3.4 File Handling

This is probably one of the most important section as it contains the two most important settings that is Save in Background and Automatically Save Recovery Information.

Adobe included Automatically Save Recovery Information in the recent versions of Photoshop. As the name says, you Photoshop automatically saves your file in background in every [your choice] minutes.

I like to keep it to every 5 minutes but you can increase it up to 60 minutes. In my case, even if I forget to save my file that I am working on, Photoshop automatically saves it every 5th minute. So if my computer crashes, I don’t have to worry about my unsaved tasks. The automatically backed up file reappears as soon as I open photoshop after the crash.

Please note that this feature puts some burden on your CPU and RAM; if you have low RAM, this may affect your computer performance.

There’s one more setting that I want you to pay attention i.e. Maximize PSD and PSB compatibility. First thing that I would like to tell is the meaning of PSD and PSB. PSD is the extension of Photoshop Files. Let me explain it to you with few examples; just like Word uses .docx, PDF uses .pdf, image uses .jpg (mostly), in the same way Photoshop uses .psd. So if you save a Photoshop file in its native format, it will be saved as [filename].psd. Of course Photoshop provides you a lot more options to save including JPG, PNG, PDF, TIFF etc.

There’s very subtle difference between PSD and PSB. Photoshop uses PSB when the size exceeds 2 GB, and believe me, it happens sometimes.

By maximizing PSD and PSB compatibility, you ensure that older versions of photoshop that were launched ages ago can also open the photoshop files that is saved by your version of photoshop. But it increases the size of PSD and PSB files.

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Fig 3.4 File Handling

3.5 Performance

This is again one of the most important section. This section improves the speed of this bulky software. Almost every setting is meaningful to you. I am leaving the Cache Levels but this doesn’t mean that they are not important. They really are, but I don’t want you to touch it now. If done wrong, it severely affects the performance of Photoshop.

3.5.1 Memory Usage

This is where you define the amount of RAM Photoshop

can use. The higher, the better. Make sure that you don’t increase it to 100%. The ideal range is given below:


RAM (GB) Percentage
2 30-50
4 40-60
8 50-80
16 60-80

3.5.2 Graphics Processor Settings

This is where you define Photoshop to use your dedicated graphics card. Turn on Use Graphics Processor to improve Photoshop’s performance significantly.

3.5.3 History

  • History States: Make it 1000. The higher it is, the more undo you can do with the use of History Panel (that I’ll explain later) or with the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Z/Cmd+Opt+Z.
  • Cache Levels: I like to keep it 6, but you can set whatever you want above 2.
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Fig 3.5 Performance

3.6 Units and Rulers

I skipped Scratch Disks and Cursors as there was nothing to explain in that. Even there’s not much to explain in Units and Rulers but you may get something relevant to you in this section.

In Unit’s Rulers, you can use whatever ruler you are comfortable with. If you a photographer, you can choose Inches; if you are a designer, you can choose pixels, centimeters etc.

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Fig 3.6 Units & Rulers

The rest of the sections you can skip as there’s nothing to learn in them. However 3D is an important section but that’s reserved for advanced users. Even intermediate users find 3D a bit difficult.

And this is all for today.

Tomorrow I’ll teach you a new chapter that is How to Create a New Document in Photoshop.

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