Adobe Configurator - create your own toolbars for Photoshop

    I love Photoshop. The program went through many stages of evolution, with each version I am more and more happy and this is my main working program, which is running on the computer 99% of the time. The only thing that saddens a bit is the lack of flexibility in the interface. Still, most modern programs for editing and creating graphics offer the user a modular interface - any buttons and sliders can be pulled out to any part of the screen. Zbrush and Modo are a good example of such modularity.
    As it turned out, Adobe Labs has been offering optimization lovers a solution for modular interface changes for a year and a half, and, to my shame, I found out about it recently. So I apologize in advance if I write about the obvious thing that many have been using for a long time, but I really missed it and it impressed me.
    And as an addition, I’ll talk about ... the color wheel for Adobe Photoshop (yes, with this phrase all illustrators / artists / texture designers should drop their jaw), because it was thanks to him that I learned about Adobe Configurator.

    Adobe Configurator is an AIR tool for creating custom panels for Photoshop CS4. Photoshop is the only program in the lineup supported by the Configurator, but Adobe Labs promise to tweak the rest of Creative Suit later. By the way, it was possible to create extensions before, but for this some level of programming on Flex was required (I don’t presume to say Flex or not, because the words Java, Flex and Air scare me terribly and I never got into this obscurantism, please correct if I'm wrong).
    You can place any tools, menu items, Java scripts, links to macros, pictures, text, even .swf and video into these folders. Panels are made simple Drag & Drop.
    At startup, the utility explains everything to us with a large pin)

    Yes, yes, that's exactly it: five steps and the panel is ready.
    And by clicking New panel you can start creating the panel. Having set a name and size for it, you can start dragging the necessary tools from the 4 menus on the left:
    Tools with
    Commands tools with
    Action menu commands with scripts
    and Widgets with any additional media nonsense. You can also use the search on all tools and menu items.
    All buttons and widgets are freely scalable.
    For example, I wanted to make myself a panel for several functions that I often use, but they are quite deep in the menu:

    After clicking Export, the program automatically selects a directory with Photoshop panels and saves the necessary files there.
    Now I launch Ps, my NeatPanel has appeared in the Window> Extensions menu.
    It has the same properties as all other Photoshop panels, that is, it can be folded into a small rectangle

    . Panel functions - decrease / increase selection and mirror reflection vertically and horizontally of the layer / selection and the entire document. The panel could be reduced one and a half times more due to the inscriptions (I’m making it for myself and I know which button is for what) and it can safely hang in the corner of the screen without taking up a useful place.

    Another example of use. This is just a few days ago that my Toolbar looked like with brush presets:

    there is no sorting in this toolbar.

    Now there are several panels with different purposes, called by F-buttons. I know that on F1 I have basic brushes, on F2 - textures and on F3 - blenders.

    and so on. Of course, I will not argue that this is convenient for everyone, but the 20 minutes spent creating these panels allow me not to rummage among a dozen names of brushes, but to work with them in order, plus you can add additional information or even an example of the brush’s work in such a panel, function or filter by inserting a widget with a picture into the panel (like that red box next to my favorite brush).

    And now about the color wheel. The choice of color in Photoshop is a little tricky: if you do not enter exact values, but choose a color by eye, you must choose either the Swatches panel, which is limited in size and accuracy, or call Color Picker.
    For Swatches, craftsmen even made sets of colors that turned the panel into a kind of color wheel and Hue Picker

    and recently I came across two custom panels for FS, designed to help fans famously change color. I think both of them are made on Flex.
    The first is the Painters Wheel by Len White.
    It’s very simple in appearance, except for the clumsy circle on the panel there is no more information, it works only in CS4, it does not scale.

    And the second one is Anastasiy Safari's Magic Picker .
    Much more setting, it works both under CS4 and CS3, the ability to output colors in RGB / HSB sliders, the ability to output in hue / sat / vol-pickers, as well as see the exact color values ​​in the same window, the ability to select foreground / background-colors, as well as link them together so that the values ​​of both colors change relationally. Plus, it scales freely. I opted for it, in spite of the price of $ 7 against the free Painters Wheel - the money is very small, the functionality is worth it, plus its developer was pleasant in communication (and by the way he is Russian-speaking) and is open to introducing new features.

    I hope someone learns something new and useful from all this)

    And at the end there are a few links.
    Working With Photoshop Scripts ,Learn How to Script Adobe Photoshop , Manipulate an Image with Scripting - introduction to javascripts for Photoshop;
    Trevor Morris Scripts - a javascript library.
    This has nothing to do with panels, but there are examples of simple scripts on these sites that can be adapted to your needs. For example, I finally changed the set of macros that I used to show / hide several layers and channels to their javascript analog, reducing the number of macros used from six to two :)
    And it's really interesting to dig into this!

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