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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.
One of the Photo projects that is available in Photoshop Elements is Photo Collage. You can create a Photo Collage using a variety of themes, background, frames, graphics and text effects that come with Elements and you can customize all of those items to make your collage unique to you and your photos. I'm working here in the 13_02_ photocollage subfolder in the Chapter13 exercise files. I'm going to make a collage from these six photos of Carousel horses. The first step is to select the six photos in the Organizer. I'll click on the first, hold down the Shift key and click on the last. Then I'm going to go to the Create Tab at the top of the Task pane, select that and from the list of photo projects, I'm going to choose Photo Collage. That opens the editor to the projects workspace with instructions about how to create a Photo Collage and the six photos that are selected here in the Project Bin.
The first step is to select a size for the collage. Be sure to select a size that your printer can print and for which you have photo paper. I'm going to stick with this standard letter size. The next step is to choose a theme for the collage. A theme is a combination of background and frame for each of the pictures in the collage. I'm going to really get wacky and choose this Broadway theme. There is preview of the theme. Once I have seen it, I'll click the X to close the preview. Then I'm going to move down to choose a layout for each page in the collage.
I'm going to choose a layout that has a place for three pictures on each page and I'll close its preview. I'll come down to the Additional Options area where I'm going to make sure there is a check box next to Auto-Fill with Project Bin Photos. That will cause Elements to take all of the photos in the Project Bin and use them to automatically fill in the frames in the collage. I don't have any captions on these particular photos so I'll leave Include Captions unchecked, but if you had created captions earlier for each photos, that would be a way of getting text into the collage. I can type a number of pages into this field, I'll leave it set to 2 to make a two paged collage and then I'm going to click Done. That causes Elements to create the collage for me and if I come over to the document window, I can click on the controller at the bottom of the window to see the two different pages with that nice page curl effect in between.
I'm going to go back to the first page to do some editing because this red theme just doesn't suit my taste. To edit the collage, I'm going to go to the Artwork Workspace by clicking Art Work here in the right column. That opens the Content palette. The Content palette offers all kinds of options for me to edit my Photo Collage. If I click on this menu on the right I can see what is here in the Content palette: Backgrounds, Frames Graphics, Shapes, Text and Themes.
I'm going to start by changing up the background of this image. So first I'll go to the document window and click in the background and then I'm coming back to that menu in Content palette and I'm going to choose Backgrounds. Now I can see a number of backgrounds to choose from here in this area. If I scroll down I see that there a lot of them here and actually I have looked at these in advance and I have chosen some that I really like and drag them down into the Favorites palette here. So the way that you do that is you select the background that you like and then you just drag. Once the piece of Artwork is here in the Favorites palette, I can apply it to other Photo Collages as well. To change out the background of page one of this collage, all I have to do is select the background that I want to use and click apply at the bottom of the Favorites palette and that changes the background.
Now, let us say I want to change the frames on each of these photos. I'll select one of the photos and then I could come up to the Content palette click on this menu, choose frames and select from any of the frames that are here and there a lots of them. I already picked one and put it in my favorite's palette, so I'll use that one by selecting and then clicking Apply to change the frame on one of the photos and I'll do the same on the second photo. Select the photo, select the frame, click Apply and on the third photo on this page the same.
I can also add graphics and text to this page. Let us see how to add text. I'm going to click on the background and then I'm going to go up to the menu again to the text area to see that there are many different text effects here to choose from. I already chose this rose colored embossed text effect, so I'm going to use that one from my Favorites palette. I select that effect and then I'm going to click Apply and you can see that text has appeared here in the middle of the image.
When you do this the first time, this text box maybe very small, but it will be there directly in the middle of the image, the trick then is to select that text box and move it. I'm going to click off of it to eliminate the highlight on the text and then I'm going to click on it and drag down to the bottom of the image. I can resize the text by clicking on any of the anchor points and dragging. I could rotate the text box and I can change the text. Obviously, I don't want it to say Your Text Here so I'm going to double-click inside the text box to select the text and type my own text and the click off of it to accept that change and now I can just move that into place.
I also can move any of the photos, so I could click on this photo and drag it out. I could make a photo bigger by clicking on its corner anchor point and dragging and then clicking that green check box to accept that change. I can rotate a photo, so if I select this one I'll then move my cursor over a corner anchor point and I'll turn the photo and click the green checkbox. I can also change the content of any frame replacing one of these photos with another one.
So let us say I want to replace this front photo I'll select it and them I'm going down to the menu at the top of the project bin, clicking and choosing Show Files from Organizer. And that will show all six of the files that I had originally selected in the Organizer for this collage. I'm going to click on the last one and drag it up into this frame and release and that replaces the photo in the frame. Notice that there is now a controller above that frame which I can use to change the size of the picture inside the frame and then I'll click the green checkbox.
Remember that all of the changes that I made here are only made to page 1 of this collage. Page 2 still has the Broadway theme applied, but I could come in and do the same thing here. For now I'm just going to leave things as they are. I'll go back to page 1 and I'm going to save my collage by going to the File menu at the top of the screen and choosing Save. I'll save it into the default folder, the Pictures folder and I'm going to name it collage and notice that this is being saved in a special photo project format .PSE, remember to save it in this format so that you can reopen the project at any time for some more editing applying different backgrounds, frames, graphics, text or themes.
I'm going to include it in the Organizer and I'm going to click Save. Now I could have made a Collage from Scratch using the skills that I have been teaching you in this course, but it certainly saves time to use the automatic features in this Photo Collage project and there are so many opportunities to customize that it really feels like I have created a unique collage.
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