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Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training highlights the important features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. Photographer Jan Kabili shows how to use Photoshop Elements to organize and edit photos, build photos into projects like slideshows and photo books, and share photos with family and friends. Jan explains how to train Photoshop Elements 8 to recognize and tag faces, use the Smart Brush for targeted adjustments, and share photos using Adobe's online service, photoshop.com. She also 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.
The Full Edit workspace in Elements Editor gives you full control over editing and manipulating your photos. I'm going to be covering the Full Edit workspace in detail in this chapter and in the chapters to come. In this movie I'd like to take you on a tour of the interface here in the Full Edit workspace so that you know where everything is and have a general idea of what it does. And then I'll go into more detail on some of these features in later movies. This interface, like that of many programs, has a menu bar at the top. And if I click on any of the menu items I get a drop-down menu with commands.
One thing to notice in these menus is that to the right of a command, there's often a keyboard shortcut listed. So for example, here the Edit > Undo command has the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Z. And as you get more familiar with Elements, I suggest you start trying to remember the keyboard shortcuts for things that you do most often, like undoing, or saving files, copying, pasting, and other common activities. I am going to click in a blank area of the menu bar to close that menu and show you the next interface element, which is the toolbar over here on the left.
I'll be covering the toolbar in more detail in another movie, but I did want to mention that the toolbar is related to this other bar right up here, the Tool Options bar. So that every time I select a different tool here in the toolbar, the options available in the Tool Options bar change too displaying just the options related to whatever tool is selected at the moment in the toolbar. The next interface element is over on the right side of the screen, and that's the panels. There are many more panels than those that you see here.
If you'd like to open another panel, go up to the Window menu at the top of the screen, and there you'll see all the panels listed alphabetically. So let's say I wanted to view the Histogram panel, which I often use when I'm editing a photo. I'll click Histogram, and the Histogram panel appears here in this column of panels over on the right side of the screen. Since all of the panels don't fit in this column, when you get too many over here some will collapse, like this Adjustments panel down here so that you can just see it by it's tab. And then if you want to see the entire panel, just double-click its tab like this and the panel comes into view and other panels will collapse.
By default the panels are docked into this column on the right, but sometimes you might want to dis- attach a panel from this column. For example, I sometimes like to take my Layers panel and drag it out of the column, and drop it right next to the image that I'm editing like this. And then I'll double-click the Layers tab there to open the entire panel to view. I can click on the title bar of this panel, and just drag it wherever I want on the screen. Now that it's a free-floating panel, I can bring other panels out and join them with his free-floating panel. So I might get the Histogram panel and drag it out of the Dock and I'll move it right underneath the Layers panel.
When I see that blue line, I'll release my mouse and then I'll double-click the Histogram tab, and now I've got those two panels linked together so that when I click-and-drag on the title bar they move around together. To change that relationship, I can just click on either of the panel tabs and drag it out of that new column, or I can drag a panel back into the column on the right. When I see a blue line there, I'll release my mouse. I can also join panels together into a group to save some room. So I might take the Layers panel by its tab and drag it into the same area as the Histogram panel.
Now instead of a single blue line, I see a blue border around the Histogram panel and that means that those two panels, the Layers panel and Histogram panel, are grouped together into one panel group. And to bring either one to the forefront of that group, I just click its tab like this or like this. I suggest that you customize your panel arrangements so that the panels that use most often for a particular task are the ones that you have on screen. So that means that you may have to close some panels. To close a panel, you will go to the small icon that's on the right side of every panel or panel group called the panel menu icon.
It's really hard to see; it's basically a small icon with some horizontal lines and an arrow. I'm going to click the panel menu here on the Effects panel, and that shows me a list of commands relevant to that panel. If I want to close this panel, I'll just choose Close from the bottom of that list. If I want to close an entire panel group, say in this case, the Layers and Histogram panel group. I'll go to its panel menu icon, and I'll choose Close Tab Group, and that will just close. Now what if I want to open panels.
I go up to the Window menu and I choose the panel that I want, say the Layers panel. And that opens not only with the Layers panel, but also with the other panel I had grouped with it, the Histogram panel. If you have customize your panels, and you want to go to the original default panel arrangement, you can do that at any time by going to the top of the Editor and clicking Reset Panels. If you've been using the last version of Photoshop Elements, you'll notice that some of the features that I just showed you are new and that's because the Editor in Elements 8 is based upon Photoshop CS4 bringing some new features to the Elements 8 Editing interface.
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