December 1998

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Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop 5 in 24 Hours, by Carla Rose, SAMS, $19.95, SAMS Publishing

If you need to learn Photoshop 5 in a hurry, this is an excellent book to beat the clock with. Each lesson on 1 hour covers an important function of Photoshop 5 with step-by-step instructions for creating a certain effect. Because each lesson builds on the previous one, you should follow the book's format, but the tips and notes will make you comfortable with each critical function. It covers the new features in Photoshop 5 as well as color adjustments and creating collages. The book's value is in its ability to make even the more difficult concepts understandable while building your confidence to improve your Photoshop skills.


Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop 5 in 21 Days by T Michael Clark, SAMS, $39.99 with CD-ROM, SAMS Publishing

If you have more time to learn Photoshop 5 or to boost your skills, this book helps you understand the foundations and fundamentals of the program. Using real-world examples, it leads you through the process of of editing images with emphasis on the new tools in version 5, layers, channels, and masks. There is lots of good information of retouching and restoring images and on importing and exporting artwork to and from Photoshop. The CD includes all the example files from the book, thousands of images from Digital Stock, and third party demo software. There is an especially good section on combining Masks and Adjustment layers in the Workshop section of the masking unit. For an in-depth study of Photoshop 5, this is an excellent book to start with.


Photoshop 5 for Windows and Macintosh, Visual QuickStart Guide, by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas, Peachpit Press, $19.95

Your first clue that this is a good book is the index in which entries for the new features in Photoshop 5 take up column after column of space. This book isn't just a remake of the Version 4 book, but an excellent guide to all the new features in version 5. It begins with an excellent (and painless) discussion of color management and scanning and goes on to give succient descriptions of the zillions of Photoshop functions. Using lots of visuals and screen shots, this book will have you working efficiently, if not effortlessly, in this complex program. With its step-by-step approach to many functions, it's a good learning tool for the novice and a helpful review of Photoshop 5's new features for the more advanced user.


The Macintosh Bible, 7th Edition, by Sharon Zardetto Aker, Peachpit Press, $34.99

This delicious book can be read anywhere, in chapters or in snippets. But its greatest use is before a problem arises and when a crisis occurs. Read the chapter on System software before upgrading to learn if you have the hardware requirements. If you're thinking about upgrading to a G3 processor, there is much good information about whether or not to do it and how much it should cost. You'll also learn that MacWorks is not a vendor you want to deal with.If you're in crisis, the extensive index will lead you to calmer waters where you can (hopefully) fix all your digital boo boos. Filled with thousands of tips and tricks, invaluable information on hardware, productivity software, connectivity (networks and the Internet), curious Mac trivia, and a Web site with late breaking Mac and iMac information, this book belongs on every Mac user's bookshelf.