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There is a new tool in Photoshop Elements 8, the Recompose tool, that allows you to crop away areas inside a photo. This comes in handy if you want to eliminate some empty space in between two subjects in a photo or on a more practical level, if you want to take a photo that is horizontal, like this one, and change it into a vertical. That's what I'm going to do with this photo. But first, I'm going to drag out the document window so there is a little bit of space around the photo so we can see it better. Then I'm going to select the new Recompose tool from behind the Crop tool in the toolbar.
Elements offers these instructions about how to use the tool. If you have read them once and you don't want to see the instructions every time you select the tool, then check Don't show again and click OK. Before I use the tool, I'm going to go up to the Options bar and I'm going to click on this first icon that looks like a green paintbrush. With this tool, I'm going to come into the image and I'm going to scribble over the content that I want to protect as I change this landscape image into a vertical image. I don't have to be too careful. I can just go like that and I'll scribble over this cow and I'm also going to take another tool and indicate the area that is okay to eliminate.
So that's this tool, the red brush. I might make my brush tip bigger for this purpose since there is a lot to eliminate here. I'll just press the Right Bracket key a few times, and I'll scribble over the area that can be eliminated. Now, notice that I went too far and I scribbled over part of the flag. So, I'm going to get this tool, which will erase some of the area that I marked for removal, and then I'll come in and erase that here. If I want to add more area to remove, I can get the red brush again and add a little bit in here.
And notice also that there is another icon here for protecting people if you have an image of a person in a photo. From the Preset menu, I can choose the dimensions to which I want to resize the photo as I make it vertical or I can just choose Use Photo Ratio to make the image in a common ratio for photographs. And then, I'm finally ready to use the tool. All I have to do is move my mouse over one of the anchor points and click-and-drag. I'm going to stop just about there, and in a moment Elements has changed my landscape image into a portrait image.
If I like the result, I'll click this green checkmark to accept it. Finally, I'm going to crop away this empty area of the image. I'll go back and I'll get the Crop tool from behind the Recompose tool, I'll come into the image and I'll just drag from the top-left corner to the bottom-right corner of my new vertical image and I'll click the check mark. It's a little hard to see the boundaries of this particular gray image against the canvas here. So, I'm going to get the Zoom tool and with Resize Windows To Fit checked, I'm going to click in the image once, so that you can see how it looks without that gray canvas around it.
And I think I've done a really successful job of changing that horizontal image into a vertical one, using the new Recompose tool in Photoshop Elements 8.
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