O'Reilly's "Missing Manual" series claims each of their titles is "The book that should have been in the box". While I can't speak for the entire series, I have purchased and used several of them, including the missing manuals for three different versions of Photoshop Elements (PSE).
PSE 10 is very similar at the user interface level to versions 8 and 9, and it is --like its predecessor versions-- extremely feature dense. This makes it both a powerful digital image editor, and a potential well of frustration for users. While PSE 10 includes some automated and guided image editing functions, users hoping to harness its full power will achieve this sooner if they grab some help. Barbara Brundage offers this assistance in a detailed guide that explores the higher functions of PSE, while respecting the challenges many readers may have in grasping complex technology.
Brundage offers both conceptual overviews and tutorials of PSE 10'as interface and functions. She effectively breaks down the the concepts of file management, basic editing, image manipulation and sharing of the results of these digital editing techniques.
This book is particularly effective in addressing the two areas that can lead to delight --or despair-- among would-be photo editors: selection and layering in PSE.
The conceptual discussions and tutorials in this book are intelligently discussed and laid out in good detail. The companion materials to this book are online ("the missing CD"), and include links to sample images used for demonstrations in the book, and to other online resources to assist with PSE mastery. The author and creative team both have links to their own websites and email addresses listed in the introduction. You will also see that I have responded directly to other reviewers' comments. This indicates strong ownership and a high level of accessibility. In addition, the author readily --and correctly-- points out that many high quality step-by-step guides to most things you might want to do are readily found on popular video sites.
Two things to note before diving into this book and your PSE 10 experience:
the appendix to the book is found at the rear, and addresses installation issues. This wpould be better placed at the front and combined with the "what's new" portion, since install issues are the first pitfall area that users could encounter. Finally, sometimes the book gushes just a bit about the overall capabilities of PSE ("while it's doing wonderful things to your picture..."). These are minor points, and in no way diminish from the overall usefulness of this must have reference for users of PSE 10.
Another outstanding book in the "Missing Manual" line. Barbara Brundage makes Photoshop Elements 4 not only easy to use, but also a whole lot of fun!! Adobe has many applications that are downright intimidating to many users out there, and it's very refreshing that "Photoshop Elements 4: The Missing Manual" was created. From covering the basics of how to get around the Elements application, the author starts of with the basics of getting your images onto your computer, and the most simple of effects like rotation and cropping. From there, she discusses the all-important topic of layers and basic image retouching so you can take your digital images and make them go from good to GREAT!!! Continuing on with a look at filters and how to get your images printed so they look beautiful and/or posting them to the web or emailing them, this guide is perfect for all new Photoshop Elements users who want to get their feet web on the way to becoming an Elements super user.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. While it's a little bit more expensive than other books in the "Missing Manual" line, the price should NOT be a factor in your decision making. If you are looking for a book that will assist in your knowledge of learning how to use Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 you have come to the right place. If you want to learn more about what is included in the newest release of this outstanding application, look no further. If just want to read an entertaining book and expand your knowledge of how to work with digital imagery so you can make your images look better than ever, again you will NOT be disappointed.
This is the way all books should be written: clearly, simply, and enjoyable.
***** HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Adobe's Photoshop is the granddaddy of all image-editing programs. But Photoshop has some big drawbacks--it's very hard to master, it's horribly expensive, and many of the features in it are just plain overkill if you don't plan to work on pictures for a living. For several years, Adobe tried to find a way to cram many of Photoshop's marvelous powers into a package that normal people could use. Photoshop Elements offers much of the power of Photoshop in a program that almost anyone can learn to use. I'm a big fan of the Missing Manual series, and this book retains the excellence I've come to expect in the series. Amazon does not show the table of contents, so I discuss this book in the context of the table of contents:
Chapter 1 - "Finding Your Way Around Elements", helps get you oriented in Elements starting with the Welcome Screen. You'll learn about what to expect when you start up the program and how to use Elements to fix your photos with just a couple of keystrokes.
Chapter 2 - "Importing and Managing Your Photos" shows you how to import your photos from cameras, digital card readers, and scanners. You'll also find out how to import individual frames from videos, how to open files that are already on your computer, and how to create a new file from scratch. After that, you'll learn how to use the Organizer to sort and find your pictures once they're in Elements.
Chapter 3 - "Rotating, Resizing, and Saving" looks at how to trim off unwanted areas, straighten out crooked photos, and save your files. You'll also learn how to change the overall size of your images and how to zoom in and out, to get a better look at things while you're editing.
Chapter 4 - "The Quick Fix" shows how to use "The Quick Fix Window", which gathers together easy-to-use tools that can help you adjust the brightness and color of your photos and make them look sharper.
Chapter 5 - "Making Selections" shows you how to select part of your image and make changes only to that area. You can select your entire image or any part of it.
Chapter 6 - "Layers: The Heart of Elements" shows how to keep your changes and still revert to the original image by using layers, which is a system of transparent sheets that keep each element of your image on a separately editable sliver. By putting each change you make on its own layer, you can constantly rearrange the composition of your image, or add and subtract changes whenever you want.
Chapter 7 - "Basic Image Retouching" guides you through fixing basic exposure problems, new ways of sharpening your photos, and most important, understanding how Elements can improve the colors in your photos.
Chapter 8 - "Elements for Digital Photographers" shows you how to use a collection of advanced tools pulled straight from Photoshop. You learn how to use the RAW Converter, Photo Filter, and Batch File Processor.
Chapter 9 - "Retouching 102: Fine-Tuning Your Images" introduces you to some advanced editing maneuvers that will greatly help you either rescue damaged photos or give good ones some added style. Techniques include eliminating dust, scratches, stains, and other photographic imperfections.
Chapter 10 - "Creating Panoramas and Transforming Images" shows how to use the Photomerge command, which allows you to stitch together a group of photos that you've taken while panning across the horizon.
Chapter 11 - "Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, and Other Tools" shows how you can paint with lots of things besides color - such as lights or shadows, for example. In Elements, when you want to apply an effect in a precise manner, you're often going to use some sort of brush to do it.
Chapter 12 - "Filters, Effects, Layer Styles, and Gradients" discusses special tools that will have people thinking you're a better artist than you actually are. These are largely tools for turning a photo into an artistic work - say, a watercolor for example.
Chapter 13 - "Type in Elements" is about adding text to your photos. You will learn how to create all kinds of fancy text to use on greeting cards, newsletter headlines, or graphics for Web pages.
Chapter 14 - "Printing Your Photos" covers printing your photos at home on an inkjet printer, taking them to a printing kiosk at a local store, or using an online printing service. You'll learn how to interface to Kodak's EasyShare Gallery, Adobe's online printing partner.
Chapter 15 - "Elements and the Web" shows you how to share your photos online, send your photos to cellphones, and transmit them to Palm-based handhelds.
Chapter 16 - "HTML Photo Galleries and Slideshows" discusses creating HTML Photo Galleries, collections of ready-made Web pages featuring all the photos you want to display. You'll also learn how Elements helps you put together digital slideshows, complete with fancy between-photo transitions and audio.
Chapter 17 - "Beyond the Basics" discusses adding new brush shapes, Layer styles, and fancy filters. Also discussed are free add-on features already available on the web. This chapter also discusses how to know when you really do need the full version of Photoshop instead. You'll also learn about the many resources available for expanding your knowledge of Elements beyond this book.
As you can see, Photoshop Elements 4 is a very complete image processing package, and this book is a very accessible guide to discovering all of its aspects. I make daily use of this manual and recommend it highly.
on October 18, 2011
Highly recommended I have been teaching Photoshop Elements since version 7 and have used Ms. Brundage's series of books for version 7, 8, and 9. This book is an A to Z manual on Photoshop Elements. One feature I particularly like is that the author lists a number of websites for additional material such as plug-ins. Also, she will reference a book not published by O'Reilly, an action for which both the author and publisher deserve credit.
As the author states in her introduction, this is a how and when book. The book instructs one how to use various techniques and tools, as well as when not to use them. In addition to the book content, one can go to the O'Reilly website to download additional material that is pertinent so that one can better complete various exercises in the book.
The bottom line; if you use Photoshop Elements 10, buy this book.
Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.
on December 29, 2005
This book doesn't cover everything you can do with Adobe Photoshop Elements - and yet it covers so much - it's also easy to read. It's good that the book is in full color - it is even better that the color has been put to good use and everything is so well explained with reference to the visuals. You'll also find tons of text boxes all over the book that explain workarounds, new features, and tricks - the first thing I read was these text boxes. The book is logically laid out and most of the content is explained in a task-specific manner so you can follow the steps while keeping the book next to the computer.
For me, who has been using the full Photoshop product, this book has been tempting enough to make me buy a copy of Elements 4 so that I can share my digital images with friends and family. About the sharing images part, this book explains that too! The book also provides many links to sites online, and other books. I have no qualms recommending this book.
on January 4, 2012
I teach Photoshop Elements at a local educational organization. We have been using Elements 6, and we plan to upgrade to Elements 10 for the forthcoming year. Therefore I ordered "Photoshop Elements 10 - the Missing Manual"
My review of this book can be very brief. It is, quite simply, THE BEST ! Every user of ANY version of Photoshop Elements should have it. It is very comprehensive, and is written in easy-to-understand language. Everything is clearly explained. What more could one want ? STRONGLY RECOMMENDED !!!
on January 12, 2006
There are so many books to choose from on Photoshop Elements and even though Elements 4 just came out, there are still several books to consider. I looked at which books had color examples and how many pages they had. This book won out on both criteria.
After reading it, I can honestly say that I made a wonderful decision! This book has thoroughly explained the ins and outs of Photoshop Elements 4. I feel confident enough to take on any task and even things I had never thought of before!
I bought this to help with digital scrapbooking because Elements has "layers". Many digital editing programs do not have layers, so be aware when choosing editing software.
Adobe Photoshop is the Master of all digital editing software. The average or even above-average photographer does NOT need to spend 800$ on Photoshop when you can get Elements 4 for $60 on Amazon!
I highly suggest getting "The Missing Manual" if you own Elements- it will show you things you didn't know were possible! Make the most out of your software and get this book!!
Make the most of your digital photos and get this book!!
on April 27, 2007
This book is well written and very inclusive of needed information, however, I am new to Elements 5 and it is more than I can handle at this time. It would have been nice for the author to have started from the easiest to the hardest information, but I find she is forever jumping around and forever sending me to other pages to understand the section I am now reading?????
When trying to locate a task I want to do on Elements, I can never find a reference for it in the index.
I would very much recommend this book to anyone who has had experience with other editions of elements, but not for those of us just starting out. I will keep this book as a great resource for future reference, but I think I need to purchase another book that can dummy this info down for me. LOL. Hummmmm, and here I thought I was a fairly intelligent person??? Surprise!!!!