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945 photoshop elements 11 the missing manual

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Photoshop
Elements 11
The book that should have been in the box®

Barbara Brundage

Beijing | Cambridge | Farnham | Köln | Sebastopol | Tokyo

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Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual
by Barbara Brundage

Copyright © 2012 Barbara Brundage. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.
Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc.,
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472.
O’Reilly books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use.
Online editions are also available for most titles (http://my.safaribooksonline.com).
For more information, contact our corporate/institutional sales department:
(800) 998-9938 or corporate@oreilly.com.
September 2012: First Edition.
Revision History for the First Edition:
2012-09-04

First release

See http://oreilly.com/catalog/errata.csp?isbn=9781449316136 for release details.

The Missing Manual is a registered trademark of O’Reilly Media, Inc. The Missing
Manual logo, and “The book that should have been in the box” are trademarks of
O’Reilly Media, Inc. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to
distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations
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While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher
assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the
use of the information contained in it.

ISBN-13: 978-1-449-31613-6

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Contents
The Missing Credits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii

Part One:Introduction to Elements


Chapter 1:

Finding Your Way Around Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3


Getting Started. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Organizing Your Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Editing Your Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Getting Started in a Hurry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27



Chapter 2:

Importing, Managing, and Saving Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Importing from Cameras. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Opening Stored Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Capturing Video Frames. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Creating a New File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Using the Organizer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Searching for Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Saving Your Work. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Backing Up Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71



Chapter 3:

Rotating and Resizing Photos.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Straightening Scanned Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Rotating Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Straightening the Contents of an Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Cropping Pictures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Zooming and Repositioning Your View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Changing the Size of an Image . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Resizing Images for Email and the Web. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101

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Part Two:


Chapter 4:

Elemental Elements
The Quick Fix. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
The Quick Fix Window. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Editing Your Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Adjusting Skin Tones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134



Chapter 5:

Making Selections. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Selecting Everything. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Selecting Rectangular and Elliptical Areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Selecting Irregularly Sized Areas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Selecting with a Brush. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Extracting Objects from Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Changing and Moving Selections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167



Chapter 6:

Layers: The Heart of Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Understanding Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Creating Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
Managing Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Adjustment and Fill Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Moving Objects Between Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211

Part Three:Retouching


Chapter 7:

Basic Image Retouching. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Fixing Exposure Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Controlling the Colors You See . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Using Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Removing Unwanted Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Choosing Colors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Sharpening Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254



Chapter 8:

Elements for Digital Photographers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
The Raw Converter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
Blending Exposures. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
Photo Filter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
Processing Multiple Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295



Chapter 9:

Retouching: Fine-Tuning Images.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Fixing Blemishes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Applying Patterns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 318
Recomposing Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Color Curves: Enhancing Tone and Contrast. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325

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Making Colors More Vibrant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329
Changing an Object’s Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Special Effects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 340
Chapter 10:

Removing and Adding Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343
Method One: Making Color Photos Black and White. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 343
Method Two: Removing Color from a Photo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
Creating Spot Color. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
Colorizing Black-and-White Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353



Chapter 11:

Photomerge: Creating Panoramas, Group Shots,
and More. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361
Creating Panoramas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Merging Different Faces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 369
Arranging a Group Shot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 372
Tidying Up with Scene Cleaner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Merging Styles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Correcting Lens Distortion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379
Transforming Images. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385

Part Four:

Artistic Elements

Chapter 12:

Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, and Other Tools. . . . . . . . . . 393
Picking and Using a Basic Brush. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395
Special Brushes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 402
The Impressionist Brush. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404
The Pencil Tool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404
The Paint Bucket. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405
Dodging and Burning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406
Blending and Smudging. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409
The Eraser Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415
Drawing with Shapes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419
The Cookie Cutter Tool. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 428

Chapter 13:

Filters, Actions, Layer Styles, and Gradients. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433
Using Filters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 435
Applying Actions and Effects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 454
Adding Layer Styles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 461
Applying Gradients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 465
Gradient Maps. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 476

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Chapter 14:

Text in Elements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479
Adding Text to an Image. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479
Warping Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 488
Adding Special Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490
Type Masks: Setting an Image in Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .495
Artistic Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500

Part Five:

Sharing Images

Chapter 15:

Creating Projects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509
Photo Collages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 509
Photo Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 519
Greeting Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 522
Photo Calendars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 522
CD/DVD Jackets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523
CD/DVD Labels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 523
Working with the Graphics and Favorites Panels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 524

Chapter 16:

Printing Photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
Getting Ready to Print. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527
Ordering Prints. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 528
Printing at Home. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 531
Printing Multiple Images (Windows) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 544
Printing Multiple Images (Mac) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 547

Chapter 17:

Email and the Web. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 553
Image Formats and the Web. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 553
Saving Images for the Web or Email . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554
Creating Animated GIFs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 561
Emailing Photos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 564

Chapter 18:

Online Albums and Slideshows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571
Online Albums. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 571
Slideshows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 575
A Few More Ways to Share. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 591



Part Six:

Chapter 19:

Additional Elements
Beyond the Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 595
Graphics Tablets. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 595
Stuff from the Internet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 598
When You Really Need Photoshop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600
Beyond This Book. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 601

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Part Seven:Appendixes
Appendix A:

Installation and Troubleshooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 605
Installing Elements in Windows. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 606
Installing Elements on a Mac. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608
Activation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 610
Scratch Disks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 611
Troubleshooting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612

Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613
 Note  Head to this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds to download two more appendixes:

“The Organizer, Menu by Menu” and “The Editor, Menu by Menu.”

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The Missing Credits
About the Author
Barbara Brundage is the author of Photoshop Elements 10: The
Missing Manual, an Adobe Community Expert, and a member of
Adobe’s prerelease groups for Elements 3–11. She’s been teaching
people how to use Photoshop Elements since it came out in 2001.
Barbara first started using Elements to create graphics for use in her
day job as a harpist, music publisher, and arranger. Along the way,
she joined the large group of people finding a renewed interest in photography
thanks to digital cameras. If she can learn to use Elements, you can, too! You can
reach her at barb@barbarabrundage.com and read her blog at www.barbarabrundage.com (sometimes it’s even about Photoshop Elements).

About the Creative Team
Dawn Mann (editor) is associate editor for the Missing Manual series. When not
working, she beads, hikes, and causes trouble (though not all at the same time).
Email: dawn@oreilly.com.
Melanie Yarbrough (production editor) lives, works, and does pretty much everything else in Cambridge, MA. When not ushering books through production, she’s
writing or baking up whatever she can imagine. Email: myarbrough@oreilly.com.
Sara Froehlich (tech reviewer) has been in love with computer graphics and digital photography since she discovered them in 1995 and has been teaching online
classes in Photoshop Elements since its first release. (You can see her classes at
www.lvsonline.com.) She’s also the author of Microsoft Expression Design Step
by Step. Sara enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, and their papillon, Jasmine,
and is especially fond of Florida, where she can get away from Minnesota winters!
Website: www.northlite.net. Email: northie@hickorytech.net.
Francine Schwieder (tech reviewer) has used Macs and Photoshop since 1994 and
has run many Mac Workshops focused on using Macs in general and graphics programs in particular. She has traveled, works on her home and yard, and brings all
her varied interests together on her website at http://pinkmutant.com.
Julie Van Keuren (proofreader) quit her newspaper job in 2006 to move to Montana
and live the freelancing dream. She and her husband, M.H. (who is living the novelwriting dream), have two sons, Dexter and Michael. Email: little_media@yahoo.com.
Ron Strauss (indexer) lives and works in Northern California. He moonlights as a
classically trained violist. Email: rstrauss@mchsi.com.

The Missing Credits

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Acknowledgments
Many thanks to Sara Froelich and Francine Schwieder for reading this book and
giving me the benefit of their advice and corrections. I’m also grateful for the help
I received from everyone at Adobe, especially Bob Gager, Gaurav Jain, Deepak
Sawant, Akshaya Saxena, Sanchit Loma, and Neeraj Chaudry.
Special thanks also to graphic artist Jodi Frye (lfrye012000@yahoo.com) for allowing me to reproduce one of her Elements drawings to show what can be done by
those with more artistic ability than I have. My gratitude also to Florida’s botanical
gardens, especially McKee Botanical Garden (www.mckeegarden.org), Historic Bok
Sanctuary (www.boktower.org), Heathcote Botanical Gardens (www.heathcotebotanicalgardens.org), and Harry P. Leu Gardens (www.leugardens.org) for creating
oases of peace and beauty in our hectic world. Finally, I’d like to thank everyone in
the gang over at the Adobe Photoshop Elements support forum for all their help
and friendship.

The Missing Manual Series
Missing Manuals are witty, superbly written guides to computer products that
don’t come with printed manuals (which is just about all of them). Each book
features a handcrafted index and cross-references to specific pages (not just
chapters). Recent and upcoming titles include:
• Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
• Adobe Edge Preview 7: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
• Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
• Creating a Website: The Missing Manual, Third Edition, by Matthew MacDonald
• CSS: The Missing Manual, Second Edition, by David Sawyer McFarland
• David Pogue’s Digital Photography: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
• Dreamweaver CS6: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland
• Droid 2: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Droid X2: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
• FileMaker Pro 12: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman
• Flash CS6: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
• Galaxy S II: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Google+: The Missing Manual by Kevin Purdy
• HTML5: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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• iMovie ’11 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Aaron Miller
• iPad: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer
• iPhone: The Missing Manual, Fifth Edition by David Pogue
• iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual by Craig Hockenberry
• iPhoto ’11: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Lesa Snider
• iPod: The Missing Manual, Tenth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer and David Pogue
• JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual, Second Edition by David Sawyer
McFarland
• Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual by Peter Meyers
• Living Green: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
• Mac OS X Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
• Microsoft Project 2010: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
• Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Netbooks: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer
• NOOK Tablet: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
• Office 2010: The Missing Manual by Nancy Connor, Chris Grover, and Matthew
MacDonald
• Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
• Personal Investing: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
• Photoshop CS6: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider
• Photoshop Elements 10: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage
• PHP & MySQL: The Missing Manual by Brett McLaughlin
• QuickBooks 2012: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
• Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Lion Edition by David Pogue
• Windows 7: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
• Windows 8: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
• Your Body: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
• Your Brain: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
• Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth
For a full list of all Missing Manuals in print, go to www.missingmanuals.com/
library.html.

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Introduction

W

hen Photoshop Elements was first released back in 2001, it became a
runaway success. It’s easy to see why: Elements gives people all the tools
they need to get the very best from their photographs. It lets you take a
ho-hum shot and give it some wow. If you run a graphics studio or a large professional photography business, then you definitely need the full version of Photoshop.
But for most people who aren’t creating images for commercial printing, Elements
offers a very useful toolkit at an appealing price.
Since 2001, there’s been a new version of the program released almost every year, and
each time Adobe has tried to add new features to make the program more valuable.
The problem was that just cramming all that extra stuff into the original program
eventually started to make things pretty unwieldy, and Elements was already a tad
intimidating to real beginners with no background in working with digital images.
So with Elements 11, Adobe introduces a significant re-imagining of the program,
designed to make it easier to use. If you’ve used Elements before, you may be taken
aback the first time you see the stripped-down design of the new version. Not to
worry—all your favorite Editor features are still there, although it may take a little
looking around to find them. There are plenty of interesting new features, too. Elements also includes a photo-organizing program (called the Organizer, logically
enough), which is where Adobe has made the biggest changes. In fact, the changes
to Elements 11 are probably the biggest since the Organizer was first included back
in Elements 3. But regardless of whether you’re a complete newbie or have been
using Elements for the past decade, this book will quickly get you up to speed on
Elements 11.

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Why
Photoshop
Elements?

Why Photoshop Elements?
Adobe Photoshop is the granddaddy of all image-editing programs. It’s the Big
Cheese, the industry standard against which everything else is measured. Every photo
you’ve seen in a book or magazine in the past 15 years or so has almost certainly
passed through Photoshop on its way to being printed. You just can’t buy anything
that gives you more control over pictures than Photoshop does.
But Photoshop has some big drawbacks: It’s darned hard to learn, it’s horribly
expensive, and many of the features in it are just plain overkill if you don’t work on
pictures for a living.
For several years, Adobe tried to find a way to cram many of Photoshop’s marvelous
powers into a package that normal people could use. Finding the right formula was
a slow process. First came PhotoDeluxe, a program that was lots of fun but came up
short when you wanted to fine-tune how the program worked. Adobe tried again with
Photoshop LE, which many people felt included all the difficulty of full Photoshop,
but still gave too little of what you needed to do top-notch work.
Finally—sort of like “Goldilocks”—Adobe got it just right with Photoshop Elements,
which took off like crazy because it offers so much of Photoshop’s power in a program that almost anyone can learn. With Elements, you, too, can work with the
same wonderful tools that the pros use. Elements has been around for quite a while
now and, in each new version, Adobe has added lots of push-button-easy ways to
correct and improve your photos.

What You Can Do with Elements 11
Elements not only lets you make photos look great, but it also helps you organize
your photos and gives you some pretty neat projects in which to use them. The
program even comes loaded with lots of easy ways to share photos. The list of what
Elements can do is pretty impressive. You can use it to:
• Enhance photos by editing, cropping, and color-correcting them, including fixing
exposure and color problems.
• Add all kinds of special effects to images, like turning a garden-variety photo
into a drawing, painting, or even a tile mosaic.
• Combine photos into a panorama or montage.
• Move someone from one photo to another, and even remove people (your ex?)
from last year’s holiday photos.
• Repair and restore old and damaged photos.
• Organize your photos and assign keywords to them so you can search by
subject or name.
• Add text to images and turn them into things like greeting cards and flyers.
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• Create slideshows to share with friends, regardless of whether they use Windows,
a Mac, or even just a cellphone.

What’s New
in Elements 11

• Automatically resize photos so they’re ready to send either as regular email
attachments or in specially designed emails.
• Create digital artwork from scratch, even without a photo to work from.
• Create and share incredible online albums and email-ready slideshows that will
make your friends actually ask to see your vacation photos.
• Create and edit graphics for websites.
• Create wonderful projects like collages and calendars that you can print or
digitally share with friends. Scrapbookers—get ready to be wowed.
It’s worth noting, though, that there are still a few things Elements can’t do. While
the program handles text quite competently, at least as photo-editing programs go,
it’s still no substitute for QuarkXPress, InDesign, or any other desktop-publishing
program. And Elements can do an amazing job of fixing problems in photos, but only
if you give it something to work with. If your photo is totally overexposed, blurry, and
the top of everyone’s head is cut off, there’s a limit to what even Elements can do
to salvage it. (C’mon, be fair.) The fact is, though, you’re more likely to be surprised
by what Elements can fix than by what it can’t.

What’s New in Elements 11
There are plenty of new features in Elements 11. It would take pages to list all the
changes, but here are some of the highlights:
• Lighter color scheme. If you’ve been hanging onto your old copy of Elements
5 or earlier because you couldn’t stand the dark color scheme in Elements
versions 6 through 10, you’ll be thrilled to know that in Elements 11, Adobe has
opted for light gray instead.
• Major changes to the Organizer. If you’ve been using the Organizer’s system
of tags and categories to manage your photos, you’re in for a pretty wild ride
with the new Organizer’s system of People, Places, and Events. Adobe is taking the first steps toward a more automated system of categorizing photos in
Elements 11.
• No more Photoshop.com. Adobe has eliminated the tie-in to Photoshop.com
for backing up and syncing your photos. If you already have images stored
there, you can still use your Photoshop.com account via a web browser, but in
Elements 11, the only free uploading is to Adobe’s Photoshop Showcase (page
9), where you can post your projects to share them but not back up your photos.
Instead, Adobe is emphasizing its new program Revel (page 9).
• Actions panel. For the first time, Elements lets you install and run actions as
easily as you can in Photoshop. Actions (page 433) are little scripts, like macros,
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Elements vs.
Photoshop

that automate complicated processes. You still can’t create actions in Elements,
but there are thousands of actions available on the Internet, and now it’s much,
much simpler to use them.
• Updated Refine Edge. This is another popular feature brought over from
Photoshop. If you’ve used Elements before, you know how vexing it is to try to
extract fuzzy animals or people with flyaway hair from photos without having
horrible, cut-out looking edges. Elements 11 includes a more deluxe version of
the Refine Edge dialog box (page 145), which makes it easy to get the most
complicated fine detail in your selections.
• Easier to add extra content. People love to add stuff to Elements, like brushes,
layer styles (page 461), actions, and effects (page 456), but for several years it’s
been a huge headache to do this. In Elements 11, it’s a snap to add these extras.
• New Guided Edits. Elements 11’s Guided Edit mode—where the program walks
you through various photo projects and editing tasks—includes a bunch of
popular new choices: High Key, Low Key, Vignette, and Tilt-Shift (a.k.a. miniature effect).
• New Filters. Elements 11 brings three wonderful new Sketch filters for making
photos look like illustrations: Comic, Graphic Novel, and “Pen and Ink” (see page
441). And the new Lens Blur filter lets you create a shallower depth of field in
your images (page 448).
• Raw Converter 7. If you shoot your photos in Raw format (page 264), you’ll be
delighted to know that Adobe has finally made the wonderful advances in version 7 of the Raw Converter available in Elements. (Elements still doesn’t have
as many features in its Raw Converter as Lightroom 4 and Photoshop do, but
now you can use the processes from the new version in the Elements Converter.)
• Online Content. In Elements 11, very few of the graphics, album templates, and
so on are installed on your computer when you install Elements. Instead, they’re
stored online, and you need an Internet connection the first time you use them
(once Elements downloads them, you can use them anytime, whether you’re
connected to the Internet or not).

Elements vs. Photoshop
You could easily get confused about the differences between Elements and the
full version of Adobe Photoshop. Because Elements is so much less expensive, and
because many of its more advanced controls are tucked away, a lot of Photoshop
aficionados tend to view Elements as some kind of toy version of their program (and
probably even more will now, given the stripped-down appearance of Elements 11
the first time you open it). They couldn’t be more wrong: Elements is Photoshop,
but it’s Photoshop adapted for use with a home printer and the Web.

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The most important difference between Elements and Photoshop is that Elements
doesn’t let you work or save in CMYK mode, which is the format used for commercial
color printing. (CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK. Your inkjet printer
also uses those ink colors to print, but it expects you to give it an RGB file, which is
what Elements creates. Don’t worry—this is all explained in Chapter 7.)

The Key to
Learning
Elements

Elements also lacks several tools that are basic staples in any commercial art department, like Actions are included with this version. the extra color control you
can get from Selective Color Adjustment layers and the Pen tool’s special talent for
creating vector paths. Also, for some special effects, like creating drop shadows and
bevels, the tool you’d use—layer styles—doesn’t have as many settings in Elements
as it does in Photoshop. The same holds true for a handful of other Elements tools.
And although Elements is all most people need to create graphics for the Web, it
doesn’t come with the advanced tools in Photoshop, which let you do things like
automatically slice images into smaller pieces for faster web display. If you use Elements, then you have to look for another program to help with that.

The Key to Learning Elements
Elements may not be quite as powerful as Photoshop, but it’s still a complex program, filled with more features than most people ever use. The good news is that
the Quick Fix window (Chapter 4) lets you get started right away, even if you don’t
understand every last option Quick Fix presents you with. And you also get Guided
Edit mode (page 22), which provides step-by-step walkthroughs of some popular
editing tasks, like sharpening a photo or cropping it to fit on standard photo paper.
As for the program’s more complex features, the key to learning how to use Elements—or any other program, for that matter—is to focus only on what you need
to know for the task you’re currently trying to accomplish.
For example, if you’re trying to use Quick Fix to adjust the color of your photo and
crop it, don’t worry that you don’t get the concept of layers yet. You won’t learn to
do everything in Elements in a day or even a week. The rest will wait until you need
it, so take your time and don’t worry about what’s not important to you right now.
You’ll find it much easier to master Elements if you go slowly and concentrate on
one thing at a time.
If you’re totally new to the program, then you’ll find only three or four big concepts
in this book that you really need to understand if you want to get the most out
of Elements. It may take a little time for some concepts to sink in—resolution and
layers, for instance, aren’t the most intuitive concepts in the world—but once they
click, they’ll seem so obvious that you’ll wonder why they were confusing at first.
That’s perfectly normal, so persevere. You can do this, and there’s nothing in this
book that you can’t understand with a little bit of careful reading.
The very best way to learn Elements is just to dive right in and play with it. Try all
the different filters to see what they do. Add a filter on top of another filter. Click
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About This
Book

around on all the different tools and try them. You don’t even need to have a photo
to do this. See page 40 to learn how to make an image from scratch in Elements, and
keep an eye out for the many downloadable practice images you’ll find at this book’s
companion website, www.missingmanuals.com/cds . Get crazy—you can stack up
as many filters, effects, and layer styles as you want without crashing the program.

About This Book
Elements is a cool program and lots of fun to use, but figuring out how to make it do
what you want is another matter. Elements’ Help files are very good, but of course
you need to know what you’re looking for to use them to your best advantage. (Elements’ Help files are online; you can download a PDF of them from Adobe’s Elements
support pages at www.adobe.com/support/photoshopelements .)
You’ll find a slew of Elements titles at your local bookstore, but most of them assume
that you know quite a bit about the basics of photography and/or digital imaging. It’s
much easier to find good intermediate books about Elements than books designed
to get you going with the program.
That’s where this book comes in. It’s intended to make learning Elements easier by
avoiding technical jargon as much as possible, and explaining why and when you’ll
want to use (or avoid) certain features of the program. That approach is as useful
to people who are advanced photographers as it is to those who are just getting
started with their first digital cameras.
 Note  This book periodically recommends other books, covering topics too specialized or tangential for a

manual about Elements. Careful readers may notice that not all of these titles are published by Missing Manual
parent O’Reilly Media. While we’re happy to mention other Missing Manuals and books in the O’Reilly family, if
there’s a great book out there that doesn’t happen to be published by O’Reilly, we’ll still let you know about it.

You’ll also find instructions throughout this book that refer to files you can download from the Missing Manual website (www.missingmanuals.com/cds) so you can
practice the techniques you’re reading about. And in various spots, you’ll find several
different kinds of short articles (a.k.a. boxes). The ones labeled “Up to Speed” help
newcomers to Elements do things, or they explain concepts with which veterans are
probably already familiar. Those labeled “Power Users’ Clinic” cover more advanced
topics that won’t be of much interest to casual photographers.

A Note About Operating Systems
This book covers using Elements with both Windows computers and Macs, and
you’ll see both platforms represented in the illustrations. (Frankly, you’ll see more
Mac screenshots here, simply because some things are easier to read in the Mac
version of the program. For example, pop-out menus are more likely to have a white
background on a Mac instead of a dark one.) The Editor (the part of Elements where
you tweak photos) works exactly the same way regardless of what kind of computer

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you’re using, but there are some differences in the Organizer and the projects available to you, and those are noted as necessary. Also, most of the keyboard shortcuts
you use to run commands are different in Windows and on Macs; page xxii explains
how those shortcuts are listed in this book.

About This
Book

 Note  Alas, the version of Elements sold in the Mac App Store wasn’t available when this book was written,
and certain things are unique about that version, like many of the file paths to the various pieces of the program.
If you have the App Store version, head to this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds for info
about any differences between your version of the program and the standard version.

So remember: It doesn’t matter which version of the program is shown in the illustrations; unless the book says otherwise, the differences are just slight cosmetic ones,
like the fact that you close Mac program windows by clicking a button on their left,
whereas in Windows the button is on the right.
 Note  Adobe’s video-editing program, Premiere Elements, also uses the Elements Organizer, and if you

install both programs, your Photoshop Elements menus will show a lot of Premiere Elements choices, too. These
are normally turned off when you install only Photoshop Elements, but if they get turned on by mistake, you
can turn most of them off if you don’t care to see them by going to Organizer→Edit→Preferences→Editing/
Adobe Elements 11 Organizer→Preferences→Editing. (Appendix B, available at www.missingmanuals.com/cds,
explains all the Organizer’s menus. Appendix C, also online, covers the Editor’s menus.)

About the Outline
This book is divided into seven parts, each focusing on a certain kind of task:
• Part One. The first part of this book helps you get started with the program.
Chapter 1 shows how to navigate Elements’ slightly confusing layout and mishmash of programs within programs. You’ll learn how to decide where to start
from and how to customize Elements so it best suits your working style. You’ll
also read about some important keyboard shortcuts, and where to look for help
when you get stuck. Chapter 2 covers how to get photos into Elements, the
basics of organizing them, and how to open files and create new images from
scratch. You’ll also find out how to save and back up images. Chapter 3 explains
how to rotate and crop photos, and includes a primer on that most important
digital imaging concept—resolution.
• Part Two. Chapter 4 shows how to use the Quick Fix window to dramatically
improve your photos. Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 cover two key concepts that
you’ll use throughout this book: making selections and working with layers.
• Part Three. Having Elements is like having a darkroom on your computer. In
Chapter 7, you’ll learn how to make basic corrections, such as fixing exposure,
adjusting color, sharpening images, and removing dust and scratches. Chapter 8
covers topics unique to people who use digital cameras, like Raw conversion and
batch-processing photos. In Chapter 9, you’ll move on to more sophisticated fixes,
like using the Clone Stamp to make repairs, making photos livelier by adjusting

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About This
Book

their color intensity, and adjusting light and shadows in images. Chapter 10
shows you how to convert color photos to black and white, and how to tint
and colorize black-and-white photos. Chapter 11 explains how to use Elements’
Photomerge feature to create a panorama from several photos, and to correct
perspective problems in images.
• Part Four. This part covers the fun stuff: painting on photos and drawing shapes
(Chapter 12), using filters and effects to create more artistic looks (Chapter 13),
and adding text to images (Chapter 14).
• Part Five. Once you’ve created a great image in Elements, you’ll want to share
it, so this part is about how to create fun projects like photo books (Chapter
15), how to get the most out of your printer (Chapter 16), how to create files
to use on the Web and in email (Chapter 17), and how to make slideshows and
share them online (Chapter 18).
• Part Six. You can get hundreds of plug-ins and additional styles, brushes, and
other nifty tools to customize your copy of Elements and increase its abilities;
the Internet and your local bookstore are chock-full of additional info. Chapter
19 offers a look at some of these resources, as well as information about using
a graphics tablet with Elements, and suggests some places to turn after you
finish this book.
• Part Seven. Appendix A helps you get your copy of Elements up and running,
and suggests what to do if it starts misbehaving. Appendixes B and C—which
you can download from this book’s Missing CD page (see page xxiv)—cover all
the menu items in the Organizer and Editor, respectively.

For Newcomers to Elements
This book contains a lot of information, and if you’re new to Elements, it can be a little
overwhelming. But you don’t need to digest it all at once, especially if you’ve never
used any kind of photo-editing software before. So what do you need to read first?
Here’s a simple five-step way to use this book if you’re brand new to photo editing:
1. Read all of Chapter 1.
That’s important for understanding how to get around in Elements.
2. If your photos aren’t on your computer already, then read about the Photo
Downloader in Chapter 2.
The Downloader gets photos from your camera’s memory card into Elements.
3. If you want to organize your photos, then read about the Organizer (also
in Chapter 2).
It doesn’t matter where your photos are right now. If you want to use the Organizer to label and keep track of them, then read Chapter 2.

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4. When you’re ready to edit your photos, read Chapters 3 and 4.
Chapter 3 explains how to adjust your view of photos in the Editor. Chapter 4
shows you how to use the Quick Fix window to easily edit and correct photos.
Guided Edit (page 22) can also be very helpful when you’re just getting started.
If you skipped Chapter 2 because you’re not using the Organizer, then go back
there and read the part about saving photos (page 65) so you don’t lose your
work.

About This
Book

5. When you’re ready to print or share your photos, flip to the chapters on
sharing images.
Chapter 16 covers printing, both at home and from online services. Chapter 17
explains how to email photos, and Chapter 18 teaches you how to create slideshows and post them to the Photoshop Showcase website.
That’s all you need to get started. You can come back and pick up the rest of the
info in the book as you get more comfortable with Elements and want to explore
more of the wonderful things you can do with it.

The Very Basics
This book assumes that you know how to perform basic activities on your computer
like clicking and double-clicking your mouse buttons and dragging objects onscreen.
Here’s a quick refresher: To click means to move the point of your mouse or trackpad
cursor over an object on your screen, and then to press the left mouse or trackpad
button once. To right-click means to press the right mouse button once, which calls
up a menu of special features. To double-click means to press the left button twice,
quickly, without moving the mouse between clicks. To drag means to click an object
and then to hold down the left button while you use the mouse to move the object.
Most onscreen selection buttons are pretty obvious, but you may not be familiar with
radio buttons: To choose an option, click the little empty circle next to it.
In Elements, you’ll often want to use keyboard shortcuts to save time, and this book
tells you about keyboard shortcuts when they exist (and Elements has a lot). In
this book, unless otherwise specified, keyboard shortcuts are always presented as
Windows keystroke/Mac keystroke. So if you see a sentence like, “Press Ctrl+S/c-S
to save your file,” that means that if you use Windows, you should hold down the
Control key while pressing the S key, and if you have a Mac, you should hold down
the c key while pressing the S key. There’s one slight exception to this: When you see
“right-click/Control-click,” if you have a Mac and a two-button mouse, you can rightclick. But if you have a one-button mouse, you can Control-click instead—that means
to press the Control key on your keyboard and then press your mouse button once.
If you’re comfortable with basic concepts like these, then you’re ready to get started
with this book.

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Book

About→These→Arrows
Throughout this book (and the Missing Manual series, for that matter) you see sentences like this: “In the Editor, select Filter→Artistic→Paint Daubs.” This is a shorthand
way of helping you find files, folders, and menu items without having to read through
excruciatingly long, bureaucratic-style instructions. So the sample sentence above
is a short way of saying this: “In the Editor component of Elements, in the menu bar
at the top of the screen, click the word ‘Filter.’ In the menu that appears, choose the
Artistic section, and then go to Paint Daubs in the pop-out menu.” Figure I-1 shows
you an example in action.

Figure I-1.

In a Missing Manual, when you see a phrase like
“Image→Rotate→Free Rotate Layer,” that’s a
quicker way of saying, “Go to the menu bar, click
Image, slide down to Rotate, and then, from the
pop-up menu, choose Free Rotate Layer.”

Mac file paths are shown using the same arrows. Windows file paths, on the other
hand, are shown in the conventional Windows style, so if you see, “Go to C:\Documents and Settings\\My Documents\My Pictures,” that means you
should go to your C drive, open the Documents and Settings folder, look for your
user account folder, and then find the My Documents folder. In that folder, open the
My Pictures folder that’s inside it.
When there are different file paths for Windows 7, Vista, and Windows XP, you’ll
find them all listed in this book. Like keyboard shortcuts, file paths are shown as
Windows file path/Mac file path when all versions of Windows use the same file
path. Otherwise, all the different versions are specified.
If you’re using a Mac that’s running OS X 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion), there’s
one special challenge finding some of the files mentioned in this book; specifically,
the ones located in the Library folders. (Figure I-2 explains.) Also, if you buy Elements
from the Mac App Store, all the files are actually inside the application itself, which
means your file paths will be different. (This book covers the version of Elements
that was released in September 2012, so you won’t see so much information about
App Store–version file paths, since that information wasn’t available when this book

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was written. Check this book’s Missing CD page at www.missingmanuals.com/cds
for updated information after the App Store version is released.)

About This
Book

 Note  The keyboard shortcuts given in this book are the official Adobe shortcuts. However, if you have a
Mac with an abbreviated keyboard (without a 10-key section on the right), like a laptop keyboard or the smaller
Bluetooth keyboards, you need to add the fn key to shortcuts that use the F-keys on the top row of your keyboard.
So, for instance, while the shortcut for Full Screen View in the Organizer is c-F11, on a MacBook Pro, you would
use fn-c-F11.

Figure I-2.

In OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, Apple has made it a little harder to find
your Library folders. The one you’ll need most often is the Library folder
that resides at the very top level of your hard drive. This isn’t exactly
hidden in Lion and Mountain Lion,, but it never appears unless you
change your settings to make it accessible. To do that, in the Finder, go to
Finder→Preferences→Sidebar and, in the Devices section, turn on the
“Hard disks” checkbox (circled). After that, you can always find the Library
folder by just clicking the name of your hard drive in the list on the left side
of a Finder window.
The other Library folder you may need is the one for your user account,
which is a hidden file in Lion and Mountain Lion. To make it visible, in the
Finder, open the Go menu and then press the Option key. Your user account’s Library folder will appear in the menu just below your Home folder.

 Note  If you’re using a 64-bit version of Windows, you have two folders labeled Program Files. Windows

puts 64-bit programs into the folder simply named Program Files, but Elements, like many programs you may
install, is a 32-bit program, and Windows puts 32-bit programs into a folder named Program Files (x86). If you
have a folder named Program Files (x86), then that’s where you should always look for Elements’ files. This book
includes a reminder note every time this applies, such as, “Go to C:\Program Files [Program Files (x86) if you
have a 64-bit system]\Adobe\Elements 11 Organizer.”

Introduction

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