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Editing photographs in Elements can involve lots of trial and error. Knowing how to undo what you've tried is one of the most important things you can know about using the program. I'm working here in snowdog.jpg, inside the 06_07 Mistake subfolder in the Chapter 06 exercise files. Let's say that I want to eliminate this black dog from the white snow and I decide I'm going to try to use the Spot Healing Brush to do that. Now I'll tell you in advance, I already know this is not going to work, but that's the point. I want to show you how to undo something that doesn't work.
So I'm going to get the Spot Healing Brush here in the Toolbox and then I'm going to Command and click on my dog's leg. I'll try to eliminate it and I can do 5, 6 clicks and I just see that it is not working. How would I fix this? Well, my first reaction might be "Gosh! I better erase it", but no, that isn't the right reaction. Because if you go and get the Eraser tool and then you come in and try to erase, all that happens is all of the pixels get covered up with white paint, which is the color that happens to be here in the Background color box.
So, I'm going to go to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose Undo Eraser and I could go back to the Edit menu and choose Undo Spot Healing Brush and I could continue to do that 5 or 6 more times to get rid of all of it. To make that go faster, I could use the shortcut for Edit > Undo, which is Ctrl+Z on the keyboard, so I'm going to do that, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z. That's okay, but imagine if I had made 20, 30, 40 marks. It could be really tedious to try to undo them with the Undo command or using Ctrl+Z.
A better way to work is to use the Undo History palette to fix your mistakes. The Undo History palette is accessible from the Window menu at the top of the screen. From there I'm going down to Undo History, and that opens this palette over here. Now you can see here all of those marks that I made which I then undid. Let me make some more marks so you can see how the Undo History palette works. Again with the Spot Healing Brush I'm going to come in, and this time I'll work at the front of the dog and each time I click, the Undo History palette is taking note of that action. So now I have made a real mess of my dog, but over in the Undo History palette I have an easy way to fix the mess.
One thing I could do is start clicking up these rows that says Spot Healing Brush and as I move up here with each click, I'm deleting another one of attempts to heal the dog. Alternatively, I could just take this slider on the right and slide it up to rows and that goes even faster. Or I could just go to the very top where it says, Open, click there and that would take me back to the state of how the dog looked when I first opened the image. Another nice thing about the Undo History palette is that you can go back down the other way. So if I decided that I wanted to bring those spot healing marks back, I could take that slider and drag it back down the marks and bring back all my attempts to wipe out the dog. I know that I can always go back to my original image by going all the way up to the top and clicking on this thumbnail of snowdog.jpg, which is the original image.
So when you are working on a photograph and trying lots of different things, I suggest that you open the Undo History palette and maybe even dock it in your palette bin as I've showed you how to do in other movies. By going to the More menu and choosing Place In Palette Bin When Closed, and then clicking the X. Then you'll always have Undo History there when you need it.
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