Adobe Photoshop Elements Workflow
See also Elements
4.0 Links Boston area classes
copyright 2006 by Tracy Marks
Note: Instructions below are for my Boston area pc Photoshop Elements courses. Most of my classes
are taught on the pc. The alt key on the pc is option on the Mac; control on the pc is command (apple) on the Mac.
for Photoshop Elements Work
Before doing any Photoshop
Elements work, you
are advised to calibrate your monitor
and choose your color management
settings. For Windows users:
- To calibrate
your monitor, double click on Adobe Gamma
in the Control panel (which is installed with Elements) and follow the
- To choose
your color management system, go to Edit,
- If you are
primarily doing work for a
computer screen and for the Web, or printing on a standard home
printer, use the sRGB color space, which is what digital cameras use.
- If you are
primarily aiming for quality print work from a high-end home printer
that works in AdobeRGB1998 or a printing company, choose the AdobeRGB
color space option.
- If you are
doing both, select allow me to choose.
in Photoshop Elements
Not all steps must necessarily
be done in this order (nor or
all steps necessary for all pictures) although this order is advised
Photoshop Elements. Unless you want to use exactly the same tool
settings you used the last time you used Elements, click on whatever
tool is on the top left of the Options bar, and choose Reset
- Open your
image using File, Open or the Photo
- Resave it as
a .psd file using File, Save as. Be
sure to choose Photoshop.psd under
file format. Use a naming method to help you to locate it in the future.
your image. Using the INFO
palette may help. You want to determine what kind of changes you wish
to make to it before deciding what tools and techniques to use to make
those changes, and before beginning to work.
This includes deciding whether you want to use your finished image
primarily on the computer, or also to print it. You will make different
choices for each option, and will need to prepare two images if you
want both print and the Web.
- If needed,
rotate your image and straighten the horizon line. Use image,
rotate and/or image, straighten
- Do your
preliminary crop and resizing. You may wish to resize to the proportion
you want and do a final resizing
later if you intend to reduce the
height and width of your image, so that you will have the option in the
future of keeping a larger copy.
- To crop
the image to a size of your liking, simply use the rectangular marquee
tool and drag it around the area you want to keep, then choose image, crop. (You could also use the crop
tool and press enter afterwards).
- To crop to
a specific dimension/proportion such as 4x6, use the rectangular
marquee tool, and under mode on the
options bar, choose fixed aspect ratio.
Type in your chosen proportion to right on the options bar.
- In image, resize image size, change the
resolution of your image to your chosen resolution – normally
72 or 75 for the Web and 250 or 300 for print. For computer screens and
for the Web, you will have resampling turned on; for print, you will
turn it off.
- While in image, resize image size,
you may want to reduce your image to its final size now, or wait till
later so that can also retain a larger copy if you intend to reduce the
size. To resize your image, resize in pixels in the top part of dialog
box for Web or
computer work; use the middle
area with measurements in inches for print. Again, for computer screens
and the Web, have resampling turned on;
for print, turn it off.
Open your layers palette and duplicate the background layer by dragging
it to the new layer button on the layers palette. This way you will
retain a copy of your current image which you can revert to if you wish
to revert back to this step.
- OPTIONAL: If
your image has a lot of noise or grain,
you may wish to use
filter, noise, dust and scratches or filter,
noise, reduce noise (the latter for digital images).
Color Adjustments and
- If you will
be making color adjustments or doing retouching to small portions of
your image, you may wish to use the lasso, magic wand or selection
brush to select that portion now.
- Use the levels slider in enhance,
adjust lighting, levels to alter exposure
(brightness/darkness). The input sliders increase contrast, darkening
the darks, lightening the lights and altering the midtones (very
useful). The bottom output slider decreases contrast, lightening the
darks and darkening the lights.
correct hue and saturation if necessary with image,
enhance, adjust color
options, especially adjust hue and saturation
and variations. You may also want
to use the manual dodge, burn and sponge tools on the toolbar.
- If you are
working with layers, do your layer work at this stage or after
retouching. You may need to use a selection tool to select a portion of
your image if you haven’t already.
- Retouch your
image if necessary using the clone tool, healing brush and other
(To protect your original image,
you might want to create a new layer and use the clone tool on that
layer, with use all layers checked on the options bar. If you have additional
layers that you don’t want to use, turn off their eye so they are
- You may
choose to work on your type now, if adding type on your image
– or you could do it before retouching. When done with type,
save a copy of your image with type layers intact before using layer, simplify to simply type and before
- If you are
making a .jpg and almost done with your editing, save your image with
layers intact, using save as. Then
right click more on the layers
palette (or use the layers menu) to flatten your image. You may not
need to flatten your layers if you are printing home or only using a
few other photoshop tools on the image.
- If you have
waited till the end to do a final resizing, do so now in image,
resize image size.
- Sharpen your
image (be sure you’re at 100% view) using filter,
sharpen, unsharp mask.
- Using file,
save as, save your image in the format you wish, or use file, save for the web to save it as .jpg
or .gif file.
Go to Elements
in Adobe Photoshop
(also relevant for Photoshop Elements)
More Photoshop and Elements articles coming soon.
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is copyright 2006 by Tracy
Marks. All rights reserved.
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Last updated December 15, 2006