can adjust the size of the preview image by clicking the + and – buttons located at the bottom-left of the dialog box. You can also click on the numeric percentage of the preview and choose from any of the sizes listed in the resulting pop-up menu, as shown in Figure B.



Filter surfing

The center panel in the dialog box allows you to select any of the 47 gallery effects Photoshop has to offer. The filters are broken down into six different groups within six folders. They are as follows: Artistic, Brush Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize, and Texture. Upon opening a folder you’ll see that each effect has an accompanying thumbnail image next to the name, as shown in Figure C. This is so you can see the effect in action before you apply it.


Tip: If you want to hide the list of filters, you can do so by clicking the upward pointing arrow icon located to the left of the OK button. This makes your preview area twice its current size. Then, to display the filters again, click the downward pointing arrow.





Option setting

The right side of the dialog...


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