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Book Review: Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual

Learning Photoshop Elements 11 made easy

In the past I have had Photoshop loaded on my computer, but I rarely used it unless it was to use the autocorrection features. Each year I have a ton of vacation pictures to clean up every year and since I am a programmer I have the occasional need to create graphics. 85% of the time I used a less complex tool like Paint.net.

I' say for the past 2 to 3 years my wife has started making photo albums using online services. She now has the need to do more with the photos than we have in the past. We have been using one software to clean up the images, and then using one of the online services to create the photo books. She also has started making custom cards. Photoshop Elements looked like it may handle all three needs.

I have seen Photoshop Elements in the past, but never really took the time to learn about it. I got this book to see if it can handle our needs before I purchase the software.

Part 1. Introduction to Elements
1. Finding Your Way Around Elements
2. Importing, Managing, and Saving Photos
3. Rotating and Resizing Photos

Part 2. Elemental Elements
4. The Quick Fix
5. Making Selections
6. Layers: The Heart of Elements

Part 3. Retouching
7. Basic Image Retouching
8. Elements for Digital Photographers
9. Retouching: Fine-Tuning Images
10. Removing and Adding Color
11. Photomerge: Creating Panoramas, Group Shots, and More

Part 4. Artistic Elements
12. Drawing with Brushes, Shapes, and Other Tools
13. Filters, Actions, Layer Styles, and Gradients
14. Text in Elements

Part 5. Sharing Images
15. Creating Projects
16. Printing Photos
17. Email and the Web
18. Online Albums and Slideshows

Part 6. Additional Elements
19. Beyond the Basics

Part 7. Appendixes
A. Installation and Troubleshooting

This book definitely accomplished what I needed it to and more. We will be buying the software. I downloaded the trial version to try a bunch of the tools the book covered and they all worked as described.

The author has a great writing style which makes the book easy to read. The book is in color which really helps when describing photo manipulating software. The author makes good use of screenshots without going overboard.

The only thing I would've liked to have seen is more coverage of the scrapbook and greeting card templates. I was able to find information online about the ones that are available so that helped make my decision.

The book goes way beyond what I will be doing 90% of the time, but it was cool learning all the capabilities in Elements 11. I would not have bought the software without reading this book.

Another thing I liked is that the author pointed out differences between Mac and Windows. We will be running it on both, so this information was nice to have.

The book will be staying by my side as I modify our vacation pictures and make graphic for software projects.

All in all I found this to be a great book. If you want to learn about all the features available in Photoshop Elements 11 this is the best way to go.

Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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