11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A good general reference.,
This review is from: Photoshop CS6 For Dummies (Paperback)
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Clarity is the beauty of these "for dummies" books. You will know where to look and you will understand what you read. This book functions as a general orientation of the program, moving logically from less to more complex, and going into detail where needed (ex: what do the sliders within the dialog mean and what going in either direction will accomplish.) In that regard, it is the perfect beginning reference for those starting out with the program or needing a review.
Having said that, it is an embarrassingly obvious update of the CS5 version of the same book with an occasional icon saying "new" inserted where text about a CS6 specific change was plugged into the existing template. It is only 6 pages longer than the previous version. Considering how much has been added and changed, I find that surprising.
What this book is NOT--and what I had hoped it would be--is a guide to the new features of this edition of the program. I realized that it wouldn't be limited to that, but I had hoped for a CS6 centric book or, at least, a listing of what is new, where it is, what it does, and where to find it and, later on, some details.
You have to search through the book looking for the little balloon icon that indicates new features. Is this, necessarily, a bad thing? Maybe not. I suppose that the new features should appear in the chapter dedicated to related material. However, having the new features listed somewhere would have been a big help since there have been hundreds of changes from simple JDI tweaks to major additions, revisions, and rearrangements. I've used Photoshop since 1999, and I can't remember an upgrade that has had as massive an impact to the look and feel and functionality of the program as a whole.
Considering the extent and complexity of the changes, I would have expected that more space be dedicated to, at least, the major features. The new blur gallery is covered in 2 pages, and coverage of the radically revised crop tool is even less generous. A new 13-page chapter has been added in regard to the new video editing capabilities of the non-extended version. As someone who knows absolutely nothing about video, it seems to be a good introduction to the subject. I understood it well enough that I could tackle a simple project based on it. For me, this was the only useful part of the book, and that is because it is the only part of the book in which I was being introduced to something new to me and for which I don't yet need further details.
If you are looking for a sort of introductory guided tour of Photoshop (and, to some extent, digital photography),and for a book that will clearly communicate what you need to know for practical competence, this book more than fits the bill. Intermediate users will also find helpful general information all in one place. Just because the book didn't meet my needs does not mean that it isn't a well-done (and well-priced) Photoshop reference.
If you are looking for a CS6-specific book, this is not it. Nor is it for you if you're comfortable with the basics and are ready to set out in more specialized directions (portrait retouching, HDR, etc). This book skims the surface of everything, but doesn't explore anything in depth. It is more along the lines of a general orientation.