Section 17. Appreciating the Control Bars

#17. Appreciating the Control Bars

Regardless of whether you're new to the Creative Suite or just new to this version, you'll come to appreciate the control bars that are now common across the suite. These helpful floating bars serve up a set of controls that are contextually based on the tools and objects you have selected. Control bars prevent you from cluttering your working space with additional palettes just to change a font or precisely adjust the size of an object.

Let's take a look at how each application presents its version of a control bar:

  • Photoshop calls its bar the options palette (Figure 17a). Photoshop also includes a palette well to the side of its control palette for docking palettes you don't necessarily need front and center but want to keep handy.

    Figure 17a. Photoshop's options palette.

  • Illustrator now has its own control palette (Figure 17b), which offers a unique functionality. Click any control label that appears as a hyperlink and a full version of the palette pops up under the label (Figure 17c). Once you click out of the palette, the full palette disappears.

    Figure 17b. Illustrator's control palette. The most recent addition to the suite.

    Figure 17c. Labels that appear in blue and underlined in Illustrator's control palette can be clicked to pop up a related palette.

  • InDesign was one of the first CS applications to include a control palette (Figure 17d), taking its cue from earlier page layout applications such as QuarkXPress and PageMaker. Although you could probably get pretty far in other applications without using the control bar, I can't imagine attempting this in InDesign.

    Figure 17d. InDesign's control palette is probably the most robust control palette of the suite.

  • GoLive distributes the work of a control palette to its two most used palettes: the Main toolbar and the Inspector palette (Figure 17e), which is a standard palette that can be stashed (see #4). Be sure to keep both palettes visible so you always have the appropriate options available to you based on what you've selected.

    Figure 17e. GoLive's Main toolbar and Inspector palette work together to act like a control bar does in the other applications.

Control Palette Placement Options

Control palettes aren't locked to the top of your screen. You can drag them to float anywhere on your screen or dock them to the bottom of your screen.

Adobe Creative Suite 2 How-Tos(c) 100 Essential Techniques
Adobe Creative Suite 2 How-Tos: 100 Essential Techniques
ISBN: 0321356748
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 143

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