Top: The panels in the standard Elements arrangement, with the images in the regular tabbed view page Bottom: This image shows how you can customize your panels. Here, the Project bin has been combined with other floating panels and the whole group is collapsed to icons. The images here are in floating windows page If you have a small monitor, you may find it wastes too much desktop acreage, and in Elements you need all the working room you can get.
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The downside of this technique is that you lose the ability to switch from Full to Quick to Guided Edit if you do this. You have to go back to the menu and turn the Panel bin on again to get those navigation buttons back. When you launch Elements for the first time, the Panel bin contains three panels: Layers, Content, and Effects.
Top: A full-sized panel. Bottom left: A panel collapsed by double-clicking where the cursor is. Bottom right: The same panel collapsed to an icon by double-clicking the very top of it where the cursor is here once. Double-click the top bar again to expand it. Then, to use a panel, click its icon and it jumps out to the side of the group, full size. To shrink it back to an icon, click its icon again. You can combine panels in the bin by dragging their icons onto each other.
Clicking one of the icons in the group collapses the opened, grouped panel back to icons. You can also separate combined panels in icon view by dragging the icons away from each other. It shows you what photos you have open, but it also does a lot more than that. The bin has two drop-down menus:. Show Open Files. If you send a bunch of photos over from the Organizer at once, you may think something went awry because no photo appears on your desktop or in the Project bin. Bin Actions. You can also use this menu to reset the style source images you use in the new Style Match feature, explained on Merging Styles.
Top: Here, the Histogram panel is being pulled into, and combined with, the Layers panel. You can also make a vertical panel group where one panel appears above another by letting go when you see a blue line at the bottom of the of the host panel, instead of an outline all the way around it like you see here.
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To remove a panel from a group, simply drag it out of the group. If you want to return everything to how it looked when you first launched Elements, click Reset Panels not visible here at the top of your screen. Here you see the bin three ways: as it normally appears top , as a floating panel bottom left , and collapsed to an icon bottom right. The Project bin is useful, but if you have a small monitor, you may prefer to use the space it takes up for your editing work. The Project bin behaves just like any of the other panels, so you can rip it loose from the bottom of the screen and combine it with the other panels.
You can even collapse it to an icon or drag it into the Panel bin. If you combine it with other panels, the combined panel may be a little wider than it would be without the Project bin, although you can still collapse the combined group to icons. Just ignore them. Older versions of Elements used floating windows, where each image appears in a separate window that you could drag around.
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Many people switch back and forth between floating and tabbed windows as they work, depending on which is most convenient at the moment. All the things you can do with image windows—including how to switch between tabbed view and floating windows—are explained on Zooming and Repositioning Your View. Because your view may vary, most of the illustrations in this book show only the image itself and the tool in use, without a window frame or tab boundary around it.
Elements gives you an amazing array of tools to use when working on your photos. Right-clicking or holding the mouse button down when you click the icon brings out the hidden subtools. It stays perfectly organized so you can always find what you want without ever having to lift a finger to tidy it up. To activate a tool, click its icon. As the box on Doubling Up explains, you can have either a single or double-columned Tools panel. When a tool is active, the Options bar changes to show settings specific to that tool.
If you had two columns when you clicked, it becomes one long, svelte column. If you want to hide it temporarily, press the Tab key and it disappears along with your other panels; press Tab again to bring it back. Stop tapping the key when you see the icon for the tool you want. You probably have a bunch of Allen wrenches in your garage that you only use every year or so. The mighty Tools panel. For grouped tools, the icon you see is the one for the last tool in the group you used.
This Tools panel has two columns; the box on page 32 explains how to switch from one column to two. To activate the tool, just press the appropriate key. If the tool you want is part of a group, all the tools in that group have the same keyboard shortcut, so just keep pressing that key to cycle through the group until you get to the tool you want.
You can deactivate it by clicking a different tool. When you open the Editor, Elements activates the tool you were using the last time you closed the program. Wherever Adobe found a stray corner in Elements, they stuck some help into it. Here are a few of the ways you can summon assistance if you need it:. Help menu.
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You can click blue-text tooltips for more information about whatever your cursor is hovering over. Dialog box links. Most dialog boxes have a few words of bright blue text somewhere in them. That text is actually a link to Elements Help.
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It walks you through a variety of popular editing tasks, like cropping, sharpening, correcting colors, and removing blemishes. Guided edit is really easy to use:. Go to Guided Edit. If you already have an image open, it appears in the Guided Edit window automatically. If you have several photos in the Project bin, then you can switch images by double-clicking the thumbnail of the one you want to work on. Guided Edit gives you step-by-step help with basic photo editing.
Just use the tools that appear in the right-hand panel once you choose an activity, like the ones shown here. Choose what you want to do. Your options are grouped into major categories like Basic Photo Edits and Color Correction, with a variety of specific projects under each heading. If several steps are involved, then Elements shows you only the buttons and sliders you need to use for the current step, and then switches to a new set of choices for the next step as you go along.
If you want to start over, click Reset. If you change your mind about the whole project, click Cancel.
If there are more steps, then you may see another set of instructions. You need a Photoshop. The Inspiration Browser offers a wealth of tutorials on many different Elements-related topics. Some are videos, and others are in PDF format. The first time you start the Inspiration Browser, you may see a license agreement for yet another program: Adobe AIR, which lets other programs show you content stored online without you having to launch a web browser and navigate to a website.
Adobe AIR got installed automatically along with Elements.