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We take plenty of photos of family, friends, and events. Photos play a big part in our hobbies from scrapbooking to Facebooking, and we use photos in the business of everyday life; from selling our slightly used stuff online to promoting our work. Photoshop Elements 9 is the place to turn once you've taken all those photos. It's a one-stop solution for what I see as the four big issues that nonprofessional photographers face. Number one, how do I keep track of my photos; number two, how do I make my photos look better; number three, how do I present my photos in a creative way; and number four, how do I share my photos with other people.
Understanding how Elements can help you with each of those questions is the key to understanding what Elements is. First, for keeping track of your photos, videos, and other media files, Elements offers the Organizer. The Organizer has been a part of Elements for Windows for several versions of the program. Now in Elements 9, the Organizer is also available for Mac users. The Organizer is like a big filing system or database that contains all kinds of information about each photo, including where each photo was located.
The Organizer offers different ways to view your photo collection including by date, by folder location, in a full-screen slideshow, and for Windows users only, on a map. You can even do some quick basic photo editing in the automatic Photo Fix options in the Organizer which brings up the next big question you may have; how do I make my photos look better? Elements answers this question by offering the Editor, a separate major component of the program which includes three editing workspaces; Full Edit, Quick Fix, and Guided Edit.
Full Edit offers everything you'll need to make photo corrections and manipulate your photos as well as tools for creating text, graphics, and special effects. The big new features in Elements 9 Full Edit mode are real layer masks and the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush tool. Full Edit is just one of the three workspaces in the editor. As I said, there is also a Quick Fix workspace, an environment in which you can make quick corrections to your photos with automatic buttons and simple sliders.
And then there is a third editing workspaces, Guided Edit, which offers step-by-step instructions and tools for completing particular tasks from correction basics to special fun effects, like the new Out of Bounds effect that's worth checking out. Onto the third question many nonprofessional photographers have, how do I present my photos in a creative way? Elements offers features that really simplify the process of making exciting creative projects like photo books, greeting cards, calendars, collages, and more.
There are built-in templates to help you design your projects and partnerships with third-party vendors for producing professionally printed projects like real photo books featuring your own photographs. Elements also shines when it comes to the fourth and last issue confronting the nonprofessional photographer which is how can I share my photographs with other people? Elements includes features for printing photos and attaching photos to e-mail and you can share your work online, posting from Elements straight to social media sites and publishing your Organizer albums online at Photoshop.com.
So that's the big picture answer to the question what is Elements. The rest of this course covers how to take advantage of the many features I outlined here that give you the opportunities to organize, edit, present, and share your growing photo collection.
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