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Basic Photoshop Elements Tips

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/15/2011

New to Adobe Photoshop Elements? Need a little help? Then, this Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 guide is exactly what you have been looking for!

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    Adobe Photoshop Elements Help Guide

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 helps you edit and manipulate your images and photographs. But, if you’ve never used this program, you may run into some problems when you first try to use it. This Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 help guide reviews some of the common tools offered by this program and tips on how to use them.

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    Using Layers

    One of the most commonly used tools in Photoshop Elements is Layers, but many people don’t know how to start using these. First, you need to Photoshop Elements 8 know about the major types. Adjustment layers allow you to change the look of your photograph, including fixing the saturation and brightness. Fill layers add a solid color or pattern to your image, and type/shade layers add either shapes or text to your images.

    To use your Layers, you must open up your Layers panel. To do this, go to Window and then Layer. You can now see all of your layers and the icons associated with those layers. The major icons are the eye (layer visible), lock (layer is locked), the Ying/Yang symbol (creates a fill or adjustment layer) and the folded page (creates a new layer).

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    Adding Effects

    Besides layers, you can also add effects to your images using the Effects panel, which is located in the Panel bin. In this panel, you have three main icons at the top. The first icon is the Filters (adds filters to your image), and the second is the Layer Styles icon, which allows you to add different layer styles to your photograph. The final icon is the Photo Effects icon, which adds different effects to your photograph.

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    Cropping Your Images

    If you are like many people, then you may only want to use Photoshop Elements to perform simple edits to your images. The tools for these jobs are located in the Tools menu. The Crop tool looks like a frame with a diagonal line through it. The Crop tool allows you to cut out certain parts of a photograph to better focus on a foreground image.

    If you don’t want to use the standard square or circle cutting pattern, then you can use the Cookie Cutter tool. This tool creates different cropping shapes, including butterfly, stop sign and heart shapes. To use this tool, you simply select it, and then double-click on the shape that you want to use from the menu. If you don’t want your cropped shape distorted, go into the Shape options, and select Defined Proportions.

    Crop tools can also help you straighten images. To use this tool, go to Image and then Rotate. Select Straighten image, and the program crops and fixes your image orientation.

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    Where To Find More Help

    If you need more help, go to your Help menu, and select Photoshop Elements Help. This brings up the Community Help application, which allows you to search for solutions. If that doesn’t provide you with enough help, try using Adobe’s online “Using Photoshop Elements Help" section.

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    Image and Article References