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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also 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.
One of the photo creations that you can make in Elements is a photo collage using a variety of themes, background, frames, graphics, and text effects that come with the program. You can customize all of these items to make your collage unique to you and your photos. I'm going to make a collage from these six photos of carousel horses. The first step is to select the six photos here in the Organizer. I'll click on the first one, hold the Shift key, and click on the last one to select all six. Then I'll go up to the Create tab here in the task pane, click and from the menu of photo creations I'm going to choose Photo Collage.
I'll click there and that launches the Editor with the Projects panel open on the right, along with some other panels down here that are currently collapsed, but that I'll be using in a moment. Here are instructions about how to begin. The first step is to choose a page size for your collage. I always make sure that I choose a size for which I have paper and that fits in my printer. I'm going to leave this set to the default of Letter. The next step is to choose a theme for the collage here. A theme is a combination of background and frame for each of the pictures in the collage.
I'm going to click on this theme, the Broadway theme. When I click on it, I see a preview of the theme up here. When I'm done looking at the Preview, I can click the X, but the theme is still selected here. Next, I'm going to choose a layout for the photos in the collage. I am going to scroll down a little so you can see that better and then I'll scroll down in the Layout section until I see layout that I like. I want one that has room for three photos. So I'll choose this one called 3 Tilted, and that gives me a preview of the collage. I'll close the preview by clicking X here, but I still have the layout selected here in the Choose a Layout area.
I am going to scroll down further to see additional options. I'm going to leave Auto Fill with Project Bin Photos checked, so that Elements automatically fills the spots for photos in the collage with the open images from down here in the Project Bin. These are the six photos that I selected to open from the Organizer. I don't have any captions on these photos, so I'll leave that unchecked and here I can set the number of pages I want in the collage. Since I've six photos, I'll have three and each page with two pages total. Now that I've finish setting this up, I'll click the Done button and that causes Elements to create a collage for me.
It makes the collage and it brings my photos at the correct size into the spots for photos in this template. So this is just one page of the collage. If I go to the bottom of the editing area and I click this arrow, I can see the second page, which is filled with different photos. I could stop here or I can edit the collage, customizing the background and the frames and the size and the position of the photos. To start editing the collage I'll go to the Content panel, which is open here. If your Content panel isn't open, double-click its tab.
I'm going to start in this menu on the right, changing out the background, because I really don't like the red background from the theme. So I'll select Backgrounds and here I have a menu of Graphic Backgrounds. I can scroll down to preview the various backgrounds offered here and when I see one I like, like this one here, I'll select it by clicking on it and then I'll click Apply. And in just a moment Elements will apply the new background instead of the red curtain. I'd also like to change the frames around photos.
So I'm going to select one of the photos by clicking on it in the collage and then I'll go to the menu on the right side of the Content panel and this time I'll choose Frames. Now I could scroll down until I see a frame that I like, click on it, and then click Apply. However, I've done something else. I've chosen a frame that I like in advance, and put it here in my Favorites panel. Once a piece of artwork is in the Favorites panel, I can apply it to other photo collages as well. So I think it's a good idea to pick out your favorites. How did I get these into the Favorites panel? I just clicked on a thumbnail in the Content panel and dragged it down and released my mouse like that.
So I still have this particular photo right here selected in the collage and I'm going to apply this orange frame to it by clicking on the thumbnail of the orange frame in the Favorites panel and then clicking the Apply button at the bottom of that panel. That changes out the frame. I'll do the same on these other two images quickly selecting the image, clicking on the Orange thumbnail, and clicking Apply and selecting this image, clicking on the Orange thumbnail, and clicking Apply. I can also add text to this page. To do that I'm going to click on the background of the collage so that the photo is no longer selected, and then I'm going to go to the Content panel, click on that right-hand menu and I'm going to choose Text.
That brings up these thumbnails of different text effects to choose from. I can scroll down and find the one I want. If I select one, I can then click Apply, but I'm not going to do that because I already chose the text style that I want and dragged that from the Content panel down here into the Favorites panel. So to apply text using this particular text effect I'm going to click on the Text effect in the Favorites panel and then I'm going to click the Apply button at the bottom of the Favorites panel. If you look closely, you'll see a very small box here, which contains the text.
It comes in right in the middle of the collage. The first time that you use text in this way, it will come in very small like this. I'm going to click on that text box and then I'm going to click off of it. Now it appears with the bounding box around it. I am going to move my cursor over one of the corner anchor points of that small bounding box and I'm going to drag to make the text bigger. Then I'm going to move it from behind the photos by clicking in the center of the bounding box and dragging down to this blank area. I think it needs to be a little smaller, so I'll move a mouse over one of the corner anchor points again, and drag toward the center.
I also could rotate this text by moving my mouse under this tiny circle here clicking and dragging, although I'm not going to do that in this case. When I'm done changing the position and size of this text box, I'm going to click this green checkmark to accept those changes. Now I also can change the content of the text, I obviously don't want it to say Your Text Here. So I'm going to double-click inside the text box to select all of the text, and type what I really wanted to say, which is Carousel. Then I'll click off of the text to accept that change.
Another thing that I can do to customize this collage is to reposition any of the photos. So I might take this photo and move it over little by just clicking and dragging. I can also make any of the photos bigger or smaller by moving my mouse over a corner anchor point and dragging, and then if I like the result, I'll click this green checkmark. I can also rotate a photo. So I'll click on this one, and then I'll move my mouse over this little circle, which is the rotate handle, and I'll drag to rotate the photo. And when I'm done, I'll click the green checkmark.
Finally, I can change the content of any one of these photos by clicking inside of the photo- I currently have this photo selected- and then going down to the Project Bin. I'm going to click the menu labeled Show Open Files and change that to Show Files From Elements Organizer, so that I can see all of the files that I opened from the Organizer into the Project Bin. From here I'll select a different image and drag it up and on top of that selected photo and then I'll release my mouse and that changes out the photo there.
I can zoom in or out on that photo using the control that appears here. So I could make that larger, have it just be a picture of the saddle if I wanted, and then I'll click the green checkmark. Remember that all of the changes that I just made are only made to the current page of the collage, which happens to be page 2. If I click the arrow down here at the bottom of the editing area, I'll go back to page 1, which still has the original theme, and I could make similar changes to this page. But for now, I'll just leave things as they are. I am going to save the collage by going up to the File menu at the top of the screen and I'm going to choose Save As.
That takes me into the Pictures folder on my computer. I'll give the file a name, I'll call this carousel, and I'll make sure that the format is set to this special project format .PSE. I need to save it in this format, so that I can reopen the project at any time for more editing, applying different backgrounds, frames, text, or themes. I want to make sure to include the collage in the Organizer. So I'll leave Include in the Elements Organizer checked. Then I'll click Save. So that's not the only way to make a collage.
I could make a collage from scratch dragging one image into another, using the Type tool to add text, applying filters, and effects, and layer styles, and using other skills that I've been teaching you in this course. But it certainly saves time to use the automatic features in the Photo Collage project, and there are so many opportunities to customize this project that it really feels like I've created a unique collage.
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