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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.
When you take a photograph or when you are scanning a printed photograph, sometimes you will end up with a crooked image like this one. Fortunately, there are tools in the Full Edit workspace to fix your crooked images. One way to straighten is with the Straighten tool which is located right here in the toolbar. I am going to select the Straighten tool and then I am going to go up to the Options bar for this tool and I am going to go to this Canvas Options field, click there and I am going to choose Crop to Remove Background, so that Elements will crop away any pixels around the edges of the image after it straighten the image in the document window.
If there were multiple layers in the file, I would be sure to check Rotate All layers. I will just leave that checked which is the default even though there is only one layer in this file. Then I am going to move into the image and I am going to click somewhere on a line that I think should be straight in the image, in this case, the horizon. So I will click and hold and then I will drag out this line, move it to another place on the horizon and release. Immediately, Elements straightens the image in the document window and it trims away all the extra area around the outside of the image that was caused by turning the image in the document window.
Now I have to admit, this doesn't always work as perfectly as in this example and if it doesn't work for you, I want to show you another way that you can try to straighten an image. So I am going to undo by holding the Command key and tapping the Z key. Once again, I have my crooked image. This time, with the same Straighten tool, I am going to go back up to the Canvas Options and I am going to change that to Grow or Shrink Canvas to Fit, which is the default. Again, I'll come into the image. I'll click on the horizon line, hold, drag and release my mouse.
This rotates the image so that the horizon is straight, but it leaves me with all this untrimmed background. The color of the background is whatever color happens to be in the background color box in the toolbar at the moment. I can get rid of this white trim manually by using the Crop tool. So I will select the Crop tool. I will make sure the Aspect Ratio is set to No Restriction and that there is nothing in any of these fields. And then I am going to come into the image and I am going to drag a crop boundary. Now I want to be sure not to include any of the white area in the crop boundary.
So after I have dragged out this boundary, I can adjust it by moving my mouse over any one of the borders, clicking, holding, and dragging. When I am satisfied, I'll go to this green checkmark and click to commit the crop and that has taken away all that white trim and I have a nice straight image. So those are two ways that you can straighten and trim your images. Now before I finish this movie, I want to mention one other thing about the Crop tool. Cropping can be used not only to help trim away the edge of a straighten image, but also to fix a composition.
So even when you have a straight image, you can still take your Crop tool and use it to crop out unwanted things, like this little boat over here at the edge. If I didn't want the boat in the image for composition reasons, I could click-and-drag a crop boundary, move it right up against that boat and then click the green checkmark. So do try using the Straighten and the Crop tools to fix imperfections in your own photos.
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