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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.
If you are a Mac user, and you shoot photos as a hobby, or if you're into scrap booking, Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac is made for you. Before we get started looking at the ins and outs of using Elements 8, here's an overview of its various workspaces, what each offers and how to navigate from one workspace to another. Elements 8 for Mac is primarily a consumer-level photo editor. You'd use it to enhance the quality and the composition of your photographs to make your ordinary photos look extraordinary. Elements will also help you to share your photos in creative ways like photo books, slideshows, and online galleries.
You can use Adobe Bridge CS4, which comes with your copy of Elements 8 to organize and find photos in your growing digital collection. If you haven't already launched Elements, go ahead and do so now, and you'll see these two screens. The Welcome screen here offers shortcuts to places that you'll go to do certain tasks, like start from scratch, or import photos from a camera. I'll take you through the Welcome screen in another movie in this chapter, but for now I'm going to close the Welcome screen by going up to this tiny X at the top-right corner of that screen and clicking.
Now you have a better view of the Elements Full Edit workspace, the default workspace, which offers a wide range of photo editing tools and commands. This is where you'll go when you want full control over photo editing. Using layers or selection tools, adding text, adding filters, and working with lots of other editing features that I'll be covering in detail in later chapters in this course. For now, I want to concentrate on how you can move between this Full Edit workspace and other workspaces that Elements and Bridge offer.
The first thing you're usually going to want to do it from any of Elements workspaces is to open an image. The easiest way to find and open a file is visually, using Adobe Bridge CS4, which comes with Elements 8 for Mac. To get to Adobe Bridge from Elements, I'm going to go up to the Application bar here at the top of the screen, and I'm going to click this orange icon, the launch Bridge icon. That launches Adobe Bridge CS4, as you can see up here at the top-left of the screen. I'm going to use the Favorites panel here to navigate to a photo inside my Exercise Files folder on my desktop.
Because I can't really read the items that are listed here in the Favorites panel, I'm going to move my mouse over the border to the right of the Favorites panel, click-and-hold and drag over to the right, until I can see the items in that panel. If the Favorites panel isn't showing, I'll click on the Favorites tab here on the left. Now I'm going to navigate to my desktop from the Favorites panel. I'll go down to the folder labeled Desktop. I'll click once, and then in the Content panel here on the right, I can see everything on my desktop. I have only my Exercise Files folder there, and if you haven't already put your Exercise Files folder there, I suggest that you go back to the Finder and do so now.
Then you'll see it here in Bridge. Now I want to look inside the Exercise Files folder, so I'll double-click this folder in the Content panel, and that shows me all of the chapter subfolders inside of the Exercise Files folder. I want to look inside the Chapter 1 folder, so I'll double-click the chapter01 folder in the Content panel of Bridge. Here I see a subfolder for each movie in this chapter. I want to see a file that's inside the first of these folders, so I'm going to double-click the 01_01 subfolder here.
Finally, I can see a thumbnail image of a photograph. So this way, I can choose the photograph visually. If this is the one that I want open into the editor, and it is, I'm going to hold down the Ctrl key, as I click on this thumbnail, or if I have a two-button mouse, I can right-click on the thumbnail. Choose Open With, and then go down to Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.0. Later in the course, I'll show you a way you can set up Bridge, so that you can double-click on a thumbnail and have it open in Elements, but for now, this method works fine.
That opens the photograph in Elements Full Edit workspace, ready to be worked on, and at the same time, it hides Bridge. Now there will be some times when you really don't want to make use of all of the commands and tools and controls here in the Full Edit workspace. You just want to do some quick, automatic edits to an image. So that's best done in one of the other editing workspaces here in Elements, which I can access from the orange tab over here on the right side of the screen. I'll click the arrow on the right side of the orange tab and this shows me the three different editing workspaces: the Full Edit workspace, which I'm now in, the Quick Edit workspace, and the Guided Edit workspace.
I'm going to click on the Quick Edit workspace to open this photograph there. Here in the Quick Fix panel, in the Quick Edit workspace, you'll find some automatic buttons, as well as some easy-to-use sliders for controlling lighting, color, and other photo qualities. I'll cover the Quick Edit workspace in depth in a later chapter too. Now, if you want even more guidance as you edit a photo, you can open an image into the Guided Edit workspace. To do that, I'm going to go back up to that orange tab and click the arrow to the right of that tab and choose Edit Guided.
In this workspace, you'll find a list of techniques in the Guided Edit panel on the right, and clicking any one of these, like maybe a correct skin tone, displays a set of instructions and simplified controls that you can use to perform that particular technique. I'll be covering some of the techniques in the Guided Edit workspace in more depth in a later chapter too. Now say that you've edited one or more photos, and now you want to include them in a creative project, like a photo book or a greeting card. To do that, I'll go up to the top- right, and I'm going to click the magenta tab, labeled Create.
Here, I see a list of items that I can make, like a photo book, a greeting card, photo prints, a photo collage for scrap booking and more. Finally, if I'm ready to share my photos, or my photo creations with family and friends, I'll go up and click the green Share tab. This gives me some options for the method in which I'm going to share: in an online web photo gallery, by email attachments, on a CD or DVD and more. And we'll be looking at some of these options as well in later movies.
So you can go back and forth between the various workspaces that I've shown you here, any of the three editing workspaces, the Create workspace, the Share workspace, or back to Bridge for organizing and finding photos. If you want to close an open image from any of the workspaces in Elements, you'll go to the File menu and choose Close or use the keyboard shortcut Command+W. If you want to quit Elements altogether, go to Photoshop Elements at the top of the screen, and choose Quit Photoshop Elements, or Command+Q. But I'm not going to do that right now, I'm just going to move off of that menu, because I want to show you one more thing, and that is how to get back to the Welcome screen that I showed you at the beginning of this movie, and that I'm going to be explaining in more detail in another movie in this chapter.
So to get to the Welcome screen, I'm going to go up to the Window menu, and I'm going to choose Welcome. So that's an overview of what Elements 8 for Mac offers, and how to navigate between Elements various Editing, Create, and Share workspaces as well as Adobe Bridge CS4.
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