Chapter 1. Examining the Elements Environment

In This Chapter

  • Starting up

  • Setting up your workspaces

  • Moving through the menu bar and context menus

  • Picking your settings in the Options bar

  • Playing around with panels and bins

  • Shortening your steps

  • Getting a helping hand

Wow! There's a lot to Photoshop Elements 8! Just look at the many pages in this chapter — and we aren't even going to talk about fixing up your pictures. We are, however, going to talk about some pretty essential stuff to help you move quickly and efficiently around the program, as well as figure out how to access all those wonderful tools that Elements offers you for editing your pictures.

This chapter may not be the most fun part of this book, but it is a critical first step for anyone new to Elements. Stay with us while we break down all the areas in the Photoshop Elements workspace where you can turn that photo of Aunt Gina into something that Whistler's mom would envy.

Examining the Elements Environment

Launching Elements

After running the installer from the Photoshop Elements DVD-ROM, double-click the program icon to launch Elements. Upon launch, you see the Adobe Photoshop Welcome screen, as shown in Figure 1-1 (Windows) or Figure 1-3 (Mac).

The Photoshop Elements Welcome screen for Windows.

Figure 1.1. The Photoshop Elements Welcome screen for Windows.

At the left of the photo image in the Welcome screen (Windows), ...

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