This week’s creative tip is a quick reminder about a handy Photoshop feature that sits ignored by most designers every day. While often taken for granted or overlooked entirely, Photoshop’s status bar can be a valuable tool.

For example: Debating purchasing more RAM? Choose “Efficiency” from the status bar pop-up menu. If, after working on an image for awhile, the value is below 100% it means that your computer is using the Scratch disk instead of RAM. If Photoshop spends a lot of time below 100% you could benefit from the investment in more memory.

Version Cue: Displays the Version Cue workgroup status of your document, such as open, unmanaged, unsaved, and so forth. This option is available only if you have Version Cue enabled.

Document Sizes: Information on the amount of data in the image. The number on the left represents the printing size of the image—approximately the size of the saved, flattened file in Adobe Photoshop format. The number on the right indicates the file’s approximate size, including layers and channels.

Document Profile: The name of the color profile used by the image.
Document Dimensions The dimensions of the image.

Scratch Sizes: Information on the amount of RAM and the scratch disk used to process the image. The number on the left represents the amount of memory currently being used by the program to display all open images. The number on the right represents the total amount of RAM available for processing images.

Efficiency: The percentage of time actually spent performing an operation instead of reading or writing to the scratch disk. If the value is below 100%, Photoshop is using the scratch disk and is therefore operating more slowly.

Timing: The time it took to complete the last operation.

Current Tool: The name of the active tool.

32‑bit Exposure: Option for adjusting the preview image for viewing 32‑bits-per-channel high dynamic range (HDR) images on your computer monitor. The slider is available only when the document window displays an HDR image.

Source: We’ve been using the “Timing” option which reports the time Photoshop took to complete the last opperation while doing a few speed benchmarks on new Intel Macs. This tip includes information from Photoshop’s online help.