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Jim Harvey reviews Photoshop CS: Killer Tips by Scott Kelby and Felix Nelson

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Jim Harvey reviews Photoshop CS: Killer Tips by Scott Kelby and Felix Nelson
A Creative COW "Real World" Book Review


Jim Harvey reviews Photoshop CS: Killer Tips by Scott Kelby and Felix Nelson

Jim Harvey Jim Harvey
JHV Digital
New York, USA

© 2004 Jim Harvey and CreativeCOW.net. All rights are reserved.


Article Focus:
Creativecow's contributing editor, Jim Harvey takes a look at Photoshop CS: Killer Tips by Scott Kelby and Felix Nelson. ~ This book is published by New Riders. Jim gives this book 4 1/2 COWs and says, "...This is a must have if you are a CS user."


Click here to order Photoshop CS Killer Tips from amazon.comThis will be a short review for no other reason that this particular book doesn't need any long winded “in depth” examination of the contents. It is a straightforward, no nonsense (well, a LITTLE nonsense) book of all the tips that you will most likely ever need if you work with Photoshop CS.

Scott Kelby needs no introduction to anyone who has spent at least 11 minutes working with Photoshop of any version. His Photoshop User Magazine is one of the “must have every month” periodicals that draw people to places like Borders Books like flies to honey.  Previously, I reviewed Scott’s Photoshop 7 Down & Dirty Tricks, and while I didn't feel that the book was a barn burner, I DID mention that the smart reader would be paying close attention to the “tips” sections in the margins of the books…”All throughout the book, there are margin notes that have some little tip or hint or trick. Read These carefully and you will see the true value of the book. The tutorials are there and easy to follow, but the real meat of this book in my opinion, is the notes on the page borders. Here Kelby spills the beans on the REAL tricks in Photoshop.”

Well I must have been on to something as the new Kelby/Nelson volume is nothing BUT those little margin notes. From the Tools Palette, to Web tricks, to Metadata shortcuts, this book has 200 plus pages of tidbits that will make your CS experience more enjoyable and rewarding.

Ten chapters cover everything you could possibly want, and stuff you may never even use (but will know how to do it anyway!) from simple production tips to advanced embedded paths and handling multiple curve points, gradients, cloning, professional sharpening tips ad infinitum, Kelby and Nelson serve up a heaping dish of bite sized morsels that will have you flying through your next project as if you really knew what you were doing! (No offense to the 4 people on Planet Earth who actually DO know what they are doing with Photoshop, this book is for the rest of us!)

The authors spend some time with tips for those who are outputting to print and using CMYK colorspace, which is a nice touch. Some books treat CMYK as if it doesn't exist, while others do the same for those working in RGB. Kelby and Nelson treat both types of users with respect and include tips that will benefit those working with either protocol.

If you are looking for tutorials, don't bother. This book is cover to cover Tips (just like the title says). Most of them are those hidden gems that never get any coverage anywhere else. These are the tips that you envy when you see someone else whip one out and you do that double take and the obligatory “How’d ya do THAT?” Now YOU can be the King of the Alt key (and the Ctrl Key as well as shift, tilde, and other key combos that the boys show off.)

Another point that I should make here (and the author’s make as well) is that this is not a novel. You don't have to read it chapter by chapter. Actually, the best way to digest this book is to bounce around. Loosen up and read chapter 5 first. Not only will you learn some great tips on web graphics and using ImageReady, you'll feel like a rebel. Heck, you might even eat your dessert first after reading this book.

I enjoyed the fact that Kelby and Nelson are secure enough in the information that they present that they can have some fun throughout the pages. You'll enjoy reading the commentary as much as the tips presented.

The book retails for $29.99. By my count there are about 375 tips contained between the covers. That breaks down to about 8 cents a tip, so break out your wallet and buy this one. I hear Felix Nelson has his eye on a Porsche and if he sells enough copies, he might be able to float the loan.
.

.

COW Rating: I give it 4 1/2 cows because I know that this team will continue to improve on their work. This is a must have if you are a CS user.





Jim Harvey

JHV Digital



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