Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
There are a number of ways to undo steps you've taken as you edit in the Full Photo Edit workspace. You can go up to the bar at the top of the screen and click the Undo button and that will take you back one step, and you can click the Undo button multiple times. There's also a Redo button here that brings your steps back, or you could go to the Edit menu and choose the Undo command from there; there's also a Redo command, or you could use the common keyboard shortcut for undo, which is Ctrl+Z on the PC or Command+Z on the Mac.
But I think there is another way that's better than all these ways and that's to use the Undo History panel. To open the Undo History panel, which is not open by default, go to the Window menu and choose Undo History. That opens the Undo History panel over here at the bottom of the column of panels on the right. As I showed you in the last movie, you can get more room for a panel by moving it out of this column. So I'm going to do that by clicking on the Undo History tab and dragging it out of that column and then releasing, so that the whole panel is now floating free.
And then I'll click on the black title bar and I'll move this panel over to the right until I see this blue bar. When I release my mouse, the Undo History panel starts a brand-new column of panels that is snapped to the column on the right, and there's lots of room for history states here. Now I can't see my entire photo on screen anymore, there isn't enough space. So I'm going to select the Zoom tool, and then I'll go to the Options bar for the Zoom tool and choose Fit Screen, and that zooms the photo out so that it fits in the Document window.
So as I said, what I like about the Undo History panel is that it keeps track of each step that you take as you're editing the photo. So far I've taken only one step, and you can see that here, and that was to open the photo. Let's do a few more things to this photo. I'll go over to the toolbar and I'm going to select the Brush tool by clicking on it here in the toolbar. Then I'll move into the image and I'm going to make a brushstroke. Notice that the Undo History panel registers that brushstroke as a step or a state in the history of what I've done to this image.
I'll go back and get another tool. I'm going to click on the Brush tool and hold and that opens this flyout menu of other tools. I'm going to select the Impressionist Brush tool from this flyout menu, and then I'll come into the image and I'll drag, and that creates this sort of impressionist brush stroke over the flower. Notice in the Undo History panel that there is now another state, the Impressionist Brush state. I'm going to do this two more times, going back to that same Brush tool slot, clicking and holding and choosing another tool.
Here's the Color Replacement tool. When I click and drag with this tool, Elements replaces the color while retaining the tone of the photograph, and it uses whatever color is here in the foreground color box in the toolbar, in this case, shades of black or gray. I'll do that one more time going up to the Brush tool slot and from the flyout menu I'll select the Pencil tool, and then I'll make a pencil mark. And so those states are registered here in the Undo History panel as well. By default, this panel will register up to 50 states and you can increase that number in the editor's preferences if you need to.
Now that I have a number of states recorded, I can undo states right here in the Undo History panel by clicking on the state just before the thing that I want to disappear. So if I no longer want this pencil mark, I'll click on the state above the Pencil state in the Undo History panel, and that gets rid of my pencil mark. If I want to get rid of the Color Replacement tool mark, I'll click on the state above that and the Color Replacement is now gone from the image. I don't have to hit every state in order as I would have to do if I were using the Undo command or the Undo button.
I could skip up the chain if I want several steps. So I could go all the way up to the Open step and that would undo everything that happened after I opened the image. So you can see that all those marks are now gone, and if I want to go all the way back to the very beginning, I can go all the way up to this state which is the original file without anything done to it at all. I can also go in the other direction if I want to redo some steps. So if I click back on the Brush tool step, you'll see that brush mark in the image.
If I click on the Impressionist Brush step that adds that mark as well, and I can also skip steps as I'm redoing. So if I go down to the Pencil tool step that will bring back the Pencil tool as well as everything before the pencil mark was made, including the Color Replacement tool mark right here. What I can't do is to select a particular mark that I made and get rid of it. So if I go back and select the Brush tool mark, that gets rid of everything that happened thereafter, not just one of those steps.
One thing that can trip you up when you're using the Undo History panel is that if you undo back to a particular step, and then you perform another task on the image, all the subsequent history states will disappear from the Undo History panel and you'll lose the ability to redo them. Let me show you what I mean. I've gone all the way back to this first Brush tool step, so the only mark in the photo is this Brush tool. Now I'm going to get the Pencil tool, and come into the image, and I'm just going to scribble over the image.
Now look at the Undo History panel. After the Brush tool, all the old steps disappeared and I just have that single Pencil step that I just executed. At this point, it's as if the panel were recording a new branch of my editing steps and it can't remember this new branch as well as the old branch at the same time. Another thing to remember about the Undo History panel is that it is not saved with an image. So when I close this photo, whether or not I save the photo, the next time I reopen it, all of these steps will be gone and there will be just one step there, the Open step and I'll be starting from scratch, so I won't be able to automatically bring back something I did to the photo in history before I close the photo.
But while you are in an editing session, the Undo History panel is a great way to keep track of just where you are as you change your mind about steps you've taken.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
164 Video lessons · 49507 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 84581 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 54428 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 91501 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.