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A Quick Tour of Photoshop Elements

If you're new to Photoshop Elements, this lesson will familiarize you with the Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 workspace and provide you with an overview of the tools and procedures you’ll use to capture and edit your digital images.
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This lesson will familiarize you with the Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 workspace and provide you with an overview of the tools and procedures you’ll use to capture and edit your digital images.

As you work through the exercises in this lesson you’ll be introduced to the following basic skills and concepts:

  • Working with the Organizer and the Editor
  • Attaching media
  • Using the Photo Downloader
  • Reviewing and comparing photos
  • Sending photos in e-mail
  • Using Photoshop Elements Help

You’ll probably need between one and two hours to complete this lesson.

How Photoshop Elements works

Photoshop Elements has two primary workspaces: the Organizer and the Editor. You’ll use the Organizer to locate, import, manage, and share your photos and media files, and the Editor for editing and adjusting your images and for creating presentations to showcase them.

About the Photoshop Elements workspaces

Once you’ve imported and selected a photo in the Organizer, you can open it in the Editor workspace by clicking the Editor button (edit_button.jpg) located near the top right corner of the Organizer window, and then choosing Quick Fix, Full Edit, or Guided Edit from the menu.

While you’re working in the Editor, click the Organizer button (organizer_button.jpg) located near the top right corner of the Editor window to open the Organizer workspace.

Once both the Organizer and the Editor windows are open, you can also move quickly between the two workspaces by clicking on the corresponding buttons in the Windows task bar at the bottom of your screen.

The Organizer workspace

In the Organizer workspace, the main work area is the Photo Browser pane where you can find, sort, and organize your photos and media files and preview the presentations you create to share them. At the right of the Organizer window is the Task pane, including the Organize, Fix, Create, and Share panels.

The Photo Browser pane can display a single photo or media file or show thumbnails of all the files in your catalog arranged in a variety of ways. Display your files sorted by import batch, folder location, or keywords—or if you prefer viewing your photos and media files by date, the Organizer includes a Date View workspace that lets you work with your files in a calendar format.

The Photo Browser makes it easy to browse through all the photos and assets in your catalog in one comprehensive window. It can even show previews of files that you keep stored remotely—on a CD or other removable media.

In the Organize panel of the Task pane you can sort and manage your photos by applying keyword tags and arranging them in albums. The Fix panel offers tools for the most common photographic editing tasks, such as color correction and red eye removal. (For more complex editing tasks, you’ll switch to the Editor workspace by choosing Quick Fix, Full Edit, or Guided Edit from the Editor menu.) Use the Create panel to put together projects and presentations—from greeting cards to slide shows—and the Share panel to share your files with friends, family, clients or the world at large by burning a CD or DVD, sending your photos as e-mail attachments or photo mail layouts, or creating an online album.

The Editor workspace

In the Editor you’ll focus on editing, adjusting, and correcting your images and creating projects and presentations to showcase them. You can choose between the Full Edit mode—with tools for color correction, special effects, and image enhancement—the Quick Fix mode with simple tools and commands to quickly fix common image problems, and the Guided Edit mode, which provides step-by-step instructions for editing tasks.

If you are new to digital imaging, the Quick Fix and Guided Edit modes make a good starting point for adjusting and correcting your photos.

If you’ve worked with image editing software before, you’ll find that the Full Edit mode provides a more powerful and versatile image editing environment, with commands for correcting exposure and color and tools to help you make precise selections and fix image imperfections. The Full Edit tool bar also includes painting and text editing tools. You can arrange the Full Edit workspace to suit the way you prefer to work by moving, hiding, and showing palettes or arranging them in the Palette Bin. You can zoom in or out of a photo and set up multiple windows and views.

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