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Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image editing application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements 8, along with its companion program, Bridge CS4, to organize and edit photos, build projects like web galleries and photo collages, and share photos with family and friends. Jan dives deep into the application's editing tools, which rival those of the full product, Photoshop, in their ability to take snapshots and turn them into great photos. Exercise files accompany the course.
The panels on the right side of the screen contain many of the commands and features that you'll use when you're editing and building images in Elements' Full Edit Workspace. There are a lot more panels than you see right here. To see the full list of panels, I'll go up to the Window menu at the top of the screen and there they are listed alphabetically. If I want to open another panel, say the Histogram panel, which I often use when I am editing a photo, I'll just select it from this menu. And that panel opens here in the column of panels on the right.
I am going to open one more panel by going up to the Window menu. I'll choose the Adjustments panel because I want to show you what happens if you get too many panels open, so that they don't all fit. Then some of the panels will collapse. If I want to see one of these panels in its full view, I'll double-click its tab like the Layers panel here, and that will expand the Layers panel and collapse other panels. By default, the panels are all in this column on the right, but in Elements 8, I can remove any panel from this column so that the panel is free-floating.
I'll often do that with my Layers panel because I use it so much and I like it to be close to my document window. I am going to click on the Tab for the Layers panel and I am just going to drag out and I can place it anywhere on my screen and then I can click on its Title bar and move it wherever I want it. I can bring other panels out to join with this free-floating panel. So, for example, I'm going to double- click the Histogram tab in the column on the right to expand that panel and then I'm going to click-and-drag on the tab of the Histogram panel and move it up underneath the Layers panel and when I see that blue line, I'll release my mouse. The blue line means that I'm going to be docking the Histogram panel with the Layers panel.
So that now if I click on the Title bar, up here at the top of both panels, they move around together. If I want to undock the Histogram panel from the Layers panel, I'll just click on its tab and drag it away. And now it's free-floating as well. If I want to put a panel back into the column on the right, I'll click on its tab and I'll drag over to the column on the right, in between two other panels and when I see a blue line like this, I'll release my mouse. I can also join panels together into a single panel group to save space.
Let's say I want to put the Layers panel into a group with the Histogram panel. I'll click on the Layers panel tab and drag over on top of the Histogram panel. Now this time I'm looking for a blue border around the entire Histogram panel, not just a line between panels. When I see that blue border, I'll release my mouse and I've now grouped the Layers panel into a group with the Histogram panel. To bring either of the two panels to the foreground, I'll just click on its tab like this or like this. Notice that every panel group has a very small icon.
It's a little hard to see, but it looks like a stack of lines with an arrow to the left. I am going to click on that icon on the right side of the layers in Histogram panel group and because I have the Layers panel open, what I see is a contextual menu of commands that relate just to the Layers panel. So, if you're ever looking for a command that relates to a particular panel, be sure to click the panel icon and look at this menu. Among the commands in this menu is a Close command. If I select that command, the Layers panel closes and notice that there's also a Close Tab Group command and that would have closed the entire group of panels, the Layers panel and the Histogram panel.
Once I've closed a panel, I can always bring it back by going up to the Window menu and choosing that panel by name, in this case, the Layers panel. When I have customized my arrangement of panels, I can always get them back to the original default arrangement by going up to the Reset panels button at the top of the screen and clicking there. Finally, take a look at the Project Bin down at the bottom of the screen, which is like a panel. The Project Bin displays a thumbnail for every image that's open in the Full Edit Workspace. Sometimes I have a really big image up here and I'll need more room to edit it, so I can collapse the Project Bin by double-clicking its Tab like this and I can bring it back by double-clicking that Tab again.
So that's a look at the new panel behavior in Elements 8 for Mac, which is now similar to the behavior panels in Photoshop Proper and other Adobe Creative Suite Applications.
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