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If you can, I think it's a good idea to work along with me through the lessons in this course. To do that, you can use your own photos, or you can use the exercise files that you can download from Lynda.com if you are a premium member of Lynda.com. In this movie, I want to show you how you can import your exercise files, or your personal practice files into Elements Organizer, so you can use them in this course. If you're downloading the exercise files from Lynda.com, make sure that the download has unzipped, so that you're accessing the actual files, and then put the folder of Exercise Files on your Desktop, as I have them here.
If you're using your own practice files, go ahead and put those in a folder on your Desktop instead. Let me show you what's in the exercise files. If I double-click the Exercise Files folder, you can see that there are subfolders for each chapter in this course. And if I double-click one of the chapter folders, you can see that there are subfolders for the individual movies in that chapter. You won't find a subfolder for every single movie in the course; just those that make use of exercise files. If I look inside one of these movie folders, you can see the photos that I use in this lesson.
I'm going to close this window, and launch Elements. When you first launch Elements, the Welcome screen opens, giving you a way to access either Elements Organizer for importing and organizing your files, or the Editor for editing your files. I'll start with the Organizer, double-clicking it here in the Welcome screen to launch that part of the application. This is my Organizer without any photos in it yet. We're going to be importing the exercise files, or your own practice files into the Organizer. Before we do that, keep in mind that importing files doesn't mean moving files, or putting them into a container; it simply means making a record of your files where they're located out on your Desktop, and that's because Elements Organizer is a database program, so what it contains isn't actual files; the Organizer just contains records of your files, and links to your files, wherever they live on your computer.
You can have more than one catalog or database of files in your Organizer. The default catalog is called My Catalog, and you can see the name of the catalog down here at the very bottom right of my screen. Most of us use this default catalog for our own personal photos. I suggest that you keep the exercise files or the practice files you're using in this course separate from your own personal photos, and so you may want to make a new catalog for just the exercise files, or your practice files. To do that, I'm going to go up to the File menu, and down to Manage Catalogs.
In the Catalog Manager, in this area, you can see that I currently have just one catalog, My Catalog; the one that you see here in my Organizer. To make a new catalog, I'll come up to the New button, and I'll create a new catalog. I'm going to call this one Ex Files. I don't need music in the catalog for this course, so I'll uncheck Import free music into this catalog, and I'll click OK. Now if you look at the bottom right of the screen, you can see that we're in the empty Exercise Files catalog, or Ex Files catalog, and now it's time to import some photos into this Ex Files catalog in your Organizer.
To do that, I'll go to the Import button at the top left of the Organizer, and I'll choose From Files and Folders. I'll navigate to my Desktop, and from there, I'll select the Exercise Files folder. I'm going to leave all of the options down here at the bottom of the screen at their defaults, but it is important to make sure there is a checkmark next to Get Photos From Subfolders, so you can bring in all those photos that are in subfolders inside of the Exercise Files folder. By the way, Mac users, your Import dialog box may look a little different than this, but it has exactly the same options.
Now I'm going to come down and click Get Media, and Elements goes about quickly importing all of the Exercise Files into this Organizer catalog. If you look at the top of the screen, you'll see that currently we're seeing the thumbnails of just the last import; the one that we just did. If you already had other photos in this catalog, you could see them all by clicking the Back button here. And I suggest you do this now, and that will show all the photos in this catalog, sorted, by default, with the newest at the top, and the oldest at the bottom of this grid of thumbnails.
Over on the left side of the screen, you should see a Folders panel. If your Folders panel doesn't look like this one, if instead your Folders panel looks like this, with albums at the top, and then a long list of folders, go to the right of My Folders, and click the yellow folders icon to get back to the folder hierarchy view, which looks like this. Here you can see a hierarchical view of all of the folders that contain Exercise Files. To see that, you want to navigate to that folder by clicking the little icons to the left of folders in this view.
So I'm going to click next to Users, and then my username, and then I'll click on my Desktop folder, and finally I see the Exercise Files folder here. I'll click the icon to the left of the Exercise Files folder, and now I can see the chapter folders for my Exercise Files here in this hierarchy of files and folders. To access the files for a particular movie, click the icon to the left of that chapter folder, and then you'll see these movie subfolders. And because each of these movie subfolders contains exercise files, it has a little picture of a landscape on its folder, like this.
Now, to see the photos for this particular movie, I'll click on that subfolder, and over here in the grid you can see the photos that I'll use in that movie, and select them, as I explained in the movie. So that's how to prepare and access the exercise files, or your own practice files, as you work with me throughout this course. By the way, if you need more information about the Organizer, about catalogs, about importing to the Organizer, take a look at another course in this series of Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials, and that is the Photoshop Elements 11 Essentials: Importing and Organizing Photos course.
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