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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.
Let's take a brief tour of Elements Organizer. This is just a first look at the Organizer designed to get you comfortable with its layout and features. You'll here a lot more detail about the features that I introduce here in other movies in this course. The Organizer is one of the two major components of Elements 9, which has an Organizer and an Editor on both Windows and Mac. The primary purpose of the Organizer is to help you manage your collection of digital photographs and By manage, I mean organize, keep track of, and find your photographs.
The basis of the Organizer is its catalogs. A catalog is a sort of database that contains records of your photos. You might think of an Organizer catalog as similar to a library card catalog. It doesn't contain your actual photos, but it does have information about, and pointers to each photo that you include whether you store your photos on your computer or offline on an external drives or disks. The Organizer displays small previews of your photos, which are referred to as thumbnails, because they are thumbnail sized.
The area of the Organizer that displays these thumbnails, this large gray area here is called the Media Browser. Another area of the Organizer is the Task pane, which is this column over on the right. At the top of the Task pane, you see four tabs, which represent the four kinds of tasks that you can perform on your photos in the Organizer. You can organize them, you can fix or edit them, you can make photo-based creations like slideshows and books and you can share your photos and photo-based creations with others.
The content of this Task pane changes as I click on the various tabs. The Organize tab contains the Albums panel where you can make subject-based albums for collecting your photos without actually having to move them on your drive. We'll do lots more with Albums later in the course. There is also a Keyword Tags panel in the Organize tab, which is used to add subject matter tags to your photos. These tags are useful for helping you find photos on a particular subject, even if those photos are scattered in different locations.
There is another panel that I like to add to those in the Organize tab and that's the Properties panel, because it's so useful when I want to get information about one or more photos. I'll select a photo here. Then I'll go up to the Window menu at the top of the screen to open the Properties panel. The Properties panel has its own tabs. As you cycle through those tabs, you'll see different information about the selected photo here. For example, in the I Tab or Information tab, there is lots of detailed information about the digital image.
If I scroll down, information about the photograph that came from my digital camera like the Shutter Speed, the F-Stop, and even the Focal Length of my lens. So if I want to consult that information while I'm working on a photo, it's nice to have it readily available. So I'd like to snap this Properties panel over in the Task pane on the right and I'll do that by clicking this T shaped icon at the top right of the Properties panel. Then to give the Properties panel a little more room in this column, I'll move my mouse over the border between the Properties panel and the Keyword Tags panel where I see these four small dots and I'll drag up and that rearranges the panels in the dock here.
I'm going to click on the next tab, the Fix tab to show you what's there. Here, I have options for performing common photo corrections without having to take a photo into the Editor. If I do want to take a photo into the Editor, I'll just select it here in the Media Browser and I'll click the arrow on the right side of the Fix tab and from here, I can access the various editing modes in the Editor; Full Photo Edit, Quick Photo Edit, and Guided Photo Edit. This last choice is used primarily when you're Editing Videos and it takes you to another program Premiere Elements, which is outside the scope of this course.
The Create tab is where I can go to start the process of making photo creations like a print a Book, a Greeting Card, and so forth. The starting point for some creations is here in the Organizer and for others in the Editor. There is also a Share tab here, where I can go to share my photos and other creations in various ways; attaching to e-mail or sharing directly to online services like Flickr and Facebook. Now over on the left is yet another area of the Organizer and that is a column of Folders that represents the folders on my hard drive.
The reason that this column is showing on my screen is that from the Display menu up here at the top right, I've chosen to view my Organizer in Folder Location view rather than the default Thumbnail View. That's the way that I'll use the Organizer throughout this course. I'll explain more about these views in other movies. At the top of the screen is the menu bar with the kinds of dropdown menus that you find in any application. Beneath that is another bar with some features that you'll often access like a Search field to find particular photos, and a slider to change the size of the thumbnails in the Media Browser.
At the bottom left of the screen, you'll see the name of the current catalog that you're in. During this course, we'll be using the PSE9 Ex Files catalog that I had you make earlier in the course. A word about the overall appearance of the Organizer, if you use the last version of the Organizer in Elements 8 for Windows, you may notice that it looks slightly different in Elements 9. The Adobe engineers worked really hard to make the Organizer more readable this time around. I think the photos stand out better against the Media Browser, because they've changed the background color of the Media Browser, making it a little lighter.
There is this grid around each of the thumbnails in the Media Browser by default, which helps make each photo more visible, and adds a little bit of space around them. There is a new typeface in the tabs on the Task panel and the distracting colors that were on these tabs in the last version are now gone. The program now has a different font for its menus as well that I think makes them more readable. If you're used to use the Organizer in Windows, you may remember that if you open your Preferences from the Edit menu here, there was a preference for changing the appearance of the Organizer.
You won't find that particular preference here in Elements 9, now that the appearance of the Organizer has been improved. But of course, there are other preferences here, which customize the way that you'll use Elements. I'm going to cancel out of there, and go back to the Organizer to remind you that that's just a brief look at the lay of the land in the Organizer. I'll be covering lots more about the Organizer in the movies to come.
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