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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
Another way you can use Bridge to help organize your library of digital photographs is to group images of similar content into image stacks. This allows you to save room in the Content panel, thereby preventing you from having to scroll through such a large list of thumbnails. I'm currently in Bridge right now and I'm viewing our exercise files here. I'm viewing the catalog images. These are all of the images inside of the catalog images folder. As you can see, it's a pretty long list. As we scroll through here, there are lots of different images. As we go down, you will start to notice that some of the images are actually quite similar in content.
I'm actually going to stop scrolling right here when we get into the Enzo_Beach series of images. There are a lot of images in this series and they are very, very similar. You can notice, they're just slightly different poses of my son Enzo playing at the beach. Now, these are really, really good candidates for creating image stacks. Okay, we know this is a series, we know that they are just slightly different poses, but otherwise pretty much the same content. So in order to save us from this extra scrolling, in order to get to the next series of images, which is the buggy series, and then further down to these more individual images down here, we can go ahead and group these into stacks. That's the benefit to doing this.
So how do we go about doing this? Well, what we need to do first is, of course, make a selection of the images that we want to stack together into a group. So let's start here with the vertical images of Enzo at the beach. I'm going to click on the first image in that series, Enzo_beach_01, and then holding down the Shift key, I'm going to select the last image in that series, by clicking on it. When I do that, it's going to select all of the other images in between those two. All right, so all of those adjacent images in the series are now selected. We can tell that by the blue highlight around each image.
So with all of these images selected now, I would like to stack them into a condensed group. One way to do that is actually to go under the Stacks menu and choose Group as Stack. I want you to take notice of this keyboard shortcut off on the right, Command+G, because that's a good one to remember. Because sometimes it's a lot easier to select these images quickly and apply that keyboard shortcut and then you can create the stack on the fly, instead of having to go under the menu. So here we have our image stack. You can see now we're not seeing every image in that series. We're only seeing the top most image and that was the first image that we had selected. That's representative of everything that's contained in the series. So there is additional images here that we're no longer seeing, but they are still there. They are just behind the topmost image and they are collapsed inside of this stack.
Now, if you want to expand the stack out, in order to see all of the images contained within, I think the quickest and easiest way to do that is to click on the number that's over here in the upper left of the stack and this number, of course, is representative of how many images are contained within the stack. If I click on that number, it expands the stack out and now we have access to those images. We can, of course, select individual images within a stack, all you have to do is go ahead and click on that image. I'm going to do that here. Notice, what happened in the Preview, now we just have one image selected within the stack rather than every image within the stack.
If you would like to ungroup an image from the stack, which you can go ahead and do, is choose from the Stacks menu, Ungroup from Stack or of course the keyboard shortcut again, Command+Shift+G that time. That ungroups it. See how it has now been pushed off to the side here and it's no longer in the outlined area showing the expanded stack? Because it's no longer part of it. If you want to add it back to, you have to go ahead and select the stack and then select the image. I would just do a Shift-click there to do that. With all these images now selected, I can go ahead, Group as Stack, and it's back in the group.
If you want to collapse the stack again, you can click on the number. All right, so now we're hiding that stack. Next thing I want to do is create another stack. This time, create one for all of the horizontal beach images. Selecting the first image in the series, and then Shift-clicking on the last image in the series, we now have all of the adjacent images selected. This time to create the group, rather than using the keyboard shortcut or the menu command, I'm going to actually right click to access the contextual menu. You can Ctrl-click if you have a single button mouse and then choose Group as Stack from the Stack item there in the list.
All right, so now we have a new stack, we can see I have nine images in the stack. We're going to expand it out. There are all of our images. All right, now knowing that, by default, the first selected image in this series becomes the topmost image in the stack. What if you would like to actually choose a different image from within the stack to be representative of the group? I think, that since his head is down, this is maybe not the best one. Let's go ahead and choose a different one, I'll go ahead and select this image right here and I would like to promote this image to the top of the stack. Okay, regardless of what our sort criteria is. It's Filename right now, so it's alphabetical. It's going to override that, this being a stack, and place it to the topmost image of the stack.
So let's go ahead and this time I'm going to right-click again and we're going to choose Promote to Top of Stack. When we do that, brings it to the top. So now this is our representative image. Let's go ahead and close the stack and we'll see. That's the image that's representing what's contained within the stack. All right, so it's a great way to work. Let's make just one more of these. I want to show you one more thing. I'm going to go ahead and click on this image here, the Enzo_buggy_ride_05 image and then I'm going to Shift-click on the Enzo_buggy_ride_10 image to select this entire series.
Now, I want to add an additional image in here. Just to show you that the images don't necessarily have to be in this adjacent order here in the list. You can Command-click in order to add another image that's not adjacent to the rest of the images. Go ahead and Command-click on there. I have added that to my selection now and now I want to create another image stack. I will go under here, choose Group as Stack, and there is my group. All right, now last thing I want to show you here is, since we now have more than one image stack here in this particular folder display in the Content panel, if you ever want to expand all of the stacks at once in order to see every image that you have, you can go under the Stacks menu and you can choose Expand All Stacks.
When you do that, all of the stacks contained within the folder are now going to be expanded in order to reveal all of those hidden images, as you can see here. By the same token, if you want to collapse them all at once, because they are starting to get in the way and you're doing too much scrolling, go up here and we can choose Collapse All Stacks. So now they have all been collapsed again. All right, now we don't have to scroll as much as we go through the list. Okay, so that is how you can work with image stacks. What we learned here is that by selecting images of similar content, we can group them into an image stack, and ultimately prevent ourselves from having to scroll so much through a very large list of images that we currently have in our Content panel display.
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