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Showing 1-10 of 192 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 208 reviews
on March 18, 2013
Virtually everyone who has struggled thru Adobe's software will admit that the learning curve is rather steep. To many, it is frustrating to the point of causing them to move to other, easier to use software like Capture NX2 or Paintshop Pro. Others find that it's myriad of features and multiple methods of accessing them is simply overwhelming and give up in despair. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of photographers, make a living demystifying Photoshop by running courses and workshops to help you use the powerful but confusing features of the program.

Now, however, you have a friend in the game. the "DUMMIES" book will help you survive the photoshop experience with a minimum of wounds and much less tearing of hair, weeping and gnashing of teeth (note: it will not reduce those things to zero).

Photoshop Elements 11 editor is a little less worse than previous versions in that it offers quick, guided and expert interfaces right from the get-go. If this is your first intro to the program, by all means, use the quick system and do not let a testosterone fog persuade you to take on the expert interface. You will have to get to page 31 in "DUMMIES" and read the note at the bottom of the page for an intro to this.

"DUMMIES" then takes you thru an explanation of all the tabs, buttons, and options. READ THIS SLOWLY and commit it to memory. Follow the step by step progression in the book. This is what will save you the 'tears' part mentioned above. Page 38 will move you thru the menu bar. This is invaluable since Adobe seems to take pride in making its menus confusing and non-intuitive. Using "DUMMIES" will save you time and make your job of editing easier.

Chapter 3 ends with a discussion of adjusting your monitor to look like your photo prints. Here's a tip that's NOT in the book: Photo prints are viewed with reflected light; monitors use back lighting which is much brighter than reflected light. If you want your monitor to give you a good idea of what your print will look like, you must DECREASE THE BRIGHTNESS quite a lot - to about 25% of what you initially think it should be. Experiment with this and you'll be a lot happier with your printed pictures in the end.

Chapter 8 of DUMMIES talks about layers. Layers are a great strength of Elements and, at the same time, one of the most difficult for some beginners to master. Some programs, like Capture NX2, automate the use of layers and make it so intuitive that you never even realize you are using them. Adobe is not so friendly but DUMMIES will get you thru it and help a great deal.

Overall, DUMMIES does an excellent job of explaining Elements and is the best book of its type that I have seen. It takes you step by step and is very thorough and well organized with a good index and table of contents.

I downgraded it one star because it doesn't include information on PLUG-INs like those amazing augmentations by NIK Software. Be sure to look into these fabulous programs whether you are an Elements novice or expert. You can download them for free and try them before buying.
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on January 12, 2013
I bought this book together with the photoshop 11 Elements and let me tell you, this is the first time I have bought a photo editing program and used one. So I am pretty new to the whole thing and honestly, I found the book just overwhelming and still too complicated. You get bombarded with a whole new language in a whole new world all by itself.
I was so frustrated that I closed it, put it to the side and just spent some time with the program by myself and guess what... I found it pretty easy to figure out, even as a beginner. Everything I wanted to know how to do with photoshop I figured out by myself, without the book, in about one hours time. The program is easy to use and just use some logic and you will be fine.
Did not need the book nor did I find it helpful.
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on May 5, 2016
What the heck is going on? At first I discovererd that I'd purchased two of these, like I need a book for Dummies on how to order online. I think about returning one--but the postage?! So, I just assume I'm the dummy and just grab one the books to look up stuff.

Until now. When I look up 'backgrounds page 176-177,' it's not there. Pages 171 to 202 are entirely missing in one of the two books. Of course it's too late to return the defective one, and it appears both books were charged at $15, making each cost $7.50, which seems rather low. So did someone at Amazon know the books were defective and tossed in a second? Gee, were I a publisher or author, I'd be breathing down the printers neck about quality control.

Anyhow as to helpfulness. Thwarted again. See, Elements 11's menu fonts are too tiny too see on a high resolution laptop screen. So I waited for Elements 14 where Adobe or Intel fix that. The 14's menu and operational tools are vastly different than 11's, so the 11-book's instructions provide merely clues. All other media--magazines and YouTube--pawn off small font sizes or pale contrast on screenshots as if one has Chuck Yeager eyesight or as if there's a world shortage of ink or paper.
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VINE VOICEon May 4, 2013
To begin with, PhotoShop Elements 11 for Dummies is a classy book, printed in full color on heavy paper. Somehow an elegant book puts you in the mood for learning the equally elegant software.

The Elements software is divided into two major sections- Organizer -storing you images and Editor- which is your sandbox for manipulating them. I saved a lot of learning time because I have the image editor ACDSee where all my graphics are housed. From ACDSee the photos can be plunked directly into Elements. If you have any image editor such as the free Picasa you can save a lot of learning time, too.

Even though I've used Paint Shop Pro for years, mastering Elements still involves a steep learning experience and in order to swim without sinking Dummies takes you by the hand and you toddle along with baby steps. It was necessary for me to prop the book in front of my nose and start at the beginning. “Dummies” is practically a tome, being 419 pages long. You will learn how to organize and manipulate your photos in just about every possible way.

Although the back of the book informs you “this book makes it easy” and it's “elements-ary, my dear Watson” learning Elements 11 is no cake walk. But “Dummies” smooths the way for you to learn to “express your vision.” It's all here and I can't imagine anyone needing or wanting another instruction manual.
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on March 10, 2015
I purchased this book because I'm basically brain dead in using this difficult software and need some detailed help on "How To Use" different portions of the the software. What this book does, is explain to you what the software can do. But........it doesn't explain in detail HOW to do it. At least not in the areas that I'm looking. More money wasted and now I'll have to try a different book and hope that one helps. They need to change the author to; "Written by a Dummy". Now to resell it on eBay!.
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on January 19, 2014
I bought this manual to help me with a difficult photo project, so I've consulted it as I would an encyclopedia, but it has served me very well in that respect. I've still had to experiment on my own, but this book has pointed me in the right direction, answering many questions I had about photo processing in Photoshop Elements 11. You can use it as a training manual for an in-depth acquaintance with the program, but if you consult the book the way I do, the detailed table of contents and the index can direct you where you want to go to find instructions for specific techniques. The step-by-step instructions are clear, and the color photos illustrating the techniques further clarify the effects. Just by browsing through this attractively designed book, I've picked up pointers. Some manuals don't help me as much as they clutter my bookshelves, but this big beautiful tome is a keeper.
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on January 2, 2013
I would recommend this item to anyone that knows some about Photoshop or another photo editing program. It is not a learning tool in that it doesn't take you through fixing photos as you read it. It tells you how to use the commands and does a very good job of that.
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on September 10, 2013
The book assumes I am a photographic wizard and does not give step by step processes that I need to complete a project.
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on August 27, 2015
I need a manual to follow this manual. I have never read a Dummies book before so not sure if it was the subject matter that was confusing or the way the book was written. I have found that using online videos has been more helpful then this book. Waist of money if you ask me.
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on October 3, 2013
I already knew a lot of what Elements 4 will o and do not dislike the program. However, when I tried to learn how to do the very thing for which I purchased the book, it totally failed me. I wanted to silhouette a ragged circle without background and place it on a new background and the menu illustrated in the book never appeared. A different one did and this on two different computers containing Elements 4. I wasted hours and never got a solution. The instructions lack follow-through. They show how to do something and then don't tell you how to apply it.
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