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The Full Photo Edit workspace in the Editor is the most powerful workspace in which to edit your photos in Elements. When you're working on photos that you really care about, and you want the most control, the most flexibility, and the most features, Full Photo Edit is the place to be. To use this workspace to its full potential, it's a good idea to have a firm grounding in the basics, which are the subject of this chapter. Then I'll devote a number of chapters to the details of working in the Full Photo Edit workspace. Let's start here with an overview of the Full Photo Edit interface.
You can open photos into Full Photo Edit either from here in the Editor or from the Organizer. From the Editor, I would go to the File menu, choose Open, navigate to the photos, and then make sure that the Full tab is selected in the Task Pane on the right. To open photos into Full Photo Edit from the Organizer, I'll go back to the Organizer by clicking this icon at the top of the Editor. And here in the Organizer, I'll select some photos, and go to the Fix tab in the Task Pane on the right, click the arrow to the right of the Fix tab, and choose Full Photo Edit.
That will launch the Editor if it's not already launched, and open the selected photos here in the Full Photo Edit workspace. The document window is the largest area of this workspace. It will show you a live preview of every change you make to a photo as you make it. At the top of the document window, each open document has a tab. The tab displays the file name, the zoom percentage at which you're currently viewing the photo, and some technical information; the color mode which in most cases will be RGB and the bit depth.
You'll find more information about the photo down in this small field at the bottom of the document window. If I click that field, I can see the width, height, and resolution of the photo. To see more information about the photo, I'll click the arrow to the right of this field, and I can choose to see something else about the photo. Right now, it's showing me the Document Size which is the size that the photo is taking up on my hard-drive. If I choose Document Dimensions instead, I can see the size this photo would be in inches if I were to print it out.
Underneath the document window is the Project Bin. By default, the Project Bin displays a small thumbnail of each of the photos that's currently open in the Full Photo Edit workspace. I can switch to another open photo by double-clicking its thumbnail here in the Project Bin like this, and that switches at the photo for editing in the document window. Another way to switch between open photos is to go up to the tabs at the top of the document window and just click on another tab like this. As you get more experienced working in this work phase, start exploring what's behind all the little icons in the interface.
To give you just a taste, down here in the Project Bin, there's a menu that by default is set to Show Open Files. If I click that menu, I have some other choices. For example, I can choose to show in the Project Bin, instead of the files that are currently open, all the photos that I included in an album that I made earlier in the Organizer. In an earlier movie, I made an album called Mountain Book, and if I select that here, I can see all the photos in that book in my Organizer, and I could choose one to work on from here.
I'll go back, and set that to Show Open Files. There is another small icon on the right side of the Project Bin. If I click that, I get a menu of things that I can do with all the photos that are open in my Project Bin. For example, I could print them all, or I could save them as an album, so that I could quickly get to the same photos back in the Organizer. Continuing on with our look at the interface, over on the left is the toolbar which contains lots of different tools that you'll use as you work on photos. I'll be covering the toolbar in more detail in a later movie in this chapter.
When I select the tool in the toolbar, for example, this tool which happens to be the Move tool, the bar above the document window changes. This bar is the Tool Options bar, and it contains all the options that are specific to whatever tool is selected in the toolbar at the moment. At the top of the screen, there are a couple of more bars. There's a regular menu bar like you see in most programs with dropdown menus, and here's a bar that has some icons for features you'll use a lot like the Undo button, the Redo button, and a Shortcut button to get back to the Organizer.
Then over on the right side of the interface are the panels that also contain features that you'll use often as you work on your photos. For example, there is a Layers panel which I'll spend a whole chapter discussing later in the course. There are more panels in the Full Photo Edit workspace than you see by default. And in a later movie in this chapter, I'll show you how to find and open additional panels. When you're done working on a photo in the Full Photo Edit workspace, you'll want to save and close it. To close a photo, you can click the icon on its tab, or you can go up to the File menu and choose Close, or to close all the open photos, Close All.
I'll cover closing and saving documents in more detail in another movie later in this chapter. So that's a bird's eye view of the Full Photo Edit workspace. In the rest of this chapter, I'll cover the basics of working in Full Photo Edit, from efficiently using tools and panels, to undoing mistakes, to saving your work and more.
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