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Add Notes to Explain the Creative Process

Unlike File Info annotations, which carry precise and integral details such as authorship, date, and caption, the Notes Tool adds freeform commentary to images, sort of like a sticky note. Once the note has served its purpose, you can delete it. Casual users might find the feature fun to play with, but professional designers will find the Notes Tool helps them communicate better with clients and team members.

 The Basics

To get started, open a sample image or project. Select the Notes Tool, the dog-eared page icon. Click anywhere on the open file, and the note appears, waiting for you to fill it in.

Go to Window, Show Options. In the Options bar, youíll see fields for editing the note: Author, Font, Size, and Color. The name in the author field appears in the title bar. For font we recommend something easy to read, such as Arial. For maximum readability, we recommend bumping up font size to Largest. All text appears in black. Choosing a color modifies the noteís title bar and outline.

Manipulate notes. To close a note, click the little box in the upper-right corner. Or right-click the left corner and select Close Note. The note icon remains. Double-click the icon to open the note again.

To delete a note, right-click again and select the command to delete this specific note or all of the imageís annotations. Another way to wipe away all notes is to select Clear All in the options bar. Expand or shrink the note page by dragging the bottom-right corner of the note window. To move a note, click in the title bar and drag it. Somewhat annoyingly, the icons donít move with their accompanying notes and must be dragged separately.

 Save The Annotated Image

Now for the fun part: saving the file and sending it. Go to File and Save As. The default format is PSD (a proprietary Photoshop file), but you also can save annotated files as a Photoshop PDF (Portable Document Format). (You can create annotations in a JPEG [Joint Photographic Experts Group], but if you try to save it again as JPEG, youíll lose the notes.).

Newer versions of the Acrobat Reader (the Adobe software that reads PDF files) allow users to read annotations created in Photoshop. Although almost everyone these days has a version of the Acrobat Reader on his PC, your clients will need to have Adobe Acrobat 4.0 or higher to annotate the file themselves.

For colleagues. Both PDF and PSD formats let you save layers, which is handy if you want someone on your design team to perform edits on the file youíve annotated. In the Save As menu, make sure the Layers option is checked. Then click Save. (PDF files are significantly smaller than PSD files if email bandwidth is a problem.).

To clients. When sending an annotated file to a client, you typically wonít need to include layers. So in the Save As menu, make sure the Layers option is unchecked. And definitely save the annotated file as a PDF. Not only is it smaller, but thereís also a good chance your client wonít be able to open the proprietary PSD file anyway.

If someone sends you an annotated file to check out, simply download it and open it in Photoshop.

Home Photoshop Notes Add Notes to Explain the Creative Process
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