Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual
Edit and Organize Your Digital Pictures
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: September 2006
Pages: 576

Anyone still think that Adobe Photoshop Elements is a toy version of the real thing? As the most popular photo-editing program on the market, Photoshop Elements not only has Photoshop's marvelous powers, but also has capabilities the mothership lacks. Each new version includes more tools designed specifically for today's consumer digital photo enthusiasts. The latest edition, Photoshop Elements 5, solidifies the reputation of this superb and inexpensive product with new scrapbook features, a link to online photo services, and many other improvements.

In fact, there's so much to Photoshop Elements that it can be quite confusing at times. That's precisely why our Missing Manuals are the bestselling books on the topic. Adobe provides a pamphlet and some help files; our book, now in its fifth edition, carefully explains every feature the program has to offer (something no other book has done) by putting each one into a clear, easy-to-understand context. Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual covers the Windows version of Adobe's workhorse and gives you the low down on a host of new features:

  • Learn to create multiple page documents, custom photo layouts with frames, and highly customized layouts for scrapbook projects
  • Master the new editor for Layer Styles, which lets you customize individual layers in a photo
  • "Attach" your photos to areas of a Yahoo! Map so your friends and family can see the pictures you took in specific places

Author Barbara Brundage also introduces you to a new sophisticated tool called "Curves" to adjust the color and contrast in your photos, and shows you how to burn multi-session CDs and DVDs. As always, she lets you know which features work well, which don't, and why -- all with a bit of wit and good humor. Although the book progresses from simple to complex tasks, you can easily jump around to learn specific techniques, such as creating photomontages (composites), restoring old photos, preparing images for the Web, and archiving. More than a dozen downloadable images let you practice using the editing tools right away!

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Photoshop Elements 5 - The Missing Manual

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual:

Barbara Brundage who has written this O'Reilly book has a lot of knowledge on Photoshop Elements as she also authored books on Photoshop Elements 3 and 4.

The first thing I noticed about this book is that it is much more complete than the Photoshop Elements 5 User Guide furnished by Adobe. This book has many more chapters and contains items not covered by Adobe's book, like making true black & white pictures. What I particularly liked about this program is the ability of taking a water or lake scene and adding ripples and other effects to the picture, like the sound of a running stream. This book includes a large number of color pictures.

The book is divided into six parts. Part one contains four chapters from introducing Elements and finding your way around Elements, organizing your photos to editing in Chapter 1. It is very easy to get confused about the differences between Elements and the full version of Adobe Photoshop. Because Elements is so much cheaper and because many of the program's more advanced controls are tucked away, a lot of professionals regard Elements as a toy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Elements IS Photoshop, but it is Photoshop adapted for use with a home printer. The difference between the two is that Photoshop uses save in the CMYK mode. (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK).

In Chapter 2 you can use the Photo Downloader which gives you choices of from where to choosing dates and names for your pictures and the choice of not saving certain photos. This chapter also covers working with PDF files and scanning plus choosing resolution, document size, and using the organizer.

Chapter 3 covers straightening scanned photos plus straightening more than one photo at a time plus rotating your photos. There is even an option tool that automatically straightens your photos. All of this is covered with pictures showing the before and after effects.

Chapter 4 is titled the Quick Fix which I found very helpful in fixing my mistakes. You can also use the grid control to see how straight your pictures are and make the necessary adjustments. Color photos show the different effects of lightening shadows & darken highlights plus adjusting the colors of your photos, including skin tones.

Part two consists of Chapters 5 and 6 and gets to the heart of Elements by discussing selecting part of your image and making changes only to that area by using rectangular or elliptical shapes, creating layers and backgrounds with blending. Each step is covered with before and after pictures.

Part three has Chapters 7 thru 11 and is called Retouching. Chapter 7 covers Basic Image Retouching Chapter 8 covers Elements for the Advanced Digital Photographer discussing the RAW converter which offers the convenience of being able to perform conversions in the same program you use for editing. . Chapter 9 is called Retouching 102: Fine Tuning Your Images. While Chapter 10 is about adding and removing color from your photos. Chapter 11 is about creating panoramas and correcting perspectives. All parts have before and after photos with explanations.

Part Four is called Artistic Elements and includes Chapters 12: Drawing with Brushes, Shapes and Other Tools. Chapter 13: covers Filters, Effects, Layer Styles, and Gradients while Chapter 14 shows how to add text to your images including special effects.

Part Five is about sharing your images and is covered in Chapter 15 while Chapter 16 covers printing in all its various forms. Chapter 17 explains placing your pictures on the web and inserting them in emails. Chapter 18 covers creating photo galleries, slideshows and flipbooks.

Part Six is entitled Additional Elements and goes Beyond the Basics, discussing things you can do obtaining some of the tools available for Elements created by others. There is information about the popular Elements accessory called "graphic tablet" which lets you draw and paint with a pen-like stylus instead of a mouse.

Part Seven covers over 40 pages of appendixes. Appendix A covers The Organizer, Menu by Menu. Appendix B is entitled The Editor, Menu by Menu, and Appendix C provides information on Installation and Troubleshooting.

This 354 page book by O'Reilly can be considered a necessity for anyone learning Photoshop Elements 5 and is well worth the $39.99 list price.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


One of the Most Readable & Complete Software Guides Ever

By OldProfessor

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual:

Having used software guides since the early 80's, I found the comfortable readability of this book to be a very pleasant surprise. Since software application and programming guides are designed to be helpful technical resources, they are usually dry and end up on a shelf to be pulled out when needed. But this book held my interest for five straight chapters, and through many other sections as well. Brundage's precise and friendly writing style, without being flip or condescending, her abundance of rich illustrations, and her thorough coverage, created a new appreciation for the endless possibilities of Photoshop Elements 5.

Another key to maintaining interest is the author's use of beautiful, full-color photos to demonstrate Elements' features and capabilities. She often suggests that the reader download the same photo from the Missing Manual web site to give the tool a try.

Also, Brundage regularly provides cross-references to pages containing more advanced material on the present topic or tool. Also, she frequently lists page numbers for other ways of accomplishing the same goal with a different tool. As a result, she can maintain a steady flow of new content without having to exhaust every subject when first introduced.

Through regular use of quarter or half-page boxes with such titles as: Up to Speed, Power Users' Clinic, Frequently Asked Question, Information Station, Gem in the Rough, Compatibility, Troubleshooting Moment, Workaround Workshop, On the Web, Under the Hood, In the Field, etc. the writer provides answers, hints, tips, technical information, web information, etc. that is not only helpful, but interesting.

Brundage begins with a helpful overview of the Editor and Quick Fix features and capabilities. Then she walks the reader through these from the simplest to the more complex, from simple rotation and cropping to layers, filters, and masks. In later chapters she covers the use of the Organizer, printing, slideshows and flipbooks, and adjusting images for the web or email.

A short resources chapter at the end covers the use of graphics tablets, Internet resources, and helpful Elements plugins. Two comprehensive appendices show and briefly explain every menu and sub-menu in the Organizer and Editor, while a third appendix deals with installation and troubleshooting issues.

One of the most important features of any software guide is a comprehensive index. When I experience a problem using an application or programming tool, I expect to quickly find relevant answers in a book devoted to that product. The Missing Manual has yet to disappoint me in this regard. For example, I recently wanted to know if the "Process Multiple Files" dialog I had opened would overwrite the original image files.

I first selected the Index Tab in Element's Help window, but couldn't find this capability listed under any of the relevant letters. Next, entering "process multiple" in the Help Search Box took me to this topic, but Adobe's one-page explanation failed to answer my question.

Later, at home, I easily found the entry "Process Multiple Images" in the index of The Missing Manual. It pointed to the first of seven pages of description and screen shots that answered my question and thoroughly covered this topic.

I very highly recommend this book for its readability, comprehensive coverage, and extensive resources.

Reviewer: Chuck Thomas, VP of Technology, Bowling Green Area Microcomputer Users Group


The Must-Have Manual

By Darry D Eggleston

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual:

Book Review

"Photoshop Elements 5: The Missing Manual" by Barbara Brundage, First Edition September 2006, 574 Pages

Darry D Eggleston, Leader, New Users Group, Greater Tampa Bay PC User Group (GTBPCUG), Tampa, Florida

If this book were included with the CDs for the program, there would have been no need for other books to have been published.

If you want to learn to use the most popular photo-editing program of all time, look no further than this "here's-how" presentation. Laid out in an easy to follow and easier to understand format, this book tells and illustrates doing the most basic and the more challenging tasks using Elements.

It goes beyond the simple presentations in other books to tell you not only how to do a project the way Adobe intended, but how to do the task in an easier way.

The 19 chapters and 3 appendices are divided into 7 parts, making it even easier to learn in a systematic fashion a program that has so much to offer the novice and the expert photo editor.

"Part 1: Introductory Elements" gets the reader grounded in the fundamentals of the work space layout, tools and palettes.

"Part 2: Importing, Managing, and Saving Your Photos" makes file management seem the easy task it is - if one plans ahead and follows that plan.

"Part 3: Rotating & Resizing Photos" gives the step-by-step of doing two of the most common, but least understood, activities with those precious digital memories.

"Part 4: The Quick Fix" reveals how rapidly one can make photo repairs using the palettes in this valuable Elements option.

"Part 5: Making Selections" reveals the basics of advanced photo editing. It makes a difficult concept seem like the easy procedure it can be.

"Part 6: Layers: The Heart of Elements" shows how the layers make editing the fun task it is. Everything from creating layers to linking, merging and hiding are shown in an easy-to-understand fashion.

"Part 7: Basic Image Retouching" makes cleaning up those old, abused photos in that shoe box a snap.

"Part 8: Elements for Digital Photographers" makes white balance, RAW conversion, and file renaming seem like basic elements in understanding the digital camera's world.

"Part 9: Retouching 102: Fine-Tuning Your Image" takes the committed editor steps further into improving and enhancing those salvaged photos.

"Part 10: Removing and Adding Color" shows quick, effective ways to convert all or parts of photos from color to grayscale (also known as black-and-white) or from grayscale to color.

"Part 11: Creating Panoramas and Correcting Perspective" take the digital photo world to the next level. Where others take photos of parts of a landscape, these chapters show you how to make that landscape come alive.

"Part 12: Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, & Other Tools" moves the reader from photos to graphic creation and enhancements.

The remaining chapters take you into a world of possibilities that you may never have imagined learning - and, most importantly, doing.

Your previous evaluation of your photo-editing skills may have been elementary; but, after reading and using this manual, you will be elevated to levels you never believed yourself capable of achieving.

If you want to get a results-oriented, possibilities-enriched photo-editing program, buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.

If you want to conquer the potentials of that program, buy, read and use this "Missing Manual."

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