Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Using tools


Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

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Video: Using tools

Of all the features in the Full Edit workspace, you will probably use the toolbar the most. So I would like to share with you some tips for using the toolbar and its tools more efficiently. The toolbar is this double- columned item over here on the left. If you are working on a small monitor and you need more space, you can change it from two columns into one. To do that, you have to move it out of the snapped position over here on the left side of the screen. I will click on these two thin bars at the top of the toolbar and drag over to the right and that gives me access to this double-pointed arrow.
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  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
11h 20m Beginner Nov 23, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training, Jan Kabili highlights the key features of this comprehensive image organization and photo enhancement application. She shows how to correct and enhance photographs, and how to organize a growing collection of digital photos. The course also explains how to use photos in creative projects like photo books, calendars, and greeting cards, and how to share work online and in print. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Downloading files from a digital camera
  • Importing photos into an Elements catalog
  • Applying keyword tags
  • Organizing photos into albums and Smart Albums
  • Automatically adjusting photos in Quick Fix
  • Walking through Guided Edit photo techniques
  • Understanding photo resizing and resolution
  • Cropping and straightening photos
  • Making and refining selections
  • Correcting photos in the Full Edit workspace
  • Applying image sharpening
  • Adding text and special effects
  • Creating photo projects, such as greeting cards and calendars
Photoshop Elements Elements
Jan Kabili

Using tools

Of all the features in the Full Edit workspace, you will probably use the toolbar the most. So I would like to share with you some tips for using the toolbar and its tools more efficiently. The toolbar is this double- columned item over here on the left. If you are working on a small monitor and you need more space, you can change it from two columns into one. To do that, you have to move it out of the snapped position over here on the left side of the screen. I will click on these two thin bars at the top of the toolbar and drag over to the right and that gives me access to this double-pointed arrow.

If I click that, it changes the toolbar into a single column. If you happened to click this X by mistake, that dismisses the toolbar altogether from the screen. I think it's a good idea to always have it showing. So if that happens, here is how you can reopen the toolbar by going up to the Window menu and choosing tools. I am going to put this back to two columns by clicking that double-pointed arrow again, and then I will snap the toolbar back to the left side of the screen by clicking on its title bar, this black bar, and dragging back over to the left until I see a light blue line on the left side of the screen, and then I will release my mouse.

Notice that many of the tools have a black rectangle on the bottom right. That black rectangle indicates that there is more than one tool in that tool slot. There are just so many tools that they all can't be showing at the same time. To access related tools, click and hold on the tool that's showing and this flyout menu will appear and then you can move your mouse over to the side and select a different tool. Then that tool takes the slot in the toolbar. You maybe thinking that there are so many tools, you will never remember them all.

Well, you don't have to, because there are tooltips. So if I move my mouse over any one of the tools, and just hover there, in a moment a yellow box pops up with the name of the tool and a shortcut for selecting that tool if I want to use it. Normally, to select a tool I will click on it here in the toolbar. But another way to select a tool is to use its keyboard shortcut. If you don't remember the shortcut for a tool, you can just hover over the tool, and you will see the shortcut in that tooltip. So for example, if I wanted to access the Zoom tool and I was doing something else in the image, I don't have to come all the way over to the toolbox to get the Zoom tool, I can just press the Z key on my keyboard, because that tooltip told me and that changes me to the Zoom tool.

You can see that the Zoom tool is now darker than the other tools in the toolbox, because it's the selected tool. Another useful thing to know about tools is how to reset their options to the defaults. You remember from an earlier movie that when you select a tool in the toolbar, the options bar, this horizontal bar right here changes to display options that are specific to the selected tool. So if I select say the Brush tool here in the toolbar, keep your eye on the options bar and you will see it change, or if I select the Crop tool, the options in the options bar change again.

The fields for some of the tools in the options bar are what are called sticky. That means that if I enter something in those fields, like the Width and Height field here in the Crop tool options, those entries will remain there even after I am done using the Crop tool. So that the next time I come along and use the Crop tool, it's going to use the same dimensions. Sometimes that can trip you up, because I don't know why something is happening. So I recommend that when you begin a Photoshop session, you reset all of the tools to their defaults and that will eliminate anything in any of the fields of the tool options.

To do that, click the arrow at the far left of the options bar and there you can choose to reset the current tool or reset all tools. I will reset all of my tools and then I will click OK in this alert. As you can see, these fields are now clear. One more thing to know about the toolbar is that it contains the foreground and background color boxes. The foreground color box is the most important because whatever color is in that box will be the color that all of the tools and features that apply color will default to.

So that means that the Brush tool, and the Pencil tool, and the Type tool, and under the Edit menu, the Fill layer feature and a number of other features will all default to using whatever color is here in this box. So it's important to know how to set that color. One way to do that to take a color right out of an open image. To do that, I will select the eye- dropper tool in the toolbox and then I will move into the image and I will click on a color and that color appears here in the foreground color box.

Another way to select a foreground color is to click in the foreground color box to open this color picker. To intelligently choose a color in the color picker, you should know that color has three properties in Elements. It has hue, which is the color. saturation, which is how gray or intense the color, and brightness which is how light or dark the color is. By default, the hue button is selected. That sets the slider here to displaying hue. So if I want to select a color, I will usually start with this slider, dragging it to select a hue, in this case, green.

Then I will move over into this larger area which is setup to show the brightness of this hue from top to bottom and the saturation of the hue from right to left. So if I click anywhere in this large box, I am selecting a particular saturation and brightness of this hue. In this box, I can see the last color I was using and the new color I just selected. I will click OK and that closes the color picker and that color shows up here in the foreground color box. There is one more way to select color and that is to go the Window menu and open the Color Swatches panel from there.

The Color Swatches are some default colors and I can just click on one of those to put that color in the foreground color box. To apply a color, I will use one of the Brush tools. I am going to select the Brush tool here in the toolbox and then move into the image, because I want to show you how to make the brush-tip bigger and smaller on the fly. I like to do this from right here in the image so that I can continue to work with the tool rather than going up to the options bar and looking for a Size slider and just guessing at the size of brush-tip.

So when I am in the image, you can see that small circle there on the cloud. I can make the brush tip bigger by pressing the Right Bracket key on my keyboard several times and if I want to make the brush-tip smaller, I will press the Left Bracket key on my keyboard several times. Those keys are located just to the right of the P key. I also can vary the softness of the brush from here by holding the Shift key as I press the Left Bracket key, that makes a brush softer. If I hold the Shift key and press the Right Bracket key, that makes the brush harder.

So now that my brush is hard, if I make a mark with it, that mark has solid edges. But if I make the brush soft again by holding the Shift key and pressing the Left Bracket key, the same size brush makes a mark with the softer edge. Keep in mind that it's not only the drawing tools that use brush-tips, it's also photographic tools like those located here; the Blur tool, the Sharpen tool, and the Smudge tool. So this tip about changing the size and the hardness of the brush-tip from inside the image is an important one for everybody, photographers included.

So those are some tips that should help you work efficiently with the tools and other features here in the Full Edit toolbar. And don't worry about becoming familiar with all of the tools that will happen automatically as you use the tools in context throughout this course.

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