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5.1 – Using Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements is available for $60 to $100.

Download, install, and open the program.

The tutorial below is for Photoshop Elements 2020.

Photoshop Elements 2019 is similar.

You'll be using two photographs below.

The choice of photographs isn't important for the first time you do the following.

1 – Mac Students

When you see Ctrl in the tutorial, use the Cmd key instead.

2 – Home Screen

On the right side of the home screen, click the Photo Editor icon.

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3 – Photo Editor

At the top of your screen, in the middle, click Expert.

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In the lower-right corner of your screen, click Layers.

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4 – Your Photographs

At first, use photographs taken by the same camera, that are not cropped.

By doing so, you won't have to deal with changing the size of photographs.

ACE Students

If you're using a school computer, plug in your flash drive.

5 – Open Your 1st Photograph

1) In the upper-left corner of your screen, click the word Open.

Don't click the tiny black triangle (red circle).

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2) Navigate to your photograph.

3) Select the photograph and click Open in the lower-right corner of the window.

Your photograph appears in three locations:

• Work area

• As a layer on the right-side of your screen

• As a thumbnail in the Photo Bin at the bottom of your screen

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Here's the layer.

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If you don't see the thumbnail at the bottom of your screen, click the Photo Bin icon in the lower-left corner of your screen.

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6 – Undo

If you make a mistake, click the Undo icon at the bottom of your screen.

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7 – Open Your 2nd Photograph

1) In the upper-left corner of your screen, go to File > Place.

2) Navigate to your photograph.

3) Select the photograph and click Place in the lower-right corner of the window.

4) Click the green check mark.

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Your second photograph appears in the work area.

It's covering your first photograph.

The second photograph is also on top of the layer stack on the right side of your screen.

Note the YUMMY layer on top of the Background layer below.

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It's thumbnail is in the Photo Bin.

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8 – Save

1) Press Ctrl + s.

2) Enter a new name for the file.

3) Click Save.

The photograph is saved as a Photoshop file.

Its icon may look like this:

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The PSD file is saved to the same location as your first photograph.

Periodically, press Ctrl + s to save your work.

9 – Active Layer

Note, below, that the top layer, YUMMY, is blue.

That means it's the active layer.

When you use a tool, the active layer is edited.

To make a layer active, click on it.

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10 – Blend the Photographs: Opacity

1) Check to make sure the top layer, your photograph #2, is the active layer.

2) Look for the Opacity menu on the right side of your screen, above the photograph layers.

3) Click the tiny black triangle next to the opacity value of 100%.

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4) Click, hold on the slider, and move it to left.

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As you do so, the top layer is faded, allowing the bottom layer to be seen.

11 – Save as a JPEG

1) When you're finished, press Ctrl + s to save the file as Photoshop file.

You need to save the file as a JPEG if you're going to e-mail or print it.

Do the following.

2) Go to File > Save As.

3) Open the Save as type menu (1).

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4) Select JPEG in the menu (2).

5) Click Save (3).

6) In the JPEG Options window, make sure Quality is at 12.

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7) Click OK.

The JPEG is saved to the same location as your first photograph.

12 – Lots of Layers?

The above example has just two layers.

You may eventually be working with many layers.

That can get confusing.

Do the following.

Rename the Layers

1) Double click the letters of the name of layer.

The name will be highlighted blue.

2) Enter a descriptive name.

Find a Layer in the Layers Stack

Let's say you're creating a family tree with thirty-some layers.

You're looking at the image of your Uncle Fenster in the work area.

Which layer is his in the layers stack?

1) Select the Move tool.

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2) Click on the Uncle Fenster in the work area.

3) The Uncle-Fenster layer will become active (darker blue).

13 – Show the File Extensions

A file extension is the letters at the end of a file name, preceded by a period.

Your computer probably hides the file extensions.

DSC_1234.jpg

The file extension designates the file type:

.jpg = JPEG

.psd = Photoshop

If you would like to see the file extensions, do the following.

Windows

1) Click the search icon in the lower-left corner of your screen.

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2) Enter File Explorer Options in the search box.

3) Click the search result, File Explorer Options.

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4) Click the View tab.

5) Deselect Hide extensions for known file types.

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6) Click OK.

Mac

1) Click the Finder icon in the Dock.

2) Select Finder > Preferences.

3) Select the Advanced tab.

4) Select Show all filename extensions.

5) Close the window by clicking the red button in the upper-left corner.