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There are lots of different ways to get your files off your camera and into your computer. If you're an Elements user, the most direct way is to use the Photo Downloader that comes with Elements. This would both copy your photos to your computer and include them in the current Organizer catalog. Start of course by plugging your camera or memory card reader into your computer. If you're on Windows, this AutoPlay window may pop up. If you're on a Mac, another application like iPhoto might offer to offload your photos. I suggest that you close any windows or applications like those and open your Elements Organizer instead.
In the Organizer I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Get Photos and Videos and I'll slide over to From Camera or Card Reader. That opens Elements' Photo Downloader to its standard view. If you want to bring in all the photos from your camera's memory card, this is the simplest view of the downloader you use, but I usually click on the unfortunately named Advanced Dialog button down here, which takes me to a similar view that really isn't any harder to use. This view gives me the same options as Standard view, plus a few useful extras.
I'll start here by going to the Source field, clicking this menu, and selecting the device from which I want to get photos. If you don't see your camera or card reader listed here, then choose Refresh List. In a moment each of the photos on my memory card is displayed here. I can choose to import them all or I can pick and choose, so I don't have to import the extremely bad shots, and that's something that I can't do back in the Standard view.
To do that, I will go down to the bottom of this window and I'll click UnCheck All, and then I'll just put a check mark under the photos that I do want to bring in. Now if you have lots of photos, this can take some time, so you may want to just bring in everything and then delete photos later from the Organizer. But for purposes of this lesson, I'm just going to bring in these six photos. Then I'll go over to the column on the right, where there are the same fields to fill in as in the Standard view of the Photo Downloader plus a few more options that I usually skip over here.
First, I'll choose a folder on my computer in which to store my photos. I will click the Browse button and I will make sure that I've browsed to my My Pictures folder, and I'm going to put these pictures in my 2012 folder, so I'll click on that and click Select Folder. If you like your photos further organized into subfolders by date, the downloader will do that for you. By default it makes subfolders for photos by the date they were shot. There are some other options in this Create Subfolders menu, but I'm just going to go with this default for now.
I usually leave the Rename field set to Do not rename files. Keeping the original file name helps me avoid importing the same photo more than once by mistake. Down here there are some other options. They are called Advanced options, but they're really not; they're just extras. I'm going to skip over all of those and come to this important field, where I'll tell Elements what to do with my photos after downloading copies to my computer. I leave this set to After Copying, Do Not Delete Originals, and I really recommend that. It's safer to wait until you're sure the download has gone well and later reformat the memory card in your camera.
If I want to, I can apply some metadata, like a copyright line, to the photos as I import them, but I'm just going to leave all of that till later. I'll go down to the Get Media button and I'll click and the downloader goes about copying the photos from the memory card to my computer. And then it tells me that the files have been successfully copied and that Elements' Organizer will now import these files into my catalog. So it's telling me that there is a second part to this process, that it's not going to move or copy the photos again, but the Organizer is going to create a record of each photo in my current Organizer catalog. I'll click Yes to that.
When the Organizer is finished doing that it reminds me that the only files that I can see in the Media Browser now are the ones that I just imported, as opposed to the whole catalog. That's okay, so I'll click OK here. And now in the Organizer's Media Browser we see a small display copy of each photo that I chose to copy off the memory card and into my computer, and we're all done with the Photo Downloader. I really like using Elements Photos Downloader to get photos off my camera, because it not only copies the photos off the memory card, it also includes the photos in my Organizer catalog, so I'm all set to start managing and editing photos in Elements.
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