Get Started Using Photoshop Elements 11 with These Helpful Hints and Tips
Submitted by adfm
If you’ve looked at the press coverage on Photoshop Elements 11, you’re probably aware that the program has had a major makeover for this version. If you’ve never used Elements before, that’s no problem, but if you’re an old hand at PSE this version is likely to cause a lot of head banging and hair pulling till you get used to the new ways of doing things. Here are a few tips from Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage to help you out:
1. Always do the trial.
This is a good idea for any version of Elements so that you can be sure there’s nothing in your system that quarrels with a new version, but it’s especially a good idea for PSE 11. If you’re a heavy user of the Organizer, it’s particularly important to try the new way and see if you can adjust to it.
2. Get out of the Quick Fix.
When you start Elements 11 for the first time, you’re in the Quick Fix module. That’s fine and it may be a little easier for a first-timer, but you can do a lot more in what Adobe calls Expert Mode, so click this button to go there:
Here you can see the icon for the Regular Healing Brush. Just click it to switch over to it.
If you’ve used a previous version of Elements, there’s no more right-clicking or holding the mouse down on a tool icon to see the others.
4. Take back the Editor.
If you’ve used Elements before, you’ll probably find that Expert Mode’s restrictions on what you can do with panels will have you beating your head on your desk after using it for about ten minutes. You’ll be happy to know there’s a well-hidden way to make Expert Mode more like the Editor you knew. Click the tiny arrow to the right of the More button and choose Custom Workspace:
Click where the cursor is here and choose Custom Workspace from the popout menu.
It’s not exactly the same as before, but it’s a whole lot closer to how it used to work. You’ll find more about the differences between the Basic and Custom workspaces at http://barbarabrundage.com.
5. Add some things to Elements.
One of the best new features about Elements 11 is how easy it is to add actions, Layer styles, and suchlike. No more delving into the bowels of the program to track down MediaDatabase.db3. Now there’s a handy Actions panel, just like the one in Photoshop (except that it only plays actions, not writes them), and it’s a snap to add things to the Effects panel as well. Just click the little four-lined square at the panel’s upper right for this menu:
Adding a Layer style is as easy as choosing this menu item.
This is a huge improvement over the old way. There are tons of actions and Layer styles you can download if you just do a quick search for what you want.
There are a lot of changes in Elements 11, but there are some really nice new features, too, like the Actions panel and the new filters for creating illustrations from your photos (Graphic Novel, Comic, and Pen and Ink).
Resources to help you learn Photoshop Elements
Author: Barbara Brundage
Publisher: O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Whether you’re a photographer, scrapbooker, or aspiring graphic artist, Photoshop Elements is an ideal image-editing tool—once you know your way around. This bestselling book removes the guesswork. With candid, jargon-free advice and step-by-step guidance, you’ll get the most out of Elements for everything from sharing and touching-up photos to fun print and online projects.
Safari Books Online currently has 74 books and 17 training videos on the topic of Photoshop Elements. You can preview the books and videos or you can sign up for a free Safari Books Online trial to access the full content.
If you’re interested in learning more about photography, Safari Books Online can help you out with that as well. With hundreds of photography books and videos, you’re surely able to find something that tickles your fancy… everything from learning how to operate your camera – Canon, Nikon or Olympus - to mastering portraits, lighting, High Dynamic Range (HDR) and more.
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