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For more information, please see full course syllabus of Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
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Post by Martin Hallman on July 9, 2013

where can we find the pdf files from the lesson.

The Photo Editor Workspace

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Lesson Overview 0:08
    • Quick Edit, Guided Edit, and Expert
    • Photoshop Elements 10 Workspace vs. 11 Workspace
  • Setting Preferences 3:00
    • Color Picker & Step Back/Fwd
    • General Options
    • Allow Floating Documents in Expert Mode
    • Saving Files
    • Performance
    • Display & Cursors
    • Transparency, Units & Rulers, Guides & Grid
  • The New Interface Overview 14:02
    • The New Interface
    • The Menu Bar
    • The Options Bar
    • The Tool Bar
    • The Task Bar
    • The Photo Bin & Tool Options Bin
    • The Panel Bin
    • The Document Window
    • Options for Arranging Documents

Transcription: The Photo Editor Workspace

Hi, everyone--Michael Brown back with you; welcome back to's Adobe Photoshop Elements Beginning and Intermediate course!0000

We have gone through the Organizer, the program that gets your images into Photoshop Elements, and you sort them, rate them, get down and find your best images...0008

Now it's time to get to the portion of Photoshop Elements where you do all of your work and turn those images into great pieces of art, and that is the Photo Editor.0020

We're looking at the Welcome screen here, and all we're going to do is click on Photo Editor.0029

This is what you will see as the default opening.0035

If you look at it right now--we're just going to start right off by looking right across the center, above the--this is called the Document Window, where the document is residing--you see three buttons, and the highlighted button is Quick--by default, it opens up at Quick.0040

These are three different editing modes that are available; we'll be talking about all of this in detail in a couple of other lessons; this lesson is an overview of the Photo Editor workspace.0056

All right, so it opens up in Quick Edit; I'm going to give you a really quick look at Guided Edit: Quick Edit gives you some options; Guided Edit--if you wake up in the morning and can't remember what your name is--walks you through everything you want to do, step-by-step; very, very cool.0069

But, we're going to be dealing in the Workspace mode that you will most often use, and that is the Expert Mode; that is what we're looking at right here.0087

In this lesson--Photoshop Elements 11: the Photo Editor workspace--I want to open up one other file, very quickly, because we're going to deal with that one, as well.0097

There we are: this is the Photoshop Elements 10 workspace, and in comparing the two, you will see that the similarities are there.0114

Let's go through the details of 11 first, and then at the end, I will give you a quick comparison to show you how similar they are.0125

The most obvious thing, for those of you that may have 10, is: you see the Quick, Guided, and Expert buttons are in the center, at the top; over here in 10, you will notice that there is nothing at the top (and it's a dark interface--that is another story).0135

On the right side, you see three tabs: Edit, Create, and Share; under the Edit tabs, you see a (it's hard to see it; let's zoom up; I can show you) Full, Quick, and Guided; there is the Quick, there is the Guided; the Full Edit in Elements 10 is exactly the same as the Expert--all it did was change the name.0154

Let's go back; to start with, before we even discuss the workspace itself, let's get our preferences set.0180

This doesn't take too long, but it's an important step; you need to have everything set up properly, and you won't have to deal with it again.0188

For those of you, like me, who are on a Macintosh, this is the Macintosh version: Go to your Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor dropdown menu in the upper-left-hand corner, down to Preferences, over to General, and you will get the box.0196

For those of you on PCs, under your Edit menu, down at the bottom, you will see the Preferences button; come up with the same window.0213

All right; by default, the color picker is Adobe; you have an option of Apple or Adobe; Adobe is the best; this is the way to leave it.0223

Step back and forward; I'll identify what that is; on my Mac, it says Command+z, and Command+y; on a PC, it's Control+z or Control+y.0232

What this allows you to do: if you are making moves, doing things on an image, and you have done several things, and you want to go backwards a couple of steps, you can always use Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, plus the letter z, to back up successively: step, step, step, step backwards, and then you can move back forward by going Command on a Mac/Control on a PC, plus the letter y.0244

You can also do this down at the bottom left side of the workspace; notice this Undo button that I am looking at down here, and the Redo; it's the same thing.0273

Under the Options here, everything that is checked is really good; I would suggest, those of you that have a mouse and a scroll wheel, you might want to check this one; this allows you to zoom the image in and out with your scroll wheel.0284

I use a graphics tablet; this is a Wacom graphics tablet; I highly recommend these if you are going to be working extensively with images and want to do precision work.0302

It works just like drawing: this is a pen, and...I can draw circles; I can draw with extreme precision and accuracy, do my double-clicks--everything you can do with a mouse or with a (I hate them!) touchpad, you can do much better with a graphics tablet.0313

You might look into it; the best ones are by Wacom, W-A-C-O-M; this is the high-end version, Intuos, I-N-T-U-O-S; they have a slightly less-resolution version called Bamboo; either one works fabulously.0330

All right, that's the zoom with scroll wheel.0346

On the left side, we have one unchecked box: Allow floating documents in Expert Mode; let me show you what that is.0349

I'm going to go out of the Preferences for a moment; I have more than one document open; we'll go through this right now--there are four documents open; I will go through it in detail in a minute.0358

Right now, you see that there are tabs up here, and if I try to remove the image from a tab, I cannot; they are stuck; that is the way it is.0371

That is because, if we go under a dropdown menu--which is the Window dropdown menu--you will notice that there are four options that are grayed-out and unavailable: Consolidate to tabs, Float in windows, and Float a single one in a window.0383

Let's get to the Preferences one, so I can see what we're doing; we're on setting preferences.0403

That is the default; back to the Preferences, under General again: if I click Allow Floating Documents, what that allows me to do is take (let's say I want this image and this image here--I would like to see both of the flowers)--all I have to do is highlight either one of them; the highlighted tab is the one that is active; click and drag, and notice that now, that particular image is floating in its own window.0407

If I had something--a layer or something--let's do another one here; let's take the workspace presentation out--if I wanted to put some type, like...let's just drag this over...I can drag from one image and drop it into another image, very simply.0439

But, if you have the default situation, in which you cannot remove these from the tabs, it makes that kind of an operation rather difficult.0455

Right now, go ahead and leave them at the default; we will talk about this once we get into layers and transferring material from document to document, but that is what that is all about.0468

That takes care of the General; let's go to the next one, which is saving files.0482

Ask if Original--good idea, because if you open a document and work on it a lot, and change it dramatically, but you want to save your original document still: when you go to save, it will save over the original.0487

So, let's say you have an original that has been worked on for quite some time; it's big; it's complex; you like it; you open it up; you make a small jpeg out of it so that you can send it on the Web; and you go to close that file.0503

It will (and you don't have--let's say you have Save Over Current File) save the tiny little document over your big, worked-on file, and you would lose it.0518

This is a safety factor; leave it right here: Ask if Original.0531

Always Save Previews--good idea; Save As to Original Folder; what that means (leave that checked) is that, when you save your image, it will automatically place it into the same folder that you opened the original from.0536

It keeps your organization working very well.0549

That is great; we have that done.0551

The next one, Performance: Memory Usage automatically allots 70%; that is a goodly number; the only suggestion I have is that, when you are working in Elements, try to have a minimum number of other pieces of software open, because they all take memory, and you want as much memory as you can in Photoshop Elements, so that it will operate as quickly as it possibly can; that is fine.0553

History states, by default, are 50; you could have as many as 1,000.0582

What a history state is, is that, every time you do something (oops, let me get that back--sorry about that) with an image, a history state saves that state and everything you have done.0588

Successively, each step, it saves it, up to 50 steps.0606

After 50 steps, it will start saving over the very first one.0611

But, let's say you have done 15 or 20 moves on something, and you find that you really didn't like what you did, and you want to back up: you can click all the way back to many as 50...but if you utilize more, the more history states you have, the more memory is used up in the computer, because each state has to be remembered in its completeness, so it takes up a lot of memory.0615

50 is a very good number; just leave it right there; I'm just identifying what that is.0639

Let's go to Displays and Cursors; this is just fine; the normal brush tip (it's hard to see here, and I can't magnify this piece)--but you will see, it's a little circle; what that is showing is the actual diameter of the brush for the particular tool that you are using--the outer diameter.0644

The "Precise" switches it to a little crosshair for real precision work.0665

Just leave it at Normal; if you want to access the precision crosshair, all you have to do is activate your Caps Lock key.0672

It will turn the normal tip into the precision tip; and then, when you want to go back, just release the Caps Lock key, and you are back.0682

The Crop Shield; I will identify what that is, very quickly.0689

I'm just going to go and pick a picture here; I'm going to go to the cropping tool; and as I crop, you see, inside the window, we see what we're cropping, and you still see the part of the image, outside, that you're going to be taking away.0694

So, it allows you to adjust it for a good crop, because you can see it.0707

You saw that it was transparent; the opacity is at 75%; I like to drop it back to about 55, just so I can see it a little bit better, and the shield color is fine--black--it just makes it a neutral gray.0713

If you want to adjust the opacity, that is fine; I'm just identifying what it is.0728

We're going to go to Transparency; everything is fine, right there; Units and Rulers; everything is fine there.0732

Guides and Grid; the Guides have a nice, bright color--these are for graphics--guides to align things; the grid, however, has this gray.0739

Let me show you what a grid is; that is a grid.0750

If I'm working on a page, I can hardly see those gray lines: look right in here--you can't see anything.0754

I find that the gray color is not very useful, so what I suggest is that you click on this gray box; we will get the color picker; and make sure your little slider is here, all the way down at the bottom, for red.0761

You can choose any color you want, but I like a bright red.0777

Click inside the color swatch, and you will see the little circle; click and drag up to the right-hand corner, and you will see that the new color is the brightest red; we click OK, and that is what it is.0780

Now, you notice that the guides are really a nice, bright red.0791

The one other thing we want to change on that: instead of having a gridline every inch, which is a pretty coarse grid, I suggest changing it to .25 inches, and that way--let's do this with the presentation itself.0797

Now, when I open up the grid, every quarter of an inch, you see a main line with four subdivisions; it gives you nice precision for aligning things.0814

Let's get back to those Preferences.0824

We have the grid set up; let's go next to Plugins; it's fine; Type is fine; we now have our preferences all set.0827

Life is looking pretty good here (we're at 50%; drop this down and move that into place).0836

We have set the Preferences; now, let's take a look at the interface for Photoshop Elements 11.0842

The new interface is what we are looking at.0850

Let me go back, and we will take a look at Elements 10 now.0852

This was the interface for Elements 10, and if you have 10, this is what you are looking at.0857

Earlier versions had the light gray, just like we have here in Elements 11, all the way around, and the nice medium gray in the document window.0862

What they did in Elements 10 is, they switched it to this: they went to a dark format, and you can actually change the tonality of it, but I didn't particularly like that, because it's harder to identify the tools.0876

They have all of these little colors and things, but it was just a little too dark.0889

In Elements 11, they have switched it back.0893

On the left, if you will notice, this is the Toolbox; we have it here: in 11, they are 2-up; in Elements 10, they are 1-up, but the Toolbox is in the same place.0896

There are menus across the top; there are panels on the right; there is this bin at the bottom, which is the same bin in Elements 11, and the document workspace is in the center.0908

The only difference is that these three buttons here have been moved from an Edit tab into the center; the Edit tab is gone.0923

Create is still in the corner, and the Share has been moved to the Organizer.0932

Other than that, the functionality is exactly the same.0937

Now, this is the way it is, basically: we have dropdown menus across the top; we will just start talking about those right now.0941

The menu bar is across the very top of the interface--dropdown menus with many levels of functionality.0952

In the next couple of lessons, we're going to go through what each of these means, but they are very simple and very useful.0961

A lot of the work that you do comes from what is in the menu bar.0967

Below the menu bar, we have what is called the options bar; that is right here, with this button for Open, Quick, Guided, Expert, and Create.0972

That is the options bar; in Elements 10, the Options bar showed you tool options: notice, it's right down here--plus, you had these other options in there.0982

It has been changed a little bit, and that is all that is left of the Options bar--very simple.0996

We're going to go, now, to the Toolbar; it is on the left side.1003

The tools are organized 2-up, and they are categorized by their usage.1008

There is a category for View tools, Select tools, Enhance tools, Drawing tools, Modifying tools, and Color.1016

Everything has been organized into categories, whereas, in Elements 10, there is just a single line of tools, and they are pretty much organized, but not identified.1025

Here, it's very easy--in Elements 11--to diagnose and determine which tool you need.1039

The task bar is new; if you look in Elements 10, across the bottom, below the bin, there is nothing there; in Elements 11, this is brand new.1046

These are commonly used tasks: the Photo Bin, Tool Options Bin, the Undo (which is going backwards, remember--the Command/Control+z or Command/Control+y), Rotate button...we will talk about this a little bit more as we go right along.1058

Layouts, Options, and the Organizer button are here.1078

These buttons, on the right side, have to do with the panels, layers, effects, graphics, favorites, and more.1081

We will go into the details of that in another lesson.1090

That is your Taskbar: so, we have a menu bar on top, Options bar below that, right above the document window, Taskbar on the bottom, Tools on the left, and we get to the Photo Bin and Tool Options Bin.1094

These two buttons are in the Taskbar at the left; you have seen this go on and off.1112

All of your files that are open are shown in the Photo Bin as thumbnails; you can either deal with them as the tabs (you have to know which one is which by the title) or very simply down in the Photo Bin.1118

You just click to open; click to close; click to open; you can also close it with the little downward arrow, and you also have some options, with this little list menu, to show a grid, or print bin files, or close up.1132

To switch from one image to another inside the Photo Bin--very simple; if I want to look at this flower, just double-click, and there it is; if I want to go back to the title page, there it is--very, very simple; really a useful item; I love it.1152

The Tool Options Bin is the button right next to the Photo Bin; they share the same bin; you notice, it goes back and forth.1167

The Tool Options Bin shows you the current tools and options for any highlighted tool.1176

I have highlighted this specific tool, the Rubber Stamp tool, and for the Rubber Stamp tool, here are the options, and also subtools--we will talk a little bit more about that, in detail, in another lesson.1185

That is the Tool Options bar; and again, click again--it goes away; click--it comes up; by default, every time you click a tool, even if it's closed, it will open up with the options for that tool.1197

To close it again, hit the button, or hit the little downward arrow; you also have the option to (this is, by default, clicked) unclick this (see, it's unclicked right now, and I close it); when I go to a tool now, I don't get the options; if I want the options, I have to hit the button to open them up.1210

It's kind of a good idea to leave it this way, because now, every time you do it, it will be there, and you just click it to go away.1232

You're going to use the options for every tool anyway, so it's nice to see them at the beginning.1240

The Panel Bin is the only part we haven't talked about; that is on the right side; these panels are mini-applications, if you will, that provide enormous functionality for all sorts of things that you work on.1246

Tools--obviously, you work on your image with the tools--you work on your image with all of these dropdown menus, and also, a large amount of your primary work and things that you organize, arrange, and handle are in the panels.1260

These are the buttons for the panels; these are the layers--notice, I have several layers in this image, and every time I click a layer, something else happens: there is the Photo Bin, and there is the Panel Bin layer...this is the way you make your images up with layers.1277

We will be going into detail on that, and it is just very powerful.1292

The effects are also effects that you can apply to your layers and your image; they are in the Effects panel.1297

Graphics--when you are making graphics--are here; favorites--if you have commonly-used items that you use a lot from the layers, effects, or graphics, you can move them into here for quick access.1304

There are additional panels under the "more" button, in a tab format, right here, that you can turn on or off, one way or the other, by clicking the buttons.1316

You can also close up any panel by clicking again, and you have a wider range.1328

That takes care of the Panel Bin; again, everything here, we will go into detail about; I'm just giving you a general idea right now.1334

Then, we have the document window, which is what you are looking at right here, where this file that we are using as our title is, inside this gray window, which is the document window.1341

If I switch and look at an image, for example, there it resides, inside the document window.1352

Now, in the document window, we have a couple of things that I want to talk about.1359

The active image: these are the tabs, across the top, for the images that are open; you can reorganize the tabs--let's say that I wanted to have this one on the right: I click and slide it over, and now it's on the right.1366

When you see one that is white and not gray, that is the active image.1380

At the bottom left of the document window, right above the the Taskbar, you see your magnification for the image, which you can actually change in this window: let's say I wanted it at 50%; I type in (come on, highlight it) 50, click Enter, and now I'm zoomed up to 50%.1384

Now, it's back down again.1409

You also have several options for information about the particular document that is open: hit the little dropdown arrow for the flyout box; I keep it at document size; it shows that this is a 20-megabyte file, and there are no layers, so it's at 20.1410

Let's go to this presentation, the document we're working with, and you will notice that, when it's saved, it's only 4.6 megabytes, but it's actually 59; that is because the sum of all of these layers is 59 megabytes, and it compresses when it saves.1428

You could also look at the document profile: this is the color space; it's 8 bits per channel; the dimensions--you can go by dimensions; all sorts of sizes and things that you can identify.1447

I prefer to leave it at document size; I don't use a lot of this information, but it's just there.1462

The background for the window is a medium gray: that is your document window.1468

The last thing I want to talk about is arranging your documents; that is what this layout button is, right here.1475

Under the Window dropdown menu: Images...right in here...we have several images that are open, and remember, we talked about (and I had you set) Allow Floating Documents.1485

You can organize these documents for viewing in several methods.1501

Let's go under the Window menu, under the Images dropdown, and you can Float All in Windows; we have checked that box to allow us to do it, so let's see what it looks like.1507

Now, all of the windows that we have--each document is floating all by itself.1518

We can reorganize those again, as Consolidate All to Tabs; and they go back to the tabs.1525

We can also float the current document that we are looking at, which happens to be our working file, right now, for this lesson.1533

We'll just go ahead and float it in a window; and now, it floats all by itself, and everything else is in tabs.1544

I'm going to put it back in...actually, I'll Float All in Windows, and you can re-tab any particular document by grabbing the bar that moves around, and, if you go up to the top of the document window--you see the blue line?--it goes right in.1551

I'm going to go ahead and Float All again; you can also--I hit the wrong thing--Float All in Windows--I got them, but they went behind; if you dock one up like this, they will go behind the workspace, which gets to be a little problem sometimes.1570

We're going to bring them up in front and consolidate them back to the tab view.1588

There is usefulness in having floating windows; I'm going to float them again, and I want to show you one other thing.1597

They're all floating now; you can actually tab up a couple; if I go here, now I have the two flowers tabbed separately, and I have the lesson file, along with the other one, tabbed by itself.1602

So, there are ways that you can play with that.1620

We'll put it back on tabs.1623

You can also (let me go back to Window, Images) tile them, which is another methodology; it puts them all side-by-side, so you can see them all in a tiled format, which is under this layout.1625

There is all of them floating again; there is all in a row; they also have columns as a grid, which is the tiling that we just spoke about before.1645

Rows in a column--you can have one active and the others over on this--so, different ways of organizing them if you want to use multiple documents and see them all at the same time.1659

I'm going to go back to the tab mode.1670

So, that gives you your options for arranging documents.1672

We have talked about our preferences--got those set; the new interface, which is a nice light gray; we have tools; the menu bar resides across the very top with dropdown menus; just a quick summary here.1676

The Options bar is right above the workspace--Quick, Guided, Expert, Create, and Open; the Toolbar is on the left, with all the tools organized in their categories.1693

The Taskbar is at the bottom, with several commonly-used tasks; the most common we're going to use will be your Tool Options and the Photo Bin and all of the layers and effects; the Photo Bin and Tool Bin I just talked about.1703

The Panel Bin is on the right, with the various panels that are available to you; the document window, which we're looking at right here, has the image in it; and we talked about options for arranging documents.1719

There you have a tour of the new Photoshop Elements 11 Photo Editor workspace.1731

In the next couple, or three, lessons, we're going to go over the various pieces of this workspace in detail.1738