So when you first open up Photoshop, it should look something like the picture. You'll have your menu bar on the top and underneath that you'll have the settings bar for whichever tool you're working with. By the world "tool" I mean the eraser, paint brush, rectangle select, etc. The vertical bar on the left is the tool bar, where you select which tool you want to use. There are two vertical bars on the very right. A skinny bar and a wide bar to the right of it.
I'm going to show you how I set up my workspace. You can do it the same way, or however works for you. First click on Window from the menu bar. This determines what Tabs will be visible on screen. I have Actions, Brush, and the Navigator checked as well as the defaults.
After I click on those, you'll see more icons added to the skinny vertical bar on the right. Clicking on them will open up the Tab that the icon represents.
Now I'm going to get rid of some of the default Tabs on the wider bar. First to go is the Adjustments and Styles Tab Group. I never use this, because I prefer to use the keyboard shortcuts and it just takes up space. To get rid of it, Right click on the Tab and select "Close Tab Group". If you wanted to get rid of just the Adjustments Tab you would click "Close" instead.
Next we're going to click on the Swatches Tab to make it visible. You will use the Swatches Tab quite often in this tutorial, so it's helpful to have it showing.
Next I want to move the History and Actions Tab to the Wide Bar. To do this, click on it's icon on the skinny bar. That will make the tab visible. Then with your cursor over the tab, hold the left mouse button down and drag the tab over to the wide bar.
I want it underneath my Layers Tab so I move my cursor all the way to the bottom until a blue line appears under the Layers Tab and let go of the mouse button.
To make the History Tab bigger move your cursor in between the History Tab and the Layers Tab until it changes shape into a double arrow like shown in the picture. Then hold your left mouse button down and drag the Tab up so more of it is showing.
Next click on the Navigator Icon on the skinny bar Right click on the Histogram Tab and close it. (The picture says Histrionics but I made a mistake and I didn't want to fix it and then reupload the picture because lazy).
Then move The Navigator Tab over to the wide bar.
Next I want to move my Actions Tab, which should be to the right of the History Tab, to the skinny bar.
Click and drag the tab to the skinny bar and let go of your mouse when you have it in position.
Finally, I close the tabs on the very bottom. The ones that say Mini Bridge and Timeline. We don't need those. (I didn't show this part in the photo, but like I said it's at the very bottom of the Photoshop Window)
Now we'll edit our Keyboard Shortcuts by going to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.
Make sure the Drop Down Menu where it says "Shortcuts For:" is set to Application Menus. You'll see that you can pretty much add/remove/edit the shortcuts for any of the tools you use. For now we're going to stick with the Application Menu Shortcuts. Click on the arrow Next to Layer to make the options visible.
Scroll all the way down until you see "Flatten Image". We'll be using Flatten Image a lot so it's helpful to assign a shortcut to it. To assign the shortcut, click on the Flatten Image Bar. Then press the key(s) you want to use for your shortcut I'm assigning the keystrokes Ctrl+F, which I do by pressing and holding down the Control Key and the pressing the F Key.
Once you're done assigning the shortcut, click Accept and then click OK to close out the window.
Alright, that wraps up Part 1. Next up Part 2: The Diffuse Texture