Photoshop Elements 2: For Windows and Macintosh (Visual QuickStart Guide Series)

Overview

Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe's easy-to-use, flexible version of its powerful Photoshop software, opens the door for amateur photographers, business users, and home hobbyists who want to create and edit digital images.

Photoshop Elements for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide uses task-based lessons to show readers the ropes in using Photoshop Elements to capture photos, correct color, work with layers, erase backgrounds, create photo-illustrations and Web ...

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Overview

Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe's easy-to-use, flexible version of its powerful Photoshop software, opens the door for amateur photographers, business users, and home hobbyists who want to create and edit digital images.

Photoshop Elements for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide uses task-based lessons to show readers the ropes in using Photoshop Elements to capture photos, correct color, work with layers, erase backgrounds, create photo-illustrations and Web graphics, simulate painting and drawing techniques, and more. Concise, step-by-step instructions and plenty of screenshots help users look up just what they need to know, and once the reader has mastered the software, this book works as a great visual reference.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
On a feature-for-dollar basis, few graphics programs hold a candle to Photoshop Elements. It’s also way simpler than Photoshop, thank goodness. But its remarkable power means that it still won’t be easy to discover everything this software can do for you, or to make the most of it. For that, you want a copy of Photoshop Elements 2 for Windows & Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide.

In typical Visual QuickStart series fashion, this cleanly designed, well-edited guide collects step-by-step instructions for all the tasks you’ll care about -- with plenty of screen shots and useful tips to go with them.

Christopher Dahl and Craig Hoeschen’s up-front tour of the Photoshop Elements interface gives you a first glimpse of just how much you can accomplish with this program. Elements was designed to be far more accessible than Photoshop; they make it more accessible still.

You’ll learn how to make the most of Elements’ handy File Browser; work with the tools, options, and shortcut menus Adobe’s given you; and select step-by-step “recipes” from the How To palette. These wondrous recipes are all you need to do things like add drop shadows or remove red-eye from photographs; in some cases, the recipes contain a Play button that actually does the work for you. What would Julia Child say?

Next, you’ll walk through importing the photos or images you want to work on (from any source, from web graphic to still digital camcorder image). You’ll set image dimensions and file size; arrange your files so they’re easiest to work with; and master Photoshop Elements’ extensive array of image conversion options.

Next, the authors cover selecting and adjusting colors in Photoshop Elements. Working with color has traditionally been one of the most complex and difficult areas of professional graphic design. Photoshop Elements goes some way towards civilizing it, but frankly, there are still a lot of concepts and jargon to understand if you want to get the best possible results. RGB. Bitmap. Grayscale. Indexed color. HSB. Histograms. Photoshop Elements for Windows & Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide does a superb job of translating “Color-lish” into English.

Along the way, you’ll learn how to use Photoshop Elements’ Auto Level and Auto Contrast features (but warn you not to overuse them). You’ll discover how to select and adjust colors -- even search and replace them as if you were using a word processor for colors. Dahl and Hoeschen bring these features “down to earth” with practical guidance on colorizing B&W photos, eliminating unwanted color casts, even adjusting backlighting (to fix what you forgot to do when you first shot the photo).

There’s a full chapter on Photoshop Elements’ many options for selecting and editing portions of your image; and another on working with layers, opacity, and blending. Professionals have long sworn by Photoshop layers; Photoshop Elements offers much the same power in a program that retails for roughly one-sixth the price. If you’re an amateur, you might not gravitate to layers on your own, but trust us -- they’re worth learning, and with this book’s help, it won’t take long.

Dahl and Hoeschen cover everything you need to know about photo retouching and restoration in Photoshop Elements: how to crop, rotate, clone, smudge, sharpen, dodge and burn, and more. They explain the full range of Photoshop Elements filters, from watercolor to video, showing how to preview effects, use textures, even adjust opacity.

There’s a full chapter on working with type, including Photoshop Elements’ techniques for creating vertical type, using anti-aliasing, warping your text using the many options in the Warping Text Style Gallery; creating text effects with type masks; even applying layer styles to type.

Next, they turn to preparing web images: working with the Save for Web dialog box; optimizing images, and making transparent backgrounds. You’ll learn how to create image catalogs, contact sheets, even photographic printer’s packages.

Painting, drawing, it’s all here -- including a great “special projects” chapter that walks you through everything from panoramas and PDF slideshows to animated GIFs. If this book’s missing anything you need to know, we haven’t found it yet. Bill Camarda

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780201799743
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • Publication date: 8/5/2002
  • Series: Visual QuickStart Guide Series
  • Pages: 403
  • Product dimensions: 7.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Pfiffnerhas been working with and writing about digital graphic arts since the dawn of desktop publishing in 1984. She has been editor in chief of MacUser and Publish magazines and of creativepro.com, a Web site for creative professionals. She also served as executive producer of ZDTV.com (now TechTV.com), an integrated Web site for the cable television channel. Ms. Pfiffner has a Masters of Journalism from the University of California at Berkeley where she also taught for nine years. Currently she teaches at Portland State University in Oregon. She is the co-author of How Desktop Publishing Works (ZD Press/Macmillan).

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Table of Contents

Introduction.

1. The Basics.

Understanding the Work Area. Browsing, Opening, and Closing Files. Saving Files. Selecting Tools. Using the Options and Shortcuts Bars. Working with Palettes. Using the Zoom Tool. Moving the View Area. Using the Hints Palette. Selecting Recipes from the How to Palette. Using the Help System.

2. Creating and Managing Images.

Understanding Resolution and Image Size. Creating a New Image. Importing Images from Camera and Scanner. Changing Image Size and Resolution. Getting Information about Your Image. Opening and Arranging Multiple Views. Using Rulers. Setting Up the Grid.

3. Changing and Adjusting Colors.

About Computers and Color Models. Working with Color Modes. Changing Color Modes. Managing Color. About Tonal Correction. Adjusting Levels Automatically. Adjusting Levels Manually. Lighting Your Image. Removing Color Cast. Replacing Color.

Making Selections.

About the Selection Tools. Using the Marquee Tools. Selecting Areas with the Lasso Tools. Using the Selection Brush Tool. Making Selections by Color. Adjusting Selections. Softening the Edges of a Selection. Modifying Selection Borders.

5. Working with Layers.

Understanding Layers. Using the Layers Palette. Layer Basics. Changing the Layer Order. Managing Layers. Merging Layers. Converting and Duplicating Layers. Copying Layers between Images. About Opacity and Blending Modes. Creating Masking Effects with Layer Groups. Applying Effects with Layer Styles. Making Color and Tonal Changes with Adjustment Layers. Using the Undo History Palette.

6. Fixing and Retouching Photos.

Cropping and Image. Straightening and Image. Using the clone Stamp Tool. Applying Patterns. Correcting Red Eye. Sharpening Image Detail. Blending Image Elements with the Smudge Tool. Using the Tonal Adjustment Tools. Removing Color. Adding a Color Tint to an Image.

7. Filters and Effects.

Using the Filters and Effects Palettes. Applying Filters and Effects. Filter Gallery. Effects Gallery. Simulating Action with the Blur Filters. Distorting Images. Creating Lights and Shadows. Using Textures. Creating Your Own Filters.

8. Painting and Drawing.

About Bitmap Images and Vector Graphics. Filling Areas with Color. Filling Areas with a Gradient. Creating and Saving Custom Gradients. Adding a Stroke to a Selection or Layer. Using the Brush Tool. Creating and Saving custom Brushes. Creating Special Painting Effects. Erasing with Customizable Brush Shapes. Erasing Backgrounds and Other Large Areas. Understanding Shapes. Drawing Basic Shapes. Transforming Shapes. Creating Custom Shapes.

9. Working with Type.

Creating and Editing Text. Changing the Look of Your Type. Working with Vertical Text. Anti-aliasing Type. Warping Text. Warping Text Style Gallery. Creating Text Effects with Type Masks. Applying Layer Style to Type. Text Layer Style Gallery.

10. Preparing Images for the Web.

Understanding Image Requirements for the Web. About the Save for Web Dialog Box. Optimizing and Image for the Web. Adjusting Optimization Settings. Making a Web Image Transparent. Previewing an Image. Sending Images by E-mail.

11. Saving and Printing Images.

Understanding File Formats. Setting Preferences for Saving Files. Setting Preferences for Saving Files. Formatting and Saving Multiple Images Automatically. Cataloging Your Images. Creating a Photographer's Picture Package. Setting Up Your Computer for Printing. Preparing an Image for Printing. Setting Additional Printing Options. Printing an Image. Using Online Photo Services.

12. Creative Techniques.

Creating Panoramas. Making Your Own Slideshow. About Web Photo Galleries. Creating Animated GIFs. Compositing Images.

Appendix A: Keyboard Shortcuts.

Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004

    A good start, but not all-inclusive

    I enjoyed the book but thought it fell short of an end-all elements book. I like the technical stuff, so some more techinal explanations would have been nice. I'm still not clear on what a 'mask' is or how to use it affectively. A CD of photos to work on while you read the book would have been a great addition!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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