Photoshop Workspace consists of panels. Panels behave like smaller windows, you can open / close them, move them on the desktop or paste them to the right side of the program, you can turn them into a field with an icon, or minimize them, some windows can be enlarged and reduced when they are open .

All panels that exist in Photoshop can be shown / hidden from the Window drop-down menu.

Photoshop Workspace
Drop down windows menu

In the red field in the picture are all the panels that exist in the program. Certain panels are ticked, which means that they are open and active. Since we can store panels in groups, only the active panel from the non-minimized group (which is visible) will be checked.

Each panel can have different display states, which we can see in the picture:

Different panel display states

  1. The panel is reduced to an icon, anchored at the displayed position
  2. The panel is open, and as such can be anchored in a certain position (docked) or free in the workspace (Floating)
  3. The panel is Minimized and Floating

Panel Docking

Photoshop Workspace gives you the ability to anchor all panels at your left, right, and bottom of the workspace at will. and not only that, except at the top below the Menu bar where the default position of the Options panel is and where you cannot anchor the panels, on all other sides you can anchor them in multiple levels.

Photoshop Workspace
Minimized Panels
Photoshop Workspace Open panels
Open panels

The first level on the right (even when minimized) will always have a panel name, not just an icon like the other levels. We can see (based on horizontal lines) that there are groups of panels at that level. The Color panel is alone in the group, below is a group with two panels Adjustments and Styles, while in the third group below are the panels Layers, Channels and Paths.

Each panel at the top has two triangles marked with red circles in the figure. This button is used to minimize / maximize the panel.

Photoshop Workspace Anchored panels next to the tool panel
Anchored panels next to the tool panel

By the same principle, panels can be stacked at the bottom of the window, but they can also be anchored to the Tools panel on the left side.

Create panel groups, move panels and groups

Panels can be relocated, placed anywhere in the workspace or placed within an existing group or moved to another. You can move each panel by clicking on the panel name itself, and then holding down the left mouse button, drag it to the desired position. As you do this, Photoshop assists you – a blue line appears in positions where the panel can be anchored or inserted into the group, suggesting this.

Photoshop Workspace
  1. A group of two panels, minimized in the second level of anchoring
  2. An open group containing two panels – Adjustments is currently active
  3. A closed group containing three panels, although the Layers panel is active in the group, is currently hidden. You can achieve this by hiding the group in the name bar by double-clicking on the panel name

When there are multiple panels in a group by clicking on the panel name and dragging, you would move only the selected panel. If you click on the part of the group next to the panel name tabs, you will move the whole group

Panel space

At the very end of the panel names tab is the standard position for the button that opens a pop-up menu with the options of the currently active panel from the group.

Photoshop Workspace Panel Options
Panel Options

No matter which panel is active, when you open the pop-up menu with options, there will always be two commands at the very bottom:

  • Close – hide the currently active panel (you can always restore it from the Windows drop-down menu)
  • Close Tab Group – hides the entire panel group

Workspace – The appearance of the workspace

You can easily organize your workspace even with a larger number of open and minimized panels, it often happens that every new level of anchored panels or panels that you do not currently use in your work only bother you. That’s why the Workspace option was created, whose menu can be found at the top of the Windows drop-down menu. You can also find the same menu on the right side of the Options panel.

Photoshop Workspace Workspace in the windows drop down menu
Workspace in the windows drop down menu
Photoshop Workspace in the options panel
Workspace in the options panel

The Workspace menu offers you predefined workspace layouts that the authors have named as needed:

  • Essentials – basic or default workspace organization, mostly and most often used
  • 3D – work with 3D objects
  • Graphic and web – Work with graphics
  • Motion – motion processing (for Gif files)
  • Painting – For painting and drawing
  • Photography – photo processing

If you activate one of the offered workspaces, we will take Essentials as an example, you are able to further customize it to your needs. Each time you turn on Photoshop, the Essentials workspace will look exactly like this, until you run the Reset Workspace command.

Reset the workspace from the window menu
Reset the workspace from the window menu
Reset essentials

If you switch to another predefined workspace and return to Essentials again, any changes will also be remembered until the Reset Workspace command is run.

Creating a new workspace

Although you are able to make changes to existing predefined workspaces that will be saved, a much better option is to save the look of the workspace that suits you as the new predefined Workspace, and as such will always be displayed in the Workspace menu.

Photoshop Workspace. When you have placed all the panels in the desired position, run the New Workspace … command (Windows> Workspace> New Workspace …). You will open a new window in which you can name your workspace, and in addition you have the option to save and edit Keyboard shortcuts and Menus.

Window for saving a new workspace
Window for saving a new workspace

One of the workspaces offered is What’s New. This workspace can be very useful when you switch to a new version, because then in the first level on the right side, the panels that have undergone certain changes are displayed, as well as the panels that are new.

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