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In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you have multiple photos that you want to process the same way, you can save yourself time and effort by using the Process Multiple Files command here in the Full Edit workspace. I have a series of three images open that were taken in sequence by John Lorenz photography of me falling into the snow. I know that these were all taken with the same exposure settings and in the same light. I would like to do several things to these photos. I'd like to resize them all so that they're smaller. I'd like to rename them all to give them all meaningful names and I'd like to reformat them changing them from PSD files to JPEGs.
I can do all that and more by going up to the File menu and choosing Process Multiple Files. That opens this large dialog box that's basically just a form that you can fill out starting at the top and working your way through to the bottom. The first field asks which files I want to process. I could choose a folder full of files. I could choose to import files into Elements' Organizer at the same time that I process them or I could just choose to process the files I have already opened into Elements' Editor.
I'll choose that and then I am going to go down to the destination field. Here, I am going to tell Elements where I wanted to put the files after it finished just processing them. So, I'll click the Browse button and I'm going to browse out to my desktop where I am going to make a new folder called processed and I'll click OK. Alternatively, I could have chosen to put the processed files in the same location as the source files. Now I have the option to rename the files. This isn't required, but I think it's great way to quickly rename files from the original names with which they came out of the digital camera to more meaningful names.
So I'm going to check Rename Files and I can set up two separate naming fields here. I'll go to the first menu where I can choose Document Name which allows me to enter any text in the file names or I can choose sequential serial number or serial letter or these various permutations of dates. I'm going to leave this set to Document Name and then with those words highlighted I can type whatever I want here. I'm actually going to include a static date in the document name. So I'll type 2010 and then a hyphen and then the month in which the photos were taken which was March and then another hyphen and since these are photos of me I'll type my name.
[2010-03-jan]. I have the same choices for this field. I'd like to have a sequential number included in each one of the file names. So I'm going to choose one of these digital serial numbers. I'll choose 2 Digit Serial Number. I know I already have six photos of me in this catalog, so I'll start with the serial number 07. I want to make sure that the files that are produced are compatible with all the different operating systems. So if these fields aren't checked, I will check them.
Then I'll go down to the Image Size area. This is also optional, I don't have to change the size of the processed images, I can keep them as they are. But I do want to make all three of these smaller, because I plan to send these copies of the files to my family by e-mail. So, I'm going to check Resize Images. I'll make sure that the units of measurement are set to inches, because these are files that I think that my family is going to want to print. Then I'll type in either a Width or a Height as long as Constrain Proportions is checked and the other will be set for me automatically based on the proportion of Width to Height in the original images.
So I want the Width of these files to be 2 inches and then I'll go to the Resolution field, because I think that the recipients will want to print these. I'll choose a safe resolution for printing on an inkjet printer, around 300. I don't have to worry about saving over the original larger images, because this feature is going to make a copy of the images for me in that new destination, the processed folder. I'll go down to the File Type area and this is also optional. I could keep these as PSD files, but I want to convert them to JPEGs, because the people who receive these files may not have Photoshop Elements or another program like Photoshop that can open PSD files.
I want to have the files be as small as possible, because I'm going to send them by e-mail. So, I'll convert the processed files to JPEGs by checking Convert Files to and then going to this menu to choose the JPEG quality. The lower the quality, the smaller the files will, but the higher the quality, the better the files will look. So I'll compromise somewhere in the middle and choose JPEG Medium Quality. I'll leave this box unchecked, because I really don't want to see any errors if the processing doesn't work.
I'll just do it again and then I'll come up to the Quick Fix area and from here I could apply some auto photo corrections. These are the same corrections that we saw earlier in the Quick Fix workspace in the editor: Auto Levels, Auto Contrast, Auto Color, and Sharpen. I'm weary of applying auto settings especially when I can't preview them in advance. But if I do know that all of the photos were shot with the same exposures, sometimes I will take a chance on one of these settings.
So if I needed to correct the color of all of the images, I might choose Auto Color or if I needed to correct the contrast and brightness of the photos, I might choose Auto Contrast or Auto Levels. I am going to leave those all unchecked, but I will check Sharpen, because I want to sharpen these images just before I output them at this new size. Down here, I can add either a watermark or a caption on top of these photos. I'm going to add a watermark containing my Custom Text whatever I type here on top of the photo.
This is a good thing to do when you're sending proofs of photos out for someone to review to just add a bit of protection to your photos. These were all taken by John Lorenz photography. So I'm going to type that in the Custom Text field for the watermark. Here, I can choose where I want the watermark to appear on the photos. I want my watermark at the Bottom Right, because at least two of these photos have a little white space there. Here I can choose the Font, I happen to like Adobe Caslon Pro.
So I'll choose that, but you're welcome to choose any Font you like. Then I can choose the Size of the Font in the watermark. Now, this is always a bit of a guess and it depends on how large the images are going to be after they are processed. I want a fairly small watermark. So I'm going to put this down to 8 points. I like my watermarks to be semi-transparent. So I'm going to leave the Opacity set to 50%. Here I can choose the color of the watermark. I'll click in this Color box and that opens the Color Picker. I am going to drag this slider to gray and then I'll Click OK.
So, now I'm done filling in this large form and when I click OK, Elements will apply all of these settings to all three of the open images. This may take a minute depending on how many images you're processing. Now you remember that I told Elements to save the processed files in a folder on my desktop. So I'm going to go out there to see what it made for me. Here's my processed folder on my desktop. You can see that the file names have been changed as I requested with the date and then my name and then a sequential number.
I am going to open one of these into Elements' Editor so that you can see the semitransparent, gray watermark down here in the bottom right corner and I have this in every one of the three images. So if you have sequential shots like this or any photos that you want to change to the same format or that you want to resize to the same size or that you want to give more meaningful names, don't forget about this Process Multiple Files command. It can really save you a lot of time and effort.
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