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Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.
Printing your photos in a photo book is an elegant way to share memories with family and friends. You could make a photo book to commemorate an anniversary or other special occasion. You could create a book of vacation photos or if you were a scrap booker, you can bring your virtual scrap booking projects to life in a photo book. From Elements, you can create a book that can be commercially printed and bound or that you can print yourself. Let's see how. I'm working here in the 13_01_photo book subfolder of the chapter13 exercise files. I want to include all of the pictures in my photo book that you see here in this folder.
Before I get started making the photo book, I've gone in and edited all the photos making sure that I like the color and the tone and the lighting and I've cropped them the way that I want them. Now, I'm going to select them all by clicking the first, holding the Shift key and clicking the last. I'm going to make an album from these photos. This isn't a requirement for making a photo book but I find that it works a lot better, because when you make an album, you have the option to reorder the photos. You can't do that here in the Organizer, so you can get your photos in just the right order initially so that you don't have to struggle to do that in the small editing space later when you're creating the photo book so that you don't have to struggle to do that in the small area devoted to these photos, called the Project Bin, later when you're creating the photo book.
So, with all 16 photos selected I'm going to click the plus sign here in the Albums palette in the Task pane and I'll make a new album as I've shown you how to do in another movie on albums. I give this album a name. I'm going to call it union book because these are photos of Union Station. I'm going to uncheck Backup/ Synchronize. This feature is related to Photoshop.com, which I'm going to cover in another movie and then I'm going to click Done and that will create an album with all 16 photos. The photos are still selected here in the Organizer; if they're not, I would have to reselect them before going to the Create tab at the top of the Task pane and clicking to see a list of the different kinds of creations that I can make. The first of those is a Photo Book.
You can see that there are some really interesting options here. If you have some time, don't forget to explore more options here to see what other kinds of creations you can make in Elements. I'm going to click off of that and I'm going to select Photo book. That opens the Projects workspace. On the right, you see instructions about how to make a photo book. This instruction tells us that the first step is to select a photo for the title page. The title page photo is the very first one, here in the Project Bin. If I want to change that photo, all I have to do is find another one and click and drag and put that other one first. You can see that the title page photo automatically updates over on the right.
I can also reorder any of the photos here by clicking and dragging them. But there isn't a lot of space here and if you have a lot of photos, it's going to be hard to move them. If I scroll down on the right, you can see that the rest of my photos are down here. It's very hard to move them from one row to the other in this small project bin. I could make the Project Bin bigger but then it would cut into my editing space above. When I finish setting the title page photo, I click the Next button. On this screen, I'm going to choose a layout for my book. The layout governs the number of photos and the position of photos on each page in the book. I could let Elements do that for me randomly, but I prefer to select Choose Photo Layout so that I can do that myself.
In the first area, I'm going to select a layout for all left-hand pages of the book. I'll choose this 2 Portrait layout and in the next area, I'll choose the layout for the right-hand pages. I'll choose this 2 Tilted layout and then I'll click Next. Now, I need to choose a theme for my photo book. A theme is a combination of background and frames that's used throughout the book to coordinate all the pages. I'm going to scroll down and I like to use simple themes, but you may prefer some of these more complex ones.
I'm going to use this one, which is the Simple Vintage theme. I'll just select it and I get a preview and I can close that preview. I want to make sure that Auto-fill with Project Bin Photos is check marked so that Elements will take all of the photos in the Project Bin and put them into the book. I don't have any captions already created for these photos. If I did, I could include those captions on the individual pages and that would be a way to get text into the book and I would make those captions for each photo out in Elements' Full Edit workspace. Here, I can set the number of pages in the book between a minimum of 20 pages and a maximum of 80. Now, I'm going to click Create.
Elements is generating a preview of the entire book; resizing the photos, creating the pages, and placing all the Elements on the pages, and then it shows me that preview with the title page first. This is just a draft of the book. I can cycle through the pages of the book seeing what's on each page, from these arrows on the Control bar. I can edit this draft book at this point, doing things like resizing photos, moving them around or even replacing them. For example, if I want to resize this photo, I just move my mouse over a corner anchor point, click and drag. I can rotate the photo also by moving my mouse over any one of the corners and when it changes to a curved double- pointed arrow, I can drag to rotate and then I'll click the green checkbox to commit those changes.
If I click inside of this frame, I can drag the photo anywhere else on the page. I can replace this photo with another one if I wish by coming down to the Project Bin, clicking this menu and saying Show files from Organizer. Then in the Project Bin, I'll see all the photos I had originally selected for this book back in the Organizer and I can grab any one of those and drag it up into this frame and replace the photo that's there. Then from this slider, I can resize the photo inside of the frame. I'll click the green checkmark to commit that change.
I also can add content from the Content palette to any one of the pages. Changing its background, the kind of frames it's using around the pictures, adding text, adding graphics or changing the entire theme of the page. I want to be careful about doing that on the inside pages because I want them all to have a consistent look, but it makes sense to do that on the very first page. To find the first page, I'm going back to the Project Bin, clicking the menu at the top of the bin and choosing Show Open Files and then I'll click on the first thumbnail there in the Project Bin, o see the title page of the book again.
To access new themes, I'm going to the Content panel on the right and I'm going to look at this menu which shows me everything that's available here in the Content panel; Backgrounds, Frames, Graphics, Shapes, Text and Themes. With Themes selected, I'm going to select this theme; the old paper theme, click it and click Apply. I'll click OK at this message and I've now changed both the background and the type of frame around the photo on just the first page of the book.
One thing you want to be careful of when you're building a book is that you select enough photos in the first place to fill all the pages that you're going to include in your book. If I go down to the Project Bin and I look at the pages toward the end of my book, I see that they are blank, because I didn't select enough photos in the first place. If I did have enough photos, I could add more pages to my book even at this point by clicking the plus sign here in the Control bar. Let's go back to one of the pages that does have photos and when I'm done editing the draft of the book, I'm going to come to either the Order button or the Print button to get a printed copy of the book.
The Order button takes me to a form that I can fill out and pay a fee to order a commercially printed and bound copy of my photo book. These are really nice! So, I urge you to try to order at least one photo book. If you'd rather try to print the book yourself, you can click the Print button, but you're going to have a couple of issues to deal with if you try to print it yourself. For one thing you're going to have to get the right paper and that would be special photo paper on both sides. You would also want to have paper that's large enough for the entire book, which is ten-and-a-quarter inches wide and nine inches high. Otherwise, you would have to scale the content to fit in your Printer dialog box, and you'd end up with a much smaller book.
I'm going to save this book now by going to the File menu at the top of the screen and choosing Save. By default, that will save the book into the Pictures folder on My Computer and notice in the Format field that the book is a special format, Photo Project Format (*.PSE). You want to save in this format so that you can open the book later in the Editor's Full Edit workspace to edit its individual pages. I'll give the book a title, I'll call this union station and I'm going to include it in the Organizer and I'll click Save. I'm going to close the book and go back to the Organizer and I'm going to look in my Pictures folder, you'll be able to come into the Organizer at any time, find that PSE file of your book and reopen it into the Full Edit workspace, for further editing using the artwork in the Content palette.
Photo books are really special ways to share your photos. They make great holiday gifts and they are wonderful way to share memories with family and friends. I urge you to try this exciting feature in Photoshop Elements.
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