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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.
If you've got a digital camera, you know how easy it is to take lots of pictures of the same scene. Maybe you'll take the scene from different angles or different exposures. And then when you come home and bring those photos into your Organizer, you may find that you have more photos than you want to see in your Media Browser of the same scene. But you do want to keep all the photos in your Organizer. So in that case, you can stack the similar photos one atop the other. So that only one is on view in the Media Browser, but they're all still there to work with.
The first step in doing that is to select the files that you want to stack. I'm going to stack these four photos of a Bamboo Garden. I'll click on the first thumbnail to select it, and then I'll hold the Shift key and click on the last thumbnail, and that selects all the thumbnails in between as well. There are some Stack commands under the Edit menu up here, but I prefer to use a contextual menu to access the Stack commands, because it's closer to where I'm working. So I'm going to go to any one of these selected thumbnails, and I'm going to right-click or Ctrl+Click if I have a one- button mouse to bring up this contextual menu.
And I'll go down to Stack, and here I have my submenu of Stack commands. I'm going to choose Stack Selected Photos. And in just a moment the Organizer has stacked those four photos one atop the other, with only one of them showing here in the Media Browser. I know that this is a Stack, because this photo is showing the Stack symbol in its upper-right corner, and there is an arrow to the right of this photo thumbnail. If I want to see all the photos in the Stack, I can expand the Stack in the Media Browser by clicking that arrow.
And now I can see and have access to all four of these photos. So if for example, I wanted to edit one of these photos, I could click on it in this expanded Stack, and open it in the Editor. Now I think that the best of these four photos is this vertical photo here. This is the one that I would prefer having on the top of the Stack, the one that will be visible. I can do that by selecting that photo in the expanded Stack, and then right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking, and going down to the Stack menu and from there choosing Set as Top Photo.
Now I'm going to collapse the Stack by clicking this arrow. And you can see that the visible photo, the one on the top of the Stack is now my vertical. Now what if I want to remove a photo from the Stack? To do that I'll expand the Stack again by clicking this arrow, I'll select the photo that I want to remove by clicking on its thumbnail. I'll right-click or Ctrl+Click to bring up the contextual menu, and go down to Stack, and I'm going to choose Remove Photo from Stack, and that will remove one or more selected photos from that Stack.
Now if I collapse the Stack by clicking the arrow, you can see that the photo I removed is outside of the Stack in the Media Browser. Let's say I want to put that photo back into the Stack, or add a different photo to the Stack. In that case I'll click on the Stack thumbnail, and I'll hold the Ctrl key as I click on the other photos that I want to include in the Stack, in this case just this vertical. Then I'll right-click or Ctrl+Click on either to bring up the contextual menu, and from the Stack menu I'm going to choose Stack Selected Photos.
At this alert, I'm going to click OK. And in just a moment all four photos will be back in my Stack, which I can confirm by expanding the Stack by clicking that arrow. Now let's say that I no longer want to have a Stack at all. I want all four of these thumbnails to show in my Media Browser without being in a Stack. In that case I'll expand the Stack, as I already have, and then I'll right-click or Ctrl+Click on any one of the photos in the Stack. And again go down to the Stack menu, and this time I'm going to choose Unstack Photos.
Notice that I'm not choosing Flatten Stack, and in fact that's not even available. But I usually don't want to flatten my Stack, because that will remove all of the photos except for the one that's on top from my Media Browser. So instead of that I'm choosing to Unstack Photos. And in just a moment all four photos are back in the Media Browser, and there are no longer any stacks here. So you might think of stacking like putting together a deck of cards. You take similar photos, you stack them one atop the other and then the only one that's visible is the one at the top of the deck.
But you can easily get to any of the photos in the deck or in the stack, so that you can work on it here in Elements.
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