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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.
You can customize the way your Elements Editor behaves by changing its Preferences. On Windows, the Editor Preferences are opened from the Edit menu coming down here to Preferences. On a Mac, the Preferences are located in the Photoshop Elements menu which is the first menu in the menu Bar. Over here are categories of Preferences. I will start by opening into the General category. But here in the Preferences dialog box I can move to any of the Preferences categories by clicking it here in this list on the left.
In the General Preferences category, I sometimes go to the Show tool Tips option, and uncheck it, so that these little yellow boxes with tooltips don't keep popping up. I am going to uncheck that now as I work through this course. But when you're just beginning with Elements, I suggest that you leave tool Tips on because it can be a really helpful learning tool. In the earlier movie in this chapter about working with tabbed documents, I explained that sometimes you may want to allow floating documents. When you do, you can come in here and check this option to allow floating documents in full edit mode.
Most of the time I leave this turned off, so that documents in the Document window are docked into tabs. Let's take a look at the Performance category of Preferences. Over here in the History and Cache area, you can see that the number of History States in the Undo History panel is set to 50 by default. If you need more states, you can increase this number. But that may make your copy of Elements run a little bit slower. Then I'm going to go to the Display, and Cursors category. I like to change the way that the Brush Tip is displayed on my Painting Cursors.
Painting Cursors mean the Brush Tip for tools like the Brush tool, the Pencil tool, the Eraser tool, and the Dodge and Burn tools. I prefer to use a Full Size Brush Tip which gives a more accurate picture of how large the brush is when I have made the brush tip soft. I also like to see a Crosshair in the center of the Brush Tip. You can see here a preview of how I'm making changes to my Painting Cursor brush tips. Next, I will go to the Units and Rulers Preferences category. By default, all of the fields that use units of measurement including the Rulers that you can turn on from the View menu in the Editor display inches as the unit of measurement.
Normally, that's fine, but if I'm working on a document for a presentation on the web, then I will change this from Inches to Pixels. I'll leave it at inches for now. I am going to go back to the General category for just a minute to tell you about a preference that isn't here. If you're a user of Photoshop Elements 8, you may remember that there was a preference to change the brightness of different parts of the interface. You can't do that anymore. There is no such preference and that's because Adobe spent a lot of time optimizing the appearance of Elements 9. So you really don't need to change its appearance.
When I am done changing preferences to my liking, I will click OK. So those are some changes that you might make to Preferences in the Editor. Keep in mind that the Organizer has its own Preferences. If I flip over to the Organizer by clicking the Organizer shortcut at the top of the Editor, and in the Organizer, I go to the Edit menu or the Photoshop Organizer menu on a Mac, there I can access separate preferences for the Organizer. I'm not going to make any changes there. I will cancel to close that.
I will go back to the Editor by moving to the Fix tab, clicking the arrow, and choosing Full Photo Edit. Now, for most purposes, I suggest that you leave Preferences at their defaults. But if you do need to change something specific like the changes that I just showed you, now you know how to get into the Editor or Organizer Preferences to make those changes to customize your copy of Elements.
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