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Introduction

Introduction

There’s something about software people. I guess it’s a sort of heightened sense of perfectionism. They create a wonderful program like Photoshop, and then say, “Now, how can we make it better? Easier to use? More fun?” Only a few months ago, Photoshop 7 was released to the high-end graphics market, to loud cheers from users and critics alike. Now, right on its heels, we have Elements 2, which provides most of the same improvements for the rest of us.

The fact is, for most users, Photoshop Elements 2 is all the graphics and image editing software we’ll ever need. The big surprise for first-time users is that it’s really not as difficult to work with as it looks. If you have used any other Adobe software, the Photoshop Elements interface will be immediately familiar to you. If you’re just getting started creating digital graphics, you’ll find the going easier if you work through the lessons in this book in order and don’t skip the activities or exercises.

Please be aware that this book was written using beta versions of the software. As such, some of the screen shots may be slightly different from what you see on your screen. Nevertheless, every effort has been made to keep the book as accurate as possible.

I’ve provided many of the source images for the book’s exercises on the Sams Publishing Web site. To download the images, point your Web browser to www.samspublishing.com and search for the book page by title, author, or ISBN (without hyphens).

Once the main book page has loaded, click the Downloads link to get to the files.


There’s no way to become an overnight expert, be it in Photoshop or anything else, but Sams Teach Yourself Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 in 24 Hours will get you up and running quickly. It’s divided into two dozen one-hour lessons, rather than chapters. Each one should take you about an hour to complete. Please don’t try to read the entire book in one day. The best way to learn is to take an hour or two between the lesson sessions to try out what you’ve learned. You’ll want to simply poke around and see what’s on the menus and what happens when you click here and there.

Here’s an activity for you to start with: Open the About Photoshop Elements window by choosing Help, About Photoshop Elements, and wait for a minute. You’ll see it start to scroll through the list of all the people who worked on the program. (Press the Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows) key to speed up the crawl.) Watch carefully for the very last name on the list. It’s a pleasant surprise....

One last thing before we start. You may have already noticed the color plate section of gorgeous photos, located in the middle of this book. Keep a bookmark there, because I’ll be referring to the color plate section throughout the book as I show you how to craft equally excellent photos yourself using Photoshop Elements.


Ready? Let’s get to work.

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