Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Working in Quick Edit, part of Photoshop Elements 14 Essential Training.
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- This movie is an overview of one of the three editing workspaces in Elements Editor, the Quick Edit workspace. Quick Edit is a great place to start if you're new to editing in Elements. It offers simplified adjustments for correcting exposure, color and other common photo problems in a streamlined workspace. Let's start by opening some photos into Quick Edit. You could do that by going to the File menu and choosing Open, and then navigating through your operating system to photos that you want to edit. But I prefer to open photos from the Organizer into any of the editing workspaces, so that the Organizer will keep track of the changes that I make and the versions of the photo that I save from the editor.
So, I'm going to switch back to the Organizer by clicking the Organizer button at the bottom of the editor, and in the Organizer, I'll select this folder, and in this folder, I'm going to select the photo quick-sea-5727. By the way, if you don't see the filenames under your photos, remember, as I explained in previous movies, go to the View menu, choose Details and Filenames, and if you still don't see the file names, drag the zoom slider over to the right. So, I'll click once on quick-sea to select it, and then I'll go down to the bottom of the Organizer and I'll click the Editor button in the taskbar.
And that will open that photo for editing in the last workspace where I was, the Quick Edit workspace. Over on the left side of the Quick Edit workspace, is an abbreviated toolbar, with just a few tools. There's a selection tool, which I'll show you later in this chapter; there's a red eye tool for fixing that red glow you sometimes see when you use flash on a point-and-shoot camera in a subject's eyes. There's a tool here for making teeth whiter; there's another tool for straightening a crooked horizon; there's one for adding text to a photo; there's a spot healing brush tool for covering up spots and other unwanted content on a photo; a crop tool, for cropping away the edges of a photo; and a move tool for moving a photo around in a document window.
Among the tools that you'll use most here are those at the top: the zoom tool and the hand tool. So, let's take a closer look at them. I'm going to click the zoom tool. Keep your eye at the bottom of the screen as I do that, and you'll see the options here in the tool options bar change. No matter which tool you select, it has its own options that appear here in the tool options bar. In the zoom tool options, I can use the zoom slider to zoom in on the photo to get a closer look, or to zoom out, so that I can see the whole thing.
There are also some shortcut buttons over here, so if I want to zoom into one-to-one view, which means that one pixel in the image will be represented in one pixel of my screen, I'll click 1:1. This is the view you'll need to use when you're doing something like sharpening a photo, because it's the only way to really evaluate that sort of adjustment. When I'm zoomed in this far, I need to move the photo around in the window so I can see different parts of it. And to do that, I'll use another tool: the hand tool, which I'll select here in the toolbar. And then I can come into the image, click, hold and drag to see another part of the photo.
The hand tool also has options in the tool options bar. So, if I want to go back to fit on screen view, I can click Fit Screen here in the options bar for the hand tool. You'll be zooming and panning so much that there are a couple of shortcuts that I think it's worth knowing for zooming and panning. And these work, not only here in Quick Edit, but in the other editor workspaces, too. So, the shortcut for 1:1 view is to go up to the zoom tool and double-click that tool. And the shortcut to go back to the fit on screen view is to double-click the hand tool.
And, when you are zoomed in, I'll double-click the zoom tool again, and you want to temporarily access the hand tool. Say you're working with another tool, like the spot healing brush tool, and you need to get to another part of the photo, you can just hold down the spacebar and that changes your tool to a hand tool temporarily. I'm still holding the spacebar as I click and drag with the hand tool, and then, when I release my spacebar, that takes me back to the tool that I was using originally. I'll double-click the hand tool again to go back to the fit on screen view.
The heart of the Quick Edit workspace is in the column over on the right, where there are a number of adjustment panels. If you don't see these adjustment panels, then go to the button in the taskbar labeled Adjustments and click there. Each of these adjustments has a dropdown panel. Let's take a look at the Smart Fix adjustment, which is an overall adjustment that attempts to adjust both color and tone all in one go. I'll click the arrow to the right of the Smart Fix panel to expand that panel. Here you can see all three of the kinds of controls that you'll see in various combinations in these other adjustments.
Smart Fix has all three of them. It has a slider, it has thumbnails, and it has an Auto button. The slider controls the amount or strength of an adjustment. So, for example, if I drag this slider over a bit and release, that applies a certain amount of Smart Fix to this photo. If I drag farther, you can see a little more Smart Fix in the live preview here in the document window. If I take that all the way over to the right, that's 100% strength of the Smart Fix adjustment. If I want to take that back to zero, I'll just drag it all the way over to the left.
The thumbnails are preset amounts for the Smart Fix slider. If I hover over a thumbnail, keep your eye on the slider, and you can see that it moved, and the photo preview changed. I'll hover over another one of these, and I get a different Smart Fix amount and a different preview. If I see an amount of Smart Fix that I want to apply, I'll click on that thumbnail, and that sets the slider to that amount. I can still fine tune the slider by dragging it here at the top of the Smart Fix section.
There's also one more option here, the Auto button. If I click the Auto button, that applies the amount of Smart Fix that Elements thinks is the right amount. And I can fine tune that with the slider, too. I think in this case, I need more Smart Fix, so I'm going to drag this slider over quite a bit to the right. Now, you can apply more than one kind of adjustment. I'm going to close Smart Fix and open a different adjustment, the Balance adjustment, that I can use to change the balance of color in this photo. I think this photo is a bit blue; I'd like it to be more gold.
The blue-to-gold color range is controlled by the Temperature balance slider. So, I'll make sure that Temperature is selected here, and then I'll go to the slider and I'll drag it slightly to the right, and you can see the photo gets more gold. Notice that the Balance section has the slider and it has thumbnails, just like those for Smart Fix, but Color balance doesn't have an Auto button. I'll close that Balance section. Now, after you've applied some adjustments, it often helps to compare a before and after view. To do that, I'll go up to the View menu at the top left, and I'll choose Before & After, either in a horizontal or vertical arrangement.
Now you really can see what a difference those few adjustments have made in the after view over here, as compared to the before view over here. What if you decide you don't like some of these adjustments? Well you have a couple of options: if I come down to the taskbar, there's an Undo button. When I hover over the Undo button, it'll tell me what it's going to Undo, and it undoes each step in the order in which I applied it, from the last adjustment to the first adjustment. So, again, I'll hover over that button, and it tells me that it's going to Undo my Temperature adjustment.
So, if I click Undo, you can see that the gold temperature adjustment has gone away. And if I click Undo again, it will Undo one of my Fix adjustments. If I want to Redo those adjustments, I'll click the Redo button, and each time I do, that will move forward in time, reapplying my adjustments. If I didn't want any of these adjustments, I wanted to reset the photo back to ground zero, then I would go to another place. Up here at the top of the Adjustments column, there is a Reset Image button, the icon with the curved arrow.
And if I were to click that, that would take away all the adjustments from this photo. By the way, if I want to bring all of them back, I can Undo the Reset by going down and clicking the Undo button again. So, now let's say that I'm happy with these changes and I want to save them. I have to do that manually; Quick Edit doesn't automatically save my adjustments for me. I'll go up to the File menu, and I'm going to choose Save As. I could choose Save; because this is the first time that I'm saving this photo, these two, Save and Save As, work the same way.
But, if I'd already saved the photo once, clicking Save might save over that last version, so it's always safer to choose Save As. When I choose Save As, that opens the Save As dialog box. Here I can choose where I'm going to save the image, I'll just save it to the same folder as the original. I'll come down here and make sure that Include in Elements Organizer is checkmarked. That will automatically import the saved version of this image into my Organizer so that I don't have to import it manually. I'm also going to check Save in Version Set with Original, and that'll make sure that the original photo and the edited version are saved together in a group or Version Set, so I can easily find them together.
When I check Save in Version Set with Original, that appends the word "edited" to the original file name, and there's also a number there which represents the number of times that I've edited this photo. So now I'm ready to save the edited version alongside the original by clicking Save. In the JPEG Options I'll just click OK, and then I can close the image from here in the editor by going up to the File menu and choosing Close, or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-W; that's Command-W on a Mac. That closes the editor and takes me back to the Organizer, and here you can see the quick-sea photo; it's still selected in the Organizer.
I'm going to click there to deselect it. Right now, we're looking at the edited version of the file. Well, where's the original? The original is collapsed behind this edited version, in a Version Set. I know I have a Version Set because here I see the icon that means Version Set, and there is an arrow to the right of this edited version. If I click that arrow, that expands the Version Set and I see the original on the right, the edited version on the left. And both are surrounded by this gray frame, indicating they're in the same Version Set.
If you don't want the photos to be in a Version Set, because it tends to hide one of them, you can always right-click either one of them, and in the menu that appears, choose Version Set, Convert Version Set to Individual Items. Be sure not to flatten the Version Set, because you'll lose one of the photos if you do that. So, now I've got both photos, the original here, and the edited version here, loose in my Organizer. I'll click this version to deselect it. So, that's an overview of the main features of the Quick Edit workspace, and how to apply edits to a photo in that workspace.
In the next movies in this chapter, we'll see what some of the other controls in the streamlined Quick Edit workspace can do for you.
- 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