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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 have multiple files that you want to resize or rename or reformat, one of the most useful features in Elements 8 is the Process Multiple Files Automatic command. I am going to use that feature on these three images but normally, I would have more images on which I would run the feature and I might use it if I want to do something like create a batch of thumbnails for use on a webpage or resize and reformat a number of images to send by email or to post to a blog. Before I get started, I want to see how big these files are.
So I am going to click-and-drag on the bottom-right corner of one of them and there in the document information area, I'll click to see that this file is 430 pixels tall by 286 wide and I know that the other two are the same. I would like to cut that height in half making them all 215 pixels tall so that they are thumbnail sized. I will move this image away so you can see the other two. With these three files open in Elements, I am going to go up to the File menu and go down to Process Multiple Files.
That opens the big Process Multiple Files dialog box. Let's run through the fields here setting it up. I will go to the Process Files From field and I could choose to process files that are in a folder or those I am importing from a scanner or those that I have selected in Bridge. But I am going to use Opened Files because I do have these three files open already in Elements. So that sets the Source field. Now I'll go to the Destination field and I'll tell Elements where to save the processed files.
I'll click the Browse button. I'll go to my desktop and I am going to make a new folder called 'processed' and click Create and I'll choose that folder. I'll leave Same as Source unchecked because I don't want the processed files in the same location as my source files. Then I'll go to the File Naming section. I don't have to rename the processed files, but I can. So I'll make sure that Rename Files is checked and then I'll set up a formula for renaming here. I am going to click this first menu and I am going to start off with a date, year, month, and then day.
I'll click the next menu and this one I am going to set to a 2 Digit Serial Number. In the Starting serial number field, if I already have some files that are named in this series starting with number 1, I could change this to another number, say, 5. And here, I have an example of what a file name might look like, the year, the month, the day and a 2 Digit Serial Number starting with 5 and then the format, although I am going to change the format from GIF to JPEG. I will also make the resulting files compatible with all of the operating systems and then I will come to the Image Size field.
I don't have to resize the images but I am going to, so I will make sure that Resize Images is checked. I am going to go to this Width field, which is currently set to pixels and has a number in it and I am going to select that number of pixels and then press the Delete key on the keyboard. Then I am going to go down to the Height field, make sure it is set to pixels and click there. Now you remember that I said before I started that I wanted to make the height of the images 215 pixels. So I will type that in and I will leave Constrain Proportions checked so that the width will be proportional to the height.
I don't have to fill in a number there. I am also not going to worry about resolution because, in this case, I am sizing images by pixels and so the Resolution field doesn't really matter. Now I'll go to the File Type field and I do want to convert these files so that they are in the proper format for posting to the web as photographs and that's JPEG. So, I will click Convert Files to, I'll click on this Format menu and I will choose one of the JPEGs. I am going to choose JPEG Medium Quality. The higher the quality the bigger the file size will be and because I am going to post these to the web, I'd like the file size to be relatively small, but I don't want to lose too much photo-quality.
So, I'll compromise with JPEG Medium Quality. I am going to ignore this field for now and I will come over to the Quick Fix area where I can choose to apply either Auto Levels, Auto Contrast or Auto Color, some features that I covered in the movies about the Quick Fix workspace. I actually don't like to apply auto settings particularly when I can't see the results but just as an example, I'll put a checkmark next to Sharpen so that the images are sharpened as they are processed. And finally, I can add either a watermark or a caption to my photos as they are processed.
I'll leave this set to Watermark and in the Custom Text field, I am going to type some copyright information. I'll press the Option key and tap the G key to create a copyright symbol and then I'll type my name and the date. I am going to position this watermark on the bottom right. I'll leave the font at its default and I'll make the font size somewhat smaller. I'll try maybe 12 points. I'll leave the watermark at 50% opacity so it's relatively see-through and then in the Color field, I am going to click to open the color picker and I am going to make my watermark white and click OK.
Now that I've set up all these controls, I am finally ready to run the Automatic Multiple File Processing on these three images. So I will click OK and in just a second, Elements has done its work. I am going to go out to my desktop to see the results. There is my destination folder, the processed folder. I am going to open that by double- clicking and in that folder, I can see three processed images with their brand- new names and if I open one of them by double-clicking it, I see that it does contain the watermark, the copyright symbol and my name and 2009 in faint letters and I am going to make this document window bigger by clicking and dragging on the bottom-right corner, so that I can see the document information.
If I click-and-hold, I'll see that the image has been resized to 215 pixels with a proportionate width and the other two images were processed the very same way. So you can see how very useful this command, File>Process Multiple Files can be when you want to rename, resize, reformat or apply some quick fixes or add watermarks or captions to multiple images at once.
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