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Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac: The Missing Manual 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596519360
ISBN-10: 0596519362
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Amazon.com Review

Good news: Adobe's finally released the new Mac version of Elements. Bad news: It still doesn't come with a decent user's manual. But who cares? Author Barbara Brundage has revised her bestselling Elements book just for Apple fans. From gentle introduction to sophisticated tips, this book's your guide to getting the most out of Elements.

Author Barbara Brundage’s Top 10 Elements Tips
1. Always back up your photos as soon as you get them out of your camera. You can burn a CD or DVD right in the OS X finder (just drag your photos to the disc icon in a Finder window sidebar, then go to File>Burn Disc), or copy to an external hard drive, before you do any editing. Elements 6 also lets you burn discs from Bridge (File>Burn CD/DVD) . For really important photos (wedding and baby pix, for example), it's not a bad idea to burn a disc and keep that someplace else, like your safe deposit box or with a friend or relative. Then, no matter what happens, you won't have to worry about losing your photos.
2. Never, ever work on your original photo. Always make a copy (File>Duplicate) and work on that. If you use a program like iPhoto, Lightroom, or Aperture to organize your photos, those will save your original separately from your edited version for you.
3. Sharing photos. There are all kinds of fun, creative ways to share your photos in Elements 6, and Create Mode makes it super easy to explore them all. Try making a photobook or a fancy collage, 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.
4. 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.
5. 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% overlap and Elements' Photomerge will automatically stitch them together into a panorama wider than you could have captured with the widest lens. (If you've tried Photomerge in previous editions of Elements, the Photomerge in Elements 6 is a whole new thing -- totally automated and it does terrific blending to eliminate visible seams between images.)
6. Batch processing with RAW. If you shoot RAW format photos, now you can apply the same settings to multiple pictures at once. Just open all the RAW files you want to work on, and then click to select each of their thumbnail-sized photos. Elements will then apply any edits you've made to the current photo to all the pictures you've just selected.
7. Crop creatively. Unless you plan to print on standard photo paper, don't feel compelled to crop your photos to standard photo paper sizes and shapes. Use cropping to emphasize the best parts of your photo if you plan to use the image for the Web or to print at home.
8. Take credit, quickly. You can put copyright info on your photos by using the Watermark feature in the Process Multiple Files dialog box (File->Process Multiple Files), or you can create a custom brush: just type what you want (the copyright symbol is Alt+0169 in Windows, Option+G on a Mac), then select your type and go to Edit-Define Brush. Save your brush and from now on you've got a one-click copyright notice.
9. Black and white are beautiful. The Convert to Black and White feature in Elements does a great job, especially if you use the sliders to tweak your adjustments, but you can create even more dramatic black and white photos by using the Dodge and Burn tools to selectively enhance contrast after converting.
10. The very best way to learn Elements is to dive right in. Open a photo and try all sorts of different things. Nobody, even great Photoshop gurus, knows exactly what will happen to any given photo when you combine different filters and effects. Experiment, and you'll quickly see why Elements is so addicting. You can do all sorts of amazing things you never knew you could!

About the Author

Barbara Brundage is the author of Photoshop Elements 6: 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!


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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manual
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (April 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596519362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596519360
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,716,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At its most simplistic level, Photoshop Elements offers useful and intuitive tools to make almost any photo live up to its best potential. But there's so very much more to use in Elements that without a guide you really can't begin to appreciate -- or master -- its powerful tools. That's where Barbara Brundage comes in. She has pretty much perfected the art of laying out how best to approach Elements 6.0 no matter whether you just want to touch up a photo or take it into enormously creative directions. Her tone is straightforward and user-friendly without talking down. She includes step-by-step approaches, frequent referrals to related materials, and loads of photographs to help the reader really understand. She also tends to frequent Elements forums, where she offers advice and helps people sort through technical issues that might pop up.

In a perfect world, Adobe would include a book like this with Photoshop Elements. This is not that perfect world, and I'm not sure I'd want to go into it without the right tools at my side. For me, that's Ms. Brundage's book, and the enthusiasm I bring to any photo myself. Well worth the money.
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Format: Paperback
Strengths: Beautiful layout and in color. There is no hardware CD but there is one through a website that has many files to try the tutorials and more. Helpful insight on Photoshop versus Elements and Mac versus PC for users new to either platform or Operating System/ Computer. Color screenshots are of a good size.

Weaknesses: Real novice users may find the book's tutorials a little daunting but they will learn from this book nevertheless.


Photoshop is the premier graphic editing program for most of the Mac and Windows graphic artists. Many of those who don't require all the power of Photoshop but want most of the utilities, use Photoshop Elements which has proved to be popular. Macintosh users however have not had an updated version for two years but that has changes now. Mac users who also want to learn about the applications new features and learn as much as possible quickly look for a book to help them. If you are looking for one Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac: The Missing Manual is a excellent one.

The author, a musician by trade, , a mac expert and a Photoshop expert is the author of the Photoshop Elements Missing Manual Book. She provides insights into this new two year version of Photoshop Elements for Macintosh

The tutorials and content are provided in the 7 parts and 18 chapters. The book has color and well laid out.I like the little violet tabs on each top page side-tip that show what is on each page. The chapter numbers are on the bottom although I would have liked to have seen them on the top (which is where my eyes and most people normally start looking on each page). Color screenshots are easy to read. In several instances (like P.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am just starting to get into this book and have already obtained solutions to vexing problems that I did not have the patience to run to ground by using on line help and tutorials. The book helps me decide what is and is not important in the use of Elements 6.0 for the Mac - then provides the answers to my questions.

For example, in a matter of minutes, I was able to find out how to "right click" to edit an image in Elements directly from iPhoto and then how to save the changed image back to iPhoto. My Apple iMac software (both iPhoto and Elements 6.0) were on the wrong settings and I was having a terrible time trying to figure out the changes I needed to make in Preferences. Even the Apple in store Rep was not able to explain how to do this basic step. I got my answer in minutes from this book and now am already saving a lot of time.

I expect as I read further and apply the information as I go along that I will finally master Elements 6.0.
I also bought the Missing Manual for iPhoto '08 and the two manuals play very well together. Why oh why doesn't Adobe make it this simple? These books are like having an experienced digital photography friend at your side ready to show and tell.

The simple (now) concept of how iPhoto files work in concert with Elements 6.0 has made me much more confident that I am on the right track to being a better image processor and printer. I look forward to trying the methods detailed in this book and growing in my expertise every day. Took the "chore aspect" right out of my hobby of digital and scanned image photography. And, when you have over 18,000 images in digital and film and print form as I do, and you can gain confidence in managing them, you have to thank a book like this one.
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I've used the'Missing Manuals' series for Windows Elements since version 3. The Mac version is as thorough and instructive as they come, with numerous fine-tuning tips for more advanced users. Although bulky, the contents are all meat without fat ot bone; Brundage's writing style is pleasantly conversational and witty, without resort to the heavy-handed contrived 'humor' adopted by others in the field.

Unfortunately - a shortcoming made all the worse by printing color on pulpy paper - this book cries out for a companion work-along CD so that the user can duplicate the exercises. The hoary 'reason' to download images rather than spend a few more bucks turns out to be an empty promise as the web image library is incomplete, outdated, and borderline quality. Locating the website alone, plus time wasted and effort expended, would be worth the small extra cost of including a CD.

Even so, the reader will be well rewarded by the outstanding informative quality of the contents. This truly will the definitive reference text to Elements users from rookie to rocket.
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