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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.
When you first launch Elements, you'll see this Welcome screen. The Welcome screen offers shortcuts to some of the tasks that you're likely to do first, like import images from a camera or a memory card reader, or like looking for existing photos on your hard drive, using Adobe Bridge CS4, or like creating a new file from scratch, if you're doing something like making a scrap book page or a collage. If you've opened any images recently into Elements, they will be listed down here at the bottom-left of the Welcome screen. So if you want to re-open one of those files, you can just click its name here in the Welcome screen, and that image will open in Elements.
I'll close the image by clicking the red button at the top-left of the document window. Then if I want to go back to the Welcome screen at anytime from anywhere in Elements, I can go up to the Window menu, and choose Welcome. One of the icons you're most likely to use here is the Browse with Adobe Bridge icon. Clicking this icon is an alternative to launching Bridge from the Elements Application bar up here, as I showed you how to do in the last movie. Adobe Bridge is a separate program that comes with Elements 8. It's a file viewer and organizer, and it comes in handy for finding, viewing, and opening into Elements, photos that are already on your hard drive.
So here in the Welcome screen, if I click Browse with Adobe Bridge, that launches Adobe Bridge CS4. Bridge opens to a default location, and because this is the first time that I've launched Bridge from the Welcome screen, I get this message asking if I want to add to Bridge, a preference for Photoshop Elements. I'm going to enable that preference by clicking Yes, and I'll click Yes again. By the way, if you want to open more than one image into Elements, you can select more than one image by clicking on one, and then holding down the Command key on your keyboard and clicking on others.
And then you can open all of them at once by Ctrl+Clicking or right-clicking on one of the images and choosing Open With>Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0. But I'm not going to do that right now, I'm just going to click in a blank area of the Bridge Content panel, and instead, I want to go back to the Welcome screen to show you some of the other icons there. So I'm going to hold down the Command key and then I'm going to tap the Tab key once, and that brings up the Mac Application Switcher. I'll tap the Tab key several times until the highlight surrounds the icon for Adobe Photoshop Elements, and then I'll release.
That will switch me back to Elements. Here in Elements, I'll go up to the Window menu, and I'm going to choose Welcome to reopen the Welcome panel, so we can see some of these other icons. Another icon you may find yourself using from the Welcome panel is Import from Camera. You can use this to bring photos from your camera or your memory card reader into your computer as an alternative to choosing file and then Adobe Photo Downloader, as I'm going to show you how to do in a separate movie on bringing files into your computer from your camera or card reader.
So this icon here in the Welcome screen is just another starting point for that process. I'm going to click Import from Camera. That launches Adobe Bridge. Because this is the first time that I clicked the Camera icon in the Welcome screen, I get this message asking if I want to use a special photo downloading plug-in that comes with Adobe Bridge, whenever I attach my camera or a memory card reader to my computer. I think that's a good idea, rather than using whatever proprietary downloading software may have come with my camera.
So I'm going to click Yes, and before I do that, if I don't want to see this message again, I can check Don't show again. I'll leave that unchecked for now. Notice that whatever option you choose here, Yes or No, you can change that later via Preferences. I'm going to click Yes and that opens the Photo Downloader in Adobe Bridge CS4. I'll cover the Photo Downloader, how to set it up and use it, in another movie. So for now, I'm going to cancel. Now to go back to the Welcome screen, I'll press-and-hold the Command key on my keyboard, and I'll tap the Tab key until I'm back at the Adobe Photoshop Elements icon.
Then I'll release, and I'm back in Elements where I can go to the Window menu, and choose Welcome again. Now there are a couple of other icons here, but to be honest, I hardly ever use them. One of those is this Import from Scanner icon. This starts the process of importing an image from your scanner. Then there is the Start from Scratch icon here. If I click that, it opens the New File dialog box in Elements, where you can make a new blank file into which you can bring photos, text, graphics or other items for a collage or a scrapbook page.
I usually don't do this from the Welcome screen. So I'm going to cancel out of this New dialog box. I usually do this from the File menu, choosing New and Blank File as I'll show you how to do in a later chapter. I'll open the Welcome screen one more time by going to the Window menu, and choosing Welcome. Once you get used to using Elements, and you know other ways to access Bridge to find and open files, or to access the Bridge Adobe Photo Downloader to bring in images from a camera, or to access your scanner, or to start a new file from scratch, you may feel they you don't need to use these shortcuts here in the Welcome screen.
At that point, you can stop the Welcome screen from appearing, whenever you launch Elements by going down to this command, Show at Startup and unchecking, and then clicking OK. Next time I launch Bridge, the Welcome screen won't automatically appear. Instead, I'll just see the Elements interface that's back here behind the Welcome screen now. Finally, if I want to close the Welcome screen without clicking any of the icons in it, I can always go to this X at the top-right of the Welcome screen and click. So that's an overview of the Welcome screen and what it offers in Elements 8.
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