With so many filters to choose from, it can be tough to get a handle on what they all do. That's why several filters—those in the Artistic, Brush Strokes, Distort, Sketch, Stylize, and Texture categories—summon a large dialog box called the Filter Gallery (Figure 15-2). There's a nice big preview of your image on the left (zoom in or out by using the + and – buttons below it), a list of all the filters in these categories (with cute little preview thumbnails) in the middle, and the specific settings associated with each filter on the right.
Not all filters are listed in the Filter Gallery dialog box, so don't let that throw you; you can choose the others straight from the Filters menu. That said, if the Filter has three dots after its name in the Filter menu, it summons a dialog box that lets you tweak various settings. If it doesn't, the sucker just runs—you've been warned!
Once the Filter Gallery dialog box opens, you can go through the whole list of filters by clicking each one and then tweaking its settings; Photoshop updates your image preview accordingly. You can even select additional filters while you're in the dialog box by clicking the "New effect layer" button at the bottom right (Photoshop shows each filter as a list above the buttons). You can also delete individual filters you've added by clicking the tiny trash can icon at the bottom right.
Throughout this chapter, you'll find some helpful ideas of how to use at least one filter in each filter category; ...