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Photoshop Elements Editor Tutorials

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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth

 

Content Panel 
Photoshop Elements

 

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Utilise Elements’ Content Palette
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor 7, 8 & 9 Only
Skill Level - Intermediate

Apply Themes
Apply Backgrounds

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Detailed Elements Workspace Tutorial Plus The Redesigned Workspace, Palettes & Toolbar Of Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15
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This tutorial demonstrates how to apply Text Styles, Objects, Shapes, Picture Frames, Themes and Backgrounds to Photographs or Images utilising Photoshop Elements Photoshop Elements 7, 8 & 9 Content Palette. To work along, you are welcome to download the sky Image I am working with Here. Unzip the file and open the image onto Elements’ workspace.

Newer Versions Note
The Content Panel was replaced by the Create, FX and Graphics tabs in Elements 11, (12, 13, 14 & 15). To access Elements’ Text Styles, Photo Frames, Styles, Filters, Scripts, Shapes etc, in those versions click either the Create tab found at the top of Photoshop Elements’ workspace. Or click either the FX and Graphics tabs found at the bottom-right of the workspace. To access the Photoshop Elements’ Automated Scripts and Fun Edits,
link here for my on-line tutorial.


 
FX & Graphics Tabs


 


Understanding Layers
Optimise And Save Images

Content Palette Note
The Content Palette provides a single location from which you can apply Artwork, Themes Decorations and Text Styles to your Photographs and Images. To display the Content Palette: from the top menu, choose Window then click a tick before Content - as illustrated below.


To display more Content Thumbnails, you can lengthen the Content Palette by dragging the top Palette-line upwards. In addition, don’t forget to scroll through different thumbnails by moving the Scroll Bar’s slider downwards (and upwards), as illustrated below. 

Simplify Layer Note
To be able to apply affects to Content Palette objects, (such as Bevels and Drop Shadows); you must first Simplify the Layer. To Simplify a Layer, right-click it, and choose Simplify Layer from the subsequent drop-down list.

Mouse Wheel Tip
Once you have clicked over the Scroll Bar area, you can quickly move the Scroll Bar upwards or downwards (to quickly navigate through the thumbnails) by moving your Mouse Wheel.

         
Scroll Bar


Undo Note
You can step backwards at any time by clicking the top menu’s Undo Tool.



To begin, open your choice of Start Image onto Elements’ workspace.

Tip
To centralise an image - snap it to the top menu’s orange horizontal line, by dragging your photograph towards it.

Please Note:
Elements 8’s Orange Horizontal Bar
The following Orange Horizontal Bar is exclusive to Photoshop Elements 8.
Please link here to read my comprehensive Understand Elements 8, 9 and 10’s Workspace tutorial.







Show All
Apply Themes
Apply Backgrounds
Apply Picture Frames
Apply Special Text Effects
Apply Transparent Shapes
Apply Transparent Graphics

Apply A Picture Frame
Ensure your Start Image is open, then from the Content Palette, click By Type and Frames.



Then scroll down the Frames thumbnails and double-left-click to activate a Frame or an Edge you like the look of - I am selecting a colourful Frame named Pen Frame.



Double-left-clicking places the Frame of your choice onto an active image.

Scroll Through Different Frames
Double-left-clicking different Frames Thumbnails changes the Frame to a style of your choice.





Orientation Note
When applying Frames try to match the Frame’s Orientation with your Photograph’s. For example, if your photograph is Landscape, then for optimum results, apply a Landscape Frame. You can change your photograph’s orientation by, (from the top menu), choosing Image then choosing Rotate then choosing 90 Degrees Left or Right. Alternatively, you can Rotate your photograph once the Frame has been applied using the Frame’s Rotate Tool.

To Resize your photograph so it fits inside the Frame, look for the resizing tab - it will be placed along the Frame’s top-left corner: then drag the Change the size of the photo slider (illustrated below-left), to the left or to the right. To insert a different photograph, click the Get a new photo to place in frame tab, (illustrated below-right), and from the subsequent Replace Photo dialogue box, navigate to a folder of your choice: left-click to highlight an image, then click Place.

      



To Rotate your photograph, click the following Rotate the photo tab.
 


After you have Resized or Rotated the photograph, commit the change by clicking the following Commit current operation tick. Alternatively, tap your Enter/Return Key.



If you haven’t altered your photograph’s size, or rotated it, then commit the change by clicking the following Apply tab.



Resize The Frame And Photograph
To Resize the Frame/Photograph, press Ctrl then T: (Image, Transform, Free Transform). Your Framed Photograph will then be isolated with a large Vector Transformation Bounding Box. Now, by gently tugging one of the square repositioning boxes (that are attached to the Bounding Box) diagonally upwards, or diagonally downwards - you can resize the frame.



Tap your Enter/Return Key to complete the transformation.

Congratulations, your Framed Image is now
ready to save. Alternatively, fill the Transparent Background with a Background Fill Layer, as illustrated Here.

Apply Special Text Effects
Ensure your Start Image is open, then from the Content Palette, click By Type and Text.



Then scroll down the Text thumbnails and double-left-click to activate a Text design you like the look of - I am selecting a Text design named Grass.



Double-left-clicking places the Text style of your choice onto the active image. 



Now, remove the default Text (illustrated above) by tapping the Delete Key. Then from the Type Tool’s Options Bar - illustrated below, set a Font and Size that suits your needs, then enter your choice of text. Now, left-click below the Text, and drag it to your preferred position.
 




Then click the following Commit Text tick .

Scroll Through Different Text Styles
Double-left-clicking different Text Thumbnails changes the Text to a style of your choice; remember to click the Commit change tick.

Tip
Because the Grass Text has been placed onto its own Layer, it can be resized using the Free Transformation Command - Ctrl then T. (Ensure the Grass Text Layer is active).

Tip
Activate the Move Tool .

Then left-click and drag the Text to another position.



Optional
Finish by clicking Apply.



Apply Transparent Objects (Graphics)
Ensure your Start Image is open, then from the Content Palette click By Type and
Graphics
.



Then scroll down the Graphics thumbnails, and double-left-click to activate a Graphic you like the look of - I am selecting a Graphic named Black Cat.



Double-left-clicking places the Graphic of your choice onto the active image.

Scroll Through Different Graphics
Double-left-clicking different Graphic Thumbnails changes the Graphic to a design of your choice.

Tip
Activate the Move Tool .

Then left-click and drag the Graphic to another position.





Optional
Finish by clicking Apply.

Resizing Tip
Because your Graphic has been placed onto its own Layer, it can be resized using the Free Transformation Command - Ctrl then T. Ensure the Graphic Layer is active, then Resize, Reposition or Rotate your graphic by manipulating one of its 9 Repositioning Handles, as demonstrated
Here.

Tip
To constrain the Graphic’s original dimensions, hold down the Shift Key as you resize it.

      

          

Apply A Shape
Ensure your Start Image is open, then from the Content Palette click By Type and Shapes.



Shape Colour
The Shape’s colour will represent whatever is active in the Foreground Swatch; therefore, for personal results, set the Foreground to your choice of colour.



Then scroll down the Text thumbnails, and double-left-click to activate a Shape of your choice.



Double-left-clicking places the Shape of your choice onto an active image.

Scroll Through Different Shapes
Double-left-clicking different Shape Thumbnails changes the Shape to a design of your choice.

Tip
Activate the Move Tool .

Then left-click and drag your Shape to another position.



Optional
Finish by clicking Apply.

Resizing Tip
Because the Shape has been placed onto its own Layer, it can be resized using the Free Transformation Command - Ctrl then T - in exactly the same way as resizing a Graphic, demonstrated in the last chapter, above. (Ensure the Shape Layer is active).



Tip
To preserve the Layers save your work as a
PSD (Photoshop) File.

When you are happy with your work: from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

 


Congratulations, your work is
ready to save.

Apply Themes
Ensure your Start Image is open, then from the Content Palette click By Type and Themes.



Then scroll down the Themes thumbnails and double-left-click to activate a Theme of your choice.

Double-left-clicking a Theme places an active photograph inside it.



Orientation Note
When applying Themes try to match the Theme’s Orientation with your Photograph’s. For example, if your photograph is Landscape, then for optimum results, apply a Landscape Theme. You can change your photograph’s orientation by, (from the top menu), choosing Image then choosing Rotate then choosing 90 Degrees Left or Right. Alternatively, you can Rotate your photograph once the Frame has been applied using the Theme’s Rotate
Tool.

Resize The Photograph
To Resize the Photograph that’s been placed inside the Theme (for example, the Clouds): double-left-click to activate the Framed Photograph and it will be surrounded by a large Vector Transformation Bounding Box - as illustrated below.



Then look for the following resizing tab: it will be placed along the Frame’s top-left corner.



Now, drag the Change the size of the photo slider (illustrated below-left), to the left or to the right. To insert a different photograph, click the Get a new photo to place in frame
tab, (illustrated below-right), and from the subsequent Replace Photo dialogue box, navigate to a folder of your choice, left-click to highlight an image, then click Place.

      



To Rotate your photograph, click the following Rotate the photo tab.
 


After you have Resized or Rotated the photograph, commit the change by clicking the following Commit current operation tick. Alternatively, press your Enter/Return Key.



Scroll Through Different Themes
Double-left-clicking different Themes Thumbnails changes the Theme to a design of your choice. There are lots of Themes to play with, therefore experiment, and see how they can transform your photographs.

Note
When you change the Theme you will notice the following dialogue box, click OK to apply the new Theme.



Reposition The Frame Or Theme-objects
After your Theme has been applied, you can move certain objects to different positions using the Move Tool .

For example, to move the Shell-framed Image - left-click and drag it to another area.



Tip
Because the Shape has been placed onto its own Layer, it can be resized using the Free Transformation Command - Ctrl then T. (Ensure the Themes Layer is active).



Resize or Rotate the Theme's Frame (Ctrl+T)




If you haven’t altered your photograph’s size, or rotated it, commit the change by clicking the following Apply tab. Alternatively, click the Apply tab .





Tip
To preserve the Layers, save your work as a
PSD (Photoshop) File.

When you are happy with your Photograph’s Theme, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image.

 



Alternative Theme Examples





Congratulations, your work is complete and is
ready to save.

Fill A Transparent Layer With A Content Palette Background
Applying a Background from Elements’ Content Palette is a quick and easy way of applying instant backgrounds to Transparent objects. To use one of the Content Palette’s Backgrounds, first open a Transparent Object onto Elements’ workspace: and ensure you can see your Content Palette. To display the Content Palette, from the top menu, choose Window then click a tick before Content - as illustrated below.

                          



Now, from the Content Palette, ensure By Type and Backgrounds are active, as illustrated below-left. (You select the aforementioned choices by clicking open their respective
drop-down lists, and clicking By Type and Backgrounds). 

      

Then from the subsequent Backgrounds Library, double-left-click to activate a Background of your choice - as illustrated below.



Double-left-clicking your Background choice immediately places a Background Layer below the active Transparent Image - as illustrated below. To scroll through different Background choices, (and to change your image’s Background), double-left-click different Backgrounds.

       

Scroll Through The Backgrounds Library Tip
There are many different Backgrounds to choose from; therefore, don’t forget to scroll down the entire backgrounds Library, and find a Background that suits your needs.

Scroll Through Library


When you have found a Background that works with your Transparent image, complete the change by clicking Apply.

    

               

Show All
The right-side Show All tab displays all of the Content Palette’s Styles.
      

The left-side Show All tab displays the following Filter icons that can then be clicked to activate their corresponding Style Effects.



More Content Tab Examples

         

Now you are familiar with Elements’ Content Palette you can stretch your creativity by playing with all of the Style Filters it offers, and discover how they can transform your photographs and images.


Wendi E M Scarth. 
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