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Old 12-31-2013, 04:22 PM   #1
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Question How to use Adobe Elements

I purchased this software a year ago, so I could manipulate images to print and use in crafting. Decoupage, jewelry and suchlike.

I officially admit defeat. It's too complicated! I'm no stranger to software of all kinds, and I just can't figure this program out. I can't even figure out how to resize photos. Why did they have to make even the simplest of functions so very difficult?

So should I just scrap the program? Is there an easier way? Something else easier to use? Classes?

Help?
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:31 AM   #2
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I know exactly what you mean! I am really bad with computers but when we got a new one for my son, it came with free photoshop. He had no use for it so I took it. I had a few other programs I used but there were things I couldn't figure out and since it was so popular, i had to try it.YES it is frustrating! A few things I can tell you. Start out by duplicating the picture and deleting the locked one from the right side of screen. You may have to keep "selecting " the image when you want to change something One thing I figured out (the hard way) save your work twice. Once as a photoshop doc (.psu i think) and once in whatever form you want to use. Ie. jpeg. This way, in case you have to go back and edit, you do it with the psu format which has the layers unlocked. Best thing us to search youtube and pinterest for tutorials
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Old 01-01-2014, 03:51 AM   #3
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When I first started, I bought a few tutorials. They helped tremendously. I was able to do a split screen and imitate what ever was being taught.
Before you give up, find some instruction- I can't remember whose I used, but it looks like there are many of them available-free, even on you tube!
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:43 AM   #4
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I agree with the advice given, do a search for some online tutorials- Adobe themselves have a great list here
and a huge You Tube list here . It really is an amzing bit of software, and can seem very hard to get your head around.
One of the best ways to learn it is to play with it. Make a copy of your image- never work on an original- and just try out different tools/effects on it. You can create files on your pc, store the altered image, with notes about how you did it.
I assume most of the features/controls are the same as Photoshop itself, in which case, re-sizing an image:
Go to File: Open, and select an image.
Now, click on IMAGE, go down drop down box to DUPLICATE. Click that.
You will get a pop up box that says Duplicate Image, and gives it a name. Click OK. now have your original on the screen, plus a copy. Close the original.( Click on the little x).
Now pull your image away from where its attached to the top of the screen. Just put your mouse on the tab and drag.
Click on IMAGE again. You get a drop down list.
Go to Image Size.
You get a box, with an assortment of options.
photoshop.jpg
At the top is width & height, the default showing is Pixels. It also tells you the size of the image in megabytes- the one I have open is 5.49M, this is useful to know when you are uploading to some galleries that have a size maximum. You can see in the second image I have made the image size smaller by typing in a lower number, and it has also made the pixel dimension, and therefore megabyte size smaller.
ps3.jpg
Below that is Document size, in width, height & resolution.
Default showing is centimeters. If you click the arrow next to that, you get a drop down list of choices. I always swap it to inches.Work with what you understand best. Now you can see the size of your image in inches. Here is where you alter the size of your image- just change the numbers in the box.Click on them to highlight, then alter to what size you want. Don't forget the decimal point, lol. i.e, 1.5= one and a half inches.
Next to the width/height boxes, you will see a 'linked' icon- this means these two dimensions are linked by proportion, so when you alter one dimension, the other will automatically alter in proportion, keeping your image looking correct. You can change this, if you look below this box, you will see three tick boxes, Scale style, Constrain Proportion and Resample image. If you untick Constrain Proportions, you will see the linked icon vanish, and you can just change one dimension. It will make your image look stretched, or squashed though.
ps2.jpg
Back in the document size box, you see Resolution, in Pixels per inch, or centimeter. The higher the number of PPI, the bigger the image will get- usually without it going pixellated.
At the bottom, Resample Image has a drop down list if you click the arrow. The ones to use generally are Bicubic Smoother( best for enlargement) or Bicubic Sharper( Best for reduction)
Hope this helps a little. Just remember, as long as you work on a copy, you can't destroy anything of value, and if you click on EDIT, after anything you have done, you can UNDO, or Step Backwards, to remove any change you made.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:50 AM   #5
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Forgot to say, when you are done, click File, then use SAVE AS, and give it a name.
The box below that has an arrow, and a drop down list. If you want to be able to view the image in your normal screen, without using Photoshop, then save as a JPEG. If you save as a PSD( Photoshop Document) which is the default, you will only be able to view in Photoshop.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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A really great way to learn (if you can't take an actual live class) is to subscribe to Lynda.com.

Yes, it costs $$$. On a month to month basis, you will pay $37.50 a month for the premium membership, which includes download of the exercise files, which you want to have so you can work along. (For $25 a month you can just watch the course lessons, but can't download the files to work on). If you set your mind to it, you can subscribe for one month, go through one of the Elements "courses" (they are a series of video lessons) and then cancel, and it will have cost you $37.50 to learn Elements. Your monthly subscription gives you access to everything on the site, so you can browse through a lesson from several courses until you find one you like.

I have been a subscriber to Lynda.com for years, because they have tutorials on every kind of software you can think of plus classes on photography, etc.

Maybe check it out. There are 24 different courses on Elements there.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Wow! You guys really came through for me! Thanks so much. I felt so defeated, but I just knew I couldn't be the only one that found this program so difficult to figure out.

I guess I was just too cocky. I taught myself how to use Excel, Word, and everything else that's come along. But this program is just so intimidating!

Thanks so much. I may end up having to purchase tutorials, but at least I won't have to scrap the software!
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:07 AM   #8
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The thing to remember starlytte, is don't put yourself down here! Elements may be a cut down version of Photoshop, but the whole thing is an amazingly complicated programme. I have barely scratched the surface with using mine, my beloved Hubby can do a lot more than me. My eldest son is a television programme editor, and the things he can do with it is unbelievable. Photoshop is often used for making and manipulating the CGI effects in tv and films, so most of us will only ever learn just a little of what it can do.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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I second the lynda.com site - many many great tutorials
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:29 PM   #10
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This is great, you guys!! I've had Elements for years now and have only used it once or twice. I'm a visual learner to the videos should do the trick !!
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:11 PM   #11
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There are a couple good YouTube channels with instruction. I like Chucky Delano's - Photoshop Elements + more . I also like the site Everyday Elements | Unlocking the value of Photoshop
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Last edited by brainangles; 02-13-2014 at 01:16 PM..
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:45 AM   #12
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Thanks all I've had the software for sometime now and after trying to figure it out, put it up. Maybe now I'll get it out again and try it.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:59 PM   #13
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Don't forget the blogs of digital scrapbookers - lots of them use PSE and have tutorials and how to's
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #14
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you could also invest in Scott Kelby's book; his books are great
depending on which version of Elements you have...
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:42 PM   #15
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Check out essential-photoshop-elements.com. I subscribed to Rick Peterson's newsletter (FREE) and get a lesson every week. They've really helped a lot.
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