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Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual Paperback – Jan 5 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 800 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (Jan. 5 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596522967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596522964
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 3.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #209,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Lesa Snider is on a mission to teach the world to create--and use!--better graphics. She's a stock photographer and chief evangelist for iStockphoto, founder of the creative tutorial site, author of Photoshop: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, 2008), Graphic Secrets for Business Professionals (, From Photo to Graphic Art, and Practical Photoshop Elements ( She writes regularly for Macworld Magazine, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Elements Techniques, and Layers Magazine. Lesa is also a corporate trainer and teaches at many industry conferences including Photoshop World, Macworld Expo, Mac Mania Geek Cruises, and the esteemed Santa Fe Workshops. Since 2003, she has assisted New York Times technology columnist David Pogue's with many projects, including his Missing Manual book series and NYT videos. You can catch her Graphics Tip of the Week live each Wednesday night on the Your Mac Life internet radio show, which she also co-hosts.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Photoshop CS4 - The Missing Manual by Lisa Snider King.

The Missing Manual series is always a good investment in your time and money. This specific title covers every aspect of Photoshop and gives beginners a good intro and even provides great productivity tips for experienced users who are wanting to get up to speed with Photoshop CS4.

I read another review on the NAPP site that said this book reminded them of the original Photoshop Bible series by Deke McClelland. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. The nice thing about Lesa's book is that she doesn't drive us nuts with a crazy sense of humor like Deke did. Yeah Lesa. I should say I really like Deke too. Lesa's Photoshop CS4 Missing Manual is a great replacement book to the bible series.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I own several Adobe user manuals and this book is much more than user manual. The author's enthusiasm and knowledge of her subject is infectious and her writing style (which at first I disliked) adds to the experience.

To give you some idea of the innovations let me highlight one.

The book is littered with (index type)references (eg you'll find the info on such and such at so and so page), its as though the index has been moved into the book pages. At first when all the references are future, its a bit annoying but if a subject is of interest you can skip ahead. But when the references start to included back references (subjects you have already covered) things get interesting expecially when you realize you didn't quite absorb the info you need. So you can flip back for a quick review.(My expanation makes it sound tedious but its really a useful innovation.)

Any way if your into CS4 (to paraphrase Abbie Hoffman) "Buy This Book", its worth it.
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Format: Paperback
Started out trying to read the sucker from cover to cover. That ended quickly. I am not a photographer, I'm a cartoonist. I also have a short attention span for computer books. All I wanted to learn about were tools that I could use in colorizing and creating my cartoon strip, so I soon started skimming.

The layout of the book works quite well for this.

You can read the initial bolded statement that describes what the next section teaches you and if it sounds like something you'll never use -- jump ahead. This allowed me to get to the nitty gritty for what I needed the program to do. Taking time to read sections that you aren't sure whether they apply to you does yield the odd nugget or two. There are books that tell you step-by-step methods for doing things like coloring cartoons, but going through a book like this will get you thinking 'how could I use this tool for what I want to do'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5d9bf78) out of 5 stars 35 reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa62269d8) out of 5 stars Excellent New Photoshop Book Jan. 21 2009
By C. Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most complicated and powerful computer graphics programs available for general consumer use. Because of the growing popularity of digital photography, photographers of all skill levels are plunking down up to $700 for the program so that they too can "Photoshop" their images, however, many of these buyers will find the their initial attempt to use the program frustrating and the results of their efforts less than they expected. As a result of the complexity of the program a veritable industry consisting of Photoshop associations, conferences, instructional videos, podcasts and books has developed over the years. Lesa Snider King's new book, Photoshop CS4 The Missing Manual is a very worthy addition to this collection.

As is the case with all the Missing Manuals, this book takes the reader through a well structured, in-depth inspection of the program's capabilities. The author has provided some excellent examples that allow the reader to read through the book as a tutorial or simply to refer to it as a reference text. I've used Photoshop from the first CS version to the latest CS4 and have a number of books on the subject yet I was able to pick up a number of very useful tips in the first 250 pages by working along with the examples in the book. In addition, the author has sprinkled some general graphic tips throughout the book that are very useful to those without a background in design.

I think that this book is an excellent resource for Photoshop users of all levels. For the beginner it will provide an excellent tutorial, while the more advanced user will find it a useful reference. It has found a permanent place next to my computer.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6226a2c) out of 5 stars Not for digital photographers Aug. 21 2010
By dnn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had never used Photoshop before so I thought this would be the best place to start. And I did learn a lot about Photoshop from this book and it is a great book for the novice. But as a photographer, the 'candy' came on page 354 (of 750!): "Camera Raw ... is hands down the easiest place to fix your images". This is a plug-in that comes standard with Photoshop but is a stand-alone program. Pages 354 - 362 cover the basics of Camera Raw and the section ends with referring the reader who wants to know more to other books. After reading this section I can already see I will be doing most of my work in Camera Raw and only opening Photoshop itself for some fine-tune work on some of my photo's. So 8 pages dedicated to the area where I will be spending 90% of my time leaves me a little unsatisfied.
If you know nothing of Photoshop and want to make your own pictures, do web design, etc. then this is a great book to teach you this fantastic program but for photographers who don't care a lot about drawing or adding text, I would not recommend this book. Instead look for something specifically written for photographers that includes a discussion of Camera Raw.

It would have been nice if I had known this book only covers the program Photoshop, one of a suite of programs sold as Photoshop.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6226d08) out of 5 stars Great Reference For New Photoshoppers March 4 2009
By Dan McKinnon - Published on
Format: Paperback
'Photoshop CS4: The Missing Manual' is a 750+ page book that will show you ALL the ins and outs of using Photoshop CS4. Tailored towards the newbie Photoshop user, the content here is anything but newbie! With 19 chapters of content and in FULL FULL FULL color, this is a great learning tool to getting through all the ABCs of Photoshop!

McKinnon Overview

01. The Basics
02. Opening, Viewing, Saving Files
03. Layers
04. Selections
05. Channels
06. Cropping, Resizing, Rotating
07. Joining Images
08. Draining, Changing, Adding Color
09. Correcting Color and Lighting
10. Photoshopping People
11. Sharpening Images
12. Painting in Photshop
13. Drawing with Vector tools
14. Creating Artistic Text
15. Filters
16. Photoshop and Print
17. Photoshop and the Web
18. Actions
19. Plug-Ins

This is an easy book to put a stamp of approval on and it's another gem in the Missing Manual line of books, one of the greatest technical publishing lines out there today!!

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6c64240) out of 5 stars Great starter book for Photoshop CS4 May 30 2009
By Michael C. Podlesny - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book 5 stars because it is everything I expected it to be. A photoshop for beginners, which is what I exactly was at the time I purchased it.

I was a bit disappointed at first because the flow of the book did not seem to take me in a direction that I thought was not teaching me how to use Photoshop in the best manner, but by the time you get near the middle of the book, the author ties everything together nicely.

This book is a great starter for those who are getting into Photoshop for the first time. Once you master the basics taught to you in this book, I recommend doing a google search on the words "photoshop tutorial" and visit some websites where photoshop experts give you step by step projects to work on. This book combined with that will enhance your skills in no time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6226aec) out of 5 stars The BEST Photoshop CS4 learning book bar none March 27 2010
By Jeff Hall - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, let me say that I am an advanced computer user, but a novice in terms of using Photoshop. So I was in the position of having to teach myself the entire program from the ground up. While there are video tutorials available from some really good places, I never really liked learning that way and prefer a great manual instead if one exists. Luckily, I bought this manual after buying a couple of other ones, such as Photoshop CS4 Digital Classroom.

This book is exactly what you need if you are learning from the ground up. It provides a VERY well instructed process for each and every chapter in the book that takes you from the basics, such as introducing you to the User Interface to the more advanced functions of Photoshop. Each and every step is explained well and there are many photos that are referred to showing what they are talking about. Each photo is explained and there are descriptions of all functions they are referring to. Truly, if you follow my advice and read this book without skipping any steps you really can't go wrong. Also, I would encourage everyone not to skip certain chapters, even if you think they may not be useful because most likely some technique will be useful at some point later on.

I would also like to point out they cover Brushes very well in this book too, something that some books skip entirely or simply gloss over focusing more on those that are photographers. So, those looking at learning the art aspects of Photoshop certainly are not left out. There is even a real good chapter all about making creative text styles. That is another reason why I prefer this book to some others, it simply is one of the most comprehensive books I have read that is also concise.

You may notice there is no disc, but there is a web site for the Missing Manual books where you can download the files instead. I would advise to go ahead and download them for some of the examples they get to later on in the book. However, I will say it is not a BIG requirement you can get by without them.

This book is very thick, so don't be intimidated by the size when you get it. Just learn one chapter every couple of days and you will get through it OK. When I compared this book to another one I bought, Photoshop CS4 Digital Classroom, I much preferred this one. This book as I said is simply one of the best and most detailed around for learning Photoshop due to how well it is conveyed and laid out. The Photoshop Digital Classroom simply did not cover as much detail and is half the size or less than Photoshop CS4 Missing Manual. Yes, it is true the Digital Classroom book does have video tutorials on the included disc and has examples that give more than just what the book offers, but even after using that book I still felt the Photoshop CS4 Missing Manual was the better of the two by a good margin.

Bottom line is this book is the best I have found for anyone that wants a VERY good intro to Photoshop and learn from novice to intermediate skills. Once you have finished this book, you can then look at others which may focus completely on an advanced topic.

Hope this helps and good luck in your learning.