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Yes...this is indeed the manual that should have been in the box!
on November 20, 2011
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.