Today’s Question: I am desperate. I lost my screen mode in Photoshop. When I launch Photoshop I get the tools and the menu bar and the panels, but with the operating system in the background. How can I get the background back?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The “background” you’re referring to is the Application Frame. You can bring back this interface option by choosing Window > Application Frame from the menu.
More Detail: The Application Frame setting is only an option for Macintosh users. Windows users always have a background in Photoshop. Macintosh applications (including the Macintosh version of Photoshop) are able to have a minimal interface where you only see open documents and interface elements such as toolbars.
In other words, Macintosh users have the option of an interface that appears somewhat “see through”, which can be a little distracting depending on what’s going on behind Photoshop. As a result, I prefer having the Application Frame turned on, and recommend that all photographer’s do the same.
As noted above, you can choose Window > Application Frame to turn this background on or off.