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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
When you're editing a photo in the Expert edit workspace, you will need to save it to retain your edits. That may seem obvious, but it's worth pointing out because saving is treated differently in other workspaces in Elements. For example, if you apply instant photo fixes in the Organizer, those edit are saved automatically. But here in Expert edit, you are responsible for saving. So let's take a look at how to save and what the options are. The first time that you save an image in an editing session, you will go up to the File menu and your only choice will be Save As. After that, you will have a choice between Save As and Save.
If you choose File>Save, you will automatically save over the last version of the photo. Sometimes that's what you want to do, but sometimes it's not. So as insurance against saving over the last version accidentally, I suggest you stick with File>Save As every time you save, at least until you're more experienced with the program. I'll choose File>Save As and that opens the Save As dialog box. I'll walk you through the Save As dialog box on Windows in just a moment, but first I want to jump over to the Mac side to show Mac users that the Save As dialog box looks a little different here, but it's got all the same components that I'll show you on Windows.
Now let's jump back to Windows. Here I can set the name and the destination for the saved image. Changing either one of those will ensure that I don't save over the original. So for example if I come to the File name field, I might type _edited after the file name; or I could save in a different location. I'll just leave that as it is for now. Down at the bottom of this dialog box, there are some options. If you're using Elements Organizer to manage your photos--as I'll show you how to do in other courses in this series-- you can choose to include the saved version of the file in the Elements Organizer automatically, so you wouldn't have to import this version of the file.
And if the original of the file is already in your Elements Organizer, you can choose to save this edited version in a group called the Version Set with the Original, so they are easier to find together. In this course we are just using the Editor to edit photos, we are not using the Organizer, so there's no reason to check either of these options. If there are layers in the file, depending on the format that you choose, you will have the option to retain layers. So if I were to change this Format menu to Photoshop, and I had layers in the file, this checkbox would be available and I would make sure that it's checked because I almost always want to keep my layers.
By default, the Color option is checked and I'm going to leave it that way so that if I am printing the photo or if it's viewed online in a color managed web browser, the colors will resemble those that I saw as I was editing the photo here in Elements. Now let's talk about formats. Here in the Format menu, you can see the choices of format that you have. Of these, I think the ones you use most are Photoshop, TIFF, JPEG and perhaps GIF and PNG. So let me say a bit about each. If you choose the Photoshop format, that will add the .psd extension to your file; that stands for Photoshop document file.
This is the native Elements format. It will retain layers, adjustment layers, type layers and other editable features that you add to a photo in Elements, and that's important because then you will have a file that you can come back to in the future to tweak those editable features. So the PSD or Photoshop format is the one that I use for what I call my master edited version of an image. And this is the source file that I'll come back to if I want to make changes to the image. I don't resize this file and I don't sharpen it because sharpening depends on the final output size of your file.
I just save it as is with its layers in the PSD format. Then if I need another copy of the photo in a particular size or in a different format like JPEG to put online, I'll come back to this master source file, I'll edit it, and I'll save a copy in whatever format I need. An alternative to PSD for your master file is the TIFF format. The TIFF format also retains layers and is very similar to the PSD format, except that it's more universal. So you might use the TIFF format if you think you are going to share your master file with someone who doesn't have Elements or some other program that can open a PSD format file.
The other format you will use a lot here is JPEG. This is the best format for sharing a copy of a photo online on the Web or by email. There are only a few still image formats that you can put on the web; those include JPEG, GIF and PNG. Of those, JPEG is the one to use for photos, because it makes them look their best and compresses them to a relatively small size. The small size of a JPEG also makes it the best choice for an e-mail attachment, but it's important to remember two caveats about JPEGs; the first is that JPEG is a format that doesn't retain layers.
So if you do have layers in a file and you save it as a JPEG, all of the layers would be flattened down into a single layer. So as I said, what I do is save a master copy of the file as a PSD or a TIFF with the layers, and then if I need a JPEG, I make a copy of that master file and save in the JPEG format. The second caveat about JPEGs is that the JPEG format uses a lossy formula to compress a photo to make it smaller in size. Lossy means that every time you make even the smallest change to a photo and then resave as a JPEG, you are throwing away a little more image data.
Now that's okay if you just do it a few times, but it's not a great idea to continually change and resave a JPEG in the JPEG format a lot. Now two other formats that you might use are PNG and GIF, which you can see here in the Format menu. These formats are best to use on illustrations rather than photos, so we won't use them much in this course. By the way, when you're saving a file in the JPEG format for the web, you can just save it here in the Save As dialog box, and that's fine. But you have another choice too, and that is to go to the File menu and choose Save for Web.
That will open a dialog box where you will have more options and from which you can sometimes get a smaller size JPEG. But the main thing to remember about saving is to save early and save often as you are editing your photos here in the Expert edit workspace.
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