Photoshop Elements 2 Complete Course


Written by an Adobe-certified expert and illustrated throughout in full color, this Complete Course shows you how to master the full range of Elements tools and techniques while working on a single project. Twelve sessions and more than sixty step-by-step tutorials, accompanied by vivid color images and screen shots, show you how to create a series of sophisticated, themed greeting cards from start to finish. After completing the course, you'll have an impressive portfolio piece, a set of cool cards you can ...
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Written by an Adobe-certified expert and illustrated throughout in full color, this Complete Course shows you how to master the full range of Elements tools and techniques while working on a single project. Twelve sessions and more than sixty step-by-step tutorials, accompanied by vivid color images and screen shots, show you how to create a series of sophisticated, themed greeting cards from start to finish. After completing the course, you'll have an impressive portfolio piece, a set of cool cards you can actually use, and a thorough understanding of Photoshop Elements 2 fundamentals.
* Build layered collages
* Color correct photographs
* Apply special effects and filters (covered in bonus sessions on the enclosed CD)

CD-ROM Contents
* Adobe?? Photoshop?? Elements 2 tryout, Windows version
* All the files needed to create the project
* Bonus sessions on using filters and applying effects
* Shortcuts and help summary

System Requirements: PC running Windows 98 or later; Mac running OS 8 or higher. See the What's on the CD-ROM appendix for details and complete system requirements.

Seybold Seminars, Publications & Consulting is the leading brand helping graphic design and Web professionals understand and work with the latest digital technologies.

For more information, go to

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…a fantastic tome…vibrant, well-designed…the ideal helping hand…” (Digital Photography Made Easy, May 2004)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764540936
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/19/2004
  • Series: Complete Course Series , #5
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 441
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Kabili is an Adobe-certified expert who has coordinated the curriculum for Adobe training at and served as a lead instructor at Ojai Digital Arts Center. She is also the author of Photoshop 7 Complete Course.
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Table of Contents


Is This Book for You?

How Should You Approach This Book?

What’s in This Book?

What Conventions Are Used in This Book?

Confidence Builder.

Creating a New Document.

Choosing and Using Color.

Preparing Images for Compositing.

Combining Images.

Manipulating Image Content.

Adding Text.

Applying Special Effects.

Part I: Course Setup.

Photoshop Elements 2 Basics.

Overview of Photoshop Elements 2.

How Photoshop Elements 2 Compares to Photoshop.

Project Overview.

The Tutorial Files.

Software Requirements.

System Requirements.

Part II: Understanding Basic Features.

Session 1: Creating and Saving Images.

Session Introduction.

Creating a Document from Scratch.

Understanding Resolution.

Scanning into Photoshop Elements 2.

Getting Digital Photographs into Photoshop Elements 2.

Managing Digital Photographs with the File Browser.

Importing Still Frames from Video.

Harvesting Images from a PDF File.

Saving Files.

File Formats.

Session Review.

Session 2: Getting Comfortable with the Interface.

Session Introduction.

Making the Most of Tools and Menu Bars.

Using and Organizing Palettes.

Selecting Colors.

Using Brushes.

Setting Preferences.

Color Management in Photoshop Elements 2.

Help System Summary.

Session Review.

Session 3: Handling Documents.

Session Introduction.

Viewing Document Information.

Using Rulers and Grids.

Zooming In and Out.

Opening Multiple Document Windows.

Navigating in the Document Window.

Changing Image Size and Resolution.

Cropping an Image.

Changing Canvas Size.

Session Review.

Session 4: Fixing Mistakes.

Session Introduction.

Using the Eraser Tools and the Undo Commands.

Retracing Your Steps in the Undo History Palette.

Reverting to the Last Saved Version.

Session Review.

Part III: Mastering Selections and Layers.

Session 5: Making Selections.

Session Introduction.

Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso Tool.

Anti-aliased versus Aliased Selections.

Selecting with the Magic Wand Tool.

Selecting with the Selection Brush Tool.

Modifying a Selection.

Moving a Selection.

Editing Selected Artwork.

Session Review.

Session 6: Working with Layers.

Session Introduction.

Layer Basics.

Creating and Converting a Background Layer.

Generating a New Layer.

Copying Layers between Documents.

Creating a Layer from a Selection.

Creating a Layer by Duplication.

Managing Layers in the Layers Palette.

Demystifying Blending Modes.

Changing Layer Blending Mode and Opacity.

Using Fill and Adjustment Layers.

Combining Images with a Layer Mask.

Applying Layer Styles.

Merging and Saving Layers.

Session Review.

Part IV: Fixing Photographs.

Session 7: Retouching and Adjusting Photographs.

Session Introduction.

The Quick Fix Approach.

Straightening and Cropping a Scanned Photograph.

Fixing Discoloration.

Removing Dust and Damage.

Adjusting Tones with Levels.

Limiting Levels Adjustments.

Applying Auto Levels.

Adjusting Exposure.

Manipulating Content.


Session Review.

Session 8: Color Correcting Photographs.

Session Introduction.

Correcting Color with Levels.

Correcting Color with the Auto Color Correction Command.

Correcting Color Cast with the Color Cast Command.

Applying Color Variations.

Adjusting Backlighting.

Remedying Flash Problems.

Adjusting Color Saturation.

Replacing Color.

Session Review.

Part V: Using Text and Shapes.

Session 9: Adding Shapes.

Session Introduction.

The Anatomy of a Shape.

Creating Geometric Shapes.

Creating Custom Shapes.

Moving and Transforming Shapes.

Changing Shape Attributes.

Combining Shapes to Create a Unique Shape.

Simplifying a Shape Layer.

Session Review.

Session 10: Creating and Editing Text.

Session Introduction.

Creating Horizontal Text.

Creating Vertical Text.

Working with Multiple Lines of Text.

Formatting Text Manually.

Editing Text.

Simplifying a Type Layer.

Warping Text.

Grouping Text and Image.

Session Review.

Part VI: Outputting.

Session 11: Printing.

Session Introduction.

Preparing Files for Printing.

Making a Contact Sheet.

Creating a Picture Package.

Creating a Panorama.

Session Review.

Session 12: Outputting for the Web and Screen.

Session Introduction.

Using Photoshop Elements 2 in Web Design.

Optimizing Photographs for the Web.

Making a Web Page Background.

Optimizing Graphics and Text for the Web.

Making Artwork for Rollover Buttons.

Creating an Animated GIF.

Making a Web Photo Gallery Site.

Automatically Attaching an Image to E-mail.

Creating a PDF Slideshow.

Session Review.

Part VII: CD-ROM Bonus Material: Enhancing Images.

Bonus Session 1: (CD-ROM) Using Filters.

Bonus Session 2: (CD-ROM) Applying Effects.

Appendix A.

Appendix B.


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First Chapter

Photoshop Elements 2 Complete Course

By Jan Kabili

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-4093-9

Chapter One

Photoshop Elements 2 Basics

Not so long ago, digital imaging was inaccessible to most people. Hardware and software costs were prohibitive, learning curves were steep, and the equipment available did not work well together. That picture has changed. A thriving market now exists for digital cameras, scanners, printers, CDd and DVD burners, and more. As the equipment gets better and cheaper, more people are getting involved in digital imaging. And the involvement of all kinds of people-creative professionals, hobbyists, educators, students, and just plain folks-has increased the need for smart, creative, accessible imaging software.

Ideally, that software should be relatively easy to learn and use, but not dumbed down. It should offer practical applications, but be versatile and deep enough to support creative explorations. It should integrate with the current and expected crop of digital cameras and scanners, but it shouldn't be so expensive that only institutions can afford it. But wait-I'm describing software that's already available! That software is Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.

Take a minute to read through this brief chapter for an overview of what Photoshop Elements 2 offers, what you can use it for, and how it differs from its progenitor, Adobe Photoshop.

Overview of Photoshop Elements 2

Photoshop Elements 2 is digital-imaging software. In thebroadest sense, it is a collection of tools for editing bitmap (pixel-based) digital images. The particulars of what you can do with this software tell more of the story.

The program is best known for its ability to help digital photographers in all stages of their workflow: input, editing, and output. Photoshop Elements 2 has features that can be used for:

Connecting with and importing images from digital cameras and scanners

Batch processing, including renaming, converting format, resizing, and rotating collections of images

Browsing, sorting, and organizing images

Cropping, straightening, and rotating scans

Fixing flash-related problems, such as red eye, lack of fill flash, and lack of backlighting

Removing dust and scratches

Repairing tears and retouching blemishes

Fixing exposure and contrast automatically and with manual controls

Correcting color automatically and with manual controls

Sharpening and blurring

Adding text in creative ways


Digitally framing photos

Enhancing with filters, effects, and layer styles

Removing distracting content

Replacing and adding content

Creating composite images

Laying out contact sheets and picture packages

Merging images into panoramas

Building Web photo galleries

Making slide shows in PDF format

Preparing photographs for email distribution

An important point, and one that I think the official publicists don't make strongly enough, is that Photoshop Elements 2 is not just for photographers. All of its features can be used in other contexts, making it just as valuable to someone whose goal is to generate art, illustrations, educational materials, designs and layouts, promotional materials, brochures, portfolios, or any graphic creation.

Yes, the program can be used to create personal projects, and it includes recipes for performing common tasks, hints, and some automatic features that make it accessible to the non-professional. At the same time, in the hands of a professional, it produces professional results. The bottom line is that if you know how to use Photoshop Elements 2, as you will by the end of this Complete Course, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

How Photoshop Elements 2 Compares to Photoshop

The Adobe Photoshop Elements feature set and interface are based on those in the full version of Adobe Photoshop. In addition to the features mentioned above, Photoshop Elements 2 includes drawing and painting tools, vector-based type and shape tools, customizable brushes, selection tools, layers, filters, adjustments, tool options, Web-related features, and lots more.

The first question many people ask about Photoshop Elements 2 is how it compares to Photoshop, the flagship of digital image editing. The answer is that there are some features that are unique to Photoshop and some that are unique to Photoshop Elements.

For the most part, the Photoshop features that you won't find in Photoshop Elements are higher-end tools and functions, like curves, paths, and controls for accessing channels and masks. After all, Adobe has to justify the significant price difference between these programs.

Don't let the lack of some high-end features discourage you. Workarounds can achieve what some of these absent features would offer. For example, as you work through this course, you learn workarounds for accessing layer masks and information in hidden channels.

A fair comparison of Photoshop Elements to Photoshop is by no means a one-way street. Photoshop Elements 2 has features that are not included in the current version of Photoshop (Photoshop 7), most of which are aimed at making the interface easier to use and understand. Unique features of Photoshop Elements 2 include the following:

Selection brush for quickly selecting pixels

Quick Fix window for correcting photographs

Red Eye brush

Fill Flash adjustment

Backlighting adjustment

Shortcuts bar

How To palette of image-editing recipes

Hints palette with tool and palette explanations

Thumbnails that visually describe each filter, effect, and layer style

PDF Slidemaker

Photomerge for making panoramas

This is just an overview of what Photoshop Elements 2 has to offer. You learn much more about its features, functions, and potential as you work through this book.


Excerpted from Photoshop Elements 2 Complete Course by Jan Kabili Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2007

    Wonderful book!

    I can finally do something besides 'crop' and 'auto fix'! I have had my Photoshop Elements 2 program for several years and couldn't figure out how to use it. I have learned all the basics and am able to make great composite photos myself now!

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