If you’ve used previous versions of Adobe’s Configurator tool, you’ll be happy to know that an updated versions is now available on Adobe Labs! Let’s check it out!
Adobe Configurator 3
If you one of the many who have never used Configurator before, you’ll probably want to start! To sum it up very simply, it’s an application which allows you to create your own custom panels for Photoshop and InDesign. When users work on a specific project, like a photo retouch, they tend to use the same tools and menu options, which are usually scattered all over the workspace. Let’s look at how you can use Configurator 3 to place them all together.
Welcome to Configurator
When you first launch Adobe Configurator, you’re presented with a welcome screen which will give you a very brief overview on the workflow you will be taking to create your own custom panel for Photoshop or InDesign.
Once you have taken a quick look through the 5 steps, selecting “Create Panel” will start the process.
Now that you’re ready to begin, naming your panel is very important. One, it helps with organization, and two, it will certainly help once it’s exported and ready to select in Photoshop or InDesign.
For this example, we’re going to create a panel that revolves around retouching, so the obvious name will be: Retouching. How original! You also need to make sure that you select the correct product for your panel. There IS a difference between CS5 and CS6!
Now you’re ready to go! There are a few main areas that you’re going to be focusing on when creating your panels.
- Smack in the middle is your starting panel, which you can resize to your liking by pulling on the transform points that surround the panel. Once you start adding elements, you can always adjust the panel’s size to better fit everything you’re looking to add.
- On the left are your objects. Here you will find the different tools of Photoshop/InDesign, menu options, scripts, and even widgets!
- On the right, is the Inspector. Similar to the new Properties Panel in Photoshop CS6, this will display all the necessary information about the object that you have selected. Whether it’s a tool or the panel, you’ll be able to change it’s properties here.
Populate your panel!
As mentioned above, all the objects that can get placed in your panel are on the left side of Configurator. Expanding each section will show you what you can add to your panel.
We’re first going to add a few tools that relate to retouching in Photoshop. Added a tool is simple. Drag it from the left, right on top of your panel. You’ll notice that, as long as Snap is enabled under the Edit menu, the tools you add will snap into place, based on the panel’s size, and location of other tools you may have added. I went ahead and added a few relevant tools.
Not just tools!
If Configurator only allowed you to add tools to your panels, it wouldn’t be that fantastic. The good news, is that you can also add menu items! When retouching, I often find myself using Color Range and Feather for my projects. Wouldn’t it be great if I could quickly have access to these options?
On the left, expand the Commands section, then expand Main to gain access to your application’s menu options. From here, just like you did with the tools, you can drag over the options that are relevant to your panel.
Of course, you can add many more tools/menu items if you wish, but I’m satisfied with this panel. It’s time to preview what it will look like! Under the File menu, select Preview Panel. This will open up the Preview window, which allows you to view the panel as it would in Photoshop or InDesign. And if you are creating a panel for a CS6 application, you can even change the color scheme on the right.
When you’re completely happy with the panel that you’ve just created, it’s time to export it for use in Photoshop/InDesign. Under the File menu, choose Export Panel. Configurator will automatically open the folder that the panel needs to be placed in. Simply accept the location when the Export window appears.
Put it to use!
Now that the panel has been created and exported, it’s time to activate it in your application of choice. Making sure to quit/re-launch the application you’re working with, your new panel can be found under the Window > Extensions menu.