When you add files in the Photoshop Elements Organizer, they’re contained within a catalog. You can have a single catalog showing thumbnail images of your media or several catalogs that contain media organized according to the events, time frames, or other organizational criteria you want. If multiple users are working on the same computer, you can create separate catalogs for each user.

If you have lots of pictures — perhaps numbering in the hundreds or even thousands — you can still add each and every one of these photos to a single catalog. However, doing so slows the performance in the Organizer and makes searching for photos a bit more difficult. A better option for dealing with large numbers of photos is to create separate catalogs.

You might have a number of photos that were taken at some event or special occasion and want to create a separate, new catalog to manage just those files.


In the Organizer, choose File→Manage Catalogs.

The Catalog Manager opens, as shown in the figure.


In the Catalogs section of the Catalog Manager, choose an accessibility level (Windows).

By default, your catalog is accessible to all users. If you have several logons for different users, all users can access the catalog.

On the Macintosh, the catalog is always accessible to the current user. If multiple users access the same computer, the catalog files created by other users cannot be viewed by the current user. For multiple user access, you can use the default OSX Public folder, shared folders, or use an external hard drive for storing photos.

If you want to make the catalog accessible only to you and not to others logging on to your computer, select the Catalogs Accessible by the Current User radio button.


Choose a location.

If you don’t choose one of the first two radio buttons and you want to save the catalog to the folder of your choice, select the Custom Location radio button and click the Browse button to select a folder on your hard drive in which you want to store the catalog.


Click the New button in the upper-right corner of the Catalog Manager.

The Enter a Name for the New Catalog dialog box opens, as shown in the figure.


Type a name for your new catalog.

If you want to import free music files for later use when creating slide shows, select the Import Free Music into This Catalog check box.


Click OK.

You return to the Catalog Manager, and the new catalog is listed below your default catalog.


Click OK in the Catalog Manager.

The new catalog opens in the Organizer with an empty screen. From here, you can add photos by importing images.

One Elements limitation is that it has no option for moving images between catalogs.

If you decide that you want to move images from one catalog to another, you can import the images into the desired catalog and then delete those images from the old catalog. Or, if you like, the same images can appear in more than one catalog.

You can create multiple catalogs by following the same steps. To change a catalog, choose File→Manage Catalogs. In the Catalog Manager, click a catalog name and click Open. The newly selected catalog is now the default and is available in all Elements sessions until you change the catalog again.

You can include the same photo in different catalogs.