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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.
If you want to create a photo collage or maybe a scrapbook page with multiple photos on it, you can do that by hand, using various techniques that I have shown you in this course. But you don't have to do it all from scratch. Instead, you can use the Photo Collage feature in the Create Workspace to help you along the way. I've started here by opening four images into the default Full Edit Workspace. With those four images open, I am going to switch to the Create Workspace, by clicking this purple tab at the top of the column on the right.
That opens the four images into document tabs here in the Create Workspace. I see a list here of projects that I can Create with Elements help. I am going to choose Photo Collage. That switches the Projects panel to show instructions about how to make a photo collage and to offer some artwork and some layouts to help me with that job. The first task is to select a paper size. I want to be sure to select a paper size for which I have photo paper, and that will fit in my printer. So I'm going to select Letter. The next step, although it's optional, is to choose a theme for the collage.
The theme is a combination of a decorative background and frames that will appear around each image in the collage. I'm going to choose this one, and I see a preview of it up here. I will click in a blank area of the Projects panel to close that preview. Next I am going to move down to the Layout Field here, and I am going to choose a layout for the photos in the collage. I'll click and drag the scrollbar until I see a layout that I like. I am going to choose this one, the Three Tiled Layout. There is a preview of it. I'll click in a blank area to close the preview.
Now I'm going to select the first three images in the Photo Bin, clicking on the first, holding the Shift key and clicking on the third. And I'm now ready to have Elements start creating a collage for me by clicking the Done button here in the panel on the right. Here's the collage that Elements made for me. It contains the first three photos in the Project Bin. There's actually a second page to this collage, because I did have a fourth image open. So if I go to that second page, I can see that it has just that one single photo.
I'm most interested in the first page. Here in the Content panel, I can access lots of different kinds of artwork that I can use to customize this collage. I am going to click on the menu on the right side of the Content panel, and here I can see categories of artwork that come with Elements. I am going to choose the Backgrounds category. That shows me Thumbnail views of lots of different background designs. If I want to change out the red background that came with the theme that I applied, I can just click on one of these thumbnails. I'll select this one right here, and then click Apply, and Elements will switch out the background for me.
If I see a background that I might want to use later on another image, I can save it as a Favorite. So maybe I'll take that same background, click and hold and drag down from the Content panel into the Favorites panel, and release my mouse. This way I can start to build up a library of my favorite pieces of Content, Backgrounds, Frames, Text Styles, and more. I may want to add some text to this collage too. So I'll go up to the menu on the right side of the Content panel and I'm going to choose Text.
This brings up thumbnails representing different text styles. I am going to scroll down until I see a style that I like. I'll choose this Red Bevel Style, and then I'll click Apply. That brings in this line of text in the center of the image. Yours may come in large like this, or it may come in really small, and hard to see. In any event, I'm going to get the Move tool in the toolbox, and that will remove the highlight from the text, and will allow me to see this bounding box around the text. I'm going to make the text smaller by holding the Shift key, and moving my mouse over one of the corner anchor points on this bounding box, and dragging toward the center.
Holding the Shift key will constrain the proportions, and then I'll click and move the whole bounding box over, and I'll hold the Shift key and drag from this anchor point toward the center, and then I'm going to take the whole textbox and put it down here at the bottom. I want to make it just a little smaller, so again, I'll hold the Shift key, and I'll drag in toward the center, and I'll do the same from this corner, until finally the text fits in this space.
If I want to make it a little bigger, still with the Shift key held down, I'll drag on a corner anchor point. So that's a little awkward, but I ended up with text that I like, and it's the right size. At this point I'm going to click the green checkmark that appears under the bounding box. So I've now styled some text. However, I don't want it to say Your Text Here. So I'm going to double-click inside the bounding box, and I am going to type something else. I'll type Carousel, and then I'll go up to the Options bar at the top of the screen, and I'll click the green checkmark.
I still can change the size or rotate this bit of text, but I am just going to leave it as is for now. There are other kinds of artwork that I can select from this menu. For example, I could change the frames around each one of the photo collages. I could add graphics or shapes, or I could change the entire theme. But I'm going to leave the artwork as it is for now, and I'm going to come in and work on the photos a bit. One thing I'd like to do is to change out the content of this particular frame, adding a different photo instead of the one that's there. I am going to go down to the Project Bin at the bottom of the workspace, and click on this fourth thumbnail of the carousel horse, and drag up from there and drop it on top of this frame, and Elements changes the image out for me.
It also gives me this little slider that I can use to change the size of the photo inside the frame. So if I want to, I can drag to the right to size the image up a little bit, so that the horse is easier to see, and then I'll click the green checkmark. I also can move anyone of these framed photos around. So for example, I can click inside of this picture and drag to the left, or I can select this picture, move my mouse just underneath the picture where there is a tiny circle, and I can drag in either direction to rotate that photo, and then I'll click the green checkmark.
So all of the changes that I made here, are made only to page 1 of this collage. If I go to page 2 by clicking the arrow, you can see that it looks as it originally did with the original theme, and just one photo in the frames. So I probably won't even print this page, I'm just going to concentrate on the first page. Now I'm going to save this collage by going up to the File menu, choosing Save As, navigating to my Desktop and to my Saved Files folder. I will give the collage a name. I'll replace the untitled name with Collage.
Notice that there is a PSE extension on this file, and the Format menu is set to Photo Project format. This is a special format for photo projects created here in Elements, and it's important to use this format, so that I can edit the collage if I need to. So I'll just click save. So the next time that you want to make a scrapbook page, or a photo collage, rather than do it all from scratch, try using some of the features that I have shown you here in the Create Workspace.
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