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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.
When you're using Adobe Bridge and Elements together, one of the things you'll do most in Bridge is visually find and open files from there into Elements. Earlier, I showed you one way to open a file from Bridge into Elements, which is to hold down the Control key or right- click if you have a two button mouse, on a thumbnail, and from the Contextual menu, to choose Open With and then navigate to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0. But I am going to move out of that menu because there is a quicker way to open a file that's associated with Elements, and that's to just double-click its thumbnail here in Bridge.
Notice that I have some JPEGs here. If I select a JPEG, and then I double-click it, it does open here into Photoshop Elements. I'll close that file, and then I'll go back to Bridge by clicking the Launch Bridge icon in Elements. So that worked fine because he JPEG file format is associated with Elements on my computer. But if you have other photo editing software on your computer, like Adobe Photoshop proper, a file type may be associated with that other program.
So that when you double-click a thumbnail of that format, the file opens not in Elements, but in that other image editing program. In my case, in addition to Elements, I do have Adobe Photoshop on my computer, and so this format, the .PSD or Photoshop Document format, opens into Photoshop proper, rather than Elements on my particular setup. So if I select this thumbnail and I double-click it, it opens Adobe Photoshop CS4 with that file.
I'm going to quit Photoshop by going up to the Photoshop menu and choosing Quit Photoshop, and that takes me back to Bridge. So what I want to do is, while I'm working in Elements, and certainly for purposes of this course is to make sure that the PSD format, and any other format that I'll use often, like JPEG, is associated with Elements. To do that, I'll go up to Adobe Bridge CS4 at the top of the screen and choose Preferences for Bridge. In the Preferences Window, I'll click File Type Associations.
And here on the right, I see an extensive list of possible File Types. I'm going to scroll down to Photoshop Document format, and this is all alphabetical, right here, and notice that on my computer, and this may not be the case on yours, the Photoshop Document format is associated with Adobe Photoshop, rather than with Elements. To change that, I'll click the arrow to the right of the application name, and I'll choose Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0 instead, and then I'll click OK.
Now in Bridge, if I select this PSD thumbnail, and then I double-click it, the file does open in Photoshop Elements. I'll close the file, and then I'll go back to Bridge by clicking the Launch Bridge icon. Another thing to know about opening files from Bridge into Elements is that you can open more than one file at a time, but first, before trying to open multiple files, you need to select them in Bridge. I find there are some people who don't understand that selecting is a separate operation from opening or doing other things to thumbnails, like rotating them or to deleting them here in Bridge.
So how do you select multiple files in Bridge? Well, first I'm going to click in a blank area of the Content panel to deselect all of the thumbnails. Now let's say I want to select these first three thumbnails. Because they're next to one another here in the Content panel, I can use the Shift key to do that. I'll click once on the first thumbnail, and then I'm going to hold down the Shift key as I click on the last of the thumbnails that are adjacent to one another, and that selects all of the thumbnails in between. And now I can double-click on any one of the selected thumbnails, and that will open all three into Elements.
You can see each in a separate document window here, and you see a thumbnail of each open image down in the Project Bin at the bottom of the Elements Workspace. I'm going to close all those files at once by going up to the File menu and choosing Close All in Elements, and then I'll go back to Bridge by clicking the Launch Bridge icon. I'm going to deselect all of the selected thumbnails by clicking in a blank area of the Content panel. Now let's say that I want to select thumbnails that aren't next to one another. To do that I'll use the Command key rather than the Shift key, so I'll click on the first thumbnail that I want to select, and then I'll hold down the Command key on my keyboard, click on another, and another, of these non-adjacent thumbnails.
Now I can double-click on any one of the selected thumbnails, and that opens all three images here in Photoshop Elements. So the next time that you want to open one or more photos into Elements, try doing it visually from Bridge, rather than by image name from the Mac Finder. Being able to preview lots of photos in Bridge, will help you to choose just the images that you want to open and work on in Elements.
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