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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
If you have ever scanned an image using a flatbed scanner then you must know how rare it is for the final image to appear straight rather than crooked. Thankfully, Elements contains some excellent Auto Straighten and Crop features that can help you fix this problem. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing our exercise files folders here that should be saved on your desktop if you're following along. What I would like to do is access that Chapter 7 folder here, Cropping and Straightening. I'm going to double- click on that folder and inside of it is another folder named Scanned Photos. I'm going to double-click on that.
I'm going to select both images in here, the Enzo and Easter bunny, and Group Scan images by Shift-clicking. Now, I'm going to go ahead and double- click either image in order to open them both the same time in the Elements' Editing workspace. So let's take a look at our Project bin down here. I'm going to click this arrow at the bottom of the interface that reveals the Project bin. So we have access to both of these images now form within the bin. I'm going to start with Enzo and the Easter bunny, double-click on that to bring it up here, in the forefront of our work area, go ahead and hide the Project bin again by clicking the arrow.
All right, so we're now just focusing on working with this particular image. This was a scanned image and that's why it's crooked. It's common for this to happen if you have ever scanned an image before on a flatbed scanner, and that's why we have this white area surrounding it as well. So what we want to do here is straighten the image. I'm going to do that by going under the Image menu. I'm going to choose Rotate and then I'm going to choose this Straighten Image command. Watch what happens. Click on that, it does its calculation and wam-o! Fixes the image for us. That's really, really nice it does it. That's a really great job. This is perfectly straight now, we didn't have to calculate anything. It just recognized that the image was crooked and fixed it for us, and that's great.
Now I want to show you another command that's similar. I'm going to first click the Undo button here in the upper left, then I'm going to go under the Image menu again and choose Rotate. This time, I'm going to choose Straighten and Crop Image. What happens is it's going to straighten the image and remove all of that excess white area surrounding it. Let's go ahead and choose that, and look at that. It removed all the white area, but it did leave a little thin sliver around the edge. So it didn't quite get everything, but it got the most of it. For the most part, this looks much, much better. I would like to show you how to remove that thin sliver white if you would like to do that. You can do that using the Crop tool and that's over here.
I'm going to go ahead and click on the Crop tool. Now, when you go to crop this, first time you do this you may be zoomed out like I am, and just try and click in the area where you need to and notice that it's automatically snapping to the edge of the photo. That's kind of a problem. So if that happens to you, what you'll want to do is, zoom in to this area in order to move that because if you're zoomed out like I'm now, it's going to always snap. And it's never going to get exactly where you need it to be. So let's go ahead and zoom in and one quick and easy way to do that is to hold down the Command key and the Spacebar. You hold those both together, and that temporarily gives you access to the Zoom tool. You can see it now, the cursor has changed. I'm going to click and drag to Marquee over the corner of the photograph.
Now, I can click the upper corner of that Crop tool Marquee and reposition it. All right, I'm going to zoom out again, this time by pressing Command+0 that fits the image on the screen. I'm going to drag the side node out to the far right. Notice it's snapping which we don't want to do. Again Command+Spacebar to access that Zoom tool, marquee over the corner, and let's move this over, repositioning the Crop marquee. Zoom out again, Command+0 and then drag the center node down to the bottom.
Let's go ahead and check our corners. Again, Command+Spacebar, marquee over the corner, that looks good to me, zoom out Command+0, Command+Spacebar, zoom with the corner, that actually looks good, little copyright thing might get cropped off a little bit, but that's okay, it doesn't bother me. In fact, I might just want to get rid of that entirely. I don't necessarily want to see that if I were to print the image or display it somewhere. I'm going to go ahead and click the green check mark to apply the crop and now we have a perfectly fixed photo. So that's how you can use the Crop tool to remove that little excess sliver in case such happen, anytime you use the Straighten and Crop command on a scanned photo.
All right, so let's take a look at our other image now. I'm going to reveal the Project bin and here is the Group Scan. I will go ahead and double-click that to bring it to the front, and then hide the Project bin again. There is another command under the Image menu that you can use to straighten and divide a multi scan image like we have here. This is a group scan. Well that means, as I took these images from off the refrigerator, put them on the flatbed scanner just randomly, didn't worry about how straight they were, closed it and scanned it in, and this is real common for people to do this real quickly. And then I need to straighten them and divide them later. But rather than do all that work, we can actually let Elements do the work for us by going over the Image menu and choosing this command, Divide Scanned Photos.
We choose that, and it goes through, locates each image and cuts them apart and straightens them. If you take a look now in our Project bin, we have new images. We still have our Group Scan over here, that's been left alone. But it puts them into separate documents, which is really nice. Remember, you can rotate these images from within the Project bin. So let's go ahead and rotate this to the right, and we can rotate this image to the right, and this image to the left. I'm doing that by right clicking and accessing those commands from the contextual menu.
Let's go ahead, hide the Project bin. It did a really nice job on this one. It does have a little thin sliver off on the left here, that again, you can fix with the Crop tool and you already know how to do that. So I'm not going to show you again, but that's how you can fix that, just you always want to inspect your images afterwards to see how the crop looks. Double-click that one again, just minor, minor thin sliver that you can fix with the Crop tool, and we will take a look at this one as well. And again, it's just very, very thin area of white around the image that you can fix using the Crop tool. Otherwise though, I think the Divide Scanned Photos command did a really good job, great time saver and a great way to bring your images in using a scanner, straighten them and then crop them.
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