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What is Photoshop Elements?

From: Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 10

Video: What is Photoshop Elements?

Photoshop Elements is a one stop shop for amateur photographers. In a way it's like having two programs in one: an organizer for keeping track of photos, and an editor for making your photos look their very best. Let's take a tour of the main components of Elements to give you a sense of what each one does, and how to get from one area of the program to the other. Later in the course, we'll come back to look at each area in more detail. I happen to be working on Windows, but Elements works pretty much the same way on a Mac too. I'll point out any small differences as we go along.

What is Photoshop Elements?

Photoshop Elements is a one stop shop for amateur photographers. In a way it's like having two programs in one: an organizer for keeping track of photos, and an editor for making your photos look their very best. Let's take a tour of the main components of Elements to give you a sense of what each one does, and how to get from one area of the program to the other. Later in the course, we'll come back to look at each area in more detail. I happen to be working on Windows, but Elements works pretty much the same way on a Mac too. I'll point out any small differences as we go along.

I launched Elements on Windows from this shortcut that was added to my Desktop when I installed the program, and that took me here to the Welcome screen. From the Welcome screen I can access either of the two components of Elements; the Organizer or the Editor. If I wanted to jump right into edit a particular photo, I could click the Edit button, and that would launch the Editor portion of the program to the Full Photo Edit workspace. But usually, I first want to go to the Organizer, either to find the photos that I want to bring into the Editor, or to import new photos to the Organizer.

So I'll click Organize. That launches the Organizer, which you see here. If you're following along, and this is the first time you've launched Elements 10, you may see a couple of prompts when you open the Organizer asking if you want to convert previous catalogs, and whether you want to import pictures or videos. For purposes of this course, go ahead and just dismiss those prompts. So that's launching Elements for the first time on Windows. Launching Elements for the first time on a Mac is slightly different. On a Mac, go to your main Applications folder and click Adobe Elements 10 Organizer.app.

That will take you directly to the Organizer rather than to the Welcome screen as on Windows. On either Mac or Windows, if you ever want to get back to the Welcome screen from the Organizer, you can do that by going up to the little house icon at the top right and clicking. But the truth is, I hardly ever go back to the Welcome screen, because I can navigate directly between the Organizer and all the parts of the Editor, as you'll see in this movie. First, a quick overview of the Organizer. Over on the left is the content area, and when you bring photos into the Organizer, as you'll do in the next chapter, thumbnails of each photo will appear over here in the content area.

The column on the right spells out the main functions of the Organizer; of course, the first is to organize your photos, and I'll be showing you how to do that using albums and keyword tags later in the course. You can also make photo creations here in the Organizer, like prints, photo books, greeting cards, calendars, and more, and you can share your photos and your creations with family and friends in all the ways that you see in this list. You can even make quick photo corrections here in the Organizer by clicking the Fix tab here, and then choosing from this menu of Photo Fix Options.

But when you're more serious about editing photos, you'll select one or more photos in the large content area, and then go into the Editor component of Elements where there are three editing workspaces to choose from that vary in their levels of simplicity. So how do you get from the Organizer into the Editor? To do that I'll click the arrow to the right of the Fix tab, and from this menu I'll choose Full Photo Edit, the workspace that gives me the widest range of editing possibilities, Quick Photo Edit when I just want to make some quick changes to lighting and color, but with more control than I can get from the Organizer Fix controls, or Guided Photo Edit, which offers step-by -step instructions to walk me through specific editing tasks.

Edit Videos is for use with another program, Premiere Elements 10, and that's outside the scope of this course. So I'll choose one of these three; I'll go with Full Photo Edit, and then I may have to wait a moment to launch the other part of the program: the Editor. I'll maximize the Editor by clicking this icon on Windows, or the green button on a Mac. So this is the Full Photo Edit workspace, and we'll be looking at this in more detail in a later chapter. From here, I have another way to access those other two editing workspaces; the Quick Photo Edit workspace and the Guided Photo Edit workspace. And I also have other places that I can access the Photo Creation options and the Photo Sharing options.

I'm going to go back and click on the Edit tab, and I'll select the Full Edit workspace. I can get back to the Organizer from any of these three editing workspaces by going to the top of the Editor and clicking the Organizer button, like this. I might do that if there were some other photos that I wanted to find and open into the Editor. And then of course I can go back into the Editor, as I showed you before, by clicking the arrow to the right of the Fix tab and choosing the editing workspace that I want. So that's an overview of the major parts of elements, the broad functions of each, and some tips on how to get from one area to the other.

In the rest of this course, we'll spend lots of time working in these various areas, and you become very familiar with each of these workspaces.

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Up and Running with Photoshop Elements 10

29 video lessons · 5524 viewers

Jan Kabili
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