While working with Photoshop recently I hit a keyboard command which changed my workspace in an undesirable way. Formerly, when I would open documents in Photoshop they would load into individual windows that would be layered across the screen, one behind another. I could select between the windows, drag layers from one to another, etc. Since hitting that unknown command, my workspace has been filled by a single document window. Now, when I load many images I can only see the top one--it spans the workspace and has no border to drag or manipulate the window. All the other images are hidden behind it until I close each progressive window. I've looked through view options and have found now way to restore the former settings. I'd really appreciate any help that ya'll can offer towards getting me back to the old setup.
Another problem I've been having is that my gradient tool seems to be out of whack. I often use it (in combination with masks) to create a vignette effect on my images, but now when I draw the gradient tool across the edge of an image, instead of giving me a nice, progressive fade, it wipes across the whole document and applies a partial fade to the whole area. Any ideas about what's out of whack there?
I guess maybe I should just re-install the software to re-set to the defaults I was using before, but I'd love to learn more about using Photoshop by fixing these issues if anyone can help me along with that process. Thanks much for your help; I really appreciate it.
I'm not sure if I understood your issue correctly, but it seems that you're in full screen mode, if that's the case all you need to do is hit F to toggle between standard, full screen with menu and full screen.
If that's not the case, then go to window and see if Application frame at the bottom is checked, if it is, uncheck it.
Regarding the masks, it really comes down to how you move the mouse/pen across the screen, maybe you are releasing the cursor too far from the image and you are getting an almost grey gradient which causes your image to fade evenly, try releasing the mouse before so you get a more contrasted gradient.