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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.
Adobe Bridge CS4 comes with Elements 8. Bridge is a file viewer and organizer that displays photos and other media files on your hard drive. You can use it to manage your growing digital photo collection, and to visually find particular files to open into Elements for editing there. In this chapter, I'll show you some ways to use Bridge to manage files that you're going to use in Elements. First, let's take a tour of the Bridge Interface in this movie. You can open Adobe Bridge CS4 from your Mac Applications folder, or you can launch it directly from Elements either by clicking this orange Launch Bridge button, as I've shown you how to do earlier, or by going up to the Elements file menu and choosing Browse With Bridge.
When Bridge opens, if it isn't filling your screen, you can click the green button at the top left of the Bridge Window to maximize it. Let's take a look at the Bridge Interface. Over on to the left is the Favorites panel. Earlier I showed you how to browse for files that you are looking for by clicking on Common locations here in the Favorites panel. But what if you need to get to a location that you haven't saved as a Favorite? In that case you can use the Folders panel here. I'll click on the Folders tab, and this shows me a list of all the folders on my hard drive or on any external drive that's attached to my computer and turned on.
I am going to use this list of files and folders to navigate to my Exercise Files. I know those are located on my Desktop, so I'll move to the Desktop, and I'll click the arrow to the left of Desktop. And then I'll click on Exercise Files. And that shows all of the subfolders in the Exercise Files folder over here in the Content panel. If I want to save the Exercise Files folder as a Favorite in the Favorites panel, I'll hold the Ctrl key and click on the Exercise Files folder, or if I have a two-button mouse, I can right click on the Exercise Files folder, and from the menu that appears, I'll choose Add To Favorites.
Now if I click on the Favorites Tab, I see that the Exercise Files are added there as a Favorite Location. I am going to go back into the Folders panel by clicking its tab, and then I am going to burrow down further into the Exercise Files folder by clicking the arrow to the left of Exercise Files in the Folders panel. I am going to go down to Chapter 3 and click the arrow there. And then I am going to click on the Subfolder 03_01. Now I can see here in the Content panel, a thumbnail copy of each of the image files that are in the 03_01 folder.
These thumbnails are useful because they allow me to find the images that I am looking for visually, without having to remember their file names. And by the way, Bridge will display not only photographs, but files of other formats like other image formats, video files, and audio files. Notice that there is a subfolder inside the 03_01 folder. It's labeled Roddy. If I want to see just the files in this subfolder, I can double click the subfolder here in the Content panel, and there are four thumbnails of photos inside the Roddy folder.
But what if I want to see the files in the Roddy folder along with the files in the 03_01 folder, which is one level up. I can see the path to this folder right here, and if I want to go back up to the 03_01 folder, I can just click on it here in that path, or I could have used the Back Button up here. Now that I am back viewing the content of the 03_01 folder, I am going to go up to the View menu, and I am going to choose Show Items from Subfolders.
This is a command that I think is a little hard to find, so try to keep in mind that it's here under the View menu. And when I release my mouse on Show Items from Subfolders, I can now see not only the content of the 03_ 01 folder, but also the four thumbnails that are in the subfolder, Roddy. If I want to see the thumbnails larger, so that I can evaluate the Photos better, I can go down to this slider at the bottom of the Bridge Window and drag to the right, or I can click The Larger Thumbnail Size icon here or The Smaller Thumbnail Size here, to change the size of the thumbnails.
And when the thumbnails are bigger, I use the scrollbar here on the right of the Content panel to move down to see other thumbnails. I am going to click the Smaller Thumbnail button several times to go back, so that I can see more of my thumbnails. And if you want to see any of the thumbnails in full screen view, all you have to do is click on one of the thumbnails and then press the spacebar on your keyboard. That gives you a big view of the image, so it easier to evaluate for its photo-quality, and for its composition.
I am going to press the spacebar again to go back to the thumbnail view. And then I'll click in a blank area of the Content panel. I can change the order of the thumbnails by making a choice from the Sort menu up here. Where I can choose to sort By File Name, By Date Created, By File Size and more. I'll go back to sort By File Name. I can also change the order of the thumbnails by dragging files manually.
So let's say that I want this file to be at the beginning. I'll click once to select the file, and then I'll drag it up here, and when I see that blue bar, I'll release my mouse, and that becomes the first file. Then I'll take this file as well, clicking once to select it, and then clicking, and holding, and dragging, and releasing when I see the blue bar. If I want to see a high resolution preview of a particular image, I'll select it in the Content panel by clicking on it once. Notice that it appears over here in the Preview panel. Right now that Preview is pretty small, but I can make it as big as I want by expanding the Borders around the Preview panel.
So I'll move my mouse over the left Border. And I'll drag to the left, and then I can move my mouse over the bottom Border and drag, and that will make my Preview bigger. If I like this arrangement, I can save this arrangement by going up to the Workspace menu which is labeled Essentials By Default, clicking the arrow there and choosing New Workspace. And I'll call this one 'large preview'. I'll leave these two checkboxes checked and I'll click Save.
Now let's say that I want to go back to the arrangement as it was when I started. I'll go back to that same menu, and I'll choose Reset Standard Workspaces. And then I am going to maximize the window again by clicking the green button. I can go back to the Saved Workspace at any time by returning to this Essentials menu, and from there I have the choice of my custom made 'large preview' workspace. Notice that there are some other Workspaces listed in this menu. These are Default Workspaces that come with Bridge.
One of my Favorites is the Filmstrip workspace because this arranges the thumbnails down here at the bottom of the screen with a large preview above. And to see different images, I'll just click once on the thumbnail down here, and it switches the Content of the Preview pane. Notice that the panels over on the left are taking up some room. If I'd rather devote the whole screen to the images, I can press the Tab key on my keyboard, and that collapses the panels on the left and any panels that are showing on the right.
And then I can press the Tab key again to bring the panels back. So as you can see, Bridge is really flexible in the way that you can arrange its interface, and it does a good job of allowing you to preview images before you choose those to open into Elements.
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