Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements


Lesson Info

Ways to Save Files

Let's go ahead and see what happens when we save it. We haven't talked about saving our files yet. So that's a pretty important part of image editing. Let's go ahead and click save. And it's gonna come up and it wants to name the file. So the original file is called Guadiero, that's a village on the northern coast of Spain. It's beautiful if you ever get the chance to go, totally worth it. And it has added this suffix to the file name. So it added underscore edited dash, dash, one. And it's doing that, so it's protecting you from accidentally saving over your original file, alright. If we didn't change the name and we just saved it and we chose, jpeg, for example, that would just replace the original and when you're editing photos, you don't want to replace the original. You always want to keep your original because you never know when you're going to need it again. So it's choosing Photoshop format because of whatever layer it has built to create this effect. So it wants to save it as...

a Photoshop document to maintain those layers and different things. We'll talk about that shortly. And it added that suffix, so let's talk about down here. We'll talk about formats in the minute but it's including layers, it's including this check mark to include in the elements organizer and this is really, these two check marks are really just the ones I want to focus on right now, including the elements organizer and save in version set with original. So let's leave that there and I'm gonna show you what that does to the organizer. So we'll go ahead and hit save, so I didn't change anything. I just went ahead and hit save, I accepted all the things that Photoshop suggested for me and I hit save. So we'll go ahead and say, yes, we're done now. Now we're back here in this guided edit. Let's pop back over to our organizer by clicking the organizer button down here. And let's take a peek at the file. It is rendering the preview of it. These are all locked because they all say edit in progress still. But, you'll notice, that if I click this button here, we now have two versions of this file. We have the original, which is here, and we have this edited version, which is here. I know that this is the edited version because it has this little icon in the corner here. For some reason, Elements 15 and 14, too, have the same thing. It just seems to take a long, like, a silly long amount of time to render the Photoshop, render the preview for any Photoshop document file. So, if you (chuckles), if you're wondering, why is this gray, that is why. And I don't know, if we click away from it, maybe it'll, if we avert our eyes, maybe it'll just finish. But it took a while, too, when I loaded all this stuff in the catalog, it was slow to deal with the PSD files. So I'm not sure why that happens but just know that there's nothing wrong with this file, it's not broken or damaged or anything, it's just takes a minute, for whatever reason or a few minutes, apparently. But, this collection of the edited file being grouped with the original, this is what we refer to as a version set so it groups them like this just to prevent your catalog from being visually cluttered. So if we had every single different version of every photo visually on our screen at once, it could get pretty confusing and you might be really lost about what am I looking at and what's going on, so it's really nice that it groups this for us. So again, to open that, at any time, you just click right here. If you decide, you know what, Photoshop, I don't want you to be grouping my stuff. Well, you can always ungroup, delete this version set. If you right click or control, click, if you have a button-less mouse, there is an option in here to work with your version set. If you come up here to version set, you'll notice you can collapse the items, you can flatten the version set, you can convert to individual items or you can revert to the original. Or you can just get rid of the whole thing and remove the whole thing completely. So expand the items, that's grayed out because it's already expanded. That is really just what this is. When you click here, you're expanding the version set so you can see what's in it, okay. So our other options are to flatten the version set. If we do that, that means we're just gonna smash it down and instead of being two different versions, we will just have one version and that version will be whichever file is on top here. So that's gonna be the most recent version. So, in essence, we'd be losing our original if we did that. We can also covert the version set to individual items. So if I want to basically, these two photos are basically, think of them as being stapled together. And if I decide I don't want them stapled together anymore, I can just rip them apart and make them two separate items. So let's try that, if I right click, we're go to version set and I'm gonna say, convert version set to individual items. And when I click on that, we see that they're are now separated, they're not grouped anymore and they're just two separate items but then, you have to know that and it just might change the way that you look at and deal with your files. So I think version sets are really helpful, they're a nice thing to have. So I'm gonna undo that. So I just pressed command Z or control Z to undo. You can also click the button right here and that put them back in a version set. So that's what that means any time you save those files. So let's pop back over and try another one. Maybe we'll do a different thing to this one. Let's just do a basic edit for this photo. Maybe we'll do a brightness and a contrast. So it's gonna, it's really simple. It's showing us auto fix, this isn't much different than the quick fix. We can try and auto fix, it's not gonna do too much. And we can manually adjust the brightness here, if we want. And then, when we're happy with it, we would click next and we could hit save and we get the same thing. Underscore, dash one. If we save this and then we make more changes and then we go to save it again, it'll continue to make different versions and add the suffix here to represent the different version numbers. If, for whatever reason, we did not want to include this in our organizer, we could turn it off right here. So now, it wouldn't show up in the organizer at all. Or maybe we want it in the organizer but we just don't want it stapled to the original, we don't want it in that version set, we can uncheck this box right here. So we have some options but, honestly, I think the best course of action is to leave all of that checked 'cause otherwise, you're gonna be like, oh, now I have to go get it and put it back in my organizer and that could just be a hassle. Why do all that extra work? So, I would just leave that as it is and we'll go ahead and hit save. The jpeg, now this time, Photoshop elected the jpeg option. The difference between a Photoshop file format and a jpeg file format, is hard to see when you're just looking at your screen but it's actually quite huge. Any time that you're editing an image and you've got layers or smart objects or selections or something saved with it, some sort of cool, bonus material that is part of that image, then you're gonna want to save it as a Photoshop document because that will maintain all those features. We'll talk about layers later today, we're gonna dig into them pretty deep, so be ready. But you'll see how that works then, if you want to save a document with layers, you cannot save it as a jpeg. So Photoshop is intelligently selecting and suggesting these file formats for you. So when we did that tilt shift effect, you'll notice it suggested that we save it as a Photoshop document because it had some layers going on. This document, all we did to the ski trip photo was we adjusted the brightness and contrast which didn't involve any layers, so Photoshop suggested that we just save it as a jpeg, like it already was. So, it's nice that it's suggesting those things. You can change it at any time, if you want to save it as a jpeg or a PSD at any time, you can obviously do that. But just know that Photoshop is actually paying attention and it's making good suggestions. If you do go ahead with the jpeg option, whenever you create a jpeg, you're gonna have a follow-up question after you hit save. You're gonna get this pop-up and it's gonna be asking you how do you like your jpeg, called jpeg options. And it's basically saying, how careful do you want me to be with this jpeg? What kind of jpeg do you want, a high quality jpeg or a lower quality jpeg? Those are basically your choices. Quality scale ranges from zero, which is really terrible, I don't every recommend that, to high. The high maximum quality would be 12. Okay, so you can change it several ways, you can come in here and type a number. Maybe 10 sounds good to you, you could type 10. You could click here and choose one of these little presets for a low, medium or high quality file. Or maximum, of course. Or you can just drag this slider. So, most of the time when you're making jpegs, unless you are saving them for something very specific, like if you're making a web jpeg to save on a blog or a website or something, then you'd want to optimize that differently and that's a whole other, that could be a whole other course. But in this case, I've edited this file, it's a high quality image, I want to maintain a high quality image, so I'm gonna go ahead and leave this set to the highest setting for maximum. You can ignore this right here, we're just not even going to get into it, don't worry about it. Go ahead, and click okay. And that's it, Photoshop has made the jpeg. And that's all it takes. So it's pretty simple when you're saving these files. Save As, is going to give you that second number here. So now that we've created this edited file, Save As will create, yet, another version. If we just make some more changes to this. Let's actually do that. So we'll say that we're done with it. Let's go back to our quick workspace. And let's go to effects and we'll make this black and white, just because it's easy to see the difference that we do there. We'll go to effects and I'll scroll down here and I'm just gonna click the first black and white. Alright, so let's save that. Now we've made this black and white and now we want to save it again. If we're not in this guided workspace, how do we go about doing that? Just like every other program you've ever used on a computer, you go to the file menu and you hit save, or you can hit Save As. If we hit save, it's going to update that first edited version that we made. So it's always gonna protect your original. The second one, the jpeg we made with the improved contrast was called underscore edited, dash one. Now that we've made it black and white, if we hit save, it's just gonna update that version one. And I think this is a good thing because it prevents us from ending up with 2,000 different versions of the same photo with trivial differences. So this is nice, we'll update this version. As you see, when we work with layers and things in the expert mode, you're gonna see how you can control, even within one version, you can sort of save different variations of your image even within one actual file. So we can talk about that. But that's what happens if you just save, it's just gonna update that version. So I'm gonna hit cancel, then, just so you know, what happens is if I come up to file and hit Save As. Then... Is it doing the same thing now, just to make me look silly? Thanks, Photoshop. Well, normally, as you saw a moment ago, if you were really paying attention, this is where we would rename this with a different version. So now, we'd be saving it as some sort of different version from itself. So that's the difference between save and save as. Save As means and implies that you're gonna be creating another version, you're saving that as something different. Whereas, if you just file save, you're just updating that file that you started with. You're just saving the edit to the file. So if you think of it the same way you would with you're working with a document in Microsoft Word or something, for example, then I think it will make a lot more sense 'cause it's really the same thing. So that's all found under the file menu to save and save as.

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015.5.1


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


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