With each new release, Photoshop Elements gets more powerful. While Adobe's done a great job of making Elements easier, you're likely to use only a fraction of its power if you don't get some guidance. We recommend Barbara Brundage's superb Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual.
Elements' layout can still confuse newcomers. Brundage gets you past that confusion in a hurry, so you can do real work. She helps you set up Elements for comfort and efficiency; quickly import and organize your existing images; then use Elements' core tools -- rotate, crop, Quick Fix, and so forth.
Next, she turns to Elements' "digital darkroom" tools. Elements can't fix every photo, but you may be surprised at how much it can fix. (In fact, even some older Elements features have been tweaked in this version to deliver better results.) Brundage, who coauthored the outstanding Digital Photography: The Missing Manual, really understands what digital photographers need to know to get great results.
Increasingly, Elements offers “pro” features, such as support for RAW files. Brundage demystifies these features, so nonprofessionals can really take advantage of them. Speaking of new features, Brundage covers pretty much all of them. True black-and-white conversion. Sophisticated color curves. Elements' great new graphics, frames, special effects, and photo layouts. Support for multi-page documents and Web-based photo galleries. New mapping tools. Burst mode photo storage. You name it.
Incidentally: As of this writing, only the Windows version of Photoshop Elements 5 is available. But a Mac version is anticipated. And, with a few typical adjustments (use Mac keyboard shortcuts instead of Windows), this book should work fine for the Mac version, too. Bill Camarda, from the November 2006 Read Only