Photoshop Elements 2021 For Dummies

Photoshop Elements 2021 For Dummies

by Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova


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Get picture-perfect results with Photoshop Elements 2021

Photoshop Elements has a reputation for delivering the photo editing power that non-professional photographers and designers need to get eye-catching—and art-quality—results. This book offers guidance for applying everything from simple, one-click fixes all the way up to detailed retouching of your images.

Photoshop Elements 2021 For Dummies assumes no prior photo-editing experience and makes it easy for even the absolute beginner to quickly grasp how to edit to create slick, professional-looking photos. In no time at all you’ll feel confident in everything from common image fixes to utilizing more creative techniques, such as using image layers to create a standout look. You’ll also find tips on building and managing complex photo projects.

  • Understand photo-editing concepts
  • Adjust clarity, color, and brightness
  • Add artistic touches
  • Catalog and organize your work

This fun and easy guide provides the steps you need to get the most out of this popular version of Photoshop—and will help you achieve truly beautiful results!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119724124
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 11/17/2020
Series: For Dummies Books
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 275,636
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Barbara Obermeier is the principal of Obermeier Design as well as an adjunct professor at California Lutheran University. Ted Padova is adjunct professor of visual arts and digital photography at Sillman University in Dumaguete, Philippines. Barbara and Ted are the authors or coauthors of more than 90 books.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Getting Started with Photoshop Elements 2021 5

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Image Editing 7

Getting Familiar with the Home Screen 7

Launching the Photo Editor 9

Making Basic Edits in Quick Mode 10

Sharing a Photo 12

Retracing Your Steps 14

Using the History panel 14

Reverting to the last save 15

Getting a Helping Hand 15

Saving Files with Purpose 17

Using the Save/Save As dialog box 17

Saving files for the web 19

Chapter 2: Basic Image-Editing Concepts 21

Grappling with the Ubiquitous Pixels 22

Understanding resolution 22

Understanding image dimensions 25

The Art of Resampling 25

Choosing a Resolution for Print or Onscreen 28

Working with File Formats 28

JPEG (*.jpg, *.jpeg, *.jpe) 28

PNG (*.png) 30

TIFF (*.tif, *.tiff) 30

Getting Familiar with Color 31

Getting Color Right 32

Color the easy way 33

Calibrating your monitor 33

Choosing a color workspace 34

Understanding how profiles work 35

Chapter 3: Exploring the Photo Editor 37

Examining the Photo Editor 37

Examining the image window 41

Uncovering the contextual menus 45

Selecting the tools 45

Selecting from the Tool Options 48

Playing with panels 48

Using the Photo Bin 51

Creating different views of an image 52

Viewing filenames 52

Using Photo Bin Actions 53

Finding Your Bearings in Guided Mode 53

Controlling the Editing Environment 55

Launching and navigating Preferences 55

Checking out all the Preferences panes 56

Part 2: Managing Media 61

Chapter 4: Navigating the Organizer 63

Organizing Photos and Media on a Hard Drive 64

Adding Images to the Organizer 65

Adding files from folders and removable media 65

Downloading camera images with the Elements Downloader 67

Importing additional photos from folders 69

Navigating the Media Browser 71

Using a Scanner 72

Understanding image requirements 72

Using scanner plug-ins (Windows) 73

Scanning on the Mac 75

Scanning many photos at a time 75

Phoning in Your Images 76

Setting Organizer Preferences 78

Chapter 5: Organizing Your Pictures 81

Touring the Organizer 81

Organizing Groups of Images with Tags 85

Creating and viewing a tag 85

Adding icons to tags 87

Working with custom tags 88

Working with default tags 90

Working with sub-categories 90

Sorting photos according to tags 91

Auto Curating Images 92

Working with Auto Creations 92

Adding new Events 93

Rating Images with Stars 93

Adding Images to an Album 94

Creating an album 94

Using albums for temporary work 97

Editing an album 97

Finding out more about sharing your albums 98

Adding People in the Media Browser 98

Placing Pictures on Maps 100

Working with Events 102

Chapter 6: Viewing and Finding Your Images 105

Cataloging Files 105

Using the Catalog Manager 106

Working with catalogs 107

Backing up your catalog 108

Backing up photos and files 109

Switching to a Different View 110

Viewing Photos in Memories (Slideshow) 111

Searching for Photos 113

Using Search 113

Searching for untagged items 115

Searching captions and notes 115

Searching by history 116

Searching metadata 116

Searching similarities 118

Grouping Files That Get in the Way 119

Marking files as hidden 119

Stackin’ ’em up 120

Creating versions 121

Part 3: Selecting and Correcting Photos 123

Chapter 7: Editing Camera Raw Images 125

Launching the Camera Raw Editor 126

Understanding Camera Raw 127

Learning Raw file format attributes 128

Opening images in the Camera Raw Editor 129

Getting Familiar with the Raw Editor 130

Getting Familiar with the Panels 133

Using the Basic panel 134

Sharpening and reducing noise 137

Using the Calibration panel 139

Working with Filmstrips 140

Synchronizing edits 141

Synchronizing defaults 143

Working with Profiles 143

Looking at the Adobe Camera Raw profiles 144

Managing profiles 145

Creating a Favorites list 146

Opening Non-Raw Images in the Camera Raw Editor 146

Changing Image Defaults 147

Working with XML Files and Preferences 147

Changing program defaults 148

Using Save Options 149

Using sidecar files 149

Chapter 8: Making and Modifying Selections 151

Defining Selections 151

Creating Rectangular and Elliptical Selections 152

Perfecting squares and circles with Shift and Alt (Option on the Mac) 154

Applying Marquee options 154

Making Freeform Selections with the Lasso Tools 156

Selecting with the Lasso tool 157

Getting straight with the Polygonal Lasso tool 159

Snapping with the Magnetic Lasso tool 159

Working Wizardry with the Magic Wand 162

Talking about Tolerance 162

Wielding the Wand to select 163

Modifying Your Selections 165

Adding to, subtracting from, and intersecting a selection 165

Avoiding key collisions 166

Painting with the Selection Brush 167

Painting with the Quick Selection Tool 169

Selecting with the Auto Selection Tool 171

Selecting Your Subject 172

Fine-Tuning with the Refine Selection Brush 174

Working with the Cookie Cutter Tool 176

Eliminating with the Eraser Tools 178

The Eraser tool 178

The Background Eraser tool 179

The Magic Eraser tool 180

Using the Select Menu 181

Selecting all or nothing 181

Reselecting a selection 181

Inversing a selection 181

Feathering a selection 182

Refining the edges of a selection 182

Using the Modify commands 184

Applying the Grow and Similar commands 184

Saving and loading selections 185

Chapter 9: Working with Layers 187

Getting to Know Layers 187

Converting a background to a layer 188

Anatomy of the Layers panel 189

Using the Layer and Select menus 192

Working with Different Layer Types 194

Image layers 194

Adjustment layers 195

Fill layers 197

Shape layers 198

Type layers 199

Tackling Layer Basics 199

Creating a new layer from scratch 199

Using Layer via Copy and Layer via Cut 201

Duplicating layers 201

Dragging and dropping layers 202

Using the Paste into Selection command 202

Moving a Layer’s Content 203

Transforming Layers 204

Adding Layer Masks 205

Flattening and Merging Layers 208

Flattening layers 208

Merging layers 209

Chapter 10: Simple Image Makeovers 211

Cropping and Straightening Images 211

Cutting away with the Crop tool 212

Fixing distortion with the Perspective Crop tool 214

Cropping with a selection border 216

Straightening images 216

Recomposing Images 217

Employing One-Step Auto Fixes 219

Auto Smart Fix 220

Auto Smart Tone 221

Auto Levels 222

Auto Contrast 223

Auto Haze Removal 223

Auto Color Correction 223

Auto Shake Reduction 224

Auto Sharpen 224

Auto Red Eye Fix 225

Editing in Quick Mode 227

Fixing Small Imperfections with Tools 230

Cloning with the Clone Stamp tool 231

Retouching with the Healing Brush 233

Zeroing in with the Spot Healing Brush 235

Repositioning with the Content-Aware Move tool 237

Lightening and darkening with Dodge and Burn tools 239

Smudging away rough spots 240

Softening with the Blur tool 242

Focusing with the Sharpen tool 242

Sponging color on and off 244

Replacing one color with another 245

Chapter 11: Correcting Contrast, Color, and Clarity 249

Editing Your Photos Using a Logical Workflow 250

Adjusting Lighting 251

Fixing lighting with Shadows/Highlights 251

Using Brightness/Contrast 252

Pinpointing proper contrast with Levels 253

Adjusting Color 255

Removing color casts automatically 256

Adjusting with Hue/Saturation 257

Eliminating color with Remove Color 258

Switching colors with Replace Color 259

Correcting with Color Curves 262

Adjusting skin tones 262

Defringing layers 264

Eliminating haze 266

Adjusting color temperature with photo filters 267

Mapping your colors 268

Adjusting Clarity 269

Removing noise, artifacts, dust, and scratches 270

Blurring when you need to 271

Sharpening for better focus 274

Opening closed eyes 276

Colorizing a photo 278

Smoothing skin 279

Adjusting facial features 280

Reducing shake 281

Moving Photos 282

Working Intelligently with the Smart Brush Tools 284

Part 4: Exploring Your Inner Artist 287

Chapter 12: Playing with Filters, Effects, Styles, and More 289

Having Fun with Filters 289

Applying filters 290

Corrective or destructive filters 291

One-step or multistep filters 291

Fading a filter 292

Selectively applying a filter 292

Working in the Filter Gallery 293

Distorting with the Liquify filter 295

Correcting Camera Distortion 297

Exploring Elements’ Unique Filters 298

Creating a comic 299

Getting graphic 300

Using the Pen and Ink filter 301

Dressing Up with Photo and Text Effects 302

Adding Shadows, Glows, and More 304

Applying styles 305

Working with styles 306

Using the Graphics panel 307

Mixing It Up with Blend Modes 308

General blend modes 309

Darken blend modes 309

Lighten blend modes 311

Lighting blend modes 312

Inverter blend modes 314

HSL blend modes 314

Using Photomerge 315

Photomerge Panorama 316

Photomerge Group Shot 318

Photomerge Scene Cleaner 320

Photomerge Exposure 321

Photomerge Compose 323

Chapter 13: Drawing and Painting 327

Choosing Color 327

Working with the Color Picker 328

Dipping into the Color Swatches panel 329

Sampling with the Eyedropper tool 331

Getting Artsy with the Pencil and Brush Tools 332

Drawing with the Pencil tool 332

Painting with the Brush tool 334

Using the Impressionist Brush 336

Creating your own brush 337

Filling and Outlining Selections 339

Fill ’er up 339

Outlining with the Stroke command 341

Splashing on Color with the Paint Bucket Tool 342

Working with Multicolored Gradients 343

Applying a preset gradient 343

Customizing gradients 345

Working with Patterns 348

Applying a preset pattern 348

Creating a new pattern 349

Creating Shapes of All Sorts 350

Drawing a shape 350

Drawing multiple shapes 352

Specifying Geometry options 352

Editing shapes 354

Chapter 14: Working with Type 355

Understanding Type Basics 355

Tools 356

Modes 356

Formats 357

Creating Point Type 358

Creating Paragraph Type 359

Creating Path Type 360

Using the Text On Selection tool 360

Using the Text On Shape tool 361

Using the Text On Custom Path tool 363

Specifying Type Options 364

Editing Text 366

Simplifying Type 367

Masking with Type 368

Stylizing and Warping Type 371

Adjusting type opacity 371

Applying filters to your type 372

Painting your type with color and gradients 372

Warping your type 374

Part 5: Printing, Creating, and Sharing 375

Chapter 15: Getting It on Paper 377

Getting Pictures Ready for Printing 378

Working with Color Printer Profiles 379

Printing a photo with the printer managing color 381

Printing a photo with Elements managing color 383

Printing a picture package or contact sheet 384

Getting Familiar with the Print Dialog Box 384

Using the Prints options 384

Creating transfers and more with More Options 386

Chapter 16: Sharing Your Work 389

Getting Familiar with the Elements Sharing Options 389

Planning ahead 390

Understanding photo sharing in Elements 391

Using the Share Panel 392

Emailing photos 393

Working with Adobe Premiere Elements 394

Sharing your photos on social networks 395

Chapter 17: Making Creations 399

Checking Out the Create Panel 399

Grasping Creation-Assembly Basics 400

Creating a Quote Graphic 404

Creating a Memories Video 407

Creating a PDF Slideshow 408

Making Additional Creations 408

Part 6: The Part of Tens 409

Chapter 18: The Ten Best Guided Edits 411

Correct Skin Tone 411

Sharpen 413

Object Removal 414

Perfect Portrait 416

Replace Background 418

Remove a Color Cast 421

Levels 422

Resize Your Photo 424

Recompose 425

Move & Scale Object 427

Chapter 19: Ten (or So) More Project Ideas 431

Screen Savers 431

Flyers, Ads, and Online Auctions 432

Clothes, Hats, and More 434

Posters 435

Household and Business Inventories 435

Project Documentation 436

School Reports and Projects 436

Blogs 436

Wait — There’s More 436

Index 437

Customer Reviews