Get, Set, Go with Photoshop Elements 11

Are you brand new to Photoshop Elements 11, and don’t know where to start? Are you a casual photographer looking to add pro-quality effects to your photos? Do you want to create and share stunning pictures that are worth a thousand likes?  If you answered “yes” to even one of those questions, then this post is just for you.

In this post, we’ll learn how to get started with using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, how to use it with Elements Organizer, and how to create stunning photographs almost effortlessly.

Installing Photoshop Elements

To begin with, let’s talk a bit about installing Photoshop Elements – see this step-by-step guide to help you with the installation process. If you run into any issues, or you’re looking for assistance, you can reach out for help on the Photoshop Elements forums.

When you install Photoshop Elements, Elements Organizer is installed by default. On launching Photoshop Elements 11, you see a screen like this:

 

Click Organizer to  import, find, and organize your media (photos and videos) or click Photo Editor to edit your photos.

Using the Organizer

The Organizer workspace provides a new, simple, and clean interface. You can easily import photos, add folders, and share them in a few clicks.

Easy importing of photos

The Import options are now easier to discover. You can import your media (photos and videos) directly from your camera or card reader, scanner, files and folders, or from Adobe Revel.

While importing your photos, you can let Photoshop Elements automatically suggest photo stacks. Stacks of visually similar photos are then intelligently created. I find this feature especially useful when you capture photos in the burst-mode setting on your camera, and want to eliminate duplicate photos.

Simplified sorting and viewing of photos
Photoshop Elements provides you four very intuitive ways of sorting and viewing your media:

Media The Media tab groups files based on whether they are photos, videos, audio files, PDFs, and so on.

Places The Places tab displays photos on a map based on where they were taken. Integration with Google maps lets you tag photos with places where the photos were taken. For more information, see this article.

People The People tab groups photos based on who’s featuring in them using facial recognition. This is one of my favorite features – Once you’ve identified the face of a person in a photo, and if you have Facebook connected to your Photoshop Elements, you can add the Facebook name of the person. A photo stack is then created for the identified person. See this article for a detailed explanation.

Events The Events tab lets you view photos based on events. For example, you can create a stack of photos taken at a vacation, or a party, or any other event. For more information, see this article.

The powerful search capabilities in Elements Organizer lets you quickly search for photos or videos based on keywords, people, places, and events. For a better understanding of the ways of sorting and viewing your photos, watch this video.

Sharing photos on the Web

You can post your photos to Facebook, share them via email, or share them in other interactive ways from the Organizer. For an overview of the different ways you can share your photos, see this video. We also have some helpful tutorials to help you learn more.

Using the Photo Editor

There’s lots to talk about here, but I’ll focus only on the three main modes of editing, and point you to good resources from where you can learn and understand more. Before getting into the details, you can check out this video for a quick overview of all the features in Photoshop Elements 11.

Editing photos

 To open Photo Editor from the Organizer workspace, you simply click the Editor button on the Elements Organizer taskbar.

The revamped UI is noticeably clean, simple, and intuitive.

The interface is very easy to navigate and has three basic modes of editing:

Quick If you are new to image editing and want to make just basic edits, without being overwhelmed by the several editing options, use the Quick editing mode. This mode is best suited for fixing the sharpness, exposure, colors, and so on.

Guided If you’d like to explore more complex image editing and want some guidance with using it, use the Guided editing mode. The Guided editing mode provides you step-by-step assistance in creating the perfect portrait, adding depth of field, and such. Check out this article for more information.

Expert Use the Expert editing mode if you are well versed with image editing, and want to jump straight into using all the available editing tools.

To learn more about editing your photos, check out some helpful articles at this page.

Want to learn more?

The Photoshop Elements Getting Started page is a great place to start with. Here, you’ll find a good collection of articles and tutorials to get you started with Photoshop Elements.

You should also check out the Learn Photoshop Elements 11 channel on Adobe TV for a good collection of video tutorials selected by experts at Adobe.

I’d also recommend that you visit the Photoshop Elements blog that has good nuggets of information to help you be more effective in using Photoshop Elements.

Introducing Project “Monocle”

Project “Monocle” is a new memory profiling tool from Adobe to profile ActionScript applications (Flash Player on the desktop) and mobile applications (that run on Adobe AIR). 

Monocle uses the Telemetry feature to help you profile your Flash content. Telemetry works inside the internals of the Flash runtime, beyond the ActionScript level, and sends data to Monocle. Monocle then parses the data and displays it clearly and concisely.

Monocle is based on the Telemetry feature, which runs on the release version of Flash Player. So, you do not need the debugger version of Flash Player to use Monocle. You can, therefore, profile your content even in a release version of the build, making this especially helpful in tracking down a memory leak or fine-tuning the performance of a released application.

 To see Monocle in action, watch this video by Adobe’s Thibault Imbert: http://vimeo.com/46917940#

Configuring Project “Monocle” with Flash Builder 4.7 (Beta)

 You can configure Project “Monocle” with Flash Builder 4.7 to profile your ActionScript applications. To get started, you need the following: 

  • Flash Player 11.3 or a higher version (stand-alone or plug-in) and Adobe AIR 3.3 or a higher version
  • Flash Builder 4.7 Beta (available on Adobe Labs)
  • Project “Monocle” (available on the Monocle Prerelease Program; you need to sign up to get access to the prerelease program)

 To learn more about configuring Monocle with Flash Builder, see Using Project “Monocle” with Flash Builder.

A beginner’s guide to Adobe Edge Tools & Services

If you, like me, have been keenly following the Create the Web Tour, you’d know all about Adobe Edge Tools & Services. But if you are one of those who heard the buzz about the Create the Web events, but missed out on the details. Despair not! Here’s a quick introduction to Adobe Edge Tools & Services to help you get started. Read on.

Introducing Adobe Edge Tools & Services

Adobe Edge Tools & Services are designed to help web designers and developers create beautiful websites, digital content, and mobile apps using the latest web technologies, including HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

Adobe Edge Tools & Services include Edge Animate, Edge Reflow (sneak peek), Edge Code, Edge Inspect (formerly codenamed Adobe Shadow), Edge Web Fonts, Typekit, and PhoneGap Build. The Adobe Edge Tools and Services are available with a free or paid Creative Cloud membership. For more information, see http://adobe.ly/VxX0aN.

As you read on, you’ll know more about each product in the Edge family. But before that, watch the video recording of the Create The Web San Francisco Keynote (September 24th, 2012).

Getting to know the Adobe Edge family

 Now, let’s understand a bit more about each product in the Edge family, and who’s best suited to use these products.

Adobe Edge Animate 

Edge Animate is a new motion and interaction tool to create animated, interactive content using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Edge Animate is best suited for web designers, web developers, and interactive designers who want to enrich their web content with motion and interactivity.

 Watch this video from the Create the Web Keynote in San Francisco, where Adobe’s Danny Winokur and Paul Trani introduce Adobe Edge Animate.

You can get started with Edge Animate by going to http://html.adobe.com/edge/animate/.

Adobe Edge Inspect

Edge Inspect (formerly codenamed “Shadow”) is an application that lets you preview and inspect web designs on multiple devices. With Edge Inspect, you can easily pair multiple smartphones and tablets with your computer and preview and inspect websites for different form-factors in real time. Edge Inspect is ideal for web developers and designers who are working on mobile projects.

To watch Edge Inspect in action, see this video. You can download and get started with Edge Inspect at http://html.adobe.com/edge/inspect/.

 Adobe Edge Code (Preview) 

Edge Code (Preview) is a code editor for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Edge Code is helpful for web designers and developers who write HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  You can watch this video to know more.

To get started with Edge Code (preview), visit http://html.adobe.com/edge/code/.

Adobe Edge Reflow (Sneak)

Edge Reflow is a new tool, with an HTML-based design interface, for creating responsive web designs using CSS. Edge Reflow is ideal for web designers and developers who want to create responsive layouts, images, and CSS visuals targeting modern browsers and mobile devices. You can watch a sneak peek of Adobe Reflow  in this video.

 To be notified when Edge Reflow becomes available, keep an eye on http://html.adobe.com/edge/reflow/.

 Adobe Edge Web Fonts and Adobe Typekit 

Edge Web Fonts is a new free web font service that gives you access to a vast web font library made possible by contributions from Adobe, Google, and designers around the world. To learn more, read this blog post, and to get started go to http://html.adobe.com/edge/webfonts/.

Adobe Typekit plans to provide access to hundreds of commercial and premium web fonts.  You can get started by checking out http://html.adobe.com/edge/typekit/.

Also, don’t miss watching this video, from Create the Web Keynote in San Francisco, for an overview of Adobe Typekit, and an announcement of new open source fonts from Adobe and the Adobe Edge Web Fonts.

Adobe PhoneGap Build

Adobe PhoneGap Build is a cloud-­based service built on top of the PhoneGap framework. Here’s a helpful list of FAQs that can provide you more information: https://build.phonegap.com/faq.

To get started with Adobe PhoneGap Build, go to http://html.adobe.com/edge/phonegap-build/.

Join the conversation

So, that was a quick introduction to the products in the Adobe Edge family. But, there’s lots more happening that you should not miss out on (it’s never too late!) —  do join the conversation on Twitter (@createtheweb), just remember to use the hashtag #CreateTheWeb.

Flash Builder 4.7 Beta now available!

We are excited to announce the availability of Adobe Flash Builder 4.7 Beta on Adobe Labs

Highlights of the Flash Builder 4.7 beta include: 

Support for Apache Flex SDK
Flash Builder 4.7 supports Apache Flex 4.8 in addition to Adobe Flex 4.6 and Adobe Flex 3.6.  For information on how to get Apache Flex SDKs for use in Flash Builder, see http://www.adobe.com/go/apacheflex_download

New complier support for ActionScript Projects
Flash Builder 4.7 supports a new compiler for Action Script projects.  You should see a significant improvement in your compile time with the new compiler. 

Support for creating ActionScript Workers
Flash Builder 4.7 supports multi-thread ActionScript programing by letting you run an ActionScript program as a worker. A worker runs in parallel to the main ActionScript program, and can communicate with the main ActionScript program and other ActionScript workers. This feature helps developers create more responsive games and applications by offloading tasks and computations to background workers. These workers run concurrently to leverage more machine resources, making your game-play more responsive.

For more information on creating and using an ActionScript worker, see Using ActionScript workers.

Support for Apple iOS on-device deployment (USB), simulator testing, and debugging
Flash Builder 4.7 provides improved AIR for iOS app development workflows with support for USB debugging, ad-hoc app deployment, and support for the iOS simulator. For more information, see Test and debug an iOS application on a simulator and Test and debug an application on an iOS device.

Configuring multiple build targets for multi-screen projects
You can configure and persist multiple build targets for each of your mobile target platforms. For more information, see Support for multiple build targets

Support for customizing ADT and ADL
You can customize parameter values before packaging the application using the AIR Debug Launcher (ADL) and before launching the application using the AIR Developer Tool (ADT).For more information, see Customize ADL and ADT parameter values.

Enhanced Developer Productivity Features 
Organize Imports: Manage, add and consolidate imports in your project. For more information, see Organize imports statements.

New Quick Assist features:

  • Assign parameter to new/existing field
  • Convert local variable to parameter
  • Create new local variable with cast type
  • Add else/else-if/catch/finally block
  • Convert anonymous to named function
  • Replace conditional with ‘if-else’
  • Real time error highlighting using Falcon compiler

For more information, see Quick Assist.

So, go ahead and download the Flash Builder4.7 beta and try out all these exciting new features! We look forward to your feedback, and should you run into any issues, you can report them here .

 

 

Five FAQs about offline Help for Creative Suite 6

This post is to help clarify some of the most commonly asked questions about downloading and viewing offline Help for CS6 . I’m writing this post in an FAQ format to ensure that I don’t just ramble on and miss any important details.

1. How does offline Help for CS6 work?

You can access CS6 Help offline as downloadable PDFs.

The very first time you launch Help (press F1 or select Help > Product Name Help) from your Adobe CS6 product, the Adobe Help manager launches in the background and checks for the availability of new or updated content. Note that you need to be connected to the Internet for the Help manager to perform this check.

If no new content is available, the Adobe Help manager will shut down until the next time you select Help.

If new content is found, a small pop-up notification will be displayed on your desktop (usually in the lower-right corner of your screen) like this:

  

2. How can I download the CS6 Reference PDF to my computer?

If the Adobe Help manager finds new content, you see a small pop-up notification. When you click the notification message, the Help Manager launches and displays all the content available for download (under Local Content). The content available for download is indicated by a “Pending Download” status like this. 

 

You just have to select the CS6 Reference PDF that you want to download and click the Update button. Once the PDF is downloaded, the status changes to “Current“.

3. I’m using more than one CS6 product, can I download the reference PDFs for all these products at once?

Yes, you can.

To do so, go to the Download Preferences panel in the Adobe Help Manager, select the products for which you wish to have offline Help content available, and click Done.

 

Then, launch Adobe Help Manager, go to the General Settings panel, and click the Download button:

Important: The total download size for all of the available content is displayed. Large updates may take several minutes or more to download. For example, if you have CS6 Master Collection installed, it make take you some time to download PDFs for all the products in the suite.  During the download, the status of the PDF being downloaded (under Local content) is shown as “Queued“.

4. Can I view CS6 Help even when I don’t have access to the Internet?

Yes, you can, provided you’ve downloaded the required PDFs to your computer. When Internet access is not available, the Help Manager automatically switches to offline help. When you press F1 or select Help > Product Name Help from your Adobe CS6 product, the downloaded PDF opens.

 5. Can I set offline Help as my default?

If you prefer to have your Adobe products use the locally installed Help PDF by default, select Yes for Display Local Help Content Only in the General Settings panel of the Adobe Help Manager.

 

By doing so, the downloaded CS6 reference PDFs will be displayed even when you are connected to the Internet.

 

 

Adobe Community Help channel on YouTube

A quick blog post to let you’ll know that Adobe Community Help now has its own YouTube channel hosting some very helpful video tutorials from members of the Adobe community.

 On this channel, you can watch popular Learn shows that teach you how to upload files to Creative Cloud, learn about new CS6 features, cross-product workflows, and more. You can also now access all the Creative Suite 6 Getting Started videos from a single handy page.   

So, subscribe to the Adobe Community Help YouTube channel, and stay tuned for more goodness!

A quick guide to your Creative Suite 6 installation

We have a number of resources to help you with your Creative Suite 6 installation – from self-help articles to forums and support programs. Read on to know more…

Self-Help  

For detailed step-by-step information about installing Creative Suite 6, see Creative Suite 6 Installation Instructions.   

Adobe forums

 The Adobe forums are a great place for users of Adobe products to exchange questions, offer ideas, and share tips and tricks with other users. These forums are monitored actively by Adobe and community experts. 

To provide focused attention around downloading and installing, we’ve set up these forums: 

 One-to-one assistance

If you require one-to-one assistance or you’d want to contact Adobe Customer Care directly, see Adobe Creative Suite support programs  for more information and next steps.

The all-new Community Help experience for Creative Suite 6

The Adobe Community Help experience with Creative Suite 6 has changed — it’s now more customized and smarter — connecting users with the most relevant content from Adobe and experts around the world.

Here are my top three reasons on why I think the new Adobe Community Help experience is more enriching than ever before.

Enhanced topic-browsing experience

 When you access Help from your product using F1 (on Windows) or the Help menu, a topic browsing page opens in your default web browser. The web page combines community contributions and Adobe content. For example, when you launch Photoshop Help, you are taken to the Photoshop topic browsing page, which looks like this:

What I really like about topic-browsing is that you browse through carefully chosen topic categories rather than structured books. In a book structure, I’d often get lost figuring out where a topic is, and would  browse through multi-layered TOCs to get to a topic. Not anymore! I can now get to my information in a glance. For example, if I need information about a lighting filter in Photoshop, I just click the “Filter and Effect” topic category, and select the article that I want to view.

  

To see more articles related to a particular topic, just click the More link. Additionally, Adobe continually curates and adds to the collections, so you will always find the latest and greatest articles. And the content that is displayed is curated across CS5, CS5.5, and CS6 releases.

 Your online Help experience is browser-based, so you can use your browser’s native functionality to search, bookmark, comment, or rate content.

Effective online-offline Help experience 

The Adobe Help manager is an AIR-based content installation utility that downloads offline help content and notifies you when new updates are available. The Help Manager will download HTML or PDF reference that can be viewed offline, either via your web browser or via Adobe Acrobat Reader (or similar PDF viewing software). 

You can access CS6 Help offline as a downloadable PDF and view the ActionScript Reference content offline via your web browser. If no new content is available, the application will shut down until the next time you select Help. For more information about using offline Help, see Five FAQs about offline Help for CS6.

Handy-dandy CS6 Help hub

Users can access online Help for all Creative Suite products from a single CS6 Help hub page. This page is your one-stop-shop for all self-help and tutorials for CS6. You can simply bookmark this page instead of a dozen or more individual product Help pages.

For more details on Adobe Community Help, see this article. And we’d be very interested to know your thoughts on the new Community Help experience for CS6!

Connecting Content and Community in the Cloud : Want to know More?

…about Adobe’s vision for Community Help in the coming years?

…about what Help will mean and look like when we move from the desktop to the tablet to the cloud?

…about a shared social learning experience that can blur the boundaries between “inspiration & instruction” and “content & community”?

If you answered Yes to even one of the questions above, make sure that you book your seat at the Social Studies: Connecting Content and Community in the Cloud session at Adobe MAX 2011.

In this session, Luanne Seymour, Senior Instructional Designer at Adobe, and Jaydeep Dutta, Experience Design Manager at Adobe, take you through a fascinating journey of exploring three trends that are currently sweeping the digital world: tablets moving from content consumption to creation, increasingly pervasive social features, and everything shifting to the cloud. Learn more about how UX Design and Content & Community come together to take advantage of these three trends and envision a compelling Community Help experience for designers and developers.

For more information on the session, see http://bit.ly/p871i3.

Flash Builder Tips & Tricks

The Flash Builder 4.5 release introduced many new features including several coding productivity features. And to help you be more productive with Flash Builder, we put together a Flash Builder Tips & Tricks article on Adobe Dev Center that contains several simple and effective tips and timesaving shortcuts.

Do check out the article, and please let us know if there are any other tips that you find useful and we may not have covered!