You don’t have to give up your color data when converting images to grayscale. Using the Image→Mode→Grayscale menu command removes all the color from the pixels. As an alternative for converting images to grayscale, open an RGB image in Photoshop Elements 10 and follow these steps:


Duplicate a layer.

The default Panels Bin contains the Layers panel. In this panel, you find a pop-up menu when you click the icon in the upper-right corner. From the menu commands, choose Duplicate Layer.

You can also duplicate a layer by dragging the layer name to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.


Choose Enhance→Adjust Color→Adjust Hue/Saturation to open the Hue/Saturation dialog box.

Alternatively, you can press Ctrl+U (Command+U on the Macintosh).


Drag the Saturation slider to the far left to desaturate the image, and click OK.

All color disappears, but the brightness values of all the pixels remain unaffected.


Turn off the color layer by clicking the eye icon in the Layers panel.

In the Layers panel, you see two layers. You don’t need to turn off the color layer to print the file in grayscale, but turning it off can help you remember which layer you used the last time you printed or exported the file.

Following the preceding steps provides you with a file that contains both RGB and grayscale information. If you want to print the color layer, you can turn off the grayscale layer. If you need to exchange files with graphic designers, you can send the layered file, and then the design professional can use both the color image and the grayscale image.

The other advantage of converting RGB color to grayscale by using the Hue/Saturation dialog box is that you don’t disturb any changes in the brightness values of the pixels. Moving the Saturation slider to desaturate the image affects only the color. The luminance and lightness values remain the same.