Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video What is Photoshop Elements?, part of Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training.
- View Offline
Photoshop Elements 7.0 is the latest version of Adobe's photo editing and photo organizing program that's designed for non-professionals. Elements is packed with features to help amateur photographers at every stage of digital photo processing, from photo organizing to editing to output. If you are someone who loves to take snapshots of your family and friends or photography is your hobby, but you don't make your living from it, then Elements is made for you. This movie is intended to be a quick overview of the kinds of things that you can do in Elements 7 and to show you where to go in the program to do those things.
If you haven't launched Elements go ahead and do so now. You can launch it from the Windows Start menu at the bottom of the screen or if you have a shortcut to Elements on your desktop, double- click that shortcut to launch the program. This is the first screen that you'll see when you launch Elements, it's called the Welcome Screen. Take a look over on the right side of the Welcome Screen where you see these four buttons. These buttons represent the four kinds of tasks that you can do in Elements. If you read them from left to right, they represent a typical photography workflow.
So for example, you might start off by organizing your photos, so that they are easier to find later and then you might edit a few of them, either improving their photo quality or changing their content. You might go on to create some photo projects like slide shows or books or calendars, and finally you might want to share your photos or your photo projects with family and friends. Each one of these buttons will take you to the place in Elements where you can start these kinds of tasks. There are two major workspaces in Elements. One is called the Organizer and you can access that workspace by clicking any one of three buttons here: the Organize button, the Create button, and the Share button. You can start all three kinds of tasks from the Organizer. The second major workspace is called the Editor and you access that from the Edit button here in the Welcome Screen.
There are other ways to access the Editor too as we'll see. Let's start by taking a quick look at these two spaces. I'm going to click the Organize button here and that launches the Organizer workspace. The Organizer workspace has two sides; the left side is called the Photo Browser. In my Photo Browser, I have a few of my personal photos. You won't see these in your Photo Browser. Yours will be blank if you've never launch the program before. But I just wanted you to get a sense of where the photo thumbnails live. On the right side of the Organizer is the Task pane. The Task pane changes depending on which button is clicked at the top up here. We have the Organize button clicked and so we see in the Task pane some features that help you to organize your photos into albums and by adding suitable keyword tags and we'll learn how to do both in future movies.
If we've clicked the Create button back in the Welcome Screen instead of the Organize button, we will be taken into the Organizer but the Task pane would look like this. It would show us these options for creating photo projects. And if we had clicked the Share button back in the Welcome Screen, the Organizer would like this showing us options for sharing our photos online by e-mail, in print, and on CD or DVDs. We are going to be taking a closer look at the Organizer in future movies. For now, let's jump over to the Editor to see what that looks like. We could go back to the Welcome Screen and click the Edit button there or here in the Organizer we can go to the menu bar at the very top of the screen, click on the Editor button and choose from one of three flavors of Editor: the Quick Fix Editor, the Full Edit, or the Guided Edit. Let start with Quick Fix and see what that looks like.
This is the Editor. If you had an image open in the Editor it would appear over here on the left and on the right because we are in Quick Edit mode you see options for fixing common photo problems with some simple sliders. Let's take a look at what Guided Edit looks like by clicking the Guided button here at the top of the right-hand pane. Guided Edit is a series of tutorials on specific techniques for improving your photos. So for example, you can adjust Brightness and Contrast, Enhance Colors, Touch Up Scratches and so on. Finally let's take a look at Full Edit by clicking this button at the top of the right- hand pane and that brings up the Full Editor.
Full Edit gives you complete control over all aspects of editing your photos. It's very similar to the full-fledged Adobe Photoshop, which brings up the question that I often hear: should I be using Photoshop or should I be using Elements? My short answer is that if you are professional photographer or professional designer or perhaps a fine artist who needs to make high end prints then yes, you should be using Photoshop. Otherwise give Elements a try. You'll be amazed that how similar the features sets of the two programs are and that's not to say that they are exactly the same. There are number of features in Photoshop for more advanced users that you won't find in Elements.
Here is the quick list of some of those features: advanced color management, the Channels panel, the Pen tool, the Paths panel, CMYK and LAB color, direct layer masking, Layer comps, HDR imaging, vanishing point, text on a paths, web page slicing and the Color Balance adjustment. But most non-professionals features are right here in Elements. Elements is much less expensive than Photoshop and it designed to be simpler to learn and to use. For example, in Elements we have the Quick Edit and the Guided Edit that I told you about a moment ago and you won't find anything like that in Photoshop. And some of the more advanced features in Elements like Curves or Color Management are presented in Elements in the more simplified manner then they are in Photoshop.
Now that we've taken a quick look at the Organizer and the Editor, both of which we are going to review in much more detail in other movies, let's go back to the Welcome Screen. The way to get back to the Welcome Screen from either the Editor or the Organizer workspace is over here on the top left by clicking the icon of the house. The Welcome Screen is the first screen that you are always going to see when you launch Elements. Unlike in previous versions of this program, you can't dismiss or skip over the Welcome Screen and there is the reason for that. Adobe has developed a new online service called Photoshop.com that extends Elements so that you can do things like backup your photos online or share your photos online or view fresh inspirational tutorials online. And the reason you can't dismissed the Welcome Screen is that Adobe wants you to sign into Photoshop.com every time you launch Elements, so that you can take advantage of these features.
We are going to learn more about Photoshop.com in future movies too. But I wanted you to understand why you have to deal with the Welcome Screen every time you launch the program in Elements 7. Now that you know the kinds of things that you can do in Elements 7, and where in the program to go to do them, let's jump into the rest of the course so we can learn how to organize, edit, create photo projects and share our photos in Elements 7.
- Getting photos from a camera, scanner, or files
- Organizing and finding photos with tags, albums, and Smart Collections
- Using automatic and guided edit tools for common fixes
- Mastering Full Edit mode for refining, retouching, and photo editing
- Adding special effects and text
- Sharing and backing up images on Photoshop.com