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As you start working on making your photos look their best, it can be helpful to get a better sense of the overall layout of the Elements Editor. Obviously, the image tends to dominate in the Elements Editor. You can see that the image consumes most of the available space, which is great considering that we're focusing our attention on making our photo look its best. Across the top we have a menu bar and here we can choose a variety of different commands. In particular you'll probably find yourself working from the Enhanced menu fairly frequently to apply lighting and color adjustments to the image, for example.
Over on the left side we have a toolbox where we can choose from a variety of tools that serve various different purposes. You'll find that some of these tools you'll use a lot and some of them you might not use at all. When you select the tool, the Options bar up at the top will change based on the tool. The Options bar provides content specific settings, in other words settings that relate to specific tool you're currently working with. For example, I have the Crop tool selected right now and so the Options bar contains options for the size of the cropping or the aspect ratio, for example.
Over on the far right, we'll find the panels. The Edit panel, of course, contains most of the controls that you'll want to access when optimizing the image. In particular, you can switch between the Full Edit Mode, the Quick Edit Mode, and the Guided Edit Mode. Each of these serves different purposes, and so you'll use them under different situations. We also have a Create tab that allow us to produce some creative output, as well as a Share tab, where we can share our images with others very easily.
But for optimizing your images, you'll generally be working in the Edit panel. And speaking of panels, there are a variety of different panels available to us. I frequently make use of the Layers panel, because I like to work with multiple layers as I'm building up particular adjustments, but you can find additional panels from the Window menu. For example, the Undo History panel can be helpful if you're experimenting with the adjustments you're applying to an image. With Undo History, you can quickly step backward to a previous step for an image.
And if you want to hide any of those panels, you can simply choose Window, and then the panel that you'd like to hide. So there I've removed the Undo History panel, for example. And speaking of Undo History, up at the top of the Elements Editor, you'll find Undo and Redo buttons. These allow you to undo the previous step or redo that previous step, once it's been undone. And of course, we also have the Organizer button, so that we can get quick access to the Elements Organizer, if, for example, we need to find a different image.
So, hopefully that gives you a good sense of the overall structure of the Elements interface. You'll be making use of a wide variety of these interface elements and they'll become more familiar, of course, the more you work on optimizing your photos.
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