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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference for beginners and pros alike
This book is a good one for Adobe Photoshop CS6. I am a professional who works with Photoshop on a daily basis, and I also teach PS at a private college. Although another textbook that was provided for class was ok, I often find myself supplementing with tips from my OnDemand book. It is clearer, more concise, and most explanations are only one page, so you can grasp the...
Published on June 19, 2012 by Summer Dawn

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive... and exhausting.
This resource is a helpful companion to Photoshop's included software help index and probably easier to navigate, which if you've used the software help index, you'll know that isn't saying much. The problem with trying to create a help tome for a program that can do so much is organizing the information in a way that is clear and easy to access. I find this volume to...
Published 22 months ago by P. Kingsriter


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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference for beginners and pros alike, June 19, 2012
By 
Summer Dawn "darling one" (Los Angeles, California USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a good one for Adobe Photoshop CS6. I am a professional who works with Photoshop on a daily basis, and I also teach PS at a private college. Although another textbook that was provided for class was ok, I often find myself supplementing with tips from my OnDemand book. It is clearer, more concise, and most explanations are only one page, so you can grasp the concepts quickly. I do wish some of the items were more in-depth, such as using the index color mode. It can be used to reduce colors in an image and also for creating swatch palettes, but creating swatch palettes from your selected colors on the color table is not explained in the book. However, this book is thorough in that it covers every tool I've ever seen in Photoshop, albeit briefly. One must remember Photoshop is one of the biggest programs in the world for image manipulation, and as such, it would be nigh impossible to have a comprehensive look at every single thing one could do with the program. That being said, this book would be a good start for those new to the program, as well as those who just want to touch up their working knowledge.

I did see that exercise files are available online. That's good, and I plan on using them, but I still prefer an attached disk. Maybe I'm old fashioned.

I really like this book and I keep going back to it every time I have a question. (Yes, even pros get stuck sometimes!!) I like how I can flip to the part I need in the book and work on that tool directly. I find it helpful, and I don't have to wade through a full lesson when all I need is the specifics of that one tool. I also thought it was well illustrated with lots of photos and call-outs for most steps, and if you've worked with PS awhile, you'll appreciate how they note all the new stuff for CS6.

Overall - RECOMMENDED.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive... and exhausting., August 29, 2012
By 
P. Kingsriter "R.N. Guy" (Lakeville, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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This resource is a helpful companion to Photoshop's included software help index and probably easier to navigate, which if you've used the software help index, you'll know that isn't saying much. The problem with trying to create a help tome for a program that can do so much is organizing the information in a way that is clear and easy to access. I find this volume to be overwhelming in its organization, the information I need is difficult to find, and therefore as a resource this book isn't very useful.

Please don't make the mistake of thinking this is a tutorial of any kind. This is not for novice or beginning users of Photoshop. There is no useful "Getting Started" section. You need to know what you need before opening this book.

If you know what you're looking for (which in itself can be half the problem), the instructions included here will be helpful. There are illustrations and accompanying explanations to guide you through your query. Its written in very technical fashion with an expert bent.

If you're an experienced user of Photoshop, you may find this to be useful to put finishing touches on your work. If you're a beginner, please look elsewhere.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Photoshop CS6 When You Need It, June 4, 2012
Photoshop is probably the most advanced and versatile photo editing software package. If you are serious about photography and want to be able to do the most sophisticated post-production editing, then Photoshop will be an essential tool that will save you many hours of work. Photoshop CS6 is the most sophisticated version of Photoshop yet, and it adds several very useful features and enhancements to an already great creative environment. If you want to make the most out of Photoshop, as well as if you want to simplify your workflow, then it would behoove you to invest a bit of your time to familiarize yourself with as many subtleties and features of Photoshop as you can. However, if you are too busy (and who isn't these days), then you may not want to invest too much time in going through a long-winded book that takes you systematically through all of the aspects of Photoshop. If you just need to know very specific things that you need to know immediately, then "Photoshop CS6 on Demand" is an ideal book for you.

The book is essentially built out of many individual tasks, which are grouped in thematic units. These thematic units are essentially book chapters, although they are much more loosely organized. You don't have to go through chapters, or event the book, sequentially - you can focus on all the tasks that interest you at the moment, and each task is completely self-contained.

There is no prior knowledge necessary for reading this book, and even if you are an absolute beginner you will not feel intimidated with its content. However, there are many tasks and chapters that deal with the latest Photoshop features, and even people who use Photoshop professionally in their daily work stand to benefit from learning more about these by reading this book.

Each task is presented on two facing pages. This greatly improves readability and accessibility of the content, and makes it easier to work on those tasks while simultaneously reading the book.

Many tasks involve manipulating or modifying various files. All the files that are required for the completion of the given examples can be downloaded from the publisher's website. This is a fairly straightforward procedure, and the files are relatively small and don't take long to download.

A lot of the information that can be found in this book is available online on various helpful websites. However, in my experience it is always easier to just leaf through a book when you need to find out something "on demand". This particular book is very useful in that regard, especially if you are new to Photoshop. If you've already had experience with previous versions of Photoshop you could still benefit from knowing what's new in CS6, but getting this book might be overkill for you.

Overall this is a very well written and informative book. Highly recommend it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adobe Photoshop CS6 on Demand - A Reference for All of Us, June 1, 2012
By 
Gail Issen (Houston, TX USA) - See all my reviews
This is a very well organized reference book on Photoshop CS6. I love the 2-column format and the way each task is explained on two facing pages. The screenshots that are provided for the steps in each tutorial are most helpful. While a black and white book could convey the same information, the fact that this book is in color adds both to its appeal and to its readability. Features that are new to CS6 are clearly noted.

This book is ideal for someone who has used Photoshop in the past and needs to learn how to perform a specific task. However, I do not believe that it is the perfect book for someone who is learning the software for the first time. If you are a brand new user of Photoshop, you may want to get grounded in the program first with a more basic book. Then, come to this On Demand book with your questions. You will certainly find the answers here.

In most situations, this book provides very helpful, detailed information about a feature. For example, there is an explanation of when one would use which Resample Image Size option. Look for the For Your Information and the Did You Know? boxes for detailed explanations throughout the book. However, in some situations, the book describes the "how" to do something without addressing the "why" you would choose which options. This is what may be confusing to the new user of Photoshop.

Many tasks involve manipulating or modifying files. While you can certainly use your own files for these tasks, example files can be downloaded from the publisher's website. For me, this was a huge timesaver. Although you can order the files on CD for a nominal charge, the files download very quickly on a fast Internet connection ... almost instant gratification!

Another feature that I really appreciate is that this book is platform neutral. The author does not present either a PC or a Mac bias.

I really enjoy this book and know that I will be referring to it often as I learn the intricacies of Photoshop CS6.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A top level review of the features of Photoshop with a heavy emphasis on graphic design, December 3, 2012
By 
mhnstr (Christchurch, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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If you are using Photoshop to work with photographs, then I wouldn't recommend this book. Although the book does introduce topics that I have not seen in other training guides, the heavy emphasis on graphic design instead of photo editing may not be appealing or helpful to you. I would also not recommend this book if you are new to Photoshop due to what I perceived was an expectation by the author that the reader already had some experience with Photoshop. There is also a lack of depth to the description of the features. I would recommend the books by Kelby, Evening and Schewe and the training videos by Lydna.com as far better resources.

I am a keen photographer and I have been using Photoshop for over a decade. Each time I purchase a new version of Photoshop, I also purchase new training guides so that I can understand and therefore take advantage of the new features in each release. Most resources that I have used such as that by Evening and Schewe clearly indicate that they are intended for photographers. However, the target audience for Photoshop CS6 on Demand appears to be people who are already familiar with earlier versions of Photoshop because there is an expectation in the book that the reader is already familiar with the terms used and the locations of most of the Photoshop menus. Furthermore, the presentation of Photoshop in the book follows a top level approach of introducing a lot of different tools, but without going into a lot of depth.

Thorough most of the book, different Photoshop tools are introduced, generally one per page. The steps for the application of the tool are shown both in text and as notes on an screen shot of the Photoshop menus. An example image may also be shown. However, what I found to be lacking in most cases was a before and after image. It is one thing to understand how to find a tool in the Photoshop menus, it is a totally different thing to see what the tool can do. The book is good at the former and poor at the later. Even on pages which had lots of white space where a second "after" image could have been included, the author chose to just leave white space. I never felt that the shown figure or the text give enough in depth information about how to use the tool and when.

The book is basically, an overview of the tools that Photoshop offers and the associated settings without a lot of explanation as to why you would want to use the tool. This method is for sharing what Photoshop can do but not for then applying the tools. I prefer the approach of Evening and Schewe where instead of going through each too, they present an image that they would like to work with which then introduces the tools that are needed. That way, the reader gets a feel for when to use different tools to accomplish a goal in Photoshop.

This book is also ery different than other resources that I have used because there is very little of the author in the book. The book basically just presents definitions of each tool in Photoshop whereas the books by Kelby and include commentary by the author about how he would approach a task in Photoshop or what settings he likes to use. These tips or advice have always been what I found most useful and I often refer back to my other books when I am approaching a new project and am looking for ideas.

Throughout this text, the author has noted if this is a new feature by writing in red (NEW!) after each new feature. I have posted a photo of this. Although, I understand the desire to show the reader that a feature is new in CS6, I found this use of the bold, red text with an explanation mark a bit much, especially since there are pages where the author uses this convention a dozen times. Each time I came to one of these, I heard in my head someone yelling "NEW!" which was annoying. I think that this could have been done a lot more subtlety.

The chapters of the book are:

1 Getting Started with Photoshop CS6
2 Understanding Navigation and Measurement Systems
3 Customizing the Way You Work
4 Mastering the Art of Selection
5 Working with Layers
6 Working with the History Panel
7 Working with Adjustment Layers Filters and Tools
8 Understanding Colors and Channels
9 Using the Paint Shape Drawing and Eraser Tools
10 Creating Masks
11 Using the Paths Panel
12 Working with Layer Styles
13 Getting Creative with Type
14 Manipulating Images with Filters
15 Automating Your Work with Actions
16 Controlling Image Output
17 Working with Automate Commands
18 Managing Color from Monitor to Print
19 Designing for the Web and Devices
20 Working with Video
21 Extending Photoshop
22 Working Together with Adobe Programs

The emphasis of this book differs from other Photoshop resources that I have used. While most other resources concentrate on editing photographs, this book has a strong emphasis on graphic design and the creation of vector based images. For example, whereas other books such as that by Evening and Schewe devote chapters to retouching portraits or working with HDR images, the author devotes chapters to working with type or working with paths. While the heavy emphasis on graphic design will be interesting to someone who wants to create graphics in Photoshop, would be perhaps not that interesting to someone who would want to focus on being creative with photographs.

In summary, I would say that the book is not targeted towards people who want to work with photographs. Normally I spend a lot of time studying Photoshop resources when a new version of the program is released and I keep the books on my bookshelf. But in the case of Photoshop CS6 on Demand, I found the presentation to be too top level and I didnt enjoy the book. I wouldn't recommend this book as a valuable resource for photographers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars basically a printed version of the Photoshop online help, September 27, 2012
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The Photoshop books I have seen in the past have come in two varieties -- walkthroughs of advanced techniques, and introductions to basic techniques. This book takes a new approach -- walking though every menu item and dialog box in the program and summarizing what each one does. In every case, the information is available in Photoshop's own help function, and most are discussed in much greater length in the online help and fora from Adobe. In many cases, the book provides information so trivial as to add no value over the title of the item it is describing. For example, "Show Channels in Color: Allows you to view channels in the Channels panel in color" Is there really anybody who would have failed to guess that?

The authors offer no additional value; after listing the five or six ways that Photoshop allows a user to select pixels, you think they might throw in a few paragraphs about the circumstances under which you might use each approach. No such luck.

You might expect that the book would start with basics, then work to mastering of advanced techniques, but it does not. I found only two ways in which this book was useful. First, it flags all the new commands and options with a bright red "NEW!", which made it easy to skim through, looking for things that CS6 can do that CS5 could not. Second, as it is printed, it may be useful for those who want to get a general overview of Photoshop while on the subway or some other setting in which use of a laptop would be impractical.

I do not recommend this book for a beginner to Photoshop; there are other books that describe how to create and edit images to achieve desired effects, much more likely to be useful to you. I do not recommend this book for an experienced user either, as such a user is unlikely to find any value here.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Thorough and Comprehensive Textbook, July 29, 2012
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Of all the Adobe Photoshop CS6 books that I have reviewed recently, "Adobe Photoshop CS6 On Demand" one is certainly the most thorough and comprehensive. Almost *everything* you wanted to know about CS6 (and for that matter CS5) must be in this 585-page book (including a very thorough index). The authors clearly label Adobe's innovations as "New" in the table of contents. Although the screen shots and menus are in par-for-the course small print, the instructions are very thorough, numbered and pictured and step-by-step.

With twenty-two chapters, hundreds of tasks, this book serves as an excellent manual for the experienced Photoshop user. It is also directed at the dedicated learner. Although the student approaching Photoshop for the first time might find the copious text and multifarious tasks overwhelming, nevertheless, as the authors remark, the book does not have to be approached in any special order. One can either skim through the book or look up a task in the index.

Even though I am a long-time user of Photoshop, I have still found lots of new tasks that I am eager to tryout. If you want thorough detailed explanations of complex topics, this is the book for you.

Lots to learn and to enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use Photoshop? This is a Must Have..., June 24, 2012
By 
F. Stop Fitzgerald "f/stop" (Richmond, VA United States) - See all my reviews
Those of us who have used Photoshop for more days than we care to count tend to forget that once upon a time we were newbies to the program. While the CS6 version may be new to us, we bring a whole lot from the 12 previous iterations to the light table. Can any of us imagine what CS6 looks like to a first-time user? It has to be something approaching overwhelming. That said, there is a book on the market that can address the needs of both ends of the Photoshop user spectrum and everyone in between.

Que Publishing's Adobe Photoshop CS6 on Demand, by Steve Johnson of Perspection, Inc., is two things: It is the book that I've needed since Photoshop and I crossed paths in 1995. It is also the book that Adobe needs to package with the program.

This is not a traditional training manual in the sense of "select this," "click that," "drag here," etc. While it is basically an explainer for each of the program's many tools, it is much more. This is pointed out in the introduction; "You don't have to read this book in any particular order." It was designed for the user to "jump in," get the needed information, and "jump out."

Tools, or tasks, are on no more than two facing pages, accessed from the very detailed 11-page table of contents. The pages themselves are graphically not only pleasing, but utilitarian. The user will not fall asleep reading this text. The eye gravitates--after a little use of the book--where it needs to go. For each task, there are step-by-step instructions in the left column with corresponding illustrations in the right. These are supported by real-world examples.

Example files are available at a proprietary web site. Two files are provided for each example, a "start" file and a result. The user compares his results to that provided. Similarly, more intensive Workshop projects also feature start, result, and associated files that can be accessed on the web. The book can also be used as a training basis for Adobe certification. Specific tasks have been highlighted, which once mastered, will help the user to meet requirements for the two exams.

For the not-so-new to Photoshop user the additions to CS6 from CS5 are highlighted throughout with a "New!" icon. That will not prevent those users from learning more about their commonly used tools than they ever knew and investigating those that never seemed of much interest, utility, or confusing. I know that this book has expanded my personal tool kit.

This is a must-have book in any Photoshop user's library.

(In the interest of full disclosure, Cue Publishing provided this reviewer a review copy of the book.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, Readable and Well-Designed but with Significant Limitations, December 21, 2012
By 
Tracy Marks (Arlington, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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As an instructor of several dozen Photoshop courses per year since 1994, and a tutor/ consultant in Photoshop (and as an author with graduate study in education and psychology), I've had considerable opportunity to observe my students learning process, as well as my own, as I upgrade to each new version of Photoshop.

In spite of reading many books in the field, I remain frustrated that none are ideal for beginning Photoshop users. None effectively enter the thinking process of learners in regard to: What do I need to do to improve/alter this photo? Which tool or technique would best do the job? Why one instead of another? In what order should I undertake each step? How do I avoid repeatedly encountering the same problem? But some are better than others.

Unfortunately, PHOTOSHOP CS6 ON DEMAND completely fails to answer these questions. In addition, in attempting to cover every feature in the program, it covers only a few in depth, and does not prioritize- i.e. differentiate between the most useful and essential tools and the peripheral ones so that the user can absorb the material without being overwhelmed.

If I were to rate this book in regard to its adequacy as a beginning/ intermediate text, I would give it only 3 stars. But there isn't a single Photoshop book for beginning/intermediate users that I've found that deserves 5 stars (Martin Evening's books are definitely 5*, but are for intermediate/advanced users).

Compared to other Photoshop texts (I'm familiar with about six for each version), it deserves a 4 star rating. But for beginners, better choices are the VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE by Mike Woolridge, Elaine Weinman's VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE and Scott Kelby's PHOTOSHOP CS6 FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS.

PHOTOSHOP CS6 ON DEMAND does have many virtues. First, it is quite comprehensive - overly so, in fact, breadth at the expense of depth. Chapters cover: Getting Started, Navigation and Measurements, Customization, Selection, Layers, History Panel, Adjustment Layers, Color and channels, Paint, Shape and Eraser Tools, Masks, Paths, Layer Styles, Type, Filters, Actions, Image Output, Automatizing Photoshop, Color Management, Web Design, Video, Extending Photoshop and Interfacing with other Adobe programs. The appendixes cover new features, and Adobe certification.

The book is clearly and attractively laid out in two columns - a colored column either describing a feature or providing instructions for a task, and a second column with screenshots (some in color) and additional information. Full page insert sections on such topics as layers the brush panel, and 8/16/32 bit files help define terms and introduce a topic. The screenshots are numerous, large enough to be clearly readable, and well-captioned.

The book is larger than the CS5 edition (which I also read and reviewed) and contains new material, not only on features introduced in CS6, but also on a number of topics - notably selection, creative type, filters, 3d and video, and interfacing with other Adobe programs.

PHOTOSHOP CS6 ON DEMAND covers, if only sketchily, features such as liquify, preset manager, lab color and preferences, which some Photoshop books neglect. Many specific helpful hints (such as how to get rid of color markers) are provided that can benefit even intermediate users. With each new edition of this book, I pick up a dozen or more pointers I didn't know before. With this edition, I increased my knowledge in regard to brush tips, type, the crop tool, blur filters and all the new content aware functions.

Most notably, Johnson clearly highlights the features new to CS6 (most are minor improvements of previously existing tools) - in the table of contents, and with bright red NEW type on the text page itself. He also includes at the end of the book a six-page summary of these features and improvements. I do remain stumped however that at least half a dozen features he indicates as new are in CS5 - e.g. zooming to 3200%, and filling an area with a pattern. Perhaps these feature are new to the Mac version of Photoshop, whereas they are already familiar to PC users of CS5.

But I do have more weighty criticisms. Johnson omits, or barely covers, some of the topics my Photoshop students most wish to learn. Where is the detailed information pertaining to setting image proportions, size and resolution, both for print and the Web? What about workflow - in what order do we do each task, and why? And why on earth does he devote so many pages to blur and blur filter techniques and so few to sharpening, which is more in demand. He even omits high pass sharpening, which is the preferred sharpening method of many Photoshop users, including myself.

Why does he devote only 25 pages to layer styles, but only 5 pages to camera raw - when so many Photoshop users take pictures in camera raw, or find that color correction in camera raw is easier and more effective - even with jpgs - than in Photoshop proper?

Too much of Johnson's text is devoted to naming the options that exist, without indicating how and why one would use them. For example, he says that SHOW CHANNELS IN COLOR "allows you to view channels in the channels panel in color", and that DISABLE COMPRESSION OF PSD AND PSB FILES "disables compression." Duh! All this redundancy is unnecessary, especially when it occurs instead of useful explanation.

Another serious omission is the lack of a list of at least the most important shortcut keys (he does provide this on his web site) with time-saving references to them throughout the text - shortcuts such as control J for saving a selection and duplicating a layer, the spacebar to activate the hand tool, or the bracket keys to resize brushes. Students deeply appreciate knowing and using many shortcuts.

My own greatest frustration in upgrading to Photoshop CS6 was discovering that some of the new features don't work on either of my computers (or any of the computers at the four schools where I teach) because of video cards not supported by Adobe and without drivers that have been updatedsince May 2012. Most frustrating of all my favorite filter, the lighting effects filter, which supposedly is improved in CS6, doesn't even INSTALL of my computers - a circumstance which has led me to revert to using CS5. The author would serve his reader better if he also addressed technical and activation issues to pertaining to Photoshop - issues which when unresolved make some portions of his book irrelevant.

Johnson simply does not understand the beginner's mind, and does not order his presentation in a manner useful to beginning and advanced beginning students, who would most benefit from learning features in the order in which would use them.

In short, PHOTOSHOP CS6 ON DEMAND is inadequate because of the way in which it presents - or fails to present - useful information. However, what it covers in detail, it covers well, in a clear, comprehensible writing style, and with superb layout. As a result, it is an adequate but not exceptional reference book, most suitable for advanced beginners rather than absolute beginners, and neither better nor worse than most of its competition. If I could, I would give it 3 ˝ stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book generally,over my head, October 24, 2012
By 
Ward J. Lamb (slate hill, new york United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is not organized in a way that makes it easy to find information.It is a bit all over the place.
You need to come with some knowledge as the book does not act friendly to a novice.It includes step by step procedures for several scenarios.The book has much information,but for me it was all over my head.
I am a casual user,with limited proficiency,but desire to learn.

It is written to the experienced photo shop user and may intimidate the new user.
It seems suite for making inroads to more professionally geared user.On the positive side the illustrations are color and clearly printed.I will use the book,but I will need a more basic book to precede it.
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