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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
When the holidays roll around it's so nice to be able to design your own cards. Elements' Creative Greeting Card feature can help you with that. If you don't use the Organizer to manage your photos, you can access the Greeting Card feature from the Create column on the right side of the Full Edit workspace. I'm going to use the feature from here in the Organizer where I can preview and select the photos that I want to include in this card. I am going to use these two photos that I took in Colorado last winter. I'll select one by clicking on it and then I'll hold the Ctrl Key on the PC or the Command Key on the Mac and click on the other photo.
And then I'll move to the Create column here in the Organizer and I'm going to click on Greeting Card, that switches me over to the Editor and opens the Greeting Card Creation window. The first thing to notice here is that there is a note that all cards can be printed on my Desktop Printer. This means that I have a choice, I can either print my cards myself on my Desktop Printer or I can order cards from either Kodak or from Shutterfly. And in either case whether I print myself or order the cards, I will be using the same themes or templates.
The two cards in the Kodak category are both flat cards. Shutterfly has a couple of flat cards too, but it also has some folded cards. To preview what those look like, I'll click on one of them and I get a preview over there on the right. So you can see that there are photos on both the inside of these cards and the outside. I'm going to select one of the flat cards. This first card, the 5?7 flat portrait card and I see a preview of it over here with the Cherish theme. Themes are combinations of backgrounds and frames.
Because the holidays are coming, I am going to use the Christmas theme and there's a preview. Down here Autofill with Selected Images is selected by default. Autofill makes sense when you're doing something like a book that has lots of images, it's a good place to start, but I'm going to do the work myself this time dragging each of my two photos into the photo placeholder where I want it to be. So I don't need Elements to auto- fill those placeholders for me. Now I'll click OK, and Elements goes about generating a preview of the card. I didn't ask it to add my photos so it hasn't instead I have the two locations for the photos clearly marked with instructions about how to include my photos there.
I will open the Project Bin by clicking its tab and I'll make sure that this menu is set to show files selected in the Organizer and that will show both of the photos that I've selected. I'll start with this vertical photo clicking on this thumbnail here in the Project Bin and dragging it up and into the vertical location for a photo. With the photo in that spot, I can double-click it and that brings up the slider which I can use to scale the photo up or down and then I can click the check mark. Now I will do the same in this space here.
I am going to get my landscape photo in the Project Bin and drag it into the space and release. I can't see the whole photo because the Project Bin is taking up too much of my screen. Since I don't need to access those thumbnails in the Project Bin, I'll collapse the Project Bin by double-clicking its tab. I'll double-click this photo and I'll use the slider to zoom out so that I can see more of the original photo. I know that I took the moon over on the right, it was just day break and the moon was still out, so I really want to include that in the photo along with the pale pink glow of the sun on the mountains and I'll click the check mark and there is the basis for my greeting card.
If you listen to the last two movies, you might be realizing that making a greeting card is almost the same as making a photo collage. So if you want to know more about all the other options that are available, I suggest that you go back and listen to the two preceding movies, which is to give you a quick summary. Here in the Create area, I have a tab called Layouts, and if I click there, I can switch from this layout to a different layout with the same theme. So for example, I could double-click this layout and my greeting card changes, although that doesn't look exactly right with my photos.
So I'm going to click undo to go back to the original layout. And then there is an Artwork tab. Here I have Backgrounds, Frames, and Graphics that I can add to this card. My problem is that I always love all of this, now I have to hold myself back from adding too much. The Backgrounds are particularly nice, I will double-click one to show you how it looks on the card and I can try out as many as I want. I'll try this one, that's my favorite with this card, so I'm going to leave it. And then I'll scroll down to show you that there are some really elaborate frames that I can add around the photos on the card, some include jewelry and gold frames, there are some masks that hide part of the photo and allow it to show through with a rough edge.
There are Vintage frames and Polaroid frames and more. I am actually not going to use a frame with this card. I like the full photo effect here. So I will move on to take a look at the Graphics. These are all vector graphics, so if I include one on the card, I can make it as big or as small as I want without worrying about its quality. I will double-click this little graphic of the snowman and there he is on the card, I can click on him and drag him wherever I want. Finally I want to customize the text on the card.
So I'll go up to the default text and I'm going to double-click that top line of text and that's switched over to the text settings here in the Create column. I will move my mouse right over that last bit of text until the cursor changes to white and then I will click and drag. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to click in the right location but keep trying and you will get it. With that first line of text highlighted, I'll come over to the text settings in the column on the right and I am going to change the font. I am going to use Adobe Caslon Pro; you can use any font that you like.
I'll click the Italic Style and I'm also going to increase the Size to about 18 points. I am also going to change the color of the text by going to the Color field and I'm going to choose a Deep Blue there. Then with the text still highlighted, I am going to type some custom text, I will type Happy Holidays and that replaces the default line of text, then I will go up to the options bar and I'll click the green check mark there. There is more text here, in which I will do the same thing. I click and I'll put my cursor right next to that text and I'll select it.
I am going to leave the Font and Style the same, but I will increase the Size to about 14 points and I'm also going to change the Color to that same Deep Blue. And with the Type still selected, I will type some custom text, and I'll type From our family and then I'll press Enter or Return and I'll type to yours. Actually I think I'd like that text to be Italics so I am going to select that again and come over and click the i. You can always edit the text even after you've gone up and click the green check mark to commit the text as I am going to do now.
I'll get the Move tool and I'll move that second bit of text down a bit, so it's easier to read. So there is my custom design card. Now if I want to, I can switch to Advanced mode and that will give me lots more options of artwork like backgrounds and frames and graphics. I will also have access to a lot of the editing features in the Full Edit workspace, filters, effects, and tools, but I'm happy with this card as it is, so I'm not going to go to Advanced mode. If you'd like to know more about Advanced mode then listen to the preceding movie in which I explained how to use Advanced mode with a photo collage which is virtually the same as using it here on a greeting card.
When I am finished, I have a few options. If I click down, I will be asked to save the card and I like to save in the .PSE or Photoshop Elements format so that I can reopen that format here to tweak my creation, or I could click Print and that would open the Print dialog box so that I could print the card on my Inkjet Printer, or I can click Order. If I click Order I get a message that it may take a little while to prepare the file and upload the images for ordering. What I am doing is trying to order directly from an online service, in this case from Kodak.
I'll click OK and in a few minutes I'll see this Order Form. Submitting the order is really a straightforward process so I am not going to walk you through it, you just follow through with the screens and there is a charge for ordering these cards, but I think you'll agree with me that it's worth it when those cards arrive on the front door, it's really exciting. But do remember that you can print your card yourself which is also a great way to go.
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