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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.
If you plan to make any of the creations that you can access from the Create tab in the Organizer or the Editor in particular, photo books, photo greeting cards, photo calendars, or photo collages, please listen to the next couple of movies. Because even though I'm going to be addressing photo collage in particular, the principles that you'll learn here will also apply to making those other creations. A photo collage is basically just like those other creations, except that it's simpler because it contains only one page. When I make a photo collage or one of these other creations, I like to start in the Organizer as long as I'm using the Organizer to manage my photos, because here I can select the photos that I may like to include in that project.
So in this folder, I am not going to select this photo of my daughter sleeping, she won't appreciate it but I will select all the other photos here clicking on one and Shift+Clicking on this one and that will select all in between. Then in the Create tab in the Organizer I'm going to click Photo Collage. That opens the Editor and this Photo Collage window. Here, I'm going to make some basic choices about my project. In the sizes column, I can see the annotation print locally and this means that this is a project that's intended for me to print on my Desktop printer rather than send off to a third party to print like some of the other projects in the Create tabs.
I'll choose a Size for my Collage and I want to be sure to choose a size that fits on the paper for my inkjet printer. So I am going to take 8.5?11 that's 8.5 wide by 11 inches tall. There is only one theme in Elements right now but as the program matures we may see some updates that contain more themes. With that theme selected I can see a preview of what the Collage is going to look like over here. It has a green background and lots of randomly scattered photos with white frames. Now I don't particularly like that many photos in a Collage, nor do I like green as the background.
But that's okay, because when you're in the process of creating one of these projects you have so many options to change at the background, the frames, the number of photos, the layout and so on as you'll see in just a moment. Down here, I'm going to leave Autofill with Selected Images checked. What that means is that Elements is going to look at the images that I selected in the Organizer and it's going to assign some of those to the photo frame placeholders that are in the Collage. It doesn't matter if it chooses images that I wouldn't have chosen; because as I said I can switch all of that out once I get started tweaking the Collage.
So I click OK and Elements will generate the Collage and fill the placeholders that apart of that layout with my photos. So there's a preview of the Collage with some of the photos I selected in the Organizer. So now I get started fine tuning the Collage to suit my taste. Right now, I'm working in the Standard version of the creation mode. There is also an Advanced mode, which I can access from the button down here. Let's get started in the Standard mode. Here in the Standard mode over on the left there is an abbreviated toolbar with a Move tool for moving the photos around on the Collage and a Zoom tool and a Hand tool.
These are the same as the tools in the Full Edit workspace. When I select one, I see options for that tool up here in the options bar just like in the Full Edit workspace. Over on the right is the Create tab and here I have four other tabs. The layout tab is where I'll go if I want to change out this initial layout for a different one. I am going to click there and from here I have a choice of many different layouts, those in this first category that are kind of random and layouts with one photo, layouts with three photos and layouts with two photos.
I'm going to change to the layout with three photos. To apply that I'll click on that layout and drag it on top of the Collage or I could just double-click the layout in the layouts column. Well already the Collage looks a lot better as far as I'm concerned, it was too cluttered before. So I'm happy with this. The next thing that I am going to do is to change out the background. I don't really care for that color background. So I'll go to the Artwork tab and there I see a category of different backgrounds. Now aren't a lot of backgrounds to choose from here in the Standard Create mode.
But I know that I can always take this into the Advanced mode to have a choice of more backgrounds. So I'm just going to pick one of these for now to show you how it works. I'll click on one of these backgrounds and drag it on top of the Collage or I could double-click it over here in the artwork column and that switches out the Background. The next thing that I want to do is to move some of the photos around. So I'll get the Move tool in the toolbar, I will leave it with it's default options Auto Select layer and Show Bounding Box and I move into the image and I click on any one of these photos and drag it and because Auto Select layer is turned on, no matter which photo I click on that's the photo that moves.
Because under the hood, each one of these photos is on a separate layer. I also can rotate a photo by clicking on it and then moving down to this circle icon at the very bottom of the frame and clicking and dragging. Then I click the green check box to commit that rotation. The next thing that I'd like to do is to switch out some of these photos for others. So I'm going to expand my Project Bin by clicking on its tab and then I am going to change this menu from Show Open Files to Show Files Selected in Organizer.
Or if I'd put some files into an album in the Organizer I could choose the album from here. Now I can see all of the files that I selected in the Organizer. I am going to zoom in a little bit so we can see this better by going to the zoom slider here and dragging. So let's say that I want to change out this photo of one of my sons. I will come down to the Project Bin and I'll find a photo that I like better, may be this one and I'll click its thumbnail in the Project Bin and drag it up and drop it on that photo frame. In just a moment it replaces the old picture with the new.
But the new one is too small for the frame. So I am going to click and drag on the slider that appears, all the way over to the right and then I'll click this check mark. The frame is still bigger than the photo. So I like to fit the photo to the frame and then resize the two together. To do that I'm going to right-click that's Ctrl+Click with a one-button mouse on the photo and that brings up a menu that has lots of useful commands when you're working in this interface. I am going to choose this command Fit Frame to Photo. But you should explore these other commands like Clear Frame which eliminates the frame from around the photo or Edit Quick which when you have the photo rather than the frame selected will take the photo into Quick Fix mode, let you make and edit there and then come back from Quick Fix mode with your changes here into the Photo Creation mode.
But for now I'm going to choose Fit Frame to Photo. Now if I want to make both the frame and the photo bigger, I can click on any one of the corner anchor points and drag and then I'll click the green check box. Now I realize I don't have any photos of my daughter in this Collage, I don't want to leave her out, how can I add another photo. I'm going to go over to the Artwork column and I'm going to scroll down to the Frames category of Artwork. There are lots of frames to choose from here and these are frames for the photos in the Collage not for the background of the collage.
So I'm going to scroll down until I see a thin white frame like these others, and when I see a frame like that I'm going to drag it into the collage. Now there is a blank frame and it tells me how I can add a photo to the frame. I could click in the frame and then navigate to the photo. But I think it's easier to go down to the Project Bin, find a photo that I want and drag it on top of the frame. Then the same thing you just saw, I am going to click and drag the slider to make the photo bigger inside the frame.
Click the check mark and then I'm going to right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose Fit Frame to Photo and then I'll move my mouse over one of the corners and drag to rotate that photo and click the check mark. With the Move tool still selected I can move the photo putting it exactly where I want it. I can also change the stacking order of these photos. To do that with the Move tool selected in the toolbar, I click on a photo and then I go up to the Arrange menu and I can choose to bring it forward or to bring it all the way to the front or backward or all the way to the back.
So, I'm going to bring this photo forward which puts it in front of the photo of my son with the glasses, but behind the photo of my two sons on horses. There's a lot more that I could do to this Photo Collage, I could add graphics, I could add text, and I could take it into the Advanced Creation mode for even more options. I am going to show you how to do all that in part two of this lesson, so please stay tuned for that movie.
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