This lesson will get you started with the essential skills you’ll need to import images and keep track of your growing photo library:
- Opening Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 in Organizer mode
- Creating a catalog of your images
- Importing photos from a digital camera
- Importing images from folders on your computer
- Switching between view modes in the Photo Browser
- Working with the Date view
- Creating, organizing, and applying tags to images
- Finding and tagging faces in photos
You’ll probably need between one and two hours to complete this lesson.
As you capture more and more images with your digital camera, it becomes increasingly important that you have ways to organize and manage your pictures on your computer so that your valuable memories are always accessible. Adobe Photoshop Elements makes it easy to import your photos from a variety of sources and provides powerful tools for sorting and searching your collection.
In this lesson, you’ll be working mainly in the Photoshop Elements Organizer workspace.
- Start Photoshop Elements, either by double-clicking the shortcut on your desktop, or by choosing Start > All Programs > Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.
- Do one of the following:
- If the Welcome Screen appears, click Organize in the row of shortcut buttons across the top of the Welcome Screen.
- If the Editor window opens without first displaying the Welcome Screen, click the Welcome Screen button () located to the left in the menu bar, and then click the Organize button. Alternatively, click the Organizer button () located to the right in the Editor window menu bar, and then wait until the Organizer has finished opening.
- If the Organizer window opens without first displaying the Welcome Screen, you don’t have to do anything more—you’re all set to start with this lesson.
The Organizer component of Photoshop Elements provides a workspace where you can efficiently sort and organize your photos and perform some of the most common basic image editing tasks. Before you print your photographs, burn them to CD or DVD ROM, or share them by e-mail or on the Web, the first step is to assemble them in the Organizer, as you’ll learn later in this lesson.
Creating a new catalog
Photoshop Elements stores information about your images in catalog files, which manage the photos on your computer but are independent of the image files themselves.
A catalog can include digital photographs, video and audio files, scans, PDF documents, and any presentations and layouts you might create in Photoshop Elements.
When you organize your files in Photoshop Elements, all your work is recorded in the catalog. A single catalog can efficiently handle thousands of files, but you can create as many catalogs as you wish to suit the way you work.
In this exercise you’ll create a new catalog so that you won’t confuse the practice files for this lesson with the files for the other lessons in this book.
- In the Organizer, choose File > Catalog.
- In the Catalog Manager dialog box, click New.
- In the Enter A Name For The New Catalog dialog box, type Lesson2 as the catalog name, disable the option Import Free Music Into This Catalog, and then click OK.
You’ll import the images for this lesson into your new catalog using a variety of different methods.
Dragging photos from Windows Explorer
Perhaps the easiest and most intuitive method of adding photographs to an Organizer catalog is by using the familiar drag-and-drop technique.
- Minimize the Organizer by clicking the Minimize button () towards the right end of the Organizer window menu bar or by clicking the Organizer application button on the Windows taskbar.
- Open the My Computer window in Windows Explorer by whatever method you usually use—double-click a shortcut icon on the desktop or use the Start menu or Windows Explorer.
- Navigate through the folder structure to locate and open the Lesson02 folder you copied to your hard disk (see “Copying the Classroom in a Book files” on page 2).
You’ll see three folders inside the Lesson02 folder: BATCH1, BATCH2, and BATCH3.
- Drag and hold the BATCH1 folder icon over the Organizer application button on the Windows taskbar.
- Wait until the Organizer becomes the foreground application, and then move the pointer with the BATCH1 over the Organizer application window and release the mouse button.
The Organizer will briefly display a dialog box while searching inside the BATCH1 folder for files to import.
The files in the BATCH1 folder have keyword tags attached to them to help keep them organized, so the Import Attached Keyword Tags dialog box opens, giving you the opportunity to choose whether or not to import keywords with the images and to select which keywords to import.
- In the Import Attached Keyword Tags dialog box, click Select All; then click OK.
The Getting Photos dialog box appears briefly as the Organizer imports the image files from the BATCH1 folder.
- If a message appears telling you that only the newly imported items will be visible in the Photo Browser, click OK.
- Click the Maximize button () towards the right end of the menu bar in the Organizer window. This causes the window to expand and cover the entire screen.
In the Photo Browser, you can now see thumbnails of the four images you’ve just added to your Lesson2 catalog. Don’t drag the other two batches into the Organizer—you’ll use different methods to import them into your catalog.
Getting photos from specific locations
Another technique for adding items to your catalog is to use a menu command rather than re-sizing and arranging windows on the desktop.
- Choose File > Get Photos And Videos > From Files And Folders.
- In the Get Photos From Files And Folders dialog box, navigate to your Lesson02 folder and open the BATCH2 folder.
- Move the pointer over each of the four image files inside the BATCH2 folder. You’ll see additional information about each image displayed in a Tooltip. Click once on the file and a thumbnail image will be displayed in the Preview area.
- If the options Automatically Fix Red Eyes and Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks are activated, disable them by clicking their check boxes.
- Press Ctrl+A or drag to marquee-select all four images in the BATCH2 folder, and then click the Get Photos button.
- Select the keyword tag “Lesson 2” in the Import Attached Keyword Tags dialog box. You’ll notice that by default the new batch of images will pick up the existing “Lesson 2” keyword tag that was already added to the catalog in the previous import.
- Click the Advanced button in the lower left corner of the dialog box. You now have the option to either assign new name to the keyword tag found in the imported items, or to use the existing tag of the same name. For now, leave the settings unchanged. Click the Reset to Basic button, and then click OK. Click OK to close any other alert dialog box.
- Click the Show All button above the Photo Browser to see all eight images.
- Select the image of the girl with the red hat, named DSC_0977.jpg, and then click the Rotate Left button () above the Photo Browser.
Searching for photos to import
This method is a good choice when you’re not sure exactly where on your hard disk you’ve stashed your photographs and other resources over the years. You might run this search on your entire hard disk or for your My Documents folder. For this demonstration, you’ll limit the search to a very restricted part of the folder structure on your computer.
- In the Organizer, choose File > Get Photos And Videos > By Searching.
- Under Search Options in the Get Photos By Searching For Folders dialog box, choose Browse from the Look In menu.
- In the Browse For Folder dialog box, select the Lesson02 folder; then click OK.
- Under Search Options in the Get Photos By Searching For Folders dialog box, disable the Automatically Fix Red Eyes option.
- Click the Search button located in the upper right corner of the dialog box.
- In the Search Results box, select the BATCH3 folder and click Import Folders.
- In the Import Attached Keyword Tags dialog box, click Select All, and then click OK. Click OK to close any other alert dialog box. Click the Show All button above the Photo Browser to see all 12 images in your Lesson2 catalog.
Importing from a digital camera
This exercise is optional and requires that you have a digital camera or memory card at hand with pictures on it. You can either step through this procedure now, or skip to the section “Viewing photo thumbnails” later in this lesson.
- Connect your digital camera or card reader to your computer, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If the Windows Auto Play dialog box appears, click Cancel.
- Do the following:
- If the Photo Downloader dialog box appears automatically, continue with step 4.
- If the Photo Downloader dialog box does not appear automatically, choose File > Get Photos And Videos > From Camera Or Card Reader.
- Under Source in the Photo Downloader dialog box, choose the name of the connected camera or card reader from the Get Photos from menu.
- Under Import Settings, accept the folder location listed next to Location, or click Browse to choose a new location for the files.
- From the Create Subfolder(s) menu, choose Today’s Date (yyyy mm dd) as folder name format. Your selection is reflected in the Location pathname.
- Choose Do Not Rename Files from the Rename Files menu, and from the Delete Options menu choose After Copying, Do Not Delete Originals. If selected, deselect the Automatic Download check box.
- Click the Advanced Dialog button.
The Advanced Photo Downloader Dialog displays thumbnail images of the photos on your camera’s memory card.
- (Optional) Click the check box below a thumbnail—removing the green check mark—to remove that photo from the selection to be imported.
- (Optional) Select one or more photos to rotate. Click the appropriate Rotate button in the lower left corner of the dialog box.
- Under Advanced Options, if the options Automatically Fix Red Eyes, Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks, and Make ‘Group Custom Name’ A Tag are activated, disable them by clicking their checkboxes, an then click Get Photos.
The selected photos are copied from the camera to the specified folder on your hard disk.
- If the Files Successfully Copied dialog box appears, click OK.
The Getting Photos dialog box appears while the photos are being imported into Photoshop Elements.
- Click OK to close any other alert dialog box.
The imported photos appear in the Photo Browser, already rotated where specified.
Using watched folders
You can specify any folder on your hard disk as a watched folder so that Photoshop Elements will automatically be alerted if a new photo is placed in (or saved to) that folder.
By default, the My Pictures folder is watched, but you can add additional folders to the Folders to Watch list.
You can choose to have new photos that are detected in a watched folder added to your catalog automatically or to have Photoshop Elements ask you before importing the new images. If you choose the latter option, the message “New files have been found in Watched Folders” will appear when new photos are detected. Click Yes to add the photos to your catalog or click No to skip them.
Now you’ll add a folder to the watched folders list.
- Choose File > Watch Folders.
- Under Folders To Watch in the Watch Folders dialog box, click Add, and then browse to the Lesson02 folder.
- Select the Lesson02 folder, and then click OK.
The folder name appears in the Folders to Watch list. To delete a folder name from that list, select it and then click Remove.
- Leave the Notify Me option activated and click OK to close the Watch Folders dialog box.
This concludes this section on importing images into your catalog, but even more methods will be discussed in Lesson 3, “Advanced Organizing.”
Viewing photo thumbnails in the Organizer
In the Organizer, there are several ways to view the images in your catalog. You can switch between the various viewing modes to suit different stages in your workflow or to make it easier and more efficient to perform specific organizing tasks.
Using the Photo Browser views
Up to this point, you’ve been working in the default Photo Browser view, the Thumbnail View, where your images are arranged by capture date and time. You can reverse the display order by choosing either Date (Oldest First) or Date (Newest First) from the menu to the right of the Thumbnail Size slider just above the Photo Browser pane.
Let’s look at some of the other display options in the Organizer.
- Use the Thumbnail Size slider to reduce the size of the thumbnails so that you can see all the images in your Lesson2 catalog.
- Click the Display button () near the upper right corner of the Organizer window, and then choose Import Batch from the menu to see the thumbnails organized by their separate import sessions.
Notice the bar and film canister icons () separating each row of thumbnails.
- Try the following:
- Click the separator bar above any of the import batches (reading “Imported from hard disk on ...”) to select all the images imported in that session.
- Increase the thumbnail size by dragging the slider above the Photo Browser until only a few of the images in the catalog are visible in the Photo Browser.
- Choose Window > Timeline if the timeline is not currently visible above the Photo Browser. The timeline shows three frames representing the three import sessions that account for all the images in this catalog. Click each of the three frames in turn to jump to the first image imported in the corresponding session.
- Using the Display menu that you used in Step 1, select Folder Location to see the thumbnails organized according to the folders in which they are stored on your computer. Reduce the size of the thumbnails again so that you can see all the images. The divider bars between the groups now display a folder icon rather than the film canister.
- Repeat the same steps you performed in Step 3. This time, the three frames in the timeline represent the three source folders.
- As you click the different frames in the timeline the corresponding source folder is highlighted in the folder hierarchy displayed to the left of the Photo Browser.
Using the Date View
The Date View can be a great way to organize and access your images, particularly if you are working with a collection of photos that span a number of years.
- Click the Display button () near the upper right corner of the Organizer window, and then choose Date View from the menu.
- Select the Year option under the calendar display. Use the right and left arrows on either side of the year heading at the top of the calendar to go to 2008, if it is not already selected.
- Select May 4, 2008 on the calendar. A thumbnail preview of the first photograph taken on May 4, 2008 appears at the right of the Organizer window.
- Use the Next Item On Selected Day button () under the thumbnail image on the right side of the Organizer window to see the other photographs taken on the same day.
You can view all the photos taken on the same day as a slide show by clicking the Start Automatic Sequencing button () under the preview.
- Under the preview thumbnail, click the Find this photo in the Photo Browser button () to switch to the Photo Browser with the current photo highlighted.
- In the Photo Browser, click the Back To Previous View button () near the upper left corner of the Organizer window to return to the Date View.
- Select the Month option below the calendar view.
- Click the word May at the top of the calendar, and then choose March from the months menu. If you wished to move one month at a time, you could simply click the Previous Month button twice.
- The March page opens with the 26th already selected, as that is the first date for which there are photos in your Lesson2 catalog. Click in the Daily Note box at the bottom right of the Organizer window and type A grand day out to add a note to the selected date. An icon appears on the thumbnail for March 26th indicating that there is a note attached.
Now you know how to access photos via the calendar you’ll be able to return and use the Date view whenever you wish, but for the remainder of this lesson you’ll work with the Photo Browser view. Choose Photo Browser from the Display menu.
Working with star ratings and keyword tags
Most of us find it challenging to organize our files and folders efficiently. Forgetting which pictures were stored in what folder is easy, and it can be tedious to have to open and examine the contents of numerous folders looking for the files you want.
Photoshop Elements provides powerful and versatile organizing, tagging, and search tools to make that kind of frustration a thing of the past. You learned earlier how you can use the Search feature in the Organizer to find and retrieve files from multiple locations on your computer. The next set of exercises will show you how a little time invested in applying star ratings and keyword tags can streamline the process of sorting through your pictures, regardless of where the image files are stored.