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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.
Another way to organize images in Bridge, making them easier to find later so that you can open the ones you want into Elements, is to use the star rating and labeling system that's built into Bridge CS4. Bridge offers a five-star rating system. To add stars to a photo, I'll just click on its thumbnail here in the Content panel, and then I see these five little dots under the photo. This is a photo I really like, so I'm going to give it five stars by clicking on the rightmost dot, and you can now see that those dots have changed into stars. Here's a photo that I don't like very much, so I'm going to select it and I'll click on the leftmost dot, and that gives it just one star.
Then I'll click in a blank area of the Content panel. Now some people use all five stars when they go through and evaluate their images. But I find that that kind of muddies the waters. I prefer to mark images that I really, really like with five stars and those that I don't like very much, but I'm not ready to get rid of with one star, and then those in between, I just won't mark. I could go through my images one-by-one applying stars, but it's more efficient to add stars to multiple images at once. So here I see a number of images that I really like and that I'd like to give five stars.
I'm going to select those by clicking on one and then holding down the Command key, and I'm going to click on some others. With those images selected, I'll come up to the Label menu at the top of the screen, and here I can see the five different star ratings. I'm going to select the five-star rating or I could just press Command+5 on my keyboard, and that will add five stars to each one of the selected images. I'm going to click in a blank area of the Content panel to deselect.
I mentioned that in addition to the star rating system, there's also a labeling system. One of the features in a labeling system that I really like is the Reject feature. If there is a photo, like this one, that I've decided, hey, I really don't like this, and I'm probably going to throw it away, I can label it as a Reject by going up to the Label menu and choosing Reject. Then it's labeled in red with the text Reject, and I'll click off of all the photos. Now if I'm trying to compare some of my better photos, and I just don't want to see the Rejects, I don't have to delete them completely from the computer yet, I can just hide them.
The way to do that is to go up to the View menu and go down to Show Reject Files, and select that, which disables or unchecks Show Reject Files. Now that Reject photo doesn't show up in Bridge, but the photo is still there. So if I wanted to see the Rejects again, I could go back to View and select Show Reject Files, like that. Another thing I sometimes do with my Rejects is just move them so they're not mixed in with the better photos by selecting and dragging and releasing when I see the blue bar, wherever I want to put that Reject among the other photos.
And again, I'll click into the blank area of the Content panel. The labeling system can be used for another purpose too. I like to use the stars to evaluate photo quality, and then I'll use other labels to mark photos for particular purposes for which I might use them. So, for example, if I see a couple of photos here that I think I'm going to want to print, maybe this one, and I'll hold the Command key and select this one too, then I'll go up to the Label menu and here I can choose a label. Now, these are the default labels, Select, Second, Approved, Review or To Do.
But I actually want a label for prints. So before I mark these particular images, I'm going to go up to Adobe Bridge CS4 at the top of the screen, choose Preferences, and in the Preferences dialog box, I'm going to go to the Labels section, and I'm going to come in and I'm going to rename one of these labels. So I'll highlight the text next to the purple label and I'll replace it with To Print, and click OK. Now I'm going to apply that new label to the two selected images by going up to Label menu at the top of the screen, and choosing To Print.
I could do that with any of the other colored labels, customizing them, so I might label some images 'email to mom', or other images 'use in my next photo project', or whatever labels are useful for my purposes. I'm going to click off of those images into a blank area of the Content panel too. So the whole purpose of adding stars and labels to images is so that you can find those images quickly later. There are several ways to find images according to their ratings or their labels. I can use the Edit>Find command, I can create Collections or I can use Filters.
I'm going to show you how to use each of those features in more detail in later movies in this chapter. But just to give you a little taste of what I often do to find stars or labeled photos, I'll go to the Filter panel here. If the labels and rating sections are not expanded, I'll click the arrow to the left of each. Now if I wanted to see all of the files that are labeled with my To Print label, all I have to do is click to the left of the To Print filter here in the Label section of the Filter panel. That shows me just those two labeled images in the Content panel, or if I wanted the opposite, I want to see all of the photos that I don't want to print, I'll click again on To Print, and instead, I'll click on No Label, and then I'll click again to remove that filter.
I can do the same thing with ratings. If I want to see only my Rejects, I'll click next to Reject, and I'll click again to undo that. If I want to see only the five stars, my best photos, I'll click to the left of the five-star filter. If I want a combination, say, all the five-star images that have no label on them, I'll click next to the No Label filter, and I get that kind of cumulative result here in the Content panel. So that's how you can apply star ratings as well as labels to your photos in Adobe Bridge, and use the stars and the labels to help you isolate just the photos that you want when you're getting ready to open and work on photos in Elements.
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