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Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 - Product Review


The Standard Edit workspace is for finer adjustments to your photos. You have all the familiar tools and some new ones including the Magic Selection Brush that we talked about earlier and the Cookie Cutter tool. You also have an improved Spot Healing Brush and Straighten Tool. I really like the improvements to the Spot Healing Brush. It does a much better job at preserving the original texture and shading when you remove objects or flaws from photos which lessens the need to make further touch ups. The Straighten Tool is handy for those photos that are just a little crooked. You just drag your mouse over the photo to set a guideline which Elements then uses to straighten your photo - all in one quick step. New also is the Adjust Color for Skin Tone command used to correct skin tone in your photos. You click on an area where the skin tone is correct and Elements uses this sample to correct the rest of the skin tones in the photo. Of course, you still have the familiar Styles and Effects and Layers palettes.

This latest version of Elements has some new features for scrapbooking. As mentioned earlier, one of the new tools is the Cookie Cutter tool. This new one-step tool makes cutting shapes from your photos a snap. Just choose a shape from a large variety and drag your mouse over the area of the photo you wish to keep. When you release your mouse button, the rest of the photo becomes transparent. You then can adjust the size and location of the shape if needed.

If you are like me, you place three, four or more photos on the scanner and scan them all at one time. In the past, the result was one large image containing all the photos and you had to manually separate them. Now, Elements does it for you. It automatically finds the edges of each photo, crops away the empty area between the photos and opens each photo into the workspace individually. Boy, is that a time saver.

Another time saver is the Magic Extracter feature which is another way to isolate a portion of a photo. Within the Magic Extractor dialog box, you first click on the subject you wish to keep with the Foreground Brush tool and then click on the area you wish to remove with the Background Brush tool. Then click the Preview button and use the fine adjustment tools and Smoothing Brush to complete the process.

Switch to the Creation Setup Wizard and you can create many projects from preinstalled, customizable templates. The Slide Show feature is my favorite. You can add pan and zoom or transition effects, include clipart, text and even audio. Then save your slide show in a format optimized for disc, screen, web or email. Other projects include photo album pages, a bound photo book, greeting cards, calendars and HTML photo gallery.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 can be purchased alone or bundled with Adobe PremiereR Elements 2.

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AdobeR product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated. AdobeR PhotoshopR, PhotoshopR AlbumTM, PhotoshopR Elements, IllustratorR, InDesignR, GoLiveR, AcrobatR, CueR, PremiereR Elements, Bridge, DreamweaverR, FlashR, FireworksR, ContributeTM and FlashPaperTM are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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