Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of Elements workspaces, part of Photoshop Elements 14 Essential Training.
- Photoshop Elements is a multifaceted program for photo enthusiasts. It's a place to edit your photos, enhance them, organize them, and share them. Depending on which task you're working on, you'll find yourself in one of a number of different workspaces in Elements, whether that's one of Elements' editing environments, it's organizer rooms, or a creation or sharing workspace. In this movie, I'll introduce you to Elements' major workspaces, and show you how to move from one workspace to another. At the end of the last movie about importing the exercise files for this course, we were here in Elements' organizer.
Let's back up and start our workspace tour in the Welcome screen instead, because the Welcome screen is often the first screen you'll see when you launch the program. To return to the Welcome screen from any part of Elements, go to the Help menu at the top of the screen, and choose Welcome screen. From the Welcome screen, you can jump to either Elements' photo editor, or it's organizer, which are the two main parts of Elements. You can even set a preference up under the gear icon. To skip the Welcome screen altogether next time that you launch Elements, and have the program open right to the photo editor or to the organizer.
But I'm just going to leave things as they are, and click Cancel there. So let's say you're ready to work on a photo. You want to edit it. Where should you start? The photo editor or the organizer? Well, you may be surprised to hear that I'd encourage you to start not in the photo editor, but rather in the organizer, if you've already imported the photo in question into the organizer. That way, you'll be able to find the photo you want visually, rather than having to remember its file name or where you stored it, and the organizer catalog will keep track of the changes that you make to the photo, and the versions of it that you save from the editor.
But, I want to be clear that you don't have to start in the organizer. You can just use Elements as a photo editor, go into the photo editor, and then opening files directly into the photo editor and using Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder to manage them as best as those operating systems can. If that's what you want to do, then you'll click the photo editor button here, or the menu to the right of the photo editor. I'm going to click the arrow to the right of the photo editor to see the menu, and here we have some new features in Photoshop Elements 14.
From this contextual menu, I can directly open files that I've recently opened, which appear here in this list. Or, if I want to start with a new blank file, for example, if I'm making a scrapbook page, and I want to start with nothing on that page, then I can click New File, here. If what I want to do is open another file that I know is somewhere in my operating system, then I can either choose the Open option from this menu, or I can click off this menu to close it, and just click directly on photo editor.
But, I'm not going to do that, because my preferred workflow is to open the organizer instead, find the photo or photos that I want to work on there, and open them from the organizer into the editor. So, I'll click the organizer button here in the Welcome screen. And that launches the organizer. This is the organizer for the exercise files catalog, populated with all the exercise files that we imported to that catalog in the last movie. At the top of the organizer are five tabs. One for each view, or room.
These tabs are sticky, which means that the organizer will open to whichever room you were last in the last time you used the organizer. In my case, the media room. If you're not in the media room now, just click the Media tab here at the top of the screen to switch to this room. The media room is where you'll spend the most time when you're in the organizer. Here you can find particular photos, you can manage your photos by applying keywords or adding star ratings, or gathering photos into virtual albums. All of that I'll cover later in the course. From here you can also access a couple of menus over on the right.
The Create menu, where you can create projects like a photo book or a greeting card, and the Share menu, which you can use to share photos directly from the organizer to Facebook, by email, and more. The area in the middle of the media room is called the Media Broswer. It displays previews of all the photos that you've imported to this organizer catalog. There are two different views of the Media Browser. You can either view thumbnails in this grid view, with space in between the thumbnails, and I like to work in this view because I can bring up information about each photo under its thumbnail, as I'll show you how to do later.
Or, if you want to see more photos all at once, you can go to Adaptive View. To go to Adaptive View, I'll hold the CTRL key on Windows, or the CMD key on Mac, as I press the D key on the keyboard. And that switches me to this Adaptive View, where more space is devoted to the photographs, and less to the space in between the photographs. Let's look at these other rooms quickly at the top of the screen. I'll click on the eLive tab, and that switches me to the eLive room. This is the room you'll see the very first time you launch the Organizer.
This room offers cards like these, each of which is a link to an online resource for learning more about Elements. If you click on one of these cards when you're online, it'll take you to that resource in your default web browser. By the way, you won't always see these same cards here, they change over time, and they'll be different depending on whether you access eLive from here in the organizer, or from the editor, where there's also an eLive tab like this one. Over on the right side of eLive is the important Help button that you can click to go to Adobe's support website for Elements.
And over on the left is a filter that you can use to filter the cards, so you see all of them, or just the cards that are inspirational, or about learning Elements, or that give you news about Elements. The other tabs at the top of the screen, People, Places, and Events, take you to other organizer workspaces where you can organize and find photos based on ways that you probably think about your photos in your own mind. Who's in the photos? Where were the photos taken? And what events do the photos depict? And we'll be taking a look at each of those workspaces later in the course, too, but to get to one of those workspaces, all you have to do is click its tab here at the top of the organizer.
I'm going to go back and click on the Media tab to return to Media view. I'd like to show you how you can open photos from the organizer into the editor, so that you can work on them there. First, you have to select one or more photos in the organizer. So if I click on this first photo, I see a blue checkmark, which means it's selected. If I wanted to select other photos next to this photo, I would hold down the Shift key and click on a photo way over here, and that selects all photos in between. If I want to deselect all these photos, I'll just click again on any one of them, and the checkmarks go away.
If I want to select photos that are not next to one another in the Media browser, I'll click on one of them, and then I'll hold down the CTRL key, or the CMD key on Mac, and I'll click on another photo. So now that I have two photos selected, to open both of those into the editor, I'll go down to the taskbar, which is the grey bar at the bottom of the organizer, and I'll click Editor. That launches the Adobe Photoshop Elements editor, which is actually a separate application, so it may take a moment to launch. At the top of the editor, you'll see four tabs: eLive, Quick, Guided, and Expert.
These tabs are sticky so, as in the organizer, when you first open the editor, you'll go right to the tab that you've been using the last time that you used the editor. In my case, the Expert edit workspace. Let's click on a different tab here, the eLive tab. And you can see that eLive in the editor is a lot like eLive in the organizer. It has cards that will take you to resources about using Elements. Let's click on the next tab, Quick. This switches me to the Quick Edit workspace, which is a good workspace to start in if you're new to Elements, because it offers simple controls for adjusting common photo problems, and an abbreviated toolbar.
Down at the bottom of this workspace, as in all of the editing workspaces, Quick, Guided, and Expert, there is something called the Photo Bin, which is this bar that displays thumbnails of all the photos that I've opened into the editor. If you don't see your photo bin, maybe you'll see Photo Tools here instead, or maybe you'll see nothing. Then go to the grey bar at the very bottom of the editor and click the Photo Bin icon. That's a toggle. If I click now, it will hide the Photo Bin, and if I click again, it will show the Photo Bin.
If I want to switch from one open file to another to work on in any of the editor workspaces, I'll just click it's thumbnail in the Photo Bin. Let's take a look at another editor workspace, the Guided edit workspace. I'll click Guided at the top of the screen. If you're already familiar with Elements' editor, you'll notice that the Guided edit workspace has a new look in Elements 14. Now, we have categories of guided edits here at the top, and within each category, a card for each guided edit with a before and after view, and I can just slide this slider back and forth to get a sense of what this particular guided edit will do for me.
Well, what is a guided edit? A guided edit is a sort of recipe that contains instructions and tools, and walks you step-by-step through a particular technique. So, this is also a good workspace to visit if you're new to Elements. One of the categories in the Guided edit workspace is Photomerge. The Photomerge features used to be located in the Expert edit workspace, but now they've been moved to here, in Guided edit, and here you'll find options for merging multiple photos together into a single exposure, for merging multiple photos into a wide or tall panorama, and other options for working with multiple photographs together.
We'll be looking at Guided edit, and at Photomerge later in the course, but let's go ahead and switch to the last of the editor workspaces, Expert edit. I'll click the Expert tab at the top of the editor, and that opens the same two photos down in the Photo Bin in the Expert edit workspace. Now, first of all, you do not have to be an expert to work in the Expert edit workspace. The Expert edit workspace is a full-featured editor that contains lots of tools and photo adjustment features. Many of which you'll find in Adobe's professional editing software, Adobe Photoshop.
We'll be taking a look at the major features in the Expert edit workspace later in the course, too. Continuing on our tour of Elements' workspaces, let's say that you're done working on a photo here in any of the editor's workspaces, and you want to go back to the organizer. First, you want to make sure to close the open photos. So, to close this photo, I'll go up to the File menu, and I'll choose Close, or I could use the keyboard shortcut, CTRL + W. If I'd made any changes to the photo, Elements would ask if I want to save them, but I haven't made any changes, so that photo just closes.
Now, I could close this photo the same way, but I don't want to do that because I want you to see what happens if you switch back to the organizer with a photo still open in any of the editor workspaces. To switch back to the organizer, I'll go down to the taskbar at the bottom of the editor, and I'll click Organizer. Now, take a look at the top of the organizer, where I have this photo of the cat still checked, and notice that it has a red band across it with a lock. That lock means that I won't be able to work on this photo here in the organizer, so if that's something I want to be able to do, I have to go back to the editor to close the photo.
First, I'll uncheck the photo, and that unchecks the other photo that was selected too, otherwise that photo would open again when I went back to the editor, and then I'll go down to the bottom of the organizer, to its taskbar, and I'll click on the Editor button, just like we did before, to switch back to the editor. Here, I'll close this image, File, Close, or CTRL or CMD + W, and that takes me back to the organizer because there aren't any photos open in the editor anymore, so there's no reason for it to be open. And notice that the photo of the cat no longer has that red band across it, or that lock, so I could work on it here, just like any of the photos in the organizer.
I'd like to show you one more thing, and that is what happens if you shoot RAW files rather than JPEGS, and you try to open a RAW file into the editor from the organizer. I happen to have a RAW file in the Chapter 00 folder, over here in the Folders panel. If you don't see the Folders panel, then click Folders here. If you don't see the column on the left at all, then go down to the bottom and click Show Panel. And in the Folders panel, I'm going to click on the Chapter 00 folder, and now, in the Media browser, I see the single RAW photo that happens to be in this folder.
I'll click on that photo to select it, and then I'll go down to the taskbar and click Editor, just like I did with the non-RAW files. This time when the editor opens, another window opens on top of it, the Special Camera RAW editing window, with my RAW photo ready to be worked on here. Now, there are lots of features in the Camera RAW workspace, and they're outside the scope of this introductory course, but what I will show you is that there's a basic panel over here with a lot of sliders, and you can move these sliders to try to make the photo look better.
So I might add a little contrast, bring down the highlights, bring up the shadows, bring the whites over to the right, bring the blacks over to the left, maybe add a little clarity like that, and then I can uncheck Preview, and then check it again, you can see a little bit of a change in that photo. Now, whether or not you use these sliders, when you do open a RAW file, and you want to take it into the editing workspace proper, rather than leave it here in the Camera RAW editor, you'll go to the bottom of Camera RAW, and you'll click Open Image.
And that cloes the Camera RAW workspace, and opens the RAW file here in the Expert edit workspace, where you can work on it like any file. I'm going to close the file now by going up to the File menu and choosing Close. I won't save my changes, and that takes me back to the organizer, where I'll click All Media to see all the photos in this catalog again in the Media browser. So, those are the major parts of Elements and its workspaces. Now that you know what these workspaces are, and how to move from one to the other, you're ready to dive deeper into the features you'll use most in Elements.
- Importing photos selectively and in bulk
- Cropping photos
- Adjusting lighting and color
- Correcting red-eye and pet-eye quickly
- Resizing photos in Guided Edit
- Merging a panorama
- Building a layered file in Expert Edit
- Making selections in Expert Edit
- Organizing photos by people, places, and events
- Exporting photos
- Sharing photos via email and social media