How to Work with Settings Panels in Photoshop Elements 9

Photoshop Elements provides a multitude of panels that contain settings and options used to refine the tools you select on the Tools panel and tasks you perform to edit images.

Assume for a moment that you want to let your creative juices loose and create a Picasso-esque painting — something that you can do easily in Photoshop Elements. First, click the Brush tool and then click a color on the Color Swatches panel. On a new canvas, begin to paint. When you want to change color, click again on the Color Swatches panel on a different color. This interactivity between the Tools panel and another panel is something you frequently use in Elements.

You can access panels from either the Panel Bin or the Window menu. Many options on panels are intuitive. To become familiar with various panel options, just poke around a little.

You can drag panels away from the Panel Bin and scatter them all over the Elements workspace. If you remove panels and want to return to all panels docked in the Panel Bin, click Reset Panels at the top of the Editor window.

By default, you find the panel buttons for Edit, Create, and Share with the panels expanded, as shown in the following figure.

The default view shows panels expanded.
The default view shows panels expanded.

You can use these settings panels as explained here:

  • Edit: Gain quick access to editing tasks. You can toggle between the Full, Quick, and Guided settings. You can change editing modes by choosing the desired setting below the Edit tab.

  • Create: Click this button to access options to create photo books, photo collages, and slide shows and also to order prints and greeting cards. Click More Options on the Create panel to access additional creation options.

  • Share: Click this button to access options that offer many different ways to share your photos with others. On the Share panel, you find options for creating an online album, sending photos via e-mail attachments, using photo and writing CDs and DVDs of photo collections and slide shows. Clicking More Options on the Share panel offers additional options for sharing photos.

There are differences between the Create and Share options available on Windows versus the Macintosh. Windows users have more options than Macintosh users.

Choose Window→Panel Bin to remove the Panel Bin check mark, and the Panel Bin temporarily hides providing more editing space.

When you click a panel name, the panel collapses.
When you click a panel name, the panel collapses.

When the Panel Bin is hidden, choose Window→Panel Bin again to display the panels.

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