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Photoshop Elements – Full Tutorial for Beginners [+General Overview]*

Let’s see all the basic and most useful tools and features to start with Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Leave us feedback to improve our future guides for Adobe Elements. When you open Photoshop Elements, you can choose between the three main software products inside Adobe Elements: Adobe Organizer, used to collect and manage all your photos and media; Premiere Elements, used to edit your videos and make slideshows; and Photoshop Elements, which is an amazing Photo Editor and a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop CC. Let’s see how to use it. If you want to discover more about the other two main products, check out our complete guide for Adobe Elements 15! Photoshop Elements 15 is divided into four main workspaces, as you can see at the very top. The eLive tab is used to check all the latest news and updates from Adobe itself. The Quick workspace is used to apply fast and effective corrections on your photos.

The Guided workspace lists lots of guided step-by-step professional adjustments and effects. Then there is the most advanced and professional Expert workspace, that we won’t see in this beginner tutorial. Check out our following video to know how to use the tools inside the Expert workspace! When you start as a beginner, the Quick workspace is made for you. This is the easiest workspace you can use to correct and adjust your photos in a professional way. First of all, import all the photos you need to adjust by clicking on the Open button in the top left corner. Browse for your files, and then click on Open to collect them all inside the Photo Bin more below, that you can open and close by using the first button from the left. The Preview that occupies the workspace shows the photo that is selected from the Photo Bin button, which is ready to be edited and corrected through the Quick Tools on the left, and the adjustments and the effects on the far right.

Position:98% Photoshop Elements is a photo editor only. To adjust any metadata, or insert your favorite photos in albums and collections, you can open Adobe Organizer, though the Organizer button at the bottom. Let’s see how to apply basic editing on photos. To rotate photos by 90 degrees, you can use the Rotate buttons below, in a clockwise or counterclockwise way. On the left, you have several basic tools to adjust your photos. Each of these have their own settings, all listed on the Tool Options below. If you don’t see it, just click on the Tool Options button.

Position:97% For example, the Straighten Tool rotates and crops the image in order to align it to a virtual segment that you draw by clicking and dragging on the picture. This is quite useful, because it applies the necessary rotation you need, and maintains the same aspect ratio on the picture. If you make a mistake while using these tools, use the Undo and the Redo buttons below to go backward or forward along your latest actions made. The Crop Tool is used to crop the picture to remove parts you don’t like from it. When the tool is enabled, a rectangular area appears, showing the part of the picture you want to keep.

Click and drag to move it, drag its nodes to scale or change the picture aspect ratio, or drag from outside to rotate as you like. Once done, just apply with the green checkmark. To enhance a person’s appearance, you can use the Red Eye Removal Tool and the Whiten Teeth Tool. The first one removes red eyes, just click and drag to create a selection area above it. If this includes just the eye, it will be corrected according to the settings on the Tool Options. If you use the Whiten Teeth Tool, it is sufficient to click and drag to select the teeth to make them brighter. To use these tools precisely, zoom in and out the photo by using your mouse wheel while holding ALT down. If the photo preview is quite big, you can pan by holding the Space bar key and clicking and dragging on the picture. Besides tools, you also have other panels on the right, collecting amazing adjustments and effects.

Respect to the tools, these do not need to be brushed on the picture, since these are always applied on the whole photo that is selected. The Adjustments panel collects everything you need to improve your general photo appearance. For example, Smart Fix collects several templates ready to use, in order to regulate the photo appearance. Exposure regulates the photo exposure, by using the bar above, or picking a ready template between the ones shown. You can simply hover on these to check what they look like on the direct Preview.

Position:98% Lighting sets the brightness level on each side of the photo, such as the darkest sides with Shadows; the brightest ones with Highlights; and the mid-illuminated ones with Midtones. Inside Color, you can use Saturation and Vibrance to regulate the amount of color, and Hue to set the color. Whereas, to add a color filter, use Temperature and Tint under Balance. Use Sharpen to adjust clarity by adding blur or make the picture sharper. While you correct and adjust the photo, it is quite useful to compare it with the original one you had at first. On the View bar, in the top left corner, you can select Before & After to see the effects of all your modifications.

Position:98% You can also apply all these adjustments on selected parts of the photo only, by using the Selection Tools, all collected inside the first tool on the far left. When you enable a Selection Tool, click and hold on to extend a selection area. If you need, you can browse while holding ALT down to remove and refine such selection. Then, when you are ready, just apply your favorite adjustment. This will affect just the selected part on the Preview! To deselect all, just use the Escape key. You also have other advanced tools to make your photo special. For example, the Text Tool is used to add text on your picture.

As you can see from the Tool Options, you have several kinds of tools over here, but three are the most important ones. The Horizontal and the Vertical Text Tool drops text contained inside a defined text box, created by clicking and dragging on your picture. Then, depending on the tool chosen, you can type in horizontally or vertically. Just make sure that the text box is big enough, or part of the text will be hidden. In this case, just enlarge the text box by dragging its nodes. In particular, if you do so while holding CTRL down, you will also scale its text inside.

Once you have the text, you can use the Tool Options below to adjust the text properties and color. A second kind of text is the one that follows a vector path. In this case, you have to draw the path first, and then type it in. For example, if you choose the Text on Shape Tool, click and drag to drop the shape, and then click on one point to start typing from there. Make sure to regulate the text size correctly, or part of the text will be hidden as soon as all the path perimeter is covered. If you choose the Text on Selection Tool, you will have to click and hold on to create a selection area. Its perimeter will define the path that the text will follow. The Text on Custom Path Tool is the same, a little more advanced because it uses the Pen Tool. We won’t see it in this video. A third type of text allows you to make a selection area (or a Type Mask) with the same shape of the typed text, In this way, if you apply any adjustment, this will affect the photo by following a cool text shape.

Position:98% Once text is made, remember to click on the checkmark below to apply. Whatever the kind of text, its content is always linked to its container box. If you hold CTRL down, and click and drag, you will move the text box, but also the text inside it. So you can rotate both by clicking and dragging from outside while holding CTRL down. Besides the Adjustment panel, you can use the Effects, the Textures and the Frames ones to apply several ready templates on your picture. Click on one to apply it on your picture and, if you do not like it, just use the Undo button. You can also apply more advanced effects by going to the Guided workspace. This collects several professional effects, from the Basics to the Photomerge tab. For each of these effects, the Quick workspace opens, showing you, on the right, all the step-by-step instructions to apply the effect as you need. Below, use Next to go forward, or use Cancel to undo all. Once all the modifications on the picture are done, save the photo by going to File and then to Save As….

Choose the file name and the correct file format, such as the Photoshop .psd, or the rendered .jpg or .png. You can also use the Create and the Share buttons in the top right corner to export your picture to make books, calendars, cards, or upload it on social websites.

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