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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.
You might think of a photo that's open in the Full Edit workspace as sitting on a virtual canvas. You can change the size of the canvas without changing the size of the photo itself. Why would you want to do that? Well, you might want to add a little extra space at the bottom of the photo for a caption or maybe you want extra space around the entire photo for a frame or maybe you just want a lot of blank space around the photo so that you can add other photos to make a collage. Let me show you how to increase the canvas size of a photo without changing the image size.
First, I am going to look at the document window down here to find out how big the image is now. If your document window isn't revealing the dimensions of the image, then click this arrow and choose Document Dimensions. So this tells me that the file is currently 1.5 inches wide by 1 inch tall. Now I am going to add to the canvas around this 1.5x1 inch image by going up to the Image menu, choosing Resize and choosing Canvas Size. The first thing I am going to do is go down to this Relative field here and put a check next to Relative, so that whatever amount of width and height that I add to this image will be in addition to or relative to the original size.
So then I am going to go to the Width field, I am going to highlight 0 there and over that, I am going to type 0.25 or a quarter inch because I want to add a quarter inch on the left and right sides of this image. And then I will type in 0.25 in the Height field so that I will be adding another 0.25 to the top and 0.25 to the bottom. In other words, I am going to add a quarter inch of canvas on each of the four sides of the photo. Next, I will check the Anchor area and I want to make sure that I have this center portion selected, so that the additional canvas is added all the way around.
If I had clicked this arrow, for example, then the additional canvas would be added only on the left and right sides and the bottom and not on the top. To go back to the center anchor point view, I'll click the bottom arrow here. Next, I'll go down to the Canvas extension color field. If in my layers panel, I have a special kind of layer called a Background layer rather than just a regular layer, I can choose the color that will be added around this image. Otherwise, the additional canvas will come in as transparent. But because I do have a Background layer there, I can choose from this menu whether I want the canvas to be whatever color happens to be in the Foreground color box in the toolbar, which happens to be Black, or in the Background color box, which happens to be Red, or whether I want the canvas to be White, Black, Gray or if I click Other, that opens the color picker where I can choose any color.
I am going to cancel the color picker and I am going to choose as my Canvas extension color, Black, and then I am going to click OK and that's all I have to do to add a quarter inch of black canvas around the original photo. The photo is still 1.5 inches wide by 1 inch tall, but the total document size has been increased by a quarter inch all the way around. So that's how you can increase canvas size without changing the size of an image. This comes in handy for making frames like this, for adding captions, for scrap booking and for making collages.
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