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Photoshop Elements is essentially a "lite" version of Photoshop, in both price and features, but there is an awful this software can do. Whether you're just starting out and wondering what all those icons and list items mean (let alone what they can do), or you're interested in expanding your knowledge of the software beyond the basics, the guide to Photoshop Elements tutorials is here to help.
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The first time you start up Photoshop Elements, you'll notice a tool palette with a whole lot of little icons on it. These are some of the most important parts of the software, so you should learn what they all are and what they do. Once you know that, you'll not only be able to start using the tools more effectively, but you'll know what they're called so you can look for help online if you need it.
- Eraser, Brush, Gradient and Shape
- Zoom, Marquee, Lasso and Magic Wand
- Selection, Mask, Red Eye Removal, Healing and Stamp
- Smart Brush
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Another important part of this software to learn is the menu system. Many of the tools are located both in the palette and in the menus, but some things can only be done from the menus. Learn what each menu contains and how its items work and you'll expand your ability to use Photoshop Elements exponentially.
- File Menu: New, Open and Duplicate
- File Menu: Save, File Info and Organize
- File Menu: Import, Export and Print
- Edit Menu: Color Settings, Presets and Preferences
- Edit Menu: Undo, Redo, Cut and Copy
- Edit Menu: Selections, Brushes and Patterns
- Image Menu: Crop, Transform and Resize
- Image Menu: Mode, Converting Color Profile and Magic Extractor
- Select Menu: Deselect, Reselect, Inverse and Feather
- Enhance Menu: Adjust Color, Unsharp Mask and Convert to Black & White
- Layer Menu: Type, Merge, Flatten, Arrange and Group
- Layer Menu: New, Duplicate and Rename Layer
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Basic Tips and Functions
Once you know what all the tools and menu items are, it's time to start figuring out what they do. In Photoshop Elements, as in most photo editing software, there are multiple ways to do the same task, but some are simpler or more effective than others. You'll find some the most useful and common tasks here.
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Presets, Plugins and Actions
One of the great things about Photoshop Elements is that its functionality can be greatly simplified and expanded by adding on an assortment of presets, plugins and actions. Some you can create yourself, if you find you do the same set of tasks over and over. Some things you can download, with all the work of setting them up already done. Not all downloads are free, but there are many useful ways to expand the software without spending any more money.
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Working With Photographs
Chances are, you're mostly going to use Photoshop Elements to retouch and play with photographs, and that's what it's best at. You can adjust (or even remove) color, fix or enhance areas of a photograph that might not be as sparkling as they could be, deal with small problems marring otherwise great photos, and even retouch those old printed images in your grandmother's photo album. Here you'll find some fun ways to work with photos, both basic and a little more advanced.
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Beyond Basic Photographs
Photoshop Elements can do more than retouch and tweak existing photographs. You can also use it to add watermarks, create brand-new images, buttons and banners, and even assemble photo books and scrapbooks. Once you start playing around with some of these ideas, you'll discover many, many more ways to use the software, and the more you know about how to use it, the more great ideas you'll get!