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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also 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're photographing or when you're scanning a printed photograph, you'll sometimes end up with a crooked image like this one. Fortunately, Elements has tools in the Editor that will fix your crooked images. My favorite way to try to straighten a crooked photo is to use the Straighten tool, which is located here in the toolbar. I'm going to select the Straighten Photo tool and then I'm going to go up to the Canvas Options in the Options bar for that tool and change it from its default to Crop to Remove Background. That will cause Elements to automatically crop away any pixels that are created around the edges of the image that are caused by straightening the image in the document window.
Then I'll move my cursor into the image and I'll look for an element in the photograph that's a straight line like this horizon. I'll click and hold anywhere on that horizon and drag out a line, and it doesn't really matter how long the line is but I want to release my mouse along the horizon line. And that automatically rotates the image in the document window so that the horizon line is now a straight horizontal line. And at the same time, because I set the Canvas Options to Crop to Remove Background, Elements cropped the image so that it fits horizontally in the document window.
Now I have to admit this doesn't work for all images, particularly images that don't have a clear photographic element that's a straight line. So I'd like to show you another way that you can straighten a crooked image and that's using the Crop tool. And this will also be an introduction to using the Crop tool in general. So I'm going to undo the straightening that I just did by going up to the Undo button at the top right of the screen and clicking. And now I have my original crooked image back again. This time I'm going to use the same Straightening tool but I'm going to go to Canvas Options and change it to Grow or Shrink Canvas to Fit, which is the default.
Then I'll come into the image, and as I did before I'll click on the horizon line, and I'll drag. And this time the image is straight in the document window, but I have all of this extra white canvas around the edges. The canvas is white, because the background color in the toolbox happens to be white. So the second step is to use the Crop tool to trim away all of the white pixels around the image. I'll select the Crop tool from here in the toolbar, and then I'm going to come into the image and just click-and-drag.
And that creates a marching ants boundary indicating where the edges of the cropped image will be, and everything that's going to be cropped away is in light gray around that bounding box. Well I don't want to keep the white pixels that are right here. So I'm going to adjust this bounding box by clicking in the center and dragging down. I also want to keep as much of the photo as I can. So I'm going to click in this left bounding box and drag to the left, but I want to be careful that I don't get any stray pixels down here at the bottom inside the bounding box.
I'll do the same over on the right side, dragging out and watching my corners, and when I'm satisfied that I have as much of the image as I can get without any of that white trim, then I'll go down to the green checkmark and click there to crop the image. Even if I start with a straight image, the Crop tool sometimes comes in handy in order to improve the composition. So for example, in this case I'd like not to have this little boat over here on the side. So I'm going to get the Crop tool, and I'm going to come into my image and I'm going to click-and-drag a bounding box, making sure that boat is outside of the bounding box.
And I can adjust the bounding box as I need to by clicking and dragging any of the anchor points. And when I'm done, I'll click the check mark and this time I've used the Crop tool to change the composition slightly. So those are some ways to use the Straighten tool and the Crop tool to fix imperfections in your own photos.
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