Book Review: Photoshop CS6–the missing manual by Lesa Snider

The well-liked “missing manual” series has finally tackled Photoshop, and the result is quite a magnum opus. I’ve never seen so much information about Photoshop packed into a single volume. At 862 pages it may be a little daunting, but it is well-organized, colorfully-laid-out and has an excellent index. As someone who has watched with dismay as the documentation provided with Photoshop decreases and its complexity and price grows, this book is very much needed.

Photoshop CS6 – the missing manual’s strength is its broad coverage of Photoshop, and its appeal to all levels of users. There is a soup to nuts treatment of almost every aspect of the program, starting with the very basics of each piece – from opening images to using layers. That breadth is also the source of the book’s biggest shortcoming, that in trying to be all things to all people it risks not being ideal for anyone.

Beginners will find the sheer size and scope, along with the depth of the treatment of each subject more than a bit overwhelming. Veteran users will tire of wading through introductions to each piece of the package and want to get to the more advanced features and tips in each section. In short, it isn’t really a book that very many will have the patience to read from start to finish, or that will take the place of the other more specialized books. That said, as a reference book, or a resource when learning a new topic in Photosho, the missing manual is ideal – dutifully fulfilling its promised role as taking the place of the manual Adobe has given up trying to write.

In my case, the book will definitely be sitting on my desk near my computer for quick reference. Many of the tools in Photoshop are new or unknown to me, but if I haven’t used them in a few months, it’s helpful to be able to refresh my memory on their usage and options. I suspect many of you are in the same boat, so I’d highly recommend adding Photoshop CS6: the missing manual to your Photoshop library. You can get Photoshop CS6: the missing manual for $27.89 in paperback, or a Kindle version for $22.79 at Amazon.