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Getting Started

Getting Started

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 3.0 for Windows® delivers image-editing tools that balance power and versatility with ease of use. Photoshop Elements 3.0 is ideal for home users, hobbyists, business users, and professional photographers—anyone who wants to produce good-looking pictures and sophisticated graphics for the Web and for print.

If you’ve used earlier versions of Photoshop Elements, you’ll find that this Classroom in a Book® teaches many advanced skills and innovative features that Adobe Systems introduces in this version. If you’re new to Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0, you’ll learn the fundamental concepts and techniques that help you master the application.

About Classroom in a Book

Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Classroom in a Book is part of the official training series for Adobe graphics and publishing software developed by Adobe Systems experts. Each lesson in this book is made up of a series of self-paced projects that give you hands-on experience using Photoshop Elements 3.0.

The Classroom in a Book is a little like a cross between a cookbook and a text book. No cookbook describes every possible recipe or kind of kitchen equipment. But, when you follow the step-by-step instructions and see the results, you can learn a lot about cooking—or, in this case, about working with digital images in Photoshop Elements 3.0.

Unlike a cookbook, the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Classroom in a Book provides all the ingredients for the projects. You’ll find the complete set of image files needed for the projects on the CD attached to the inside back cover of this book.


Before you begin working on the lessons in this book, make sure that you and your computer are ready. The next two topics describe how to determine that you’re properly set up to begin working with Photoshop Elements 3.0.

The lessons in this book are designed to be used only on Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Some files, steps, and descriptions in this book won’t apply to Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 for Macintosh.

Requirements on your computer

You’ll need about 150 MB of free space on your hard disk for the lesson files and the work files you’ll create. The lesson files are on the CD attached to the inside back cover of this book. These image files are necessary for your work in the lessons.

Required skills

The lessons in the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Classroom in a Book assume that you have a working knowledge of your computer and its operating system. This book does not teach the most basic and generic computer skills. If you can answer yes to the following questions, then you’re probably well qualified to start working on the projects in these lessons. Most users should do the lessons in the order they occur in the book.

  • Do you know how to use the Microsoft Windows Start button and the Windows taskbar? Can you open menus and submenus, and choose items on those menus?

  • Do you know how to use My Computer, Windows Explorer, or Internet Explorer to find items stored in folders on your computer?

  • Are you comfortable using the mouse to move the pointer, select items, drag, and deselect? Have you used context menus (sometimes called shortcut menu), which open when you right-click items?

  • When you have two or more open applications, do you know how to switch from one to another? Do you know how to switch to the Windows desktop?

  • Do you know how to open, close, and minimize individual windows? Can you move them to different locations on your screen? Can you resize a window (by dragging)?

  • Can you scroll (vertically and horizontally) to see the rest of the document or page?

  • Are you familiar with the menus across the top of an application and how to use it?

  • Have you used dialog boxes, such as the Print dialog box? Do you know how to click arrow icons to open a pop-up menu within a dialog box?

  • Can you open, save, and close a file? Are you familiar with word processing tasks, such as typing, selecting words, backspacing, deleting, copying, pasting, and changing text?

  • Do you know how to open and find information in Microsoft Windows Help?

If there are gaps in your mastery of these skills, see the Microsoft documentation for your version of Windows. Or, ask a computer-savvy friend or your instructor for help.

Installing Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0

You must purchase the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 software separately and install it on a computer running Windows 2000 or Windows XP. For system requirements and complete instructions on installing the software, see the InstallReadMe file on the Photoshop Elements 3.0 application CD.


Have your serial number handy before you start to install the application; you can find the serial number on the registration card or CD sleeve for the application. You do not need a serial number to copy the lesson files from the Classroom in a Book CD.

Copying the Classroom in a Book files

The CD attached to the inside back cover of this book includes all the electronic files for these lessons. Because the files will be organized with a catalog that is an essential part of many projects, keep all the files on your computer until you finish all the lessons.


The images on the CD are practice files, provided for your personal use in these lessons. You are not authorized to use these photographs commercially, or to publish or distribute them in any form without written permissions from Adobe Systems, Inc., and the individual photographers who took the pictures or othercopyright holders.

Copying the Lessons files from the CD

Insert the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Classroom in a Book CD in your CD-ROM drive. If a message appears asking what you want Windows to do, select Open Folder To View Files Using Windows Explorer, and click OK.

If no message appears, open My Computer and double-click the CD icon to open it.

Locate the Lessons folder on the CD and copy it to the My Documents folder on your computer.

When your computer finishes copying the Lessons file, remove the CD from your CD-ROM drive and put it away.

Go on to the procedure below before you start the lessons.

Creating a catalog

You’ll use a catalog to organize the image files for the lessons in this book. This keeps all of your images together in one easy-to-access location. You’ll use this process whenever you need to import images into Photoshop Elements from your digital camera or images already stored on your hard drive.

Start Adobe Photoshop Elements. In the Photoshop Elements start screen choose View and Organize Photos. This starts Photoshop Elements in the Organizer mode

Choose File > Catalog and in the Catalog window that opens, click the New button. Enter the file name CIB Catalog and then click the Save button.

Choose File > Get Photos > From Files and Folders. In the Get Photos from Files and Folders window, navigate to the My Documents folder. Click only once to select the Lessons folder that you copied from the CD. Do not double-click, as you do not want to open then Lessons folder. Confirm the Get Photos from Subfolders checkbox is selected in the lower right corner of the window, and then click the Get Photos button.

The Import Attached Tags window opens. Click the Select All button, and then click the OK button. These images contain additional information, known as tags, that will help you organize them as you proceed through the book.

After the image files are imported into the catalog, the tags are displayed along the right side of the display. These will be referenced in the lessons later in the book.

Photoshop Elements displays a dialog box, informing you that the only items displayed in the Organizer are those you just imported. Click OK to close this window.

Additional resources

Adobe Photoshop Elements Classroom in a Book is not meant to replace documentation that comes with the program or to be a comprehensive reference for every feature in Photoshop Elements 3.0 for Windows. For additional information about program features, refer to any of these resources:

  • Photoshop Elements Help, which is built into the Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 application. You can view it by choosing Help > Photoshop Elements Help.

  • The Adobe website ( www.adobe.com), which you can view by choosing Help > Photoshop Elements Online. You can also choose Help > Online Support for access to the support pages on the Adobe website. Both require that you have Internet access.

  • The Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 Getting Started Guide, which is included either in the box with your copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 or on the installation CD for the application software in PDF format. If you don’t already have Adobe Reader (or if you have an older version of Adobe Acrobat Reader) installed on your computer, you can install a current version from the installation CD, or download a free copy from the Adobe website ( www.adobe.com).

Adobe Certification

The Adobe Training and Certification Programs are designed to help Adobe customers improve and promote their product-proficiency skills. The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) program is designed to recognize the high-level skills of expert users. Adobe Certified Training Providers (ACTP) use only Adobe Certified Experts to teach Adobe software classes. Available in either ACTP classrooms or on-site, the ACE program is the best way to master Adobe products. For Adobe Certified Training Programs information, visit the Partnering with Adobe website at http://partners.adobe.com.

Reconnecting missing files to a catalog

The relationship between the images and a catalog depends on the folder structure on your computer and the location of the image files that are a part of the catalog. If you move the Lessons folder or any of the files after you have created the catalog, you may need to reconnect the files. This procedure is only necessary if you move the Lesson files and Photoshop Elements alerts you that it can not find an image file. If your lesson files have not been moved, or you have not received an alert message regarding missing files, you do not need to follow this procedure and can go on to the next lesson.

Moving or renaming a catalogued image file or folder can break the catalog connections. Fortunately, reconnecting them is easy. If you ever receive a message that individual files can not be located, simply complete the following steps:

Choose File > Reconnect > All Missing Files. If a message appears, “There are no files to find,” click OK, and then skip the rest of this procedure. Your files do not need to be reconnected.

If a message appears, “Searching for missing files,” click the Browse button. The Reconnect Missing Files dialog box opens. On the Browse tab on the right side of the dialog box, use the upper area to find and open the Lessons folder. Locate and select the folder that has the same name as the folder located underneath the small picture, on the left side of the dialog box.

Select the folder with the same name as the folder underneath the thumbnail image on the left side of the window.

After you select the appropriate folder and the correct thumbnail picture appears in the right side of the dialog box, click the Reconnect button.

Continue selecting the appropriate folders and clicking the Reconnect button as you find matching files. When all the files are reconnected, click Close.

You can now use the Photoshop Elements Organizer to select and open files in the Photoshop Elements Editor.


This procedure also eliminates error messagesregarding missing files when you work with Creations or print from Organizer.

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