written by: Shawn S. Lealos•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 6/23/2011
While many people use Photoshop Elements to simply edit and publish their photography work, the program can also be used to create a number of fun and creative layouts. Whether you keep a scrapbook or just want to create some fun designs, this software gives you all the tools you need.
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Photoshop Elements offers some pretty powerful tools when it comes to creating layouts. There are tools within the software that allow you to make photo layouts, create designed layouts for scrapbooking and more. Most of these are also available in the main Photoshop program but, for those on a budget, Photoshop Elements is all you need to create a great layout in an easy to learn manner.
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Creating Photo Layouts
Photoshop Elements layouts are included as an option in the software and are simple to implement. This is a good way to create photo montages to frame and hang on the wall or place together in a scrapbook. Start off by locating the photographs you want to appear in the layout and collect them together. One easy way to do this is to use the Photoshop Elements Organizer so you can see all your photos. Find the folder the photos are in and choose the ones you want to use by clicking on them and then, while holding down the CTRL key, clicking on the others you want to use to create your layout.
At the top of the Photoshop Elements screen, choose “Create" and then click the “Photo Layout" option. This opens a Photo Layout Wizard and you have a number of options on this screen. First, you need to select the size of the page you want to create. You can use the regular 8.5" x 11" size or choose the 12" x 12" size for scrap booking pages. Second, select which preloaded layout you want to use. There are a number of choices and designs here. These can be anything from a single photo layout to as many as 18 photos in a single layout. Just click the one you want to use and move on.
Next up is Theme, which is optional. These are also pre-shipped with Photoshop Elements and give you the opportunity to add a theme to the layout, including making it look vintage, like stamps and more. Choose one of these if you want and then move on. Once you click OK, Photoshop Elements creates the page and theme for you. It then adds the photos you selected into the layout.
Once the photos are in the layout, you can manipulate their sizes, making them larger or smaller or moving them around into different positions. The photos are also listed on the right side as layers, so you can change them out if you wanted a different photo in the spot and you can also change the themes for each photo individually here as well.
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Creating Digital Scrapbooking Layouts
There are also ways to create personalized digital scrapbook pages using Photoshop Elements. A digital scrapbook is just like a regular scrapbook except it is online and avoids the mess of a traditional scrapbook. This takes a little more work but allows you to let your creative juices flow instead of just relying on Photoshop Elements to do your work for you.
The things you need to make this work is the photographs you want on your scrapbook page as well as backgrounds and elements saved to your hard drive. Once you have chosen what items you want to use, it is time to get to work on the Photoshop elements layouts.
Start off by opening a new layout (Ctrl+N). Enter the dimensions you want the layout to be. Regular scrapbook pages are 12" x 12" but you can also make it regular paper size or anything you want for a digital scrapbook page. The next step is to open a photo (Ctrl+O). Find the photo you want to use and double click on it. Use the Move Tool (V) and drag the photo onto the blank layout.
Next, add the paper and any graphics elements (words, letters, images, etc…) you want to use on the page. Navigate to the folder where these images are (Ctrl+O) and, using the Ctrl key, click on the page and all the elements you want to use to import them at once. Use the Move Tool (V) to drag each element and page onto the layout.
Next, organize all the layers in the layout. The background paper layer should be at the bottom of all the other layers. Next resize and move the photo and graphic elements as desired. To re-size the items, make sure their layer is selected and click Ctrl-T. Once everything is moved to where you want them, add any text you want and then save the file. This page now begins your new digital scrapbook.