How to Apply Photo Effects in Photoshop Elements 11

Photoshop Elements 11 provides a variety of effects (also called photo effects) that you can apply to your photos. Some effects automatically create a duplicate of the selected layer, whereas other effects work only on flattened images. You can’t preview how the effect will look on your image or type, as you can when you apply filters. Also, you have no options to specify.

Here are the steps to follow when applying a photo effect:

  1. In the Photo Editor, in Expert mode, select an image layer in the Layers panel.

    Or, if you’re applying the effect to only a single selection, make the selection before applying the effect.

  2. Choose Window→Effects.

    You can also click the Effects icon (fx symbol) in the bottom right of the workspace.

  3. In the Effects panel, click the Effects button at the top of the panel.

  4. Select a subcategory, or library, of Effects from the drop-down menu at the top of the panel:

    • Frame: Includes effects that enhance the edges of the layer or selection.

    • Faded Photo, Monotone Color, Old Photo, and Vintage Photo: Makes your image fade from color to grayscale, appear as a single color, or look like an old pencil sketch or a photo on old paper.

    • Misc Effects: Includes a wide variety of effects to make your image appear as though it’s snowing, made of lizard skin or neon tubes, or painted with oil pastels.

    • Show All: Shows all effects described in this list.

  5. On the Effects panel, double-click an effect or drag the effect onto the image.

    In the example, the Oil Pastel effect is applied to the image and the Fluorescent Chalk is applied to the type layer, both from the Misc Effects library.

    [Credit: ©istockphoto.com/Beano5 Image #17899613]
    Credit: ©istockphoto.com/Beano5 Image #17899613

You can also apply an effect to type. Select a type layer in the Layers panel and follow Steps 2 through 5 in the preceding list. Note that a dialog box alerts you that the type layer must be simplified before you can apply the effect. If you simplify the layer, you can no longer edit the text, so be sure that your type is exactly as you want it.

Unlike styles, you can’t edit effects. Effects automatically create another layer, so if you don’t care for the effect, simply delete that layer by dragging it to the trash can at the top of the Layers panel.

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