How to Expand & Move the Toolbar (Tools Panel) in Photoshop

EmeraldHike

Active Member
After you open a file in Adobe Photoshop, you'll notice all sorts of things in the workspace. One of them is the toolbar, which is all the way to the left of said workspace. The toolbar can be viewed two ways; one, long and skinny and two, about half as long and twice as wide as the other option. But still relatively long and skinny. The toolbar, otherwise known as the Tools panel, contains all sorts of very important tools, from the Move Tool to the Crop Tool to the Type Tool. You'll never work in Photoshop without using one tool at a time, so it's important to understand the panel. Let me show you what it looks like.

photoshop-toolbars.jpg

This is both layouts of the same exact toolbar. How did I change the appearance of it? That's easy. All I did was click on the small double arrow at the top of each version. I can even undock the toolbar if I want. To do so, I'll simply click on the top of it and drag outward (to the right). After the toolbar is undocked, I could drag it around the workspace and position it anywhere I want. Personally, I keep it right where it is and I prefer the long narrow version. Also, to redock, or just "dock" the toolbar back in its original position, click and drag it all the way over to the left side of the workspace. You'll see its original position highlight blue, which means the area is ready for you to drop it there. Just let go of your mouse button to dock it.

If you want to customize your toolbar and edit what's contained in it, you can click and hold your mouse pointer on the three circles that are positioned all the way down toward the bottom, right above the color picker.

edit-toolbar.jpg

Either that, or you can click the three circles and drag them out to the right. Either way, you'll see the Edit Toolbar option appear. If you click that, you'll see the Customize Toolbar panel appear.

customize-toolbar.jpg

Inside this panel, you can customize what your own toolbar looks like. You can add tools to it, remove ones you don't use very often, and arrange them in a way that makes more sense to you. You can even assign keyboard shortcuts to them or change the ones that have already been assigned. I'll actually be writing another post that covers exact instructions for all of this, so stay tuned to this forum.

What tricks do you know about using the Tools panel in Adobe Photoshop? Do you have any favorite layouts? Where do you keep your toolbar most of the time? I know many people have things set up so they benefit them, so I'd love to hear about some of these customized workspaces.
 
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