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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also 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.
Elements 8.0 offers lots of ways to customize the Editor and the Organizer. Right now, I'm in the Organizer. If I go up to the Edit menu at the top of that screen, and I choose Preferences, I'll bring up Preferences that affect just the Editor. You can see that there are subcategories of Preferences listed in this menu. I can start with General or choose a specific category. I'll go to General here, and that opens the Editor Preferences dialog box. Those same categories are accessible from the left side of this dialog box, and as I click on a category the Preferences available on the right side of the dialog box change.
There are lots of Preferences here, and my general rule is that if I don't know what a preference does, I don't change it. But I do want to tell you about a couple of Preferences that you may want to change. One of those is here under the Display and Cursors category, and that is to change the way that the Painting Cursors are displayed. The Painting Cursors are a brush tips like the Brush Tip for the Brush tool, and I think it's useful to set the Brush Tips to show the full-size of the brush by going down to these Radio buttons, and clicking Full Size Brush Tip.
Because when Brush Tip is set to just normal brush tip, you won't see the actual boundary of the brush if you're using a soft brush. I also like to check this checkbox, Show Crosshair in Brush Tip. So, I know where the center of the Brush Tip is. Now the icon up here shows a preview of the way that I've set Brush Tips to display. Another item that you might want to change is in the Units and Rulers category. So, I'll select that category. Notice that Rulers here are set to Inches by default. This Ruler setting controls all of the units of measurement in Elements Editor.
So, anything that uses measurement in the Editor is going to default, 2 Inches. If I'm creating something that I'm going to display on the screen like an image for the web, then I would want to come into this Setting, and change it from Inches to Pixels. So that the Rulers and other items that rely on measurement in the Editor display Pixels as the default unit of measurement. I'm going to switch that back to Inches right now for the rest of the course. I'm going to go back to the General category of Preferences, because I want to show you a couple things there you might want to change.
One of those is the User Interface Brightness. If you find the background of the Editor to be too dark, you can change this to light. And then you have a light version of the Editor to work in. I actually prefer dark, because I think it's easier to see the tools and other features against the dark background. Also, as you become more experienced in using Elements, you may find that you have no more need for tool tips, and that the tool tips are actually getting in your way. If and when that's the case, you can come to this General category of Editor Preferences and uncheck Show Tool Tips, as I'm going to do now, and then I'm going to click OK to accept all those changes.
So, those are some Preferences that you might want to change in the Editor Interface. Now, let's take a look at the Organizer Preferences. I'll switch back to the Organizer by clicking the Organizer button here at the top of the Editor and then in the Organizer, I'm going to go to Edit and down to Preferences and here there are categories for Organizer Preferences. I'll start with the General category, and that opens this Preferences dialog box that pertains just to the Organizer. You can see that there are some User Interface Brightness Preferences for just the Organizer.
So, if you prefer the interface to be light, you can click this Light button right here. I'm going to put that back to Dark, and then I'm going to move the Preferences dialog box over by clicking on it's title bar, and dragging, so that I can show you that there's another Brightness Preference for just the area behind the Photo Browser here in the Organizer. And if I click Light there, then that area of the Organizer becomes Light. So, if you have mainly dark photos then you might prefer to have the background of the Photo Browser, Light like this.
I am going to go ahead and switch it back to Dark and then, I'll move my Preferences dialog box over by clicking and dragging on its title bar again. So, that's just a taste of the Preferences available here in the Organizer Preferences dialog box. I'm going to click OK to close that dialog box and remind you that you have the option to customize the way that Elements Editor and Elements Organizer looks and works, using these two Preference dialog boxes.
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