Medium 9781449316136

Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual

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Whether you’re a photographer, scrapbooker, or aspiring graphic artist, Photoshop Elements is an ideal image-editing tool—once you know your way around. This bestselling book removes the guesswork. With candid, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance, you’ll get the most out of Elements for everything from sharing and touching-up photos to fun print and online projects.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Get to work right away. Import, organize, and make quick fixes with ease.
  • Retouch any image. Repair and restore old and damaged photos.
  • Add pizzazz. Use dozens of filters, layer styles, and special effects.
  • Share photos. Create online albums, email-ready slideshows, and web-ready files.
  • Find your artistic flair. Use tools to draw, paint, work with blend modes, and more.
  • Use your words. Make text flow along a curved path or around an object or shape.
  • Unleash your creativity. Design photo books, greeting cards, calendars, and collages.
  • Make yourself comfortable. Customize Elements to fit your working style.

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7 Slices

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1. Introduction to Elements

ePub

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Photoshop Elements lets you do practically anything you want to digital images. You can colorize black-and-white photos, remove demonic red-eye stares, or distort the facial features of people who’ve been mean to you. The downside is that all those options can make it tough to find your way around Elements, especially if you’re new to the program.

This chapter helps get you oriented. You’ll learn what to expect when you launch the program and how to use Elements to fix photos with just a couple of keystrokes. You’ll also learn how to use Guided Edit mode to get started editing photos. Along the way, you’ll find out about some of Elements’ basic controls and how to get to the program’s Help files.

Elements 11 is quite different from the previous versions of the program, so even if you’re an Elements veteran, you’ll want to read this chapter to get oriented. Much of the rest of the book may confuse you if you don’t understand what’s covered in this chapter.

 

2. Elemental Elements

ePub

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

With Elements’ Quick Fix tools, you can dramatically improve a photo’s appearance with just a click or two. The Quick Fix window gathers easy-to-use tools that help you adjust the brightness and color of your photos and make them look sharper. You don’t even need to understand much about what you’re doing—just click a button or move a slider, and then decide whether you like how it looks.

Even if you do know what you’re doing, you may still find yourself using the Quick Fix window to tweak things like shadows and highlights because it gives you a handy before-and-after view as you work. Also, the new Vibrance slider and the Temperature and Tint sliders can come in very handy for advanced color tweaking, like finessing the overall color of an otherwise finished photo. You also get two tools—the Selection Brush and the Quick Selection tool—that let you easily change specific areas of photos.

 

3. Retouching

ePub

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

You may be perfectly happy using Elements only in Quick Fix mode. And that’s fine, as long as you understand that you’ve hardly scratched the surface of what the program can do. Sooner or later, though, you’ll probably run across a photo where your best Quick Fix efforts just aren’t enough. Or maybe you’re simply curious what else Elements has under its hood. That’s when you finally get to put all your image-selecting and layering skills to good use.

Elements gives you loads of ways to fix photos beyond the limited options in Quick Fix. This chapter guides you through fixing basic exposure problems, shows you various ways of sharpening photos, and (most importantly) explains how to improve the colors in your images. You’ll also learn how to use the amazing Smart Brush tool that lets you apply many common fixes by just brushing over the problem area.

 

4. Artistic Elements

ePub

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

If you’re not artistically inclined, you may feel tempted to skip this chapter. After all, you probably just want to fix and enhance your photos—why should you care about brush techniques? Surprisingly enough, you should care quite a lot.

In Elements, brushes aren’t just for painting a moustache and horns on a picture of someone you don’t like, or for blackening your sister’s teeth in that old school photo. Lots of Elements’ tools use brushes to apply their effects. So far, you’ve already run into the Selection Brush, the Clone Stamp, and the Color Replacement Brush, to name just a few. And even with the basic Brush tool, you can paint with lots of things besides color—like light or shadows, for example. In Elements, when you want to apply an effect in a precise manner, you often use some sort of brush to do it.

If you’re used to working with real brushes, their digital cousins can take some getting used to, but there are many serious artists now who paint primarily in Photoshop. With Elements, you get most of the same tools as in the full Photoshop, if not quite all the settings for each tool. Figure 12-1 shows an example of the detailed work you can do with Elements and some artistic ability.

 

5. Sharing Images

ePub

Chapter 15“/>

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

If you’re into making scrapbooks, greeting cards, or other photo concoctions, Elements is perfect for you. You can dress up pictures in all sorts of creative ways without any other software. Elements is crammed with add-on graphics, frames, and other special effects; it even lets you create multipage documents.

This chapter kicks off with an in-depth look at how to create photo collages. Once you’ve got those steps under your belt, all the other projects (summarized starting on Photo Books) use the same basic method. You’ll also learn how to create photo books and calendars using Shutterfly, Adobe’s online photo-printing partner. (If you aren’t in the U.S. or Canada, you may see CeWe as your option for ordering photo books and calendars.) To learn how to create online albums [photo-filled web pages] and slideshows with Elements, flip to Chapter 18.

 

6. Additional Elements

ePub

Chapter 19

So far, everything in this book has been about what you can do with Elements right out of the box. But as with many things digital, there’s a thriving cottage industry devoted to souping up Elements. You can add new brushes, shapes, layer styles, actions, and fancy filters. Best of all, a lot of what’s out there is free. And many of the tools are designed to make Elements behave more like Photoshop.

This chapter looks at some of these extras, how to manage the stuff you collect, and how to know when you really need the full version of Photoshop instead. You’ll also learn about the many resources available for expanding your knowledge of Elements beyond this book.

Probably the most popular Elements accessory is a graphics tablet, which lets you draw and paint with a pen-like stylus instead of a mouse. A tablet is like a souped-up substitute for a mouse: You control the onscreen cursor by drawing directly on the tablet’s surface—an action that many artists find offers them greater control. If trying to use the Lasso tool with a mouse makes you feel like you’re trying to write on a mirror with a bar of soap, then a graphics tablet is for you.

 

7. Appendixes

ePub

Appendix A

Head to this book’s Missing CD page on www.missingmanuals.com/cds to download two more appendixes: “The Organizer, Menu by Menu” and “The Editor, Menu by Menu.”

Elements is easy to install and is pretty trouble-free once it’s up and running. This appendix describes some things you can do to ensure a smooth installation, and provides cures for most of the little glitches that can crop up once you’re using the program.

Like printing, installing Elements works quite a bit differently depending on whether you have a Windows computer or a Mac. This is partly due to the differing ways the two platforms install programs. But another big difference is that, on a Mac, you get asked to create an Adobe ID (see Installing Elements on a Mac) during the installation process; the installer then registers your copy of Elements. In Windows, on the other hand, you create an Adobe ID from the Welcome screen or from within Elements itself when you run the program for the first time (see Installing Elements on a Mac).

 

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