Skip to main content

Organizing Images in Elements

Lesson 51 from: Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Khara Plicanic

Organizing Images in Elements

Lesson 51 from: Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Khara Plicanic

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

51. Organizing Images in Elements


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Understand How Elements Works


Importing Images


Workspace Basics: Organizer


Workspace Basics: Editor


Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix


Color Adjustments in Quick Fix


Apply Black & White Filters


Sharpen an Image


Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye


Straighten an Image in Quick Fix


Explanation of Photoshop Elements


Basic Cropping in Quick Fix


Guided Edit Overview


Guided Edit: Tilt Shift


Ways to Save Files


Layers & Simple Selections


Combine Images with Layers


How to Use Layer Styles


Make Selections with Layers


Make Selection with Lasso


Compositing with Multiple Images


Refine Edge Selection on Image


Use Refine Edge on Images


Create Gradient in Image


Gradient Map Differences


Options for Saving


Brushes Overview


Creatively Use Brushes


How to Change Brush Settings


Use Shape Tool with Brushes


Work with Multiple Shape Layers


Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool


How to Load Brushes into Elements


Add Layer Style to Image


Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template


Retouching Overview


How to Use Content-Aware Fill


How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool


Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes


Remove Frown Lines with Retouching


How to Remove Tattoos


Remove a Gap in Teeth


How to Whiten Teeth


Adjust Facial Features


Working with Type Overview


Match Type for Image


How to Manipulate Type Layers


Create Postcard with Type


Add Type on a Path


Organizing Images in Elements


Add Keywords to Images


Smart Tags Overview


Using Albums in Elements


Places Workspace Overview


Use Event Tags on Images


Timeline for Image Organization


Recommended Workflow


Lesson Info

Organizing Images in Elements

Say goodbye to the editor for now, and bring it back to the organizer to just kind of go through the overall process of actually organizing our images. So yesterday we started in the organizer but we were talking about just getting our images in and then we talked right away we started talking about how you can edit them. So we're gonna sort of pull back now and take a broader view of what are we doing with all of these images anyway, how can we really get the most out of them. So now that we know how to do all kinds of fun things to them, how can we actually make use of them on our hard drives and be able to find our way around when we're looking for images. So we're gonna take care of some housekeeping issues first. When we spoke yesterday we talked about the fact that these images are not stored in the software. Okay, and I know maybe some of you are like, why does she keep saying that over and over again. Well, I've been teaching Photoshop Elements for longer than you would believe...

. And that's one thing that people have a really hard time just wrapping their mind around. So I end up repeating it a lot. And even though people will say, yeah yeah, I get it. But then in practice, not so much. So just keep in mind that these files are not in the software, they're just on your hard drive, whether that's your actual local machine or maybe you've got an external drive plugged in they're gonna stay wherever it is that your put them when you downloaded them. And we're just looking at them with Elements. So it's basically like a window that we're looking through our screens into whatever drive these files live in. So that is a great thing, because it allows us to organize them in such a way that we can be redundant. We can label them with multiple keywords. We can put the same photo in multiple virtual albums as we will talk about. And we're not actually duplicating files. So all of the organization that we're gonna be doing here is virtual. So again we're not moving anything. We're not gonna be creating actual groups on the hard drive, it doesn't matter what folders your images are in. You could have subject-named folders, you could have date-named folders, you could have one giant folder with a bazillion images just in there. And I'm gonna show you how you can get almost instant organization to that folder with just a few clicks or in some cases no clicks at all, it will just happen automatically. So the nice thing is, again, because it's all virtual we're not duplicating anything. So no matter where we group those photos or put them in albums, they're all still on the hard drive. And even if we put a single photo in five different albums, we still only have one copy of that photo on our hard drive. So it's also very efficient space wise as well. That said, it does create a little bit of a unique challenge but it's really simple. It's just another thing you kind of have to wrap your mind around, so that means because Photoshop is keeping track of all these files on your hard drive, wherever they may be, that means that if you make changes to these files behind Photoshop's back, meaning like using Finder or Windows Explorer or some other program, then Photoshop's gonna get confused, right. It's kind of like if you were a kid in the library and you ran into the library and you took all the books from like the fiction section and you pulled them off the shelf and moved them over to, like, the mystery section or non-fiction or autobiography or something, and you moved all the books around, the librarian would be really confused and it'd be really hard to find any books because the card catalog would no longer be pointing to the current location. So that's a problem that sometimes people cause for themselves if they're working outside of Photoshop and they think that they're being helpful and maybe reorganizing their folders. But the reality is you're gonna be confusing Photoshop. So I'm gonna show you how that happens, and then I'm gonna show you how we fix it. And in some cases Photoshop will actually fix it for you because it really is that clever sometimes. And sometimes not so much. So it's good to know how to fix it yourself. So let's do that. I'm gonna look here at my workspace. Right now I'm just looking at all the images that I've got in my catalog. So I'm in the media workspace, remember there's these five workspaces up here at the top. And the media one is generally like your home base I think. This is where you can see all your images. This is where you can work with them in a lot of different ways, and it's just kind of your home base. So this is where I am right now. Let's pretend that we move one of these files. So like I've got this image here called perspective, and if I right click on this image I get this whole menu of things that I can do with this image. Including there's an option to go to folder and if I click on that it's gonna show where that folder is over here. And this lets me know where it is on my hard drive. The folder tree that's here is actually showing me my hard drive. So if this particular image were in a folder called Park I would see that it would be labeled right here. If I right click over here I have the option to reveal this folder in Finder, or if you are on a Windows machine it will say reveal in Windows Explorer. So I'm gonna go ahead and do that. So here's my Finder window, so I'm no longer looking at Elements, I'm not in Elements, I'm actively in Finder. And this folder's right here, so if I double click it let's change to this view, we can see all the files right here, and here's that file that was called Perspective. We'll try a few things to see if we can trip up Photoshop. So one thing that I'm gonna do is just try renaming this. Now again, we're basically talking behind Photoshop's back here, so it doesn't know that we're doing this. So I'm gonna go ahead and rename this, instead of Perspective I'm gonna call it Park. Park Day maybe, and I'll press enter. Alright, and it seems like no big deal, right? I mean it just renamed a file, no biggie. And let's go ahead and close this and let's return back to Elements. And it looks like nothing happened. And maybe Photoshop figured it out. Let's see. Sometimes you won't notice that there's a problem until you try to access that image by, let's say, double clicking on it. And there you saw that pop up, it was really fast. It popped up and it said help, help, I can't find this file. Well, it didn't really say that, but that's what it meant. It said this file is missing, and then it was thinking for a second, and then I couldn't even trick Photoshop, it was so on to me it knew that this file just got a new name. And down here it, you can see that, because it's showing me that this file is now called Park Day dot jpeg. And it figured it out because there's a lot of metadata in our files, right. So there's all kinds of information here about the camera that was used to capture this image, the date and time that it was taken, if you captured on your phone or a GPS-enabled camera then there's GPS information as well. And all of those little bits of metadata, Elements can use to compare one file with another. So when we renamed this file behind Elements' back, and then I double clicked it here to enlarge it Elements was looking for the original file and didn't find it, but then it quickly scanned the same folder looking for matching metadata and then it found this file. So lucky us, we didn't even have to do anything. So basically we have to try a little bit harder if we want to confuse Elements. And in our real life, I think we do this without thinking, so let's try this again. We'll leave this one here as Park Day, but now we're gonna step it up and make it even trickier and I think we can trick Elements this time. So I'm gonna go back to my practice file folder, if I right click again I can choose reveal in Finder, so let's go in here and here's our Park Day picture. But now I'm gonna make this harder, not only am I going to rename it again, but I'm also going to move it. So now I'm being really sneaky, so let's rename it and I'll just call it Playday, or Play Outside. I don't even wanna use the same word 'cause that might give it a hint. So I'm gonna rename it completely and then I'm gonna open up another window here and I'm just gonna put this not even in the same, like, parent folder, I'm just gonna throw it on my desktop, which is a mess, and we'll just call this Elements. We'll put it in here, so I'm gonna actually drag it from the practice folder where it is, and I'm gonna move it into an Elements folder on my hard drive. So it's no longer here. It's just completely gone. From where it was. So, now let's go back to Elements and again it seems like everything's fine, but let's back out of this close up view by clicking the button right here to get back to our thumbnails and our whole catalog. And now if I double click, now we see this window pop up and you can see that it's searching. It's freaking out, like oh, where is this, I'm gonna start searching like all these different folders on your system and it's going fast, it's really just having to compare metadata so it can move pretty quickly. And it might find it if I wait long enough. But we don't have time for that on camera, nobody wants to sit here and watch it search. So thankfully I know what happened. I mean, I did it on purpose. But in your real life you know, if you're at home and you're just moving files around and then you later open your organizer and you get this message you might panic for a minute, and you have to think about what did I do. And if you remember where you put it you can go ahead and interrupt the search by clicking browse. So I'll click browse and it's saying hey, here's this original file but it's missing from the catalog, where is it. So now I could click over here and it's on my desktop. So I'll click through to find my desktop folder. And the Elements folder that I made and I'll click to select it. So I'm saying here's the file that was missing this is where it is now and you can see it's comparing the metadata, the image size, the date, the time, it knows there's a different file name, but obviously we changed that. So now I'll click reconnect and now we're all good. So now if I back out of here and go back to this grid view, and then I double click again, we don't get that big scary pop up message. So I know that can be super scary when you accidentally run into that, but just remember if you need to do any major shifting of things moving around, you can also do it over here. So if I wanted to grab some files and move them from one folder to another like now it's showing this Elements folder, you see that, because now we have a photo from this folder so it's including any folders that have images it's gonna include them here. So if I wanna move this back, if I'm like wait a minute, why'd I put this in this Elements folder, now I wanna move it back but I don't wanna go behind Photoshop's back to do it again because we've seen what happens when we do that. I can just actually drag, right here drag this image and move it over to the practice file folder. And when I drop it I've actually moved it on my physical hard drive while at the same time letting Photoshop know about it. So now there's not gonna any broken links. So if you let the librarian know what you're doing you can feel free to move things around and rename them if you need to. But you always wanna make sure that somebody knows what's happening. So keep that in mind. If you ever have like a big batch of images that get disconnected, you can repeat that process you might see a little icon up here, like a question mark, that is telling you the file is missing, so you can reconnect in batches, you can select and shift click for example and you could select all of that and if you right click and then say we're not up here, we can go to the file menu up here and say reconnect, missing file or if you have even more and you just want to do it all at once without even selecting them here you can just say all missing files. And then you can go through and match them and I hope you know where they are and it's easy, otherwise you can let Elements search but, you know, you might wanna go walk the dog or something while that happens. So that's a little bit about the housekeeping stuff that we wanna keep track of. Also you should know what if you want to remove some images from your catalog, what if you're like I really don't care about this thing. Or you know, there might just be files that you don't want to include anymore. It's really easy to get them out of here all you have to do is select them. So whatever ones those may be, maybe I select all of these right here and then if I wanna get rid of them I can just hit delete on my keyboard. And you get this pop up, so it's not like you know, there's not a safety measure here, you get this little pop up and it tells you the selected items will be deleted from the catalog. That is not the same thing as deleting them from the disk, okay. So deleting them from the catalog simply means that we're telling Elements to ignore them on your hard drive, so we won't see them here as part of our catalog. But the image itself will still be on your hard drive. Unless you turn on this check mark. If you put a check there you're telling it that you also want those images deleted, not only from the catalog, but also from that hard drive. So in this case I'm just gonna cancel this, but that's how that would work. So if you ever end up with, sometimes I forget what I'm doing and like, I get weird stuff that comes in here like maybe something I just, like a screenshot that maybe I grabbed for something and especially if you have that option for the watched folders, remember under the file menu, you can have folders. So right now anything I throw in my pictures, my drop box, or my Google Drive, is gonna Elements is gonna know about it and it's gonna ask me if I wanna add it to my catalog, and maybe I do, maybe I don't. But sometimes that's how things can sort of sneak in here. So just keep that in mind. And it's easy to get rid of them like I showed you.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Resource Guide
Class Images
Project Mockups

Ratings and Reviews


Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.

Student Work