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Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) Paperback – October 13, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0596521332 ISBN-10: 0596521332 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manuals
  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 13, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596521332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596521332
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #888,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Photoshop Elements 7 includes new tools for everything from fixing up your photos to storing and sharing your pictures online. There's so much to this new version, in fact, that knowing how to make the most of it isn't readily apparent. Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual guides you through all of the program's features by explaining the way the tools and commands work, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Sneak Preview: Author Barbara Brundage’s Top 10 Elements Tips

Author Barbara Brundage

1. It's still important to back up your photos. Elements 7 gives you a totally painless way with its related web site. Sign up for a free account and you can set your albums to automatically back themselves up to your space online. Once you set up album syncing, you don't have to think about it again. It happens automatically. If you have a computer disaster at home, just reinstall Elements on the new computer, turn on the backup/sync option, and sign in to the site, and your photos reappear on your new computer. This service has some limitations (all detailed in the book), but it's a terrific way to keep an extra copy of important photos. And you still have the regular Organizer options for backing up to CD, DVD, or a different hard drive.

2. Find a size that fits. If you've been using Elements for scrapbooking, take a look at the new file size presets available in Elements 7. There's a whole separate category for scrapbook sizes in the New File dialog box. Now you can create a 12"-, 8"-, or 6"-square sized file without having to set up a custom size.

3. On vacation? Take a private tour. If your “staycation” this year takes you to a nearby tourist spot along with everyone else in your state, you can get rid of those strangers crowding into your photos—as long as you plan ahead a little. Start by getting a series of pictures that give you enough clear spots, even if there are people you don't know meandering somewhere through every photo. Then you can combine the pictures with the Elements 7 Scene Cleaner to create an image of Aunt Esmeralda and Cousin Wilberforce standing in front of the falls all by themselves, with nobody else around.

4. Make slideshows like a pro. With Elements 7 you can share your albums with dynamite, professional-looking galleries. Create a gallery where your photos appear as a pile of old-fashioned slides. Your friends can then sort through, and click the ones they like, to see a larger view. Elements has other gallery options that let you create a virtual book where your visitors "turn" the page with the mouse. And you can host these at the related web site, burn them to a CD or DVD, or even post them on your own web site.

5. Create beautiful skin. If you like glamour-type photography, check out the new Surface blur filter to create dreamy looking skin quality. It blurs without losing edge detail: perfect for smoothing skin in portraits.

6. Make dramatic skies. If you're a beginner, try the new Quick Fix/Touch Up tool for making the sky bluer--maybe too blue (and kind of green) if truth be told. Fortunately, you can soften up the effect once you're done. Go back to Full Edit and find the Layers palette (you don't need to understand layers for this maneuver). Click once on the layer that Elements just added to your photo (it's called Blue Skies), and then go up to the top of the palette and move the opacity slider to the left. Watch your photo as you move the slider. When it looks real, you're done. (Click the bottom layer, the one called Background, before you leave the Layers palette. That way you can make more edits to your photos.) Another option: You may prefer the results you get using the Smart Brush in Full Edit, if your sky has any clouds in it. In the tool presets in the Options bar, go to Nature->Cloud Contrast and drag across the sky. Presto, your clouds really stand out!

7. Never, ever work on your original photo. If you use the Organizer, good news: Elements already has your back. It creates version sets, which save different states of your image as you edit. You can create as many different versions of a photo as you like and go back to any one of them at any time. And if you’re working with Raw files, even better news: You can't alter your original (only the conversion settings). If you don't use the Organizer, make a copy of the picture (File- >Duplicate) and work on that. This way you can always start over again if you get a better idea later on.

8. Sharing photos with the Organizer. There are all kinds of fun, creative ways to share photos in Elements 7, and the Organizer makes it super easy to explore them all. Try a slideshow with music and commentary, or upload your photos to EasyShare or one of the other online services to create mugs, bags, and other cool gift items with your photos on them.

9. Don't scorn the auto buttons. If you've never tried these one-click fixes--Auto Levels or Auto Color, for example--give ‘em a try. Each version of Elements gets a little smarter and you may find that you like the results you get from one of these easy-to-use fixes.

10. Panoramas for everyone. You don't need to feel wistful anymore about the fact that your point and shoot camera's lens doesn't have a true wide-angle setting. Take a series of photos with, ideally, about a 30 percent overlap and Elements' Photomerge will automatically stitch them together into a panorama wider than you could have captured with the widest lens. Photomerge is really amazing--it’s totally automated and it does terrific blending to eliminate visible seams between images.

Look Inside Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual

Click thumbnails to open full-size images in a new window.

Photoshop Elements 7, page 112 Photoshop Elements 7, page 258 Photoshop Elements 7, page 375

About the Author

Barbara Brundage is the author of Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual, and Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac: The Missing Manual, an Adobe Community Expert, and a member of Adobe's prerelease groups for Elements 3, 4, 5, and 6. She's been teaching people how to use Photoshop Elements since it first came out in 2001. Barbara first started using Elements to create graphics for use in her day job as a harpist, music publisher, and arranger. Along the way, she joined the large group of people finding a renewed interest in photography thanks to digital cameras. If she can learn to use Elements, you can, too!

More About the Author

Barbara Brundage is an Adobe Community Professional and a member of Adobe's prerelease groups for Photoshop Elements versions 3 through 10. She's been teaching people how to use Elements since it first came out in 2001. Barbara first started using Elements to create graphics for use in her day job as a harpist, music publisher, and arranger. Along the way, she joined the large group of people finding a renewed interest in photography thanks to digital cameras. If she can learn to use Elements, you can, too! Visit her blog at for tips on using Photoshop Elements.

Customer Reviews

This is a very well written and easy to read book.
J. Hatfield
I never really understood Photoshop Elements that well, but picked it up because my friend's photos looked so much better than mine and we had the same camera.
Nancy Wu
Photoshop Elements 7: The Missing Manual The Missing Manual books are very well writen.
Jazz Musician

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Daniel G. Lebryk TOP 50 REVIEWER on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an essential and easy to use book for Photoshop Elements. If you can click, double click, and drag (prerequisites from the author); you can use this book and Photoshop Elements to imrpove your pictures.

My digital photography goes back to when 3MegaPixel cameras were $1000 and computer speeds were measured in MHz. I have over 30,000 digital pictures, and have used every version of Photoshop Elements. This is one of the best books I have ever seen to better use a piece of computer software. It truly is the manual they should have shipped with this software.

The author does start slowly and carefully. She makes sure that everyone knows the basics. She also makes it clear, you won't get to editing with layers in the first week. Read and digest only those topics important to you at that moment, and practice. It's very easy to skip around and work on the particular topic your photograph needs. Red eye correction, something we all do frequently. It's very clear, there's the very simple approach with some tweaks to size things correctly, how to do it automatically, and then a box with Power User suggestions (using the eyedropper tool) when things don't work exactly right.

The author's approach is to present the simple, should work most of the time procedure, then some simple options for improvement, and what to do if that procedure doesn't work. It's chock full of tips and hints all well organized.

This book should speak volumes to the new user, the upgrader from previous versions, and fairly skilled users. Even those basic topics I've taken for granted, (using grids to straighten a photograph), include things I wouldn't have known, (you can change the grid color - black can be very annoying when working with sports pictures).
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73 of 76 people found the following review helpful By G. Strakos on December 1, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books on Photoshop Elements 7 available. I guarantee that you will need this book if you are new to Photoshop Elements 7. The Photoshop Elements 7 software package only comes with a small introduction booklet. And I have never had success learning to do something via the "Help" files. I am also sure that an experienced user can use this book as a reference. I have been using Photoshop Elements 7 for over a week now. So far, I have found an answer in this book to every problem I have encountered.

The author's writing style is excellent. It is not too light and it is not too dense.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Steve R on June 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To be honest I was disappointed with this book for what I needed. I wanted a reference type manual that I could readily refer to when editing my pictures as a photographer to improve them using the many filters or techniques used from its 'big brother' Photoshop CS 4. This book did not deliver that perspective, instead it was aimed more to the person creating a digital scrap book or family albums, which is fine but not what I needed. To give you an example of what I am refering to there was only 35 pages set aside to explain 'Filters, effects, layer styles and gradients' compared to 40 pages for 'E mail & the web and online albums & slideshows'! The book does mention the filters, but only in a very basic format, lacking pictures of before and after shots plus key sliders controlling the various applications.
At the time of purchasing this manual, I also purchased a Rick Sammon's book on photographing people [Nothing to do with his digital dark room series of books]and got far more useful and easily understood instructions from this then I did with the missing manual, even though he was refering to Photoshop CS!
This book is good for those who like to create projects, albums, scrap books and the basics of what elements can do, but it does not cover more of the useful tips and techniques employed by professional photographers such as Renaissance lighting or using the blur tool to selectively soften wrinkles on faces. One could say I may be lazzy in not discovering these things for myself over time, however, the bottom line is that the Photoshop series of digital editing is so vast and complex that I purchase manuals to get me jump started straight into the operation.

Overall it depends what you want to use Photoshop Elements for as to how useful you will find this book. If looking for more of the professional photographers technique manual then I suggest looking for a different book.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dan McKinnon VINE VOICE on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Another outstanding book in the "Missing Manual" line. Barbara Brundage makes Photoshop Elements 7 not only easy to use, but also a whole lot of fun!!

and now...

IN FULL COLOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Adobe has many applications that are downright intimidating to many users out there, and it's very refreshing that "Photoshop Elements 7: 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 6 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.

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